Saturday, August 9, 2008

Contact the Governor's Office

Write a letter to thank the Governor for his fine work, and to encourage him to promote walking and biking infrastructure in the many new funding initiatives.

Governor Edward G. Rendell's Office
225 Main Capitol Building
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17120
Phone: (717) 787-2500
Fax: (717) 772-8284
E-mail the Governor's Office
Regional Offices

Dear Governor:

Thank you for your commitment to revitalizing Reading, PA. Every community surrounding the city will benefit from the city’s renewal, and we are all excited to do whatever we can to support your excellent efforts to make these new plans as great as possible. The WalkBikeBerks’ mission is to make walking and bicycling practical, convenient, and safe options for all citizens and visitors to Berks County, Pennsylvania. Together, our members are working hard to ensure that quality of life, community wellness, and the prosperity of the environment and economy play cohesive roles in infrastructure developments.

We are asking that you prioritize transportation choice – creating city infrastructure that promotes walkability and bikability. We believe that the city will benefit exponentially if provided infrastructure that invites residents and tourists to stroll along city blocks to shop, dine, and enjoy entertainment.

Today, I am writing specifically to ask that the bridge work listed below include accommodations for pedestrians and bicyclists as mandated by PennDOT policies – specifically the newest Bicycle and Pedestrian Strike-Off Letter SOL 432-0702.

Another $7 million will be used to rebuild five bridges:
•State Street Bridge over the Schuylkill River, Hamburg.
•Bridge over Spring Creek, North Heidelberg Township.
•Bridge over Six Penny Creek, Union Township.
•Route 422 bridge over Spring Creek, Wernersville.
•Route 422 bridge over Norfolk Southern railway, Amity Township.

Many of us will travel from points throughout the county, and we strongly urge planners and engineers to plan for travel into the city on bicycles from the ‘suburbs.’ We intend to bicycle on trails and roadways, over bridges and onto city streets to work, shop, dine, worship, and learn. Imagine how wonderful the city will be when more workers, visitors, and students travel by bicycle and foot – creating no emissions, no green-house gas effects, and no automobile traffic congestion. Imagine too the economic benefit of slowing would-be shoppers as they pass our new store-fronts, tempting them to come in and spend, rather than encouraging them to speed by in busy city traffic.

To further appreciate the importance of walking and biking in a city’s success, please refer to some of the nation’s most walkable cities as examples: Portland, Oregon, Boulder, Colorado, and Madison, Wisconsin. In these examples, you will find that “walkability is the cornerstone and key to an urban area's efficient ground transportation. Every trip begins and ends with walking. Walking remains the cheapest form of transport for all people, and the construction of a walkable community provides the most affordable transportation system any community can plan, design, construct and maintain. Walkable communities put urban environments back on a scale for sustainability of resources (both natural and economic) and lead to more social interaction, physical fitness and diminished crime and other social problems. Walkable communities are more liveable communities and lead to whole, happy, healthy lives for the people who live in them” (


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