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Feasibility study about making Mercersburg walkable and bikeable

August 19, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com

MERCERSBURG, Pa. — Consultants are finishing a feasibility study to find possible walking and biking trails in the Borough of Mercersburg, Montgomery Township and Peters Township.

The study from Philadelphia firm Campbell Thomas & Co. includes an action plan with four phases to create a corridor of trails. The Mercersburg Area Council for Wellness, or MACWell, a wellness organization, commissioned the study.

“Of all the projects I’ve worked on, this has to be the most enthusiastic group. They’re highly organized,” consultant Bob Thomas said.

Officials collected questionnaires, hiked the area and visited various sites. Consultants reviewed zoning, topographical, canoe and traffic-count maps, as well as documents dating back to the 1800s.

A July 28 walk allowed 50 people to see how the James Buchanan schools complex could be connected to Lions Club Park.

“This is really about making our communities walkable and bikeable,” said Elizabeth George, a physician and president of MACWell.

The first phase will work on connecting the areas around the schools to town, George said.

Some of that effort will require the creation of new trails, while other sections need signs or improved sidewalks, she said.

Mercersburg could easily become a model for other communities, Thomas said.

Most people’s trips are within two miles of their houses, George said.

“I think the people who have walked the (July 28) route thought, ‘Why am I driving to the store? I could just walk,’” she said.

For more information about the initiative, go to www.mpmcproject.org or www.mac4wellness.org.

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