Planning Commission

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Jun 08

What Is Bike Montco?

Posted on June 8, 2018 at 4:04 PM by Rita McKelvey

Illustration of bicyclists riding
What Is Bike Montco? 

If you ask anyone about bicycling in Montgomery County often people will go on about how they love the Schuylkill River, Pennypack, and Perkiomen Trails. That’s great! We at the Montgomery County Planning Commission get really excited when people rave about the trails that form the backbone of our bicycle network, but bicycling in Montgomery County should mean more to people than two or three trails in our county. This is where Bike Montco steps in.  

At its heart, Bike Montco is focused on physical improvements on strategically selected roadway segments to make it easier for those who ride for transportation as well as recreation. Bike Montco is about giving the average adult the reasonable option to use a bike to get from A to B no matter where those two points may be in the county. Although it tackles issues of encouragement, education, and enforcement, the plan is primarily driven by the need to expand the county’s on-street bicycling amenities. Bike Montco is also a bicycle plan and not a trail plan, so while it acknowledges the critical role of the county’s trails in a comprehensive bicycle network, it emphasizes upgrades to the on-road bicycle system. There is something here for everyone to love whether you ride out of necessity, fun and fitness, or all of the above.   

Bike Montco is also a county-level plan, which means it takes a broad multimunicipal perspective. For instance, its planned bicycle improvements are based upon countywide mobility needs. These improvements can then serve as a framework for additional planning by local municipalities which can more effectively do so at the community level. Bike Montco encourages municipalities to coordinate with county staff and find ways to achieve consistency between plans in the same way that they make their comprehensive plans consistent with Montco 2040: A Shared Vision, Montgomery County's comprehensive plan.

Creating a safe and efficient bicycle network is challenging but achievable. The bicycle utopias of Denmark, the Netherlands, and even Davis, California were not built in a day but over many decades. Fortunately, Bike Montco is not the beginning but instead builds upon 20 years of previous efforts that have until now primarily focused on our trail network, which everyone loves so much today. Imagine where we’ll be in 2040 after years of giving equal attention to making our roadways bicycle friendly! This blog is the first in a series on Bike Montco. Come back and visit our blog!  

If you would like to be among the first to view the draft Bike Montco plan, join us on June 20, 2018 for Bike Montco — Building a Bike-Friendly Montgomery County from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. in Advanced Technology Center Room 101 of the Montgomery County Community College, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell, PA 19422. During this free seminar, which is being cohosted by MCPC and DVRPC, several speakers will share the content of the plan and topics including building safer on-road bicycle infrastructure, linking to the county's trail network, and the role the county can play in providing bicyclist safety education and encouragement strategies for new riders. Attendees also will have an opportunity to take a brief tour of Morris Road, one of the study areas in the plan, and to hear about the plan's recommendations to improve bicycle safety at the community college. This seminar is intended for municipal staff, transportation professionals, planners, and school districts, but everyone is welcome! Click here to register

  *AICP Credits - CM | 1.75

**Montgomery County Community College is not affiliated with the event, and the college should not be contacted regarding the program. 


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