Spin bikes

Students ride spin bikes in front of Willard Building on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has given State College $1.1 million to build 1.6 miles of shared-use bicycle paths in State College, according to a release.

One extension will be built alongside Easterly and Westerly Parkway, connecting Walnut Springs and Lederer Parks to the Orchard Park Bikeway.

The funding will also be used to construct a path along Blue Course Dr., connecting the Orchard Park Bikeway to Whitehall Road.

The release said the extensions will provide a "continuous connection" to University Park, using the Blue Course Drive Shared Use Path and the Blue and White Trails.

The new bicycle paths will link residential neighborhoods to Orchard Park, the proposed 100-acre Whitehall Road Regional Park and the Musser Gap Greenway which connects State College to Rothrock State Forest.

Jasmine Fields, Project Manager and Sustainability Program Officer for State College, said most bicycle paths in State College run north to south, while the new paths run east to west.

“The existing shared-use path network in the Borough does not provide a continuous, off-road system, thus limiting opportunities to safely walk and bike to schools, parks, and commercial areas," she said in the release.

The funding was awarded through the Transportation Alternatives Set Aside program, which aims to improve pedestrian and bicycle facilities in Pennsylvania.

Fields said the new improvements will encourage a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

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