There is very little time left to continue to provide bicyclists’ access to and from Upper Dauphin County. PennDOT remains adamant that the underpass will be closed to bicyclists. No District 8-0 traffic engineer will certify that the underpass is safe for bicyclist travel. PennDOT does not agree that signage to alert motorists about the present of cyclists is sufficient for their safety. The Bicycle PA-J route for cycling tourism will move to SR 11/SR 15 when improvements are made on this state road in the next few months. The PUC Judge is prepared to accept PennDOT’s decision regarding bicyclists’ use of the Dauphin Narrows segment of SR322/SR22.
Is there good news as a result of this meeting? Yes. With the support of Secretary Richards, Deputy Secretary Toby Fauver offered to have PennDOT contract with a professional firm, KSK Architects Planners Historians, Inc., to design a bridge to take cyclists from the highway shoulder over the railroad property to Erie Street. The tasks required to achieve access for developing a ramp onto the highway from private property will be undertaken at once by PennDOT as a solution for going south into Harrisburg.
We advocates believe that PennDOT acknowledges that there must be bicycling access for residents of Upper Dauphin County and those who need to bike into Upper Dauphin County and, perhaps, farther north. Detouring to the other side of the River would lengthen their biking distances and require much more time and energy. Such a detour also would include other risks for many cyclists. There are no other alternatives. Upper Dauphin County offers amazing recreational and sport bicycling opportunities and these roads can be reached within a few miles from SR 443, SR 39 and Harrisburg. Very importantly, residents who commute to and from work in Harrisburg by bike from their respective Upper Dauphin County homes are dependent on access through the Dauphin Narrows.