Pennsylvania Invests Over $49 Million to Enhance Public Accessibility and Community Resources

Pedestrian lanePhoto by Vinta Supply Co. | NYC on Pexels.com

HARRISBURG, PA — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is setting a new standard for community development and accessible transportation with a recent announcement by Secretary Mike Carroll. More than $49.5 million has been earmarked for 55 projects across the Commonwealth, aimed at significantly improving the accessibility of biking and walking paths, enhancing pedestrian access to public transport, and contributing to safer routes to schools.

The funding, distributed through the Surface Transportation Block Grant program’s Set-Aside, known as the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside (TA Set-Aside), signifies a substantial stride towards creating healthier, more connected communities. “A diverse transportation network that is both accessible and safe is the cornerstone of healthy, connected communities,” Carroll stated, highlighting the initiative’s focus on making critical services more reachable for Pennsylvanians.

Among the notable projects awarded are:

  • Chambersburg’s Pedestrian and Bicycle Route: With a grant of $734,871, Chambersburg plans to transform two blocks adjacent to the former Southgate Shopping Center into a pedestrian and bicycle-only route. This project aims to establish direct pedestrian access from nearby senior housing to a new medical facility and enhance connectivity within the neighborhood.
  • Lower Paxton Township’s Sidewalk Extension: Lower Paxton Township received $1,184,767 to expand its sidewalk network. This initiative focuses on linking neighborhoods to pivotal destinations through ADA-compliant ramps, crosswalks, and traffic calming measures, promoting pedestrian safety and mobility.
  • Safe Routes to Schools in York: York City is set to receive $1,500,000 for comprehensive improvements around 12 schools. The enhancements include the installation of flashing school zone signals, construction of sidewalks to fill gaps along school walking routes, and the establishment of a new traffic signal equipped with pedestrian crossing features to ensure the safety of schoolchildren.
  • Erie’s ADA Compliant Sidewalks: Erie has been granted $1,400,000 to address missing segments of sidewalk within walking distance to schools, ensuring ADA compliance and the installation of high-visibility crosswalks and signage to facilitate safe passage for students and residents alike.
  • Anthracite Scenic Trails Association’s Multi-use Trail: An allocation of $834,176 will support the creation of a trail connection intended for bicycle, pedestrian, and potentially equestrian use. This trail will link the Creekside Trail portion of the Back Mountain Trail to the Susquehanna River levee trail, enriching recreational opportunities in Luzerne County.
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The TA Set-Aside program is an instrumental part of Pennsylvania’s efforts to encourage active transportation modes, reduce traffic congestion, and lower automobile emissions. Through these strategic investments, the state not only aims to enhance the physical infrastructure but also to cultivate a culture of safety, health, and sustainability among its communities.

A full list of the awarded projects underlines the comprehensive approach being taken to address the diverse needs of Pennsylvania’s communities, ensuring that both urban and rural areas benefit from improved access to essential services and safer, more sustainable transportation options.

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