Monday, November 26, 2007

Alta Planning and Design

Interested in receiving other Pedestrian and Bicycle news and information? Go to to receive updates from the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center.

Alta Support Programs
Aside from our consulting services, Alta is deeply involved in helping communities become more livable. Some of our programs include:

Pro-Bono Assistance: Alta staff are available to help community groups and agencies on a pro bono basis, whether it is answering questions or assisting with research. Every year we donate hundreds of hours to help our colleagues in a variety of areas. Call an Alta professional today to find out more about this, or come into one of our offices and use our library of resources.

Conference Support Program: Alta offers help to deserving individuals who wish to attend conferences in fields related to bicycles, pedestrians, and trails. This may include plane tickets, other travel costs, and conference costs. Contact Alta Principals Michael Jones or Mia Birk to find out more about this program.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Complete Streets Law

State-wide law adopted: the Illinois House and Senate have overridden a gubernatorial veto to adopt a statewide complete streets law. Go to to read the full article.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Little Things Count

Little things count

Lance Simmens said people can’t alleviate global warming on their own but that there are things they should be doing to help. Some examples:
• Use compact fluorescent light bulbs.
• Walk, bike or carpool instead of doing errands by yourself in your car.
• Use cruise control when driving on the highway.
• Keep vehicle tires properly inflated.
• Wash clothes in warm or cold water, not hot.
• Install low-flow shower heads.
• Take cloth bags to the grocery store instead of using disposable plastic bags.

To read the full article in the Reading Eagle, go to:

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Congressman Gerlach Comes to Exeter

Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Exeter Township Building, DeMoss Road
Congressman Gerlach wants to hear from you
on ANY issue you want to address.

I would like to see every person in Exeter come to address the 422 infrastructure.

Supervisor Barbieri Resigns.


At last nights' township meeting our township manager, Troy Bingaman read a letter from Dave Barbieri. Mr. Barbieri resigned from his elected position as Township Supervisor, effective immediately. Mr. Barbieri was not at the meeting. The supervisors need to fill his seat within 30 days. Do you have someone in mind? Now is the time to become part of the solution.

Write your recommendation for yourself or another resident to You are strongly encouraged to contact the Exeter Township Manager, Troy Bingaman for more information: 610-779-5660 Ext. 226

Monday, November 19, 2007

RATS: The Bike/Ped Checklist Applies to 47th Street/422/Exeter Commons

Please go to:

In November 2006, the Berks County Planning Commission and the Reading Area Transportation Study discussed the PennDOT Bicycle/Pedestrian Checklist and its application to the Exeter Commons/422 Shopping Center project. Read to learn more.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Dear PennDOT-- Write a letter about your community transportation needs

Please use the following as a template for YOUR OWN LETTER to PennDOT. Write to your state and local elected leaders as well as to your school board and school administrators. Let them know that you want the safest streets possible -- COMPLETE STREETS and SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL -- for your children and your entire community.

Dear [Elected Official]:

I am writing to request Complete Streets and Safe Routes to School in [Your Township].

Please note that a focus of the [Exeter Township Planning Commission] is on maximizing pedestrian safety on [422]. I would also like to request that wherever PennDOT has the authority, to implement the Bicycle/Pedestrian Check List for the land-development/parking access into and on the [Exeter Commons Shopping Center] land development plan. It makes little sense to create a necessary safe passage of pedestrians and cycles across [422] only to face a vast, unsafe parking/access roadway. We in [Exeter] would like to see a 'village' shopping layout where pedestrians and cyclists can safely and comfortably move about within the shopping complex as well as across [422].
In addition, I have also included notes for a small new subdivision that intends to neighbor our community elementary school without implementing sidewalks and safe crossing elements. It seems only logical that if the roadway next to an elementary school is unsafe that we...all of us...make every necessary change to ensure the safety of the children attending that school. If cars are traveling too quickly along [Lorane Road] during school hours, should we not require 15 mph speed limit designations along that route? Should we not install flashing indicator lights to slow drivers in the school zone? Should we not add sidewalks and curbs whenever we improve or create new roadways that directly access all schools -- but especially neighborhood elementary schools? I am sure that PennDOT was (is still?) offering free pedestrian crossing signs to municipalities to request them, correct? Certainly the cost of sidewalks, curbs, painted crossing lines, and 15 mph speed limit signs cannot be so great that we cannot ensure the safe passage of school children?
I understand that the intersections of [562, Shelborne Road, and Oley Turnpike] are to undergo some serious changes in the near future. Money from Senator O'Pake has already been granted to [Exeter] for those improvements. (Correct?) As we are beginning to plan for those improvements, I would like to also request that -- because [Jacksonwald] Elementary is located at exactly that location, we do everything in our power to implement the Bicycle/Pedestrian Checklist in that project as well. I would like to see all of our elementary schools increase the number of students who currently walk or bike to school. Presently, I believe only one child walks to [Jacksonwald] and the entire community agrees that those roads are simply unsafe to access by foot or bike. Because the changes are going to be made, I would hope they are made to accommodate the traffic that needs to access that facility...students (teachers, parents, support staff) walking and biking to school. Again, I would hope for sidewalks, bike lanes, crosswalks, speed limit signs, pedestrian crossing signs, and flashing school zone indicators. Please help me work to ensure that the Bicycle/Pedestrian Checklist is being implemented in every project in Berks County.

As always, thank you for your support and attention to my concerns.

[Michele Barrett]
Founder WalkBikeBerks

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Reading Eagle Newspaper: Fostering better use of roads a good idea

The Issue: A Berks County group is formed to find ways to make streets and highways more inviting to hikers and bikers.

