Skip to main content

2017 sees new interest and new promise for the Pike2Bike Trail

There's new energy in the campaign to convert the 8.5 mile stretch of the abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike into a multi-use bike trail.  These recent developments has spurned renewed interest in the project with local governments, businesses and the Governor's office in Harrisburg.

In a reply to my recent blog entry on the seemingly stagnant efforts to convert the 8.5 miles of abandoned turnpike to a bike trail, Bedford County Planning Director, Donald Schwartz, shared with me some new and updated information on the status of the plan.  Earlier this year, the engineering firm, Navarro & Wright, was awarded the bid to update the master plan.  Once the work is completed and the plan is revised; the still unresolved issue of ownership of the trail remains.  Schwartz sees that it is still likely that a joint operation between Fulton and Bedford Counties will be overseeing the trail.

The ownership of the trail is key as that will allow the Pike2Bike Trail to go forward in design and overall funding.  There appears to be interest within Governor Wolf's office in Harrisburg as various state agencies including the Department of Transportation and Conservation and Natural Resources toured the trail in 2016.  Representatives of the Governors office are expected to ride along the old turnpike in July 2017.  With the cost of the project at a minimum $3.28 million - as per the 2014 Fourth Economy study - there will need to be revenue streams from the state.

In the meantime, there has been activity to increase the visibility of the project and also keep and maintain the highway.  There is a new website, Pike2Bike.com.  There is also now a facebook page with updates about gatherings, cleanup events and overall progress.  The Pike2Bike group has also partnered with REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) and their Bedford distribution center to do annual cleanups.  The first was held in 2016 and this year's is planned for September 19.  REI's presence in the region may help with the corporate sponsorship and leadership that was not in the area during the early attempts to kickstart the project 15 years ago.

April 2017 Subaru Rally at site of Cove Valley Service Plaza. (Image Courtesy Don Schwartz)

Finally, the Pike2Bike organization is working with various groups to host events on the abandoned turnpike with proceeds from these events to go towards the overall project.  This past weekend (June 25, 2017) a rally of Subaru Enthusiasts took place at the site of the former Cove Valley Travel Plaza.  One was also held earlier this year in April.  Most interestingly, the Pike2Bike team has partnered with Trivium Racing to organize a half and full marathon along the abandoned turnpike on October 29, 2017.  The Apocalypse themed race will require runners to run though the former turnpike's tunnels!

This project has genuine interest and support from various communities and interest groups.  The life breathed into the project by Don Schwartz and the Pike2Bike organization seems to have finally brought interest, visibility, leadership and more importantly momentum to this once stalled project.

Site Navigation:


Sources:
  • Schwartz, Donald. "Pike2Bike Comment." Personal E-mail. June 23, 2017.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The history of US Route 80 and Interstate 8 in California

The historic corridor of US Route 80 and Interstate 8 through the borderlands of southern California share a largely mutual history.  Both highways originated in the city of San Diego and departed the state at the Colorado River into Yuma, Arizona.  Both highways share numerous famous geographical components such as the Mountain Springs Grade and Algodones Sand Dunes.  This article serves as a comprehensive history of the combined US Route 80/Interstate 8 corridor in California from the tolled stage route era of the nineteenth century to the development of the modern freeway.   The blog cover photo features US Route 80 along the Mountains Springs Grade through In-Ko-Pah Gorge during late 1920s.  This photo is part of the Caltrans McCurry Collection. Part 1; the history of US Route 80 and Interstate 8 in California US Route 80 and Interstate 8 in California share a largely mutual history.  The backstory of both highways is tied heavily to the corridors of the Old Spanish Trail, Legisl

The Midway Palm and Pine of US Route 99

Along modern day California State Route 99 south of Avenue 11 just outside the City limits of Madera one can find the Midway Palm and Pine in the center median of the freeway.  The Midway Palm and Pine denotes the halfway point between the Mexican Border and Oregon State Line on what was US Route 99.  The Midway Palm is intended to represent Southern California whereas the Midway Pine is intended to represent Northern California.  Pictured above the Midway Palm and Pine can be seen from the northbound lanes of the California State Route 99 Freeway.   This blog is part of the larger Gribblenation US Route 99 Page.  For more information pertaining to the other various segments of US Route 99 and it's three-digit child routes check out the link the below. Gribblenation US Route 99 Page The history of the Midway Palm and Pine The true timeframe for when the Midway Palm and Pine (originally a Deadora Cedar Tree) were planted is unknown.  In fact, the origin of the Midway Palm and Pine w

North Carolina Continues to Move Forward with Rail

2023 and the first half of 2024 have seen continued growth in North Carolina's passenger rail system.  From increased daily trains from Raleigh to Charlotte, federal funds for studying additional corridors, and receiving a historic grant to begin the construction of high-speed rail between Raleigh and Richmond, the last 18 months have been a flurry of activity at NCDOT's Rail Division.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg. As ridership and routes increase - the engine of North Carolina passenger rail trains will become a more common sight. (Adam Prince) Increased Passenger Train Service: On July 10, 2023, a fourth Piedmont round-trip rail service between Raleigh and Charlotte commenced.  The four Piedmont trains plus the daily Carolinian (to Washington, DC, and New York) bring the total of trains serving the two cities daily to five. The current daily Piedmont and Carolinian schedule between Charlotte and Raleigh (NCDOT) The result was over 641,000 passengers utilized pa