New signs at the North end of the Fahy Bridge ask motorists to yield to walkers.
On August 27, 2011, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) issued a release officially closing the pedestrian walkway on the Fahy (New Street) Bridge. In less than 10 weeks, PennDOT responded very positively to community requests to provide an alternative to this vital Lehigh River crossing. The State Department of Transportation constructed a temporary walkway on the bridge that assures safe passage for those on foot between North and South Bethlehem.
PennDOT’s new walkway maintains access to the three stairwells attached to the bridge that give pedestrians a way to walk onto and off the bridge onto Sand Island and both sides of Second Street in South Bethlehem.
Openings were cut through concrete and steel to 3 stairwells
On the Southern end of the bridge walkers need a warning to travel on the sidewalk to the stairs on the other side of the pedestrian tunnel instead of walking on the road to the walkway as many pedestrians did in the past. Walkers using this old route will now find themselves unable to access new walkway, then having a choice to walk all the way across the bridge in the road or back up 200 yards and try again.
This location needs signage to encourage walkers take the sidewalk to the stairs.
In addition both the CAT leadership and the Bethlehem Police Department Commissioner believe it is more important than ever that cyclists stay off the walkway on the Fahy Bridge. We are working with PennDOT to have the Shared Lane Markings put in the middle of the right lane headed North on the bridge. We are working to create educational and enforcement programming to encourage cyclists to use the roadway.
CAT has advocated for many years for a pedestrian bridge connecting the two Bethlehem downtowns as none of the current options on the bridges are pleasant. Could it be time for such a bridge for walkers to become reality? If you would like to join this debate in a more official way please write the CAT office today: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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