This past year, Lackawanna County, in collaboration with and on behalf of Luzerne County successfully secured funding through DCNR and DCED to conduct a Scranton and Wilkes-Barre Downtown Bicycle Network Circulation Study. This study will examine current downtown bicycle circulation patterns, establish a network of routes, and provide connectivity to the existing and proposed regional trail networks of both counties. The funding secured was $54,500 from DCED and $75,000 from DCNR.
The use of bicycles for commuting as a transportation alternative is well documented within our downtown areas. Yet presently, the only existing connections within both downtown areas are at grade on city streets, with no safe amenities (such as signage, delineation and bike racks). The result is an unsafe and confusing experience for bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists.
Data will be collected and analyzed to identify existing areas of bicycle usage, locate under-served populations, and designate points of interest. The study seeks an inventory and assessment of the condition of the existing network and barriers along existing or potential routes. With the data and inventories, a plan for the connecting of both downtown areas with existing and proposed trail networks will be developed.
Once concluded, the study will provide us with a designation of proposed routes in both downtown areas, identify needed improvements to establish a useful and safe network, and provide recommendations of the bicycle facilities necessary to encourage use of the bicycle network as an alternate mode of transportation, as well as for recreation and healthy living. This study is about establishing a safe and efficient bicycle network which will allow for proper and efficient transportation. Such a network will offer the possibility to connect each of the downtown areas to the existing and proposed trails in both counties- and the two cities to one another. The long term goal would be to create a statewide trail network of connectivity. The RFP process will begin spring 2018.