Saturday, November 29, 2008

T4 America

It’s time to tell President-Elect Barack Obama to follow through on his campaign promises—like increasing funding for biking and walking. Obama has a remarkable opportunity to use his mantle for change and willingness of Americans to be part of the solution. He can call on Americans to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil in a year or less by encouraging biking, walking, transit, carpooling and reducing our consumption of oil. With a call to the nation, Obama can provide some incentives and leadership, and show that when it comes to creating healthy communities, cleaning the air, and becoming self sufficient, with a little leadership....Yes We Can!

Please take a moment to sign onto this letter from Transportation for America asking President-Elect Obama to make building that 21st Century transportation system a priority in his first 100 days.

Sending your letter is easy online here.

Sprawl and Walkability

What do you think? Do you agree that the new economy will encourage a new trend in transportation? Consider this:

Sprawl Puts Americans In "Double Bind" of Long Commutes, Home Value Losses

The current global financial crisis stems in no small measure from the American phenomenon "of sending people ever farther into the countryside to find houses that they (barely) qualified to purchase," with such buyers now finding themselves "in a double bind" of punishingly long and costly commutes and home value losses, writes Smart Growth America and Transportation for America Communication Director David Goldberg on the Seattle-based WorldChanging international media network's web page, quoting Australia's Curtin University Professor Peter Newman, who told The Sydney Morning Herald that "(t)he old economy of car dependence is over; with rising oil prices and climate change, people cannot afford to live in outer suburbs and drive to work."

Daily updates on smart growth issues can be found at

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bike Donation to Salvation Army

Despite the rain -- WalkBikeBerks presented a Fuji Bike to the Salvation Army during their 2009 Red Kettle Kick Off on Friday, November 14 in the city of Reading. WalkBikeBerks would like to acknowledge Spokes Bike in Hamburg for providing the bike.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

President-Elect Obama Supports Safe Routes To School!


Please visit to view the SRTS National Partnership’s November 2008 E-newsletter.

Brooke Driesse
Program Associate
Safe Routes to School National Partnership


It is time that your voice is heard, that your opinion is counted, and that your needs are met.
WalkBikeBerks needs your help.
There are 73 local government entities in Berks County. We would love to be able address the local issues that affect your day-to-day life -- the missing sidewalk connections, the un-maintained trails, the 422 bicycle barrier that prevents you from accessing destinations in your community -- but to do that we need you.
WalkBikeBerks is seeking passionate, thoughtful, active Berks County residents who want to influence transportation and land development issues in their own home towns. To create change in every community in Berks County, we need your help. We need you to attend local government meetings in your home town and to bring issues of walking and biking concerns to us. Individually, our Board President would need to attend about 230 meetings EVERY month to stay informed on all of the issues. She can't do that alone. But with your help -- we can work together to bring Smart Transportation*, Complete Streets, and Safe Routes to School to every municipality in Berks County.
Will you help us improve walking and biking in Berks County?
Here's one way that you can become involved RIGHT NOW:
"1.3 RATS Contact Information
For more information on this Public Participation Plan or on RATS regional transportation planning activities, please contact us through the Berks County Planning Commission using the information shown on the front cover of the document."

Berks County Planning Commission
633 Court St. FL 14
Reading, PA 19601-4302
Ph: 610-478-6300
FAX: 610-478-6316


To Learn More About PennDOT's Smart Transportation Initiative, visit: Go Now. There are $60,000,000.00 up for grabs!

Smart Walk

This blog is excellent. Perhaps some lessons to be learned...a model to follow? Check it out.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Blumenauer or Oberstar as Secretary of Transportation?

WalkBikeBerks maintains the policy that we'll post accurate information so that readers can make their own educated decisions to support walking and biking. there is a circulating rumor too good to keep to myself:
Will President-elect Obama select Congressman Earl Blumenauer or Congressman James L. Oberstar as his new Secretary of Transportation? Some say yes.

Who are they?

