With early morning commuters driving east on Route 422 to get to work as a backdrop, more than 40 officials gathered recently in a parking lot to launch a campaign to promote carpooling, biking and using public transportation.
The goal of the “422 My Way” campaign is to reduce congestion along the Route 422 corridor from King of Prussia to Reading.
Bicycles, a bus and a commuter van were displayed at the gathering Friday as Queen's song, “Bicycle Race,” played in the background.
Yassmin Gramian, state deputy executive director of transportation, said biking and carpooling will help maintain Route 422 as well as all the state's 400,000 miles of road and 26,000 bridges.
“We are spending less on highways,” Gramian said to the crowd in a parking lot at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Upper Providence Township, Montgomery County. “There is a need to strengthen public transportation.”
Gramian noted PennDOT has reallocated funding from state highways, including Route 422, to the interstate highways.
Berks County is experiencing the impact of an estimated $68 million in reduction in highway funding in the next four fiscal years.
The Reading Area Transportation Study group is planning to scrap the bulk of a $600 million Route 422 improvement project from the Interstate 176 interchange in Cumru Township to the Route 12 exit in Wyomissing.
In Montgomery County, Route 422 is one of the most congested highways with 100,000 vehicles using it daily.
“This costs people time, money and stress, as well as poor air quality,” said Rob Henry, executive director of the Greater Valley Forge Transportation, a nonprofit running the campaign. “As transportation is the largest contributor of emissions, we need to find creative solutions in reducing congestion.”
Montgomery County Commissioner Ken Lawrence said the Schuylkill River Trail is a good start for bicyclists to commute.
“A lot of people use our trails to commute,” he said.
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