Derry Township is kickstarting an initiative that will increase the focus on balancing different modes of transportation, recognizing that several organizations in the community are working to advocate for bicycle and pedestrian safety, mobility, and awareness. The Derry Bike and Pedestrian Alliance is designed to organize these efforts under one umbrella, and will include quarterly public meetings to advance bike and pedestrian initiatives in several focus areas.
The Township collected feedback from residents and other interested individuals at a public meeting in July and organized the ideas, concerns, and suggestions into different focus areas. A committee work group at the Township that includes Township Supervisors and staff in several departments is now working to develop an action plan to move forward with various short, medium, and long term initiatives. Ultimately, these efforts will work towards making Downtown Hershey (and other areas in Derry Township) more walkable and bikeable.
Several immediate actions were taken to move forward with projects in different focus areas:
- There will be a dedicated Derry Bike and Pedestrian page on the township website, where people can go to find updates on plans and projects related to bicycle and pedestrian mobility, safety, and connectivity.
- The Township has developed a dedicated email address for bike and pedestrian comments and suggestions, DerryBikePed@DerryTownship.org.
- The Township public works department installed red reflective tape on several of the stop signs along Ridge Road to increase awareness of the regulatory signs.
- Following resident concerns relating to cut-through traffic, speeding, and running stop signs on Ridge Road, the Township engineer, in coordination with our police department, is evaluating traffic patterns in order to determine next steps.
- Crosswalks at Elm Avenue and Ridge Road will be completed this fall.
- Chocolate Avenue Streetscape improvements will occur this construction season and next. The construction contract is being amended to include lighted, push-button activated pedestrian crosswalk warning signage on Chocolate Avenue at the Valley Road crosswalk (near Duck Donuts).
- As plans for the Hershey Community Center continue to move forward, we’re looking at pedestrian connectivity between the Community Center and School District Campus.
- As part of the streetscape plan, the Township will eliminate the existing concrete steps near the bridge over Spring Creek on East Chocolate Avenue near Mansion Road. The sidewalks in this location are at different grades and will be connected via a new sidewalk.
- The streetscape plan will also include a crosswalk at Para Avenue with a pedestrian refuge island in the center.
- The police department is conducting crosswalk enforcement at select locations in the village along with traffic enforcement.
The next public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 17, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. at the Hershey Volunteer Fire Company.