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Meet Roy Gothie: Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator

May 17, 2019 12:00 AM
By: None

Meet Roy Gothie: Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator

Roy Gothie, PennDOT's statewide bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, advocates internally and externally for policies, legislation, engineering solutions, and educational and funding programs that support people who walk and bike with a focus on those who do so out of necessity rather than by choice.

Gothie started working at PennDOT four years ago.

"I saw an enormous opportunity to improve thousands of communities across the state by linking transportation, health, and equity outcomes in a way that makes the case for substantial improvements to the active transportation network," he explained.

What Gothie enjoys most is having the opportunities to institute innovative ideas that will improve how communities look, function, and feel for the next 100 years.

When asked what he wishes others understood about his job, he replied, "I wish they understood how challenging the department's work is on a day-to-day basis. We get the 'there's an intractable railroad-on-one-side and river-on-the-other'-type problems. Problems to which there is no single best answer and trying to find a path forward that supports safe travel for all roadway users with a limited budget and staff is always hard."

RELATED: Visibility and conspicuity while riding a bike

Gothie is the person who uses "conspicuity" in a safety message because it's the right word. He's agile, innovative, and stubborn. He doesn't think outside the box; he questions the very premises underpinning the existence of the box and then gets on with identifying the real problem and solving it. 

When Gothie isn't working, he enjoys reading research papers and books on transportation, land use and environmental policy and planning…  because that's fun, right?

He also is a mayor of one of the smallest boroughs in the state — the Borough of Vally-Hi.

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