A growing cycling community means changes to local traffic. One project at a time, Erie becomes more bicycle-friendly, but some cyclists say the city has a long way to go.
Nearly every day Eric Brozell rides his bike as a primary transportation method, but he says his route could be a lot smoother if the roads accommodated all the different types of traffic.
Brozell says, “when there’s bike lanes, the streets are safer for everyone. It isn’t just pedestrians and the bicyclists. It’s also safer for the cars, too.” But, he says there’s a recent push to encourage riding in the city.
One of PennDOT’s projects even includes adding “share the road” markings to make travel safer for both the cyclists and the drivers. That’s a part of the $4.9 million East 38th Street project.
Advocates say that’s exactly the kind of thinking Erie needs. Tony Kellogg, Competitive Gear Associate, tells us, “To make vehicles more aware and bikes more aware of bikes on the road; anything to promote that is a good thing.”
Advocates say adding bike lanes and pedestrian pathways could have a positive impact on the economy as well. Kellogg says, “businesses that promote cycling and commuting by bike might look at Erie as a viable place to bring their business”.
Brozell says other cities in Pennsylvania tap into this market already. He tells us bike lanes serve as an equalizer between lower income and higher income communities, too; without the high cost of buying a car. “It’s gonna enable them to get a job. Even though it might be a low paying job, at least they don’t have a car payment, gas, insurance all that sort of stuff on top of that.”
But, with changes to the roadways, advocates say Erie has the right path in mind. Brozel says Lancaster, Pennsylvania is built similarly to Erie, yet that city has several more bike lanes and pedestrian pathways.
He tells us as a result, the region sees a great, positive impact on both an environmental and economic level.