Smith-Wade-El and Sturla help secure $3 million grant for Lancaster’s Water Street bike project

LANCASTER, April 26 – State Reps. Ismail Smith-Wade-El and Mike Sturla, both D-Lancaster, helped the city of Lancaster secure a $3 million state grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to support the Water Street bike project.

“Being on a bike offers the opportunity to see the world differently,” Smith-Wade-El said. “Having learned to ride a bike at the late age of 29, I can say it changed my life. I am thrilled that PennDOT has awarded Lancaster City $3 million to help execute the Water Street bike project. A city that is safer for cycling is safer for pedestrians, safer for people pushing strollers, safer for accessing public transit. This a smart investment in our city and in our future.”

Sturla added, “I thank PennDOT for awarding this grant to enable the city of Lancaster to continue their successful strategy in making our community even more friendly to bike riders.”

The Water Street bike project extends from Fairview Avenue up to Harrisburg Pike and includes a mixture of shared on-street bike facilities and a half-mile portion that will be off-road. 

According to Smith-Wade-El and Sturla, the project will include intersection improvements along the length of Water Street with raised intersections, speed humps, bump-out curb extensions, ADA compliant ramps, piano key crosswalks and rapid flashing beacons. Three intersections and one segment along Water Street are in the High Injury Network as identified in the city's Vision Zero Plan.

The grant award comes from the Surface Transportation Block Grant program Set-Aside, also known as the Transportation Alternatives Set-Aside (TA Set-Aside). This program awards grants for projects that improve the accessibility of biking and walking paths and amenities, pedestrian access to public transportation, community improvement activities, environmental mitigation projects and trails. Additionally, awards include safe routes to school projects designed to create and improve alternative access to schools via new crosswalks, sidewalks and walking paths.

PennDOT received 137 applications requesting over $165 million in the current round. Projects were awarded funds based on established criteria such as safety benefits, cost effectiveness, readiness for implementation, impact on low-income or minority communities, statewide or regional significance, integration of land use and transportation decision making, collaboration with stakeholders, and leveraging of other projects or funding. Applications were reviewed by representatives from PennDOT, the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and metropolitan and rural planning organizations.

Information about the state's infrastructure and results the department is delivering for Pennsylvanians can be found at Find PennDOT's planned and active construction projects at