Saturday, May 31, 2008

May 31 Agenda

9:00-10:30 Monthly Meeting
Holy Cross Church
329 North 5th Street
Reading, PA 19606
Facilitator: Michele Barrett

Board Member Reports:
Jeremy – Filing Status, other? Bike to Work?
Nancy – Logo Contest, other? Birdsboro SRTS
Emily – City Bike Friendly App, Bike To Work, other?
Bob – Bike to Work, BCTV, other?
Denny – Exeter, other?
Denise – Mail, bank account, other?
David – Logo Contest, Fitness Fest
Michele – Strategic Planning, SRTS Host City, Antietam
Barbara – Minutes, database, other?

Welcome and Member comments
Minutes – Barbara
· Review and Approve minutes
· Comments and concerns

Treasurer’s Report -- Jeremy
Postal Report -- Denise
Old Business

  • 510 (c) 3
  • Committee Action Plan

Board Member Reports -- Summary provided by Barbara Rowley
New Business

  • Fitness Fest
  • Safe Routes to School Host City
    -- Divide into two team and set strategic plan for each event.
    Nancy – Lead SRTS
    David – Lead Fitness Fest


11:30 Adjourn

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Bike To Work Month Update!

I would like to thank my employer Baldwin for helping to promote Bike To Work Month. By promoting the bicycle as a means to commute to work we are realizing the benefits such as a healthier body, improved financial means and productivity. There were 9 individuals at Baldwin who chose to use the month of May to ride their bicycles into work. Some of them starting riding into work for the very first time. Here are few comments for those who participated:

"Thanks for promoting this - it was the kick in the pants I needed to start doing it!" Thom Inglin
" It was very rewarding and a great idea! I felt great throughout the day. I didn't even experience any rude drivers and I had to cross some heavy traffic across Rte 422." Jeff Wisniewski
" I thought is was so much fun. I now would like to ride to work every casual Friday. It was an activity that encouraged exercise while helping the environment (and saving money)! I'm glad we were able to promote National Bike To Work Month!" Christian DeWald

While we had some first timers who are now committed to riding to work we also had some "long timers" who also joined in. Below is the comment from one of those commuters who has been riding into work for over 8 years:
"I ride barely 5 miles through West Lawn and Wyomissing starting at 6:00 a.m. There isn't much traffic to contend with only the still morning air and sound of my tires. Awakening and getting into your car and driving to work never sets your day up like a bike ride does. I feel more energized throughout the day and always get more accomplished at work in part because of the high I get from kicking the pedals and getting my metabolism going at a faster pace than the sedentary car ride does.
The ride home is different. I leave work and travel by the West Reading Playground and take the "rat cage bridge" across the river by RACC. I take the trail up under the Penn St and Buttonwood St bridges and follow the River Trail to Bear Park and cross over the Schuylkill Ave bridge. After crossing the Schuylkill River I take a left on Blair Ave to the beginning of the Tulpehocken Trail at Stonecliff Park. I then ride to the Red Covered Bridge or continue further up the trail to the Headwaters of the Creek at Blue Marsh Dam taking the trail up and out of the Park around Ganlys Pub then taking the roads to my home in Sinking Spring finishing off a 1 1/2 hour ride. This leaves me totally refreshed and at the same time destressed from any of the pressures of work." Dennis Stufflet

As a long time bicycle commuter Dennis is supportive of bicycle advocacy and ensuring trails are maintained. Throughout his commute he has noticed some areas of trails that could be enhanced to ensure motorized vehicles do not enter the trails and is willing to help put his ideas into reality.

I started biking to work in March of this year and it has been fun and thrilling to be able to share this experience with my co-workers and even ride along with them in the morning or after work. I am thankful I live in an area where I can access the Schuylkill River Trail to commute to work. I hope as WalkBikeBerks continues we will be able to help make other sections of Berks County a bicycle friendly environment so others have the opportunity to share in the benefits we bicycle commuters enjoy!

While we had some inclement weather on the actual Bike To Work Day, Baldwin decided to celebrate the day the following week. Please see the picture of everyone who biked to work during the month of May at Baldwin. Send a thank you to the H/R at Baldwin for helping to promote the month that not only benefits Baldwin employees but the entire county of Berks! Pictured left to right are as follows:
Thom Inglin, Dennis Stuffet, Roy White, Christian DeWald, Jeff Wisniewski, Jeremy Slonaker, Jerry Chin, Steve Chmielewski, Steve Thompson - A special thank you to our very own Board member Bob Hospidor for making the sign!

Write to PA Congressmen for HR5951

Congresswoman Doris Matsui introduced complete streets legislation, the "Safe and Complete Streets Act of 2008", HR5951 in May, and it isn't too early to start drumming up support for this bill.
Contact your representative today! Call their office, set up a meeting, or fax in a letter of support (doc).
One-page summery of the bill (doc)
Track the status of the bill
Sample letter that you can send to your representative (doc)
Analysis of the House bill (pdf)
Benefits of complete streets (pdf) to include in your talking points
National letter of support (doc)

To learn more:

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Regular Monthly Meeting

Saturday, May 31
Holy Cross Church
329 N 5th St
Reading, PA
9:00 AM
All Meetings are Open to Members.
Bring your friends and neighbors...
this meeting promises to be exciting!
*An error was posted: the bike winner for the logo contest
will receive the prize on June 28.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Reading asks to be known as friendly to bicycles

Photo, Reading Eagle: Tim Leedy
Emily Weidner of Temple is leading an effort to have the League of American Bicyclists officially recognize Reading's efforts to promