The Department of Transportation, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the Department of Health and the Department of Labor & Industry joined other state and local officials Monday in kicking off Bike to Work Week May 16 – 20 by announcing the launch of a new interactive mapping tool for BicyclePA routes.
“With the many benefits of bicycling, I encourage Pennsylvanians to bike to work wherever possible,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “Interest in biking continues to grow across Pennsylvania as more people recognize the benefits of incorporating active transportation, biking and walking into their lives. Our message today is that PennDOT and the Commonwealth are committed to being truly multimodal.”
The Bike Route Map uses layers to provide the user with detailed bike routes, traffic volumes and speed limits and includes DCNR Trails, State Parks and State Forests.
In support of Gov. Tom Wolf’s proclamation commemorating May 16-20 as Bike to Work Week, representatives from state agencies, local government and the legislature took part in an executive bike ride around Harrisburg that culminated on the Capitol steps.
The importance of ensuring continuing development of safe options for riders was noted by officials.
“The Department of Labor & Industry makes worker safety a priority every day and a safe commute is part of that,” said L&I Deputy Secretary for Administration Chris Dwyer. “By providing safe and expansive bike trails, workers are able to get to and from work safely while getting some terrific exercise.”
“I encourage you to make the choice to commute to work by bike,” DOH Secretary Dr. Karen Murphy added. “It can boost your physical well being and provide an opportunity to de-stress and enjoy some fresh air.”
Pennsylvania’s robust natural resources were noted as a prime opportunity for cycling.
“Today’s event may be promoting the health and environmental benefits of biking to work, but when the weekend or day off rolls around, I’m inviting all Pennsylvanians to get on a bike and see it as their ticket to outdoor adventure and natural beauty all across our state,” said DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn. ”We are blessed with more than 11,000 miles of trails, 121 state parks and more than 2.2 million acres of state forestland, all offering unlimited biking terrain and opportunities. Biking is one of the best activities to see what our very special outdoor places have to offer.”
Dunn noted that DCNR is a partner in Get Outdoors PA, which offers a calendar of guided outings and includes tech support and riding tips to encourage riders to strike out on bikes regardless of location.
“With the passage of Act 89 of 2013, Pennsylvania has become a leader in transportation and infrastructure funding, including a portion allocated for multimodal projects, said Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery). “We should continue to encourage multimodal options, including bikes, to promote energy efficient and eco-friendly means of transportation and strive to increase Pennsylvanians’ quality of life by creating healthy, more livable, forward-thinking communities.”
With a focus on sharing the road, Rep. David Maloney (R-Berks) said, “As the author of House Bill 150, share the road awareness legislation, there is no better time to focus on being aware of what and who else is on the road than during Bike to Work Week. This is not just about bicycles, but also being aware of joggers, horse and buggies and motorcyclists. Too many people are injured or killed on our roads due to lack of awareness and those incidents are completely avoidable.”
PennDOT encourages riders to wear reflective clothing in order to be more visible to drivers.For more information on bicycle safety, visit PennDOT”s JustDriverPA website. A series of bicycle-safety videos covering state bicycle laws and safety measures is viewable on PennDOT’s YouTube channel.
PennDOT Announces New Bike Route Mapping Tool