Pedaling Toward Sustainability: Assessing Potential Impacts of the Gettysburg Inner Loop

Emily S. Hartman, Gettysburg College
Sarah E. Watson, Gettysburg College

Environmental Studies Senior Thesis


Bicycle paths can play an important role in creating more sustainable communities. The purpose of this study is to look at the proposed Gettysburg Inner Loop bike network in the Gettysburg Borough and assess its potential impacts for sustainability. A total of 78 household surveys were conducted in residential neighborhoods in the borough, resulting in 178 individual responses. The surveys measured basic demographic data as well as awareness of the GIL, current bike use, and potential future bike use with the completion of the GIL. We also measured the impact of biking on local businesses. A review of secondary literature allowed for the extrapolation of our findings in terms of the potential ecological, economic and public health implications of the GIL for Gettysburg. The study found that residents mostly bike for recreation and exercise, while common reasons why people chose not to bike are because they prefer to walk or drive. Over 50% of the respondents say they currently never ride a bike, but this percentage drops by 16% with the establishment of the GIL. In sum, the GIL will make a positive contribution to the sustainability of Gettysburg Borough.