Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Response to Your Letters

DATE: January 31, 2008
Subject: Complete Our Streets
From: Tucker Ferguson, PE
Acting District Executive
Engineering District 5-0

Dear Ms. Barrett:

On behalf of Governor Rendell, I am writing in response to your email and interest in promoting integration of pedestrian modes into the routine transportation and planning design processes. The PennDOT Strike Off Letter 432-07-02 you referred to in your letter, provides for the Commonwealth's formal commitment to the accommodation of Bicycle and Pedestrian needs on all Federal or State funded projects as well as Permit projects programmed (initiated) after May 1, 2007.

Please be assured that PennDOT takes seriously its role in promoting the mobility of Commonwealth citizens by means other than motor vehicles. The vision statement of the recently enacted Bicycle Pedestrian Plan is: "Pennsylvania a place where residents and visitors of all ages can choose to bicycle and walk. People are able to bicycle and walk with confidence, safety and security in every community, both for everyday transportation and to experience and enjoy the remarkable natural resources of the state."

My office will be pleased to work with your organization and the new Exeter Township Task Force on this important transportation matter. As you may already know, all Department and Permit (development) projects are reviewed and commented on by Exeter Township as a part of our standard procedures. Municipal input on state highway projects is carefully considered prior to final project approval or permit issuance.

Statewide goals for the Bicycle Pedestrian Plan are to: 1) Double the percentage of trips by foot and bicycle by the year 2015; and, 2) Reduce the number of fatalities among bicyclist and pedestrians to a level corresponding to the national highway motor vehicle fatality rate reduction goal.

The current federal transportation act is the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act – a Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). It requires that all transportation modes be fully integrated into all phases of transportation planning and design, that bicycle and pedestrian safety be given elevated importance, that intermodal links be provided, and that system connectivity is a paramount goal. The Department fully subscribes to these goals.

PennDOT will also continue to work with the Metropolitan and Rural Planning Organizations as well as its consultants to assure that the needs of those who commute by a means other than motor vehicle are accommodated in all projects.



  1. This is good news. Just what level of "accomodation" do they pursue though? And how does this apply to the Exeter Commons project?

  2. Anonymous1/2/08

    It is critical for local (municipal) policy to require these accomodations.

    Exeter Commons was initiated prior to May 1, 2007. I don't know, what, if any of this might apply to that project. I'll continue to persue specific answers, although at this time it seems they got in before the new laws were adopted, thus making them exempt.