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Bicycle Coalition

Governor Wolf issued a press release on Monday addressing PENNDOT’s onerous Bicycle Occupancy Permit (BOP) and announced a pilot project to help PENNDOT standardize their bike lane policies.

“PennDOT will be issuing a policy change removing the Bicycle Occupancy Permit from its design manual,” the press release reads. “Moving forward, local governments will need only provide a letter of request for the proposed bicycle lane that includes the necessary information for PennDOT to appropriately evaluate the request. After a review, a letter of approval will be issued by the department. This will replace the previous requirement for a formal agreement between PennDOT and the municipality.”

The BOP requires local municipalities to sign a maintenance agreement for bike lanes on state roads.

Under the BOP, municipalities are responsible to maintain signs, sweep bike lanes, refresh paint and remove snow from the bike lane — even though PENNDOT is responsible for plowing the state roads anyway. Class 1 and 2 Cities (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh) are exempt from the BOP.

With a few notable exceptions, townships and cities balked at the maintenance agreement and thus bike lane networks are non-existent outside of Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and State College (where some bike lanes were put in before the BOP requirement was strictly enforced).

John Boyle

Author

John has been a commuting cyclist for more than 20 years. In 1994 he began working as a volunteer for the Bicycle Coalition of the Delaware Valley after attending a volunteer night, and later served as a board member in 1997-98. In 1999 John left Philadelphia for Charlottesville, VA, where he helped establish the Alliance for Community Choice in Transportation (ACCT), a bicycle and walking advocacy group.

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