Plan­ners ar­range bike plan meet­ings

The Community Connection - - FRONT PAGE - By Evan Brandt ebrandt@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @PottstownNews on Twit­ter

POTTSTOWN >> As read­ers con­tinue to voice their opin­ions about Pottstown’s new bike lanes, on­line and in the news­pa­per, there is an op­por­tu­nity to voice them where it mat­ters most — to the Mont­gomery County of­fi­cials mak­ing plans for more bike lanes.

The Mont­gomery County Plan­ning Com­mis­sion will hold three pub­lic events to present more in­for­ma­tion about the county’s bik­ing plan called Bike Montco.

The Bike Montco plan en­vi­sions the cre­ation of a fu­ture on­road bi­cy­cle trans­porta­tion net­work through­out Mont­gomery County.

“This planned fu­ture net­work

and new poli­cies in Bike Montco will work to­ward achiev­ing im­proved bi­cy­cle ac­cess and mo­bil­ity all across the county — a ma­jor goal of the county’s com­pre­hen­sive plan, Montco 2040: A Shared Vi­sion,” ac­cord­ing to an an­nounce­ment from the plan­ning com­mis­sion.

“This event also will dis­cuss how mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties can em­bark on prac­ti­cal and achiev­able projects to im­prove bi­cy­cle mo­bil­ity and safety in their own com­mu­ni­ties. Par­tic­i­pants will have an op­por­tu­nity to ask ques­tions and dis­cuss how to make bi­cy­cling more ap­peal­ing in their town,” the plan­ners wrote.

One way to make it more ap­peal­ing, ac­cord­ing to Pottstown Bor­ough Coun­cil­man Don Lebe­dyn­sky, is to teach chil­dren how to obey the rules of the road while rid­ing their bikes.

“I keep see­ing kids blow­ing through stop signs. We have to live with th­ese bike lanes now, I hope par­ents will teach their kids how to ride safely. I would hate to see some­one get hurt.”

Pottstown ac­tivist Thomas Hyl­ton, who ad­vo­cated for the bike lanes as part of the Safe Routes to School project, ar­gued in a paid ad­ver­tise­ment pub­lished Oct. 4 that in fact, the bike lanes have made it safer for bik­ers and pedes­tri­ans, par­tic­u­larly at the in­ter­sec­tion of Beech, Wil­son and Roland streets.

“Be­sides mak­ing space for bi­cy­clists, the bike lanes slow down car traf­fic and make the street safer for walk­ers,” Hyl­ton wrote.

“Back in 2011, the school dis­trict re­ceived a grant from Pen­nDOT to hire a traf­fic en­gi­neer, Pen­noni As­so­ciates, to re­view walk­ing routes to Pottstown schools. A sec­ond firm, Traf­fic Plan­ning and De­sign, be­came in­volved later. Both firms pin­pointed the in­ter­sec­tion of Beech, Roland, and Jack­son as a ma­jor haz­ard,” wrote Hyl­ton. “A fed­eral grant paid for the re­design and con­struc­tion of the in­ter­sec­tion to make it safer for ev­ery­one.”

If you want to learn more about Mont­gomery County’s bi­cy­cle plans, or have some thoughts to share about the ones al­ready built, here are your three op­por­tu­ni­ties.

• Oct. 18 – 7 p.m.: Lower Gwynedd Town­ship Build­ing, 1130 N. Beth­le­hem Pike, Spring House, PA 19477

• Oct. 23 – 7 p.m.: Up­per Me­rion Town­ship Build­ing, 175 West Val­ley Forge Road, King of Prus­sia, PA 19406

• Nov. 5 – 7 p.m.: Abing­ton Town­ship Build­ing, 1176 Old York Road, Abing­ton PA 19001


Mont­gomery County plan­ners are hold­ing three meet­ings to dis­cuss the county’s plan to in­stall more bike lanes, like this one at the in­ter­sec­tion of Beech, Wil­son and Roland streets in Pottstown.

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