Learn more about Rep Blumenauer's Congressional Bike Caucus here:

"Rep. James L. Oberstar (D-Minn.) is a bicycle fanatic who rides his various bikes about 2,300 miles a year." Find more here:

See where I caught the buzz: Blumenauer as Secretary of Transportation? - Cyclelicious#links: "Rep. Jim Oberstar"

What to do while we wait? Call our Congressional leaders and ask them what they have done for Transportation Policy to include walking and biking for better access and mobility. You can find their contact information here:

Why isn't Pennsylvania leading the nation (and the world) in better transportation? These are questions we need to ask our elected officials.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Our Online Store

We have added a new Merchandise category to the blog.

Shop WalkBikeBerks Online!

Can't find what you're looking for? Write to us and let us know. We'll do what we can to add products for you!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Why WALK the VOTE?

My dear friend and neighbor, Amy and her handsome son Evan walked to the polls with me today. It was such a beautiful day for a stroll through our neighborhoods. As we walked, we chatted with each other and some folks who were in their yards. Amy brought along her camera so we could snap some shots of others who WALKED to the polls this morning.
Our good friend Tracy is pictured with her two beautiful children, Christian and Audrey. She said she decided to walk because she lives close. She also said she was thinking, "It really is dangerous walking up this hill [to the polling location] without sidewalks. Cars are coming both directions, and it's really not safe."
The three ladies pictured answered "Why did you walk today?" with these statements:
1. I only live two blocks away.
2. It [walking] is environmentally friendly.
3. It's easier than driving -- I live close.
The last picture shows a voter waiting in line. She also said she walked because she lives close and "it's just easy."
While there, I did not notice anyone on bicycle. So...if you bike to the polls today...take a picture and send it in. I would love to include you in WalkBikeBerks photo album for Election 2008!


You can visit: Can I VOTE to find out if you are registered by visiting: This site will provide nonpartisan information about candidates, and other useful information to help you make an educated decision today.

You can also use the resources provided in today's Reading Eagle...a very important article detailing information you need when you go to the polls today. Thank you Reading Eagle for providing us the details that help us VOTE!
What to know before you vote

What to know
•Polls are open today from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
•The shortest lines are likely to be during late morning or early afternoon.
•Anyone in line at 8 p.m. will be allowed to vote, but anyone who arrives after that will be turned away.
If you're not sure you're registered, go to If you don't have Internet access, call Berks County Election Services at 610-478-6490.
•Your polling place can be identified at The site also provides directions and information on accessibility for people with disabilities. If you don't have Internet access, call Berks County Election Services.
•Voters may wear political buttons, T-shirts, hats or other items promoting a candidate as long as they do not attempt to draw attention to themselves.

•Poll workers and watchers may not wear political items.
•Identification is required for first-time voters only. A driver's license is best, but other forms of official identification are acceptable.
•If you encounter a problem, ask poll workers for help. If they can't help, ask a poll worker to contact Election Services.
If there is a question about your registration or polling location, you have the right to vote on a provisional ballot. Your vote will be counted after your registration is verified.
•If you experience any other problems at a polling place, report it to or call 866-687-8683.Sources: Election Protection, a nonpartisan coalition led by the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; Pennsylvania Department of State; and Berks County Election Services.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Funding Walkways and Bikeways

There are excellent funding opportunities for building new walkways, bikeways, and greenways in Pennsylvania such as the Smart Transportation PA Community Transportation Initiative (PCTI) -- whew! Check it out here:

In addition to these specific funding opportunities, there are also FHWA and FTA Funds that may be used for bicycle and pedestrian activities: Notice that Safe Routes to School funds are one of many categories listed where sidewalks, trails, ADA accomodations, bike lanes or bridge accomodations can be funded.

So, when you ask for your local government to change policies and create Complete Streets, be sure to encourage them to seek any and all resources to build Complete Streets -- and know that 'grant' money is not the only way to pay for improvements.

Federal and state money is available to communities who prioritize pedestrian and bicycle access and safety.