Local bicycle, community advocacy groups issue statement on Lemoyne Bottleneck plans

Supports safety improvements that serve all roadway users

LEMOYNE, Jan. 29 – Traversed every day by scores of runners, walkers, cyclists, and other non-vehicular users, the Lemoyne Bottleneck on Market Street is one of only a few options to access one of only two bridges capable of taking non-vehicular traffic across the Susquehanna River.

Despite its heavy use by all users, conditions for non-vehicular traffic in the bottleneck has deteriorated for years, with narrow, damaged sidewalks, poor sightlines, and blind corners creating a dangerous environment for all users. Conditions are such that this section of road is cited by many casual cyclists as a reason why they are afraid to bike from the West Shore to Harrisburg.

After decades of discussions and planning, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation this evening will host a public meeting from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Lemoyne Borough Building on Herman Avenue to present three options for safety improvements to the bottleneck.

After reviewing the three proposals, a coalition of local bicycle, pedestrian and civic organizations issues the following statement:

“While we recognize that no single plan will be universally accepted by everyone, we believe that the plan PennDOT has designed as its ‘preferred alternative’ – which will widen the existing shoulders and sidewalks to 8-foot-wide shared-use paths on both sides of the roadway – will have the largest beneficial impact on the largest number of possible users.

Existing conditions within the bottleneck, namely the narrow, poorly maintained sidewalks in close proximity to vehicular traffic, discourage active use by pedestrians, bicyclists and others, and create numerous zones where users are forced into direct confrontation and conflict.

Creating wider shared-use pathways will encourage walkers, runners, and bicyclists of all abilities to use this space, which is a primary access route for one of only two bridges across the Susquehanna River that provide access for non-motorized use.

We continue to have concerns about the proposed changes to the Market Street Bridge, primarily at the intersection of Market and Front Streets, and encourage PennDOT and its planning partners to continue to review their proposed improvements to benefit all users.

Further, we would encourage PennDOT and its planning partners to develop and make public a comprehensive plan for both the Bottleneck and the proposed changes to the Market Street Bridge, as these two projects are intertwined and together have the potential to reshape how a large portion of our area’s non-motorized traffic accesses and crosses the Susquehanna River, both east- and west-bound.

While we continue to have questions and some concerns, we believe the “Alternative 2” plan as presented will have a beneficial impact on our communities and encourage more people to actively use this space for travel and recreation. We are encouraged by, and thankful for, PennDOT’s willingness to engage, and listen to, non-vehicular users of this critical transportation corridor.”


EDITOR’S NOTE: Interviews of daily users of the Bottleneck/video recordings of individuals traveling through the Bottleneck can be arranged upon request.
CONTACT: Nick Malawskey
Bike Harrisburg
Phone: 717-919-7281

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