When the Federal Railroad Administration holds its hearing on the Tier 1 Draft Environmental Statement that began in December, policy coordinator Bob Previdi of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia will be in attendance to speak about our priorities for Amtrak in the coming years.

The Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement “assesses the broad impacts of an investment program to improve passenger rail service within Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor Study Area,” according to NEC Future, a planning effort to prioritize future investments for Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor, the much-used section of train track spanning from Washington, D.C. to Boston.

As far as bicycles are concerned, it’s important Amtrak help provide better access for bicyclists to get to the stations, and get on the trains.

Previdi will be asking Amtrak and the Northeast Corridor Commission to make sure to include better access to stations, improved bike parking, and, when they purchase new train cars, a better, specific space for bikes on trains.

We want them to be more like SEPTA and to be more nimble and responsive in making connections between stations, neighborhoods, and signifying which Right-of-Ways could be used as a Rails-to-Trails operation in the Greater Philly area, and greater Northeast Corridor area.

Previdi will be attending the meeting to express these ideas and hear more about the process, vision and funding. We are additionally in contact with other organizations along the Northeast Corridor, including the New York Bicycling Coalition and the Rochester Cycling Alliance, to make sure we all have a presence at our respective areas’ NEC meetings, which will go until January 30.

Our goal in this is to make sure bicycles are a standard part of Amtrak’s design process from beginning to end. There’s no reason we can’t be like other nations in making accommodations for cyclists in our rail systems.

Want to attend this meeting? Check out our calendar.

Want to speak to Bob about his attendance at the meeting? Email him.

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