Bucks County Herald

Bucks officials gather to address funding for bike trails

DANA M. ECKMAN

Every municipality in Bucks County is looking for funding resources to add biking and pedestrian trails and lanes within their communities.

And on Sept. 7, township and borough officials from all over the county gathered in the Pearl S. Buck meeting room, located inside the Bucks County Free Library, 150 S. Pine St., to discuss trail development and bicycle safety and to learn how to apply for and get money for their municipalities.

"Bike Lanes and Multi-Use Trails: How to Finance and Build Them" was hosted by the Bucks County Bicycle Task Force.

Special guests attending the mid-day event included: PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards; Bucks County Commissioners Vice Chairman Robert G. Loughery; Chris Linn, manager, environmental planning, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC); Paul Gordon, planner, Bucks County Planning Commission (BCPC); and Phil Ehlinger, director of public works and planning, Doylestown Borough.

Statistically, people are using bicycles as a vehicle in increasing numbers.

"The one thing that we're seeing that is a big difference from 2007 until now is that people are using their bikes because they need to use them for transportation. It's not just a way that they get exercise; it's not just a way that they spend time when they have an opportunity, but they actually need it to get to their doctor appointments, to go visit elderly relatives and to get to work, so we need to make biking as safe as possible," Richards said.

Ehlinger agreed.

"We live in a remarkable time for bicycle advocacy," he said. "Never before in the history of this country have so many people been focused on bicycle improvements and bicycle safety that it is woven into our planning and codes and ordinances and that never happened before."

The Circuit Trail system takes advantage of the many opportunities to build and connect trails across the region that is a product of the area’s success in repurposing unused rail corridors and developing linear parks along the region’s waterways. One of the major goals of the circuit is to provide access to the region’s rivers, creeks and streams. The circuit will also serve as the backbone for a network of "bicycling highways" that will allow safe and efficient travel by bicycle between homes, businesses, parks, schools and institutions free from motorized traffic.

The Doylestown Community Bike & Hike network of trails connects to the circuit via the Route 202 parkway trail, Destination Peace Valley Trail and the Neshaminy Greenway Trail.

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