Bike/Ped Friendly West Chester Subcommittee

The BLUER Bike/Ped Subcommittee is focussed on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the Borough by reducing the amount of car traffic and replacing it with bikers or walkers. However, there are obstacles to make West Chester more bike and pedestrian friendly. This committee will focus on identifying, prioritizing and finding solutions to these obstacles. We will work with the Borough, the business owners, drivers and the walking/biking public to improve the pedestrian and biking experience in West Chester.

Specific initiatives on our agenda right now include:

Latest Developments

The BFWC team met on Nov 23, 2013 to discuss plans for marking 6 streets in WC Borough as bike boulevards. We'd like to mark the roadway on these roads to inform drivers and bikers that the road is to be shared. We also hope to get mid-block signs indicating this is a Bike Route. Bikers are encouraged to ride in the lane and drivers should be patient with bikes, especially in areas where cars are parked on one or both sides of the road.

Candidate streets are:

  • Biddle and Washington on the north side
  • Barnard and Union on the south side
  • Church and Darlinton on the west side of High

The next steps are:

  • talk with Public Works managers to get their input and refine cost estimates
  • research grant opportunities - federal, state and county
  • apply for grants
  • consider a fund raising effort if grants require matching funds

View the current Bike Friendly West Chester Plan here.

Share The Road Campaign

West Chester BLUER and the Chester County Cycling Coalition are launching a Share The Road campaign in May, 2013.

Bike Survey

To find out how people who live and work in the Borough feel about cycling, the Chester County Cycling Coalition (CCCC) created and implemented the West Chester Bicycle Survey in January 2011. The survey answered important questions that will help guide the design of a plan to improve bicycling in the Borough of West Chester. The survey answered some key questions: Why do people bicycle? Why donít they bicycle? What do we have to do to encourage people to use bicycles as a mode of transportation?

1. Why do people bicycle?
10% of respondents already use bicycles to commute while 18% use them to run errands in and around the Borough. This makes sense. According to businesses that participated in our survey, 15% of their customers lived in the Borough while 12% lived nearby.

2. Why don't people bicycle more?
Of the 837 people who provided additional comments at the end of the survey, 62% were concerned about safety. Over 50% of respondents said that if routes were safe and bicycle parking available, they would use their bicycles to commute and to run errands.

3. Solutions
Over 80% of people taking our survey believe that improving bicycling conditions in the Borough would improve their quality of life.

To find out how strongly people felt about improving bicycling conditions, we asked them if they thought public funds should be spent toward this goal. Surprisingly, even though the survey was conducted soon after the Borough increased taxes, over 75% of respondents voted yes.

The vast majority of people who participated in our survey would bicycle more for transportation, exercise and recreation if bicycling in the Borough was safe. We also learned that many people were unhappy about cyclists who do not obey the rules of the road. In order to improve bicycling conditions in West Chester Borough, the BLUER Transportation Committee in cooperation with the CCCC are working on a bike plan for the Borough: Bike Friendly West Chester. As recommended by the League of American Bicyclists, the plan will include proposals for improving bicycle facilities (bicycle routes and storage), and a plan to educate bicyclists and motorists.

View the full survey summary here. View the detailed survey here.

Safe Routes Bike Map

The Bike Friendly West Chester team put together a fold-up pocket street map of the Borough of West Chester showing what we consider to be the safest routes for getting in, out and between points of interest in the borough. You can open a .pdf file of the map here and print it, or pick one up at many of the sports oriented businesses in the borough - thanks to West Chester BID for printing these maps.

Bike Parking

In 2011 we compiled an inventory of bicycle parking in West Chester: the existing racks, capacity and where we think there should be more bike parking. The existing racks are are marked on the Bike Route Map above, but the full inventory spreadsheet can be found here.

Communicating With Other Groups

Other groups with similar goals (improving the bike and pedestrian experience in West Chester) that we have been or plan to work with are:

We plan to have issue specific meetings and cross membership with these groups to help achieve our goals

Subcommittee Meetings

The Transporation and BFWC Subcommittees meet approximately once per quarter. Some meetins will focus more on Bike Friendy West Chester, some on other/general transportation issues. Check agenda for details. Contact Jim Wylie ( to get on dist list. We meet at Hybrid Cycles at 126 E. Gay St with topic specific meetings as needed. Scheduled meeting dates are listed below. Minutes from these meetings are included in the monthly BLUER meetings which are posted on the About page.

  • next meeting - mid-February, 2014

Participating members of Bike Friendly West Chester are: Ellen Zadoff (chair), Jim Wylie, Ray Ott, Shayne Trimbell, Tara Speck, Chris Bell, Fred Rothman.

Transportation Subcommittee

The BLUER Transportation Subcommittee takes a broader view of the issue of transportation and the emissions caused by gas burning vehicles moving through and idling in the Borough. If you are interested in promoting public transporation and low/zero emissions vehicles, check in with with the Transportation Subcommittee.