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Munhall unveils unique bike lane

| Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011

Work recently was finished on a unique bicycle lane in Munhall — which is the first of its kind in Pennsylvania.

While Connellsville had the first two-way bicycle lane in the state, Munhall`s new design is specific to National Association of City Transportation Officials bikeway guidelines.

'Actually what they did in Connellsville is different than what they did in Munhall,' Allegheny Trail Alliance president Linda McKenna Boxx said. 'I still give Munhall the star for the new bicycle lane. Connellsville took a residential street and turned it from a two-way road into a one-way road. They used the extra lane for a bike lane. What Munhall did was in NACTO standards. They came up with a way to squeeze a bike lane in an existing traffic lane. They still have two lanes of vehicular traffic. They designed it specifically to NACTO guidelines.'

'It`s a significant engineering feat,' Bike Pittsburgh executive director Scott Bricker said.

'We`re one of the first ones to originate this,' Munhall Mayor Raymond Bodnar said. 'On the Waterfront, they can peacefully ride their bicycles and if they want they can go to Washington, D.C., from there.'

Munhall`s bicycle lane is located along E. Waterfront Drive beginning around the Marcegaglia building going approximately 3,000 feet to The Waterfront Apartments. It is along the Steel Valley section of the Great Allegheny Passage.

Boxx thanked Munhall manager Matt Galla, borough council and Bodnar for their support in helping with 'the next step' of the trail.

She said she thought about when the final plans for the bicycle path were approved at a Government Days May council meeting, when Park Elementary third-graders sat in for borough officials.

'That group of third-graders helped finish the Great Allegheny Passage,' Boxx said. 'That was huge for us. How fitting that it was third-graders voting on behalf of their counterparts.'

The bikeway separating bicyclists from pedestrians and cars was created through a partnership of Munhall, Allegheny Trail Alliance, the Regional Trail Corporation and the Steel Valley Trail Council. Mackin Engineers designed it.

'We`re hoping to tackle McKeesport next,' she said. 'It won`t be the same treatment. We want to improve the route through McKeesport.'

Bricker said segregated bikeway facilities were once only seen in foreign countries, but have been popping up in U.S. cities. He listed other U.S. cities such as New York, Indianapolis, Portland, Ore., and Washington, D.C., as having them.

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