Ride with Rich photos by Rosalie Hunter Mooredetails
GETTYSBURG BOROUGH INNER LOOP
In June 2007, the Gettysburg Borough Council voted unanimously to attempt to identify an Inner Loop Bicycle Trail. Technical assistance was provided by Dave Lange of the National Park Service's Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program as well as the Adams County Office of Planning and Development. HABPI was the work horse of this effort, having offered its assistance to the Borough. Kick off community meetings with business leaders, elected officials, and Borough citizens were held in November 2007. Working in harmony, the Borough and HABPI identified a potential alignment, which was approved on August 18, 2009. Here is the original map of the proposed route to view.
We are happy to report that much has been accomplished since. Fast forward to 2015 to see what has been funded or built. Here is an updated (Nov 2014) Gettysburg Area Trail System with Phases showing which portions have been funded or built.
Throughout the process, many public meetings were held to gather citizen, business and elected officials input. In June 2010, The Adams County Health Summit featured the Gettysburg Inner Loop. Over 50 community leaders warmly welcomed the release of the GIL Feasibility Executive Summary, with presentations from nationally known health advocate, Mark Fenton; Gettysburg Borough Council Person, Susan Naugle; and HABPI Board Member, Tom Jolin.
The Executive Summary provides key details about the project including projected costs and the proposed route.
The complete Feasibility Study was published in September 2010. The 5.7 MB file provides 53 pages of information including street and aerial views of the proposed route. The 101 pages of Appendices are available as follows-
As of May 2015,
28 letters of support (Appendix A1-A27) have been received from: Adams County Commissioners, Gettysburg College, Healthy Adams County, HACC, Gettysburg National Military Park, Gettysburg Tourist and Convention Bureau, Gettysburg Adams Chamber of Commerce, Gettysburg Area School District, Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saint Francis Xavier Church, Main Street Gettysburg, Adams County Office of Planning and Development, Gettysburg Hospital, Unitarian Universalists of Gettysburg, Gettysburg Fire Department, Gettysburg Family Practice, the YWCA, Adams County Office for Aging, Inc., Optimist Club of Gettysburg, Senator Rich Alloway, State Representative Dan Moul, Gettysburg Area Retail Association, Federal Pointe, Gettysburg United Methodist Church, St. James Lutheran Church, Adams County Watershed Alliance, Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, the South Mountain Partnership, and Healthy Adams Bicycle/Pedestrian, Inc., former Rep. Todd Platts, and former Senator Terry Punt.
A true community partnership resulted in the funding and construction of several segments. The Adams County Transit Authority has installed their portion of the GIL by a new bus hub, complete with bicycle racks.
-Steinwehr Avenue Phase 2: This section of bicycle improvements will wrap up construction in Spring 2015, at a reserved cost of $240,000. It was funded by the USDOT. HABPI partnered with Gettysburg Borough and the Steinwehr Business District. PennDOT was the applicant. The construction includes new widened brick sidewalks and bicycle lanes on each side of Steinwehr, GNMP to Queen Street. The sections of the GIL on Queen Street from Steinwehr Avenue to the Rec Park will get "sharrow" markings. It has already been micro surfaced and new handicapped ramps have been installed. Construction will be completed in May of 2015.
-In 2014 The Gettysburg School District completed a shared-use bicycle path along the length of Lefever Street, by the new Middle School. It is getting lots of use.
-Rec Park: Funding was approved (Gettysburg Borough was the applicant) and construction took place in 2012, widening the Biser Fitness Trail to better accommodate bicyclists from West Street to Queen Street. It is an off-road segment. It was funded by a strong partnership between Gettysburg Hospital, PA DCNR (South Mountain Initiative), Elm Street, HABPI and Gettysburg Borough. The total cash received for materials was $33,000. Additionally, Gettysburg Borough provided in-kind labor of $38,664 for constrution. Gettysburg Hospital provided the largest contribution in the amount of $21,500.
-A field survey was done on West Race Horse Alley, part of North Washington St. and West Railroad St., all essential segments on the GIL. It was funded by the PA Department of Health.
