Trib: Freeport Road between Blawnox, Harmar dropping from 4 to 3 lanes to give room for cyclists

FreeportRoadDietVictoryGig

We did it!

With cars whizzing by at speeds well over the 55mph limit, biking and walking on Freeport Road can be a harrowing experience. That’s why we jumped at the opportunity to make the road safer when we learned a key stretch of Freeport was set to be repaved before the end of this year’s paving season. We knew that project wouldn’t be approved unless the townships heard from citizens impacted by the incessant speeding and lack of roadway space for  bicyclists and pedestrians.

We put out the call to our supporters in the effected areas asking them to email their elected officials and were copied on many heartfelt responses. In all, dozens of concerned residents and commuters called and wrote the Borough Council members Blawnox, O’Hara and Harmar with one cohesive message: We need a safer Freeport Road for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

And we did it!

We’re so proud of this 11th hour hail mary we did to win better accommodations on Freeport Rd. PennDOT’s interest in calming the corridor made the process much easier. BikePGH members, these are your dollars hard at work – without you, none of this is possible.

Read on for the story from the Trib featuring a quote from BikePGH’s executive director, Scott Bricker.

By Tawnya Panizzi | Pittsburgh Tribune Review
PennDOT is paving the way for better bike access in the Lower Valley.
A four-lane section of Freeport Road, from Blawnox to Harmar, will be reduced to three lanes with shoulders up to eight-feet wide on either side.
“We are not designating any bike lanes with signage,” said Todd Kravits, PennDOT traffic engineer.That designation would come only with the approval of O’Hara and Harmar councils, since the property lies within those municipalities. Neither council is willing to take on the liability of the bike lanes without PennDOT installing a hard barrier along the shoulders….Bicycles, however, are legal on the road and along the shoulders. Bikers currently ride among the vehicles on Freeport Road.

Scott Bricker, executive director of BikePGH, applauded the move.

“Freeport is a fast-moving road. A redesigned Freeport will hopefully slow cars down to the speed limit and the shoulders will expand the option for more people to use the corridor by bike, which is especially important with the new Hulton Bridge connection,” he said. “Considering that there are already people biking and walking on Freeport Road, we are very appreciative of PennDOT’s efforts to improve safety.”

Blawnox Manager Jack Nolan also considers the work a safety benefit.

Read the full article on the Trib website.


Socialize. Get up-to-date. Ask questions. This year’s Annual Members’ Meeting –November 3rd at Point Park – features a new format with a BikePGH Q&A panel. Join us at the meeting to ask all the questions you’d like of the BikePGH staff.

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