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Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk: Transportation money for biking and walking paths?

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jun 17, 2013 3:19 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Tuesday, June 18:

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More than one-tenth of all trips in Pennsylvania are made on a bicycle or on foot. 

That's one of the reasons a coalition of groups has gotten together to encourage state lawmakers to include money in any transportation funding plan to expand biking and walking trails.

The $2.5 billion transportation bill approved by the state senate recently did include $2 million dedicated to the trails.

The group -- Walk and Ride PA -- says the trails would improve Pennsylvania's economy, environment, public safety, and roadway safety.

We'll learn more on Tuesday's Radio Smart Talk.  Appearing on the program will be Steve Doster, the state director of Mission Readiness and head of Walk and Ride PA.

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Steve Doster, State Director of Mission Readiness & Head of Walk and Ride PA

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  • Rich img 2013-06-18 07:33

    A Google search to a site called MountainZone lists 339 bike shops in Pennsylvania. If they each have $100,000 in service and sales, other than tax free clothing, $33,900,000 in taxable sales are generated. The state collects a minimum of $2,034,000 in sales tax. But many of those shops generate dozens of times $100,000 in taxable sales. And I know of many bike shops not listed. And general sporting good- stores (like Dicks) and big box stores (like Walmart) also sell bikes and equipment.

    The state collects $10s of millions in sales tax from bicycles, parts, gear, and service. Yet they intend to spend only $2,000,000 on trails for bikers (and hikers etc).

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-06-18 08:44

    How will funds set aside for bike & walking facilities be "doled out"? The amount requested won't go very far for new infrastructure.

    Improving health takes dedicated aerobic activity...focusing on "bike paths" will deceive users into thinking that a few low speed pedal strokes will cure all ills. Typically "shared-use-paths are mixed use with pedestrians, like rail-trails. Yes, it's not sedentary, but will have marginal benefits.

    A concerned citizen

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-06-18 08:50

    A listener writes:

    Walking, I'm for it!Unfortunately our communities aren't geared for this.Restricting traffic lanes adds to congestion,fuel waste,Abd mire idling pollution.The unused rails should have been converted back to trolleys instead of walking paths

    • Rich img 2013-06-18 08:56

      Most of the Rail-Trails existing are in areas with no needed for trollies. Those areas suitable for trollies, probably could become rails-with-trails.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-06-18 08:51

    JD writes:

    Your guest hit the nail on the head: "…if it is safe for them to do so…" I would ride to work by bike more often if I didn't have to ride on Eisenhower Blvd. Bike lanes along regular roads are essential.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-06-18 08:53

    A bicyclist writes:

    This point is moot,there isn't money for this let alone road upgrades and bridge repair.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-06-18 08:57

    Sarah in Chambersburg writes:

    Hello!I just wanted to chip in and say that I biked to work today in Chambersburg. The 20 minute ride set the stage for a wonderful day. This is such an important topic and yes, an important area for the state to spend money on. We need safe areas to ride, as fellow citizens of our car-driving friends, just like safe bridges and roads.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-06-18 08:59

    A listeners writes:

    Isn't there a health issue here,walking or biking along congested idling traffic Especialy on a ozone alert day.