State Officials Tout Cycling Improvements, Opportunities and Benefits in Pennsylvania

| May 15, 2018

HARRISBURG, Pa. – With the start of Bike to Work week, the Wolf Administration announced a series of planned improvements for bicyclists during an event featuring an executive bike ride around Harrisburg by several cabinet members, other officials, and staff.

Following the ride’s conclusion, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced plans to update their statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan via an online customer survey.

“We are updating the 2007 Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan with the goal of outlining a vision and framework for improving conditions for biking and walking,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “Through our survey, we are especially interested in learning of and addressing the needs of those who walk and bicycle out of necessity.”

In addition to PennDOT, representatives from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, (DCNR) the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) joined the bicycling event, to stress their agency’s unique perspective on the importance of cycling in the Commonwealth.

Pennsylvania’s state forestland trails were the focus of the message from DCNR Secretary, Cindy Adams Dunn.

“Whether it’s a leisurely circling of a lake, or a hard-driving climb up a mountain road, unlimited biking terrain and opportunities can be found within our 121 state parks and more than 2.2 million acres of state forestland,” she said.  “We are blessed with 11,000 miles of trails, all offering bicyclists unlimited ways of seeing all those very special outdoor places we have to offer.”

DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell cited the environmental advantage to riding a bike.

“Riding a bike is one of the most fun ways to fight climate change and clean our air,” added McDonnell. “Whether you are biking to work, or to run errands, or even just for fun is a great way to get exercise, and helps cut down on tailpipe emissions that lead to climate change and poorer air quality.”

Rep. David Maloney whose proposed “Share the Road” legislation was signed into law by Governor Wolf in 2016 said, “As an avid bicyclist myself, not only do I enjoy being outdoors and viewing the scenery, but I have also recognized the significant health and fitness benefits that come with cycling. A study last year on the health effects of cycling as mode of transportation in the United Kingdom showed that commuters who cycled to work had a 41 percent lower risk of dying from all causes than people who drove or took public transport. They also had a 46 percent lower risk of developing and a 52 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.”

For more information on bicycling in Pennsylvania, visit the Ride a Bike page at PennDOT.gov, in the  “Travel in PA” tab.


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