-A Greenway Master Plan Study was conducted to determine how part of Race Horse Alley could be converted into a greenway. The study also looked at how the GIL would function on Railroad Street, Buford and Reynolds' Streets. The completed GIL Greenway Master Plan (15MB) includes photos and drawings of the proposed greenway and some sections of the GIL along with information about connector trails and alternate alignments. The plan also has detailed information about design requirements and cost estimates. The Greenway Master Plan was conducted by the firms of CS Davidson and Campbell-Thomas and Company. It was funded by: The South Mountain Partnership; Gettysburg Hospital; Gettysburg College; Main Street Gettysburg; Destination Gettysburg; The Adams County Office of Planning and Development; Rails-to-Trails Conservancy; Gettysburg Borough; Adams County Conservation District; Thrivent; and HABPI.
-In 2014, the Greenway Master Plan triggered major awards from: ACTPO; PA Department of Transportation (TAP); and DCNR regarding GIL Segments A1 & A2. These segments received the following funding in 2014-
$ 250,000 grant from DCNR for engineering segments
$ 334,236 grant from PennDOT (TAP) for construction shortfall
$1,182,198 of CMAQ (air quality) funds approved by ACTPO
$1,766,434 Total grants
HABPI worked with Gettysburg Borough, assisting the legal recipient. Design/engineering will commence in 2015, and construction is scheduled to begin in late summer of 2016.
-In 2014, The Hoffman Charitable Endowment and Trust graciously granted HABPI $5,000 to perform a field/deeds survey on the Reynolds Bridge area. This was in preparation for design/construction of Segments A1 & A2.
-Gettysburg Borough received a $48,000 grant for “green” engineering on West Racehorse Alley, between Buford and North Franklin. The award was made in 2014. Borough Engineer CS Davidson is designing water runoff solutions that will reduce, cleanse and slow, water runoff. Since no traffic pattern determination has been made regarding Racehorse Alley traffic flow, the “green” design will be adaptable to any traffic flow design. The design will reduce downstream flooding to some degree.
-The North Gettysburg Trail opened in November of 2011, which connects Gettysburg High School to the GIL.
The health, environmental, community and convenience benefits of the GIL will be incredible. Our projections are below.
A. Here are realistic impacts for Gettysburg area residents using the Inner Loop:
A 190 pound person rides his bicycle for work, school, church and errands etc. for 30 weeks per year (May through Nov.) for 5 days per week at 10 miles per day for these various trips. That takes into account bad weather days. Then that person uses their bicycle for 1,500 miles per year for daily living, not including pleasure trips.
Weight loss: 345 calories/hour X 150 hours = 51,750 calories or 14.79 pounds/ year.
(actual weight loss depends on personal eating habits)
Gasoline savings if car gets 25mpg = 60 gallons or 2.14 barrels of crude oil per year
Money savings: @ $3 gallon of gas = $180
Carbon Dioxide reduction: 60 gal. X 19.564 pounds/gal = 1,174 pounds CO2/year
Plus, immeasurable convenient, hassle free transportation
Suppose about 10% of the Gettysburg area (or 1,000 people) did that, then:
Gasoline saved if car gets 25mpg = 60,000 gallons of gasoline/year
Crude oil saved per year = 2,143 barrels of crude oil
Carbon Dioxide reduction = 1,173,840 pounds of CO2/year
B. Here is a scenario for tourists impacting Gettysburg roads and the environment:
Suppose Gettysburg has 2,100,000 tourists per year and 80% (1,680,000) come between May and November and they average 3 people per car load. Then, that's 560,000 car loads of tourists from May to Nov. If 5% see Gettysburg on bicycle, averaging 20 miles per day for only one day on their Gettysburg stay, here is the annual savings:
Reduced cars on Gettysburg Streets May through November = 28,000 less cars
Gasoline savings @ 25mpg = 22,400 gallons of gas annually
Reduced carbon dioxide emissions = 438,234 pounds
C. Combined gasoline, crude oil and CO2 emissions saving if 10% of locals and 5% of tourists used bicycles May through November, using the above A and B scenarios:
Gasoline savings: 22,400 + 60,000 = 82,400 gallons of gasoline (EQUALS: 10 large tanker trucks of gasoline)
Crude oil savings = 2,943 barrels (EQUALS: 15 large tanker trucks of crude oil)
Carbon Dioxide emissions reductions = 1,612,074 pounds or 731 metric tons
The Gettysburg Inner Loop will link vital borough areas including:
- Downtown commercial area
- Gettysburg Station
- Renovated Railroad Station
- Franklin/West Street commercial
- Gettysburg Rec Park
- Gettysburg College
- Middle School
- Lincoln and Eisenhower Elementary Schools
- Gettysburg High School
- Gettysburg National Military Park Visitor Center
- Harrisburg Area Community College
- Lutheran Theological Seminary
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