Our Opinion: In this time of expanding waistlines, encouraging any kind of physical activity is commendable.

To Read the Full Article, go to:

Monday, November 12, 2007

WFMZ Coverage of WalkBikeBerks

Channel 69 covered Saturday's WalkBikeBerks meeting, you can see the video here.

Friday, November 9, 2007

New Initiative Has Legs


Fledgling Exeter Township group hopes new initiative has legs
A resident is starting a network to study ways to make Berks County more attractive to bicyclists and pedestrians.
By Erin Negley
Reading Eagle

Michele Barrett fondly recalls riding her bicycle as a child around her neighborhood in Clearfield County.Now living in Exeter Township, where a large shopping center is planned along Perkiomen Avenue, Barrett is thinking more often about those pedestrian-friendly streets of her youth.She’s starting Walk Bike Berks, a network that will study ways to make Berks County more inviting to bicyclists and pedestrians.The fledgling group will hold a workshop Saturday at Exeter Community Library with two national organizations devoted to creating safe streets. The public event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.Representatives from Complete the Streets and Safe Routes to School will talk about their initiatives and how the public can get involved.The Arizona-based Thunderhead Alliance is leading the Complete the Streets campaign to make roads safe for all users, including pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.
The National Center for Safe Routes to School, based in North Carolina, assists communities to enable and encourage children to safely walk and bicycle to school.Walk Bike Berks will promote building sidewalks and adding bicycle lanes to roads and crosswalks.“This organization really has the potential to start making real differences,” said Barrett, 34.The cause is relevant, she said, especially with childhood obesity becoming a national crisis. Safe streets also are a quality-of-life issue.“I just want to love the town I live in,” Barrett said. “I want to walk out the front door and feel connected to my community. I do think that people feel more tied to their community if they can freely move about.”

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thun Trail Closure at Douglassville Bridge

From the Philadelphia Inquirer

The Schuylkill River Heritage Area has begun a one-month cleanup of debris piled up beneath the former Douglassville railroad bridge.

Along the Pottstown to Birdsboro Thun Trail section of the Schuylkill River Trail, logs, trees and trash have amassed since the river flooded in June 2006. The $100,000 project will necessitate the closing of a section of the trail that runs behind Morlatton Village west for about 0.3 miles, up to and including the Douglassville railroad bridge.

Trail users still will be allowed access to the trail from existing trailheads and continue in either direction up to the closure. The bridge will remain closed until Nov. 26.

The nonprofit Schuylkill River Heritage Area seeks donations to cover the costs. Visit or call 484-945-0200 for more information.

Monday, November 5, 2007


Walk/Bike the Vote!
Novermber 6 Elections are tomorrow. Now is our chance to ask YOUR candidates if they support implementing pedestrian and bicycling improvements, safe routes to school and complete streets.

The way I look for a candidate's position is:
Use the voter guides listed below.
Search the Reading Eagle articles throughout the previous months.

Link of Google to find the candidate's website- READ issue papers.
If you cannot find your answer there, then look for contact information, it's best to call at this late date.

In PA there are County and Local Elections. Reading has the Mayor and City Council Elections.

Berks County Government Election Precinct Maps:

League of Women Voters:

Remember to make your own statement:

WALK or BIKE to the Polls.

If you need to find out if you are registered and where to vote, call :

County of Berks, 633 Court StreetReading, PA 19601
Phone: 610.478.6100 Hours: 8 AM to 5 PM
Closed on holidays

First Meeting of WalkBikeBerks

Proudly Presents

Complete The Streets
Safe Routes to School

Educational and
Non-Profit Establishing Workshop.

Exeter Community Library
November 10, 2007
10:00 am – 4:00 pm
RSVP ~ November 7
Reserve your seat early ~ Space is limited to 35 participants.

The streets of our cities and towns ought to be for everyone, whether young or old, motorist or bicyclist, walker or wheelchair user, bus rider or shopkeeper. But too many of our streets are designed only for speeding cars, or worse, creeping traffic jams. They’re unsafe for people on foot or bike — and unpleasant for everybody.

Now, in communities across the country, a movement is growing to complete the streets. States, cities and towns are asking their planners, engineers and designers to build road networks that welcome all citizens.

To learn more or to become an advocate for Safe Routes to School and Complete Streets in your neighborhood, contact:

Dominic Liberatore, Interim Executive Director
Thunderhead Alliance
1700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Ste. 400, Washington, DC 20006
Complete the Streets expert Dominic J. Liberatore currently serves as the Interim Executive Director of the Thunderhead Alliance. Previous positions for Mr. Liberatore include National Complete Streets Campaign Manager for Thunderhead Alliance and as a consultant to the campaign during the reauthorization of the last federal transportation bill. The Thunderhead Alliance is the North American coalition of non-profit bicycle and pedestrian advocacy organizations.

Chris Davis, Coordinator
Safe Routes to School
Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) expert Chris Davis had a significant role in the development of the Marin County SRTS program, implemented by the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, as the Curriculum Developer and Lead Instructor for the program’s first 4 1/2 years. She designed and taught lessons in traffic safety, health and fitness, environmental and community responsibility, the core concepts of a comprehensive SRTS program. She joined the staff of the Texas Bicycle Coalition, developing and managing the start-up of a comprehensive regional SRTS program. Currently she is SRTS Program coordinator for the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition.

Who Should Attend?
Everyone in Berks County
University Students/Leaders
Municipal Leaders
Planning Commissions
School Board Members
Superintendents of Schools
Bike Shop Owners
Environmental Groups
Disability Advocates
Public Transit Advocates
YOU -- learn to advocate for Safer Streets for all users in Berks County