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Districtwide Bike Route Study​

Project Overview

PennDOT District 1 is working to improve conditions for bicycling in the Northwest PA counties of Crawford, Erie, Forest, Mercer, Venango, and Warren. A project team (led by planning and engineering firms Gannett Fleming and Traffic Planning & Design) is conducting a Bicycle Study to determine which state roads are regularly used for bicycling and how maintenance activities could better support bicycle use.

District 1 will consider the bike study results in determining where and how to adjust its maintenance efforts. Any adjustments will need to be made in the context of current transportation funding conditions. We appreciate your feedback to help us put funding resources to best use.

Feedback can be given through the following:

Feedback Map for Core Bicycle Network - Here you’ll find an interactive map of the Preliminary Core Bicycle Network. Edit the map directly to suggest improvements.

Public Survey - Here you’ll access a survey to help us prioritize various maintenance practices to improve bicycling conditions.

Please provide feedback by June 8, 2020

To find out more about feedback gathered during the 2019 survey and other bicycle-related topics go to:

Analyzing Bicycling Conditions

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Public Survey

Please submit feedback on improving the Core Bicycle Network through the link below. 

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Analyzing Bicycling Conditions

The project team collected information from bicyclists and compiled several data sources to select state roads for PennDOT District 1's Core Bicycle Network: 

  • State roads that bicyclists travel on and problems they've encountered (collected online in Fall 2019)
  • Designated on-road bicycle routes and off-road trails 
  • Bicycle "stress factors" and crash history along state roads
  • Local bicycle plans and studies within District 1

Each data source is characterized and illustrated on the maps below.

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Where Bicyclists Ride

In Fall 2019, bicyclists in northwest Pennsylvania were asked to map and describe their most frequent bicycling routes and concerns. Using an online survey, they identified 96 routes and 111 potential problem locations, which are shown in the map below.

The following is a summary of the findings:

  • Answers predominately concentrated on the City of Erie, Oil City, and Hermitage areas.
  • No bicycle use was reported in Warren County, but use is evident through other sources.
  • Most reported bicycle use for weekly recreational rides.
  • Almost all reported use for commuting and personal trips were within the City of Erie.
  • Most bicyclists ride alone or in groups of two or three.

Click the routes and problem locations to see the data collected for each.

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​Designated Bicycle Routes & Trails

Pennsylvania's BicyclePA routes showcase the state's diverse landscape and communities along state highway corridors. Four of the 11 designated on-road bicycle routes are located in District 1:

  • BicyclePA Route A
  • BicyclePA Route V
  • BicyclePA Route Y (US Bicycle Route 36)
  • BicyclePA Route Z (US Bicycle Route 30)

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, there are 34 off-road trails in District 1 — many of which are open to bicyclists. Off-road trails provide connections with fewer conflict points between cyclists and motorists but may not offer as much vertical challenge.

Click the routes to view their names and descriptions. (Planned segments of the Erie to Pittsburgh Trail are also shown.)

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Bicycle Level of Traffic Stress

Bicycle Level of Traffic Stress (BLTS) is a measurement of roadway and traffic factors that can create stress/discomfort for bicyclists. The project team adapted a BLTS methodology developed by the Mineta Transportation Institute to use PennDOT data to assess bicycling conditions on state roads in District 1.

Based on five stress factors — on-street parking, number of travel lanes, cartway width, average daily traffic, and speed limit — 3,703 mile of roadway segments were assigned a rating of 1, 2, 3, or 4. BLTS 1 represents low-stress roadway segments and BLTS 4 represents high-stress segments.

The small percentage of segments that lacked complete data are shown in light gray as BLTS 0. The following is a summary of the results:

  • BLTS 1 — 48 miles (1%) are comfortable for bicyclists of all ages and abilities. These roads are typically residential streets with low traffic speeds, or have bike lanes that are at least six feet wide or are separated from traffic.
  • BLTS 2 — 315 miles (9%) are comfortable for most adult cyclists. These roads are residential streets, though with slightly higher traffic speeds of up to 30 miles per hour (mph), and bike lanes that are less than six feet wide and not separated from traffic.
  • BLTS 3 — 2,203 miles (60%) are comfortable for primarily experienced cyclists. These roads are streets without bicycle facilities and traffic speeds of up to 35 mph as well as bike lanes adjacent to traffic speeds of up to 35 mph.
  • BLTS 4 — 1,137 miles (31%) are generally only comfortable for experienced and confident cyclists. These roads are two-lane streets without bicycle facilities, minimal or no shoulders, and traffic speeds greater than 35 mph. These roads also include bike lanes adjacent to traffic speeds of 40 mph or faster.

Click the BLTS segments to view the criteria used for the analysis.

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Bicycle Crash History

Bicycle-related crashes on state roads are evidence of bicycle use, whether the frequency of cyclist use is known.

The Pennsylvania Crash Information Tool was used to examine crashes that occurred from 2009 to 2018 and involved a bicycle. As shown on the map below, most crashes occurred in urbanized areas, such as the City of Erie, Meadville, the City of Warren, Shenango Valley (Sharon/Farrell/Hermitage), Grove City, and Oil City.

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Bicycle Plans & Studies

Communities in northwest Pennsylvania have 18 active bicycle plans and studies that include recommendations for improved or additional bicycle facilities. This includes the following:

  • 3 Long-Range Transportation Plans
  • 4 Bicycle Master Plans
  • 6 Bicycle Studies
  • 5 Community Plans (e.g. Open Space/Recreation Plans)

Click on the routes to see a brief description of the planned route or improvement and its source.

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