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We did it!
On Monday April 26th the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission announced that a bicycle and pedestrian path will be included in the design of the new Scudder Falls Bridge.
About the Campaign
The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission is re-building the Scudder Falls (I-95) Bridge that links Yardley PA to Ewing NJ and the Delaware River canal towpaths on both sides of the river.
The Commission is proposing to significantly expand the bridge from 4 lanes in both directions to 13 (9 travel lanes, 4 shoulders). While the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia doesn't support such an extensive widening, our position is that any new design should include a bicycle/pedestrian pathway.
Currently, the Bridge is not accessible to pedestrians or bicyclists. In 2009, the Coalition gathered more than 1500 signatures on a petition that was delivered to the Bridge Commission.
The Bridge Commission has drafted and Environmental Assessment on the bridge's new design. The latest estimated cost of the Path is $18 million but it would only add 6% more to the total project cost of $300 million project.More information abouth the Scudder Falls Bridge
Why a bicycle pedestrian pathway matters -
A new pathway will improve access to the Delaware River Canal Towpaths and foster more biking and walking. And it ties together Delaware Canal and the Delaware and Raritan Canal.
It is now considered good public policy that when new highway and bridge projects are planned, they are designed to accomodate all users. These policies embrace the concept of Complete Streets - Complete streets are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities must be able to safely move along and across a complete street.
New Jersey's Complete Streets Policy - Policy Statement - The New Jersey Department of Transportation shall implement a Complete Streets policy though the planning, design, construction, maintenance and operation of new and retrofit transportation facilities, enabling safe access and mobility of pedestrians, bicyclists, transit users of all ages and abilities. This includes all projects funded through the Department’s Capital Program. The Department strongly encourages the adoption of similar policies by regional and local jurisdictions who apply for funding through Local Aid programs.
US Code on Bicycle and Pedestrian Access On Bridges - "In any case where a highway bridge deck is being replaced orrehabilitated with Federal financial participation, and bicyclists arepermitted on facilities at or near each end of such bridge, and thesafe accommodation of bicyclists can be provided at reasonable cost aspart of such replacement or rehabilitation, then such bridge shall beso replaced or rehabilitated as to provide such safe accommodations."(23 U.S.C. 217(e))
Reasonable Cost Guidelines
- FHWA Bicycle and Pedestrian Policy Statement - Bicycle and pedestrian ways shall be established in new construction and reconstruction projects in all urbanized areas unless one or more of three conditions are met: (2) the cost of establishing bikeways or walkways would be excessively disproportionate to the need or probable use. Excessively disproportionate is defined as exceeding twenty percent of the cost of the larger transportation project.
- NJ Complete Streets Policy: Exemptions - Cost of accommodations is excessively disproportionate to cost of project, more than twenty percent (20%) of total cost.
- ADA Path of Travel- Alterations made to provide an accessible path of travel to the altered area will be deemed disproportionate to the overall alteration when the cost exceeds 20% of the cost of the alteration to the primary function area. (DOJ 28 CFR 36.405)
Supporting Letters and Resolutions:
Environmental Assessment Comments Favoring The Inclusion of Bicycle Pedestrian Facility
- BCGP's Final Comments
- Rep. Patrick Murphy (PA 8)
- Rep. Rush Holt (NJ 12)
- Bucks County Bicycle Task Force
- West Windsor Pedestrian and Bicycle Alliance
- Trenton Cycling Revolution
- Delaware RiverKeeper (Oral Comments)
- Tri-State Transportation Campaign
- NJ Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
- NJ Future
The Two Historic Canals along the Delaware River
Pennsylvania's Delaware Canal Towpath - The 60 mile canal with towpath extends from Bristol to Easton. Portions of the canal towpath are currently closed due to flood damage in 2005 but work is in progress to restore the canal and towpath in its entirety by this summer.
New Jersey's Delaware and Raritan Canal Towpath - This path extends in a U shaped pattern from New Brunswick to Trenton and along the Delaware River to Milford NJ. The trail has been severed in Trenton since the 1950's but construction has begun on a project that will reconnect the two segments.
Similar Bridge Pathway Projects
- Ravenel Bridge Charleston/Mt. Pleasant SC - New study: Ravenel Bridge encourages exercise
- Woodrow Wilson Bridge Alexandria VA/National Harbor MD- Bridging MD and VA Closer
|TSTC_scudder_ffalls_EA comments.pdf||206.91 KB|
|NJ Future Comments_on_Scudder-Falls-Bridge.pdf||37.64 KB|
|Scudder_Falls_Bucks CO_BTF.pdf||24.14 KB|