Things didn't exactly go as planned last year.
An experiment to reserve one lane of Philadelphia Street for bicyclists turned the York City thoroughfare into a logjam of frustrated motorists.
To top it off, horrible weather deterred most would-be bicyclists from taking advantage of the extra pavement, said Shaun Underkoffler, a city health education specialist.
A year later, Philadelphia Street remains a project of the transportation activists who aim to create a more bicycle- and pedestrian-friendly city. But this time, motorists shouldn't find it so frustrating, Underkoffler said.
Shared-lane markings were recently installed along the length of Philadelphia Street. Bicyclists are already allowed to pedal in the street, so the permanent "sharrows" are merely a reminder to drivers of their obligation to yield to bicyclists.
The new markings are making their debut for Bike in York Week, the local version of the national Bike to Work Week. Now in its second year, Bike in York Week is an initiative of Eat Play Breathe York, a
partnership of local organizations. It starts Monday.
Matter of awareness: "Motor vehicles need to be aware that bicyclists certainly have the right to share the road. It's a big awareness initiative," said Cori Strathmeyer, the YMCA's wellness director.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation designates Philadelphia Street as a preferred York City bicycle route, but "it's not as safe an environment as we're going to make it," Underkoffler said.
Truth is, York has a long way to go to become a biker's or a walker's paradise, Strathmeyer said. An abundance of sidewalks helps, but there's much more to be desired, she said.
York got its first big boost in that direction last year with the implementation of a permanent bike lane on King Street from Broad Street to Belvidere Avenue.
Though it got off to a slow start, the bike lane seems to be gaining in popularity, especially as warmer weather settles into the region, Underkoffler said. High gas prices probably also have something to do with increased use, he said.
Looking ahead, York needs more street markings and bike lanes to create a truly multi-modal city, Strathmeyer said.
As the first pieces fall into place, the momentum increases the potential for grant funding, she said.
It's also about buy-in from local shops and restaurants, who can join city parks and playgrounds as destinations for walkers and bicyclists, she said.
"We're trying to make it easier for people to be more physically active," Strathmeyer said. "We're well on our way to starting to bring some of these pieces together."
-- Reach Erin James at 505-5439 or firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ydcity.