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Beaver Street not wide enough for proposed bike lane, Sewickley officials say

Wednesday, June 19, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
 

As Sewickley leaders put the brakes on the possibility for a bike lane through the borough in the near future, a Glen Osborne council member said he plans to continue seeking a bike-friendly community.

Manager Kevin Flannery said an engineer's report suggests much of Beaver Street falls short of a 42-feet minimum he said is needed to accommodate bike and car traffic lanes.

Beaver Street ranges in width from 30 feet to 34 feet, Flannery said.

“Parking is a premium through Beaver Street,” he said. “(A bike lane) can't be done at this time.”

Glen Osborne council member John Orndorff said he thinks there is “potential for a bike lane elsewhere” in Sewickley.

Orndorff said he hopes to find common ground with Sewickley leaders.

Earlier this year, Orndorff began an effort to help link communities in the Sewickley Valley with rails-to-trails programs happening in nearby Beaver County and Moon.

Orndorff said he has attended meetings of the Ohio River Trail Council — a Beaver County-based nonprofit group seeking to extend bike and water access around the Beaver Valley.

The group has proposed a bike path from Monaca into Moon and Coraopolis that would link to the Montour Trail.

“We're sort of losing out in terms of getting any bike traffic,” Orndorff said.

A proposal to extend a path across the Ohio River in Ambridge and head south could help link the path to the Sewickley Valley and cross the Sewickley Bridge connecting to the Montour Trail, Orndorff said.

“Bike traffic brings customers into the Sewickley community,” he said.

“It also brings potential residents in. It's a good reason to link us into what (the Ohio River Trail Council) has already done.”

No plans have been proposed to local governments for creating bike lanes, but Orndorff said adding bike-friendly access is possible.

Sewickley Mayor Brian Jeffe said with borough officials considering building a parking garage in the future, that could “potentially alleviate some parking spots on Beaver (Street).”

“Until that time, parking is a premium,” he said.

“We just don't have that luxury to give up parking spaces on Beaver at this time.”

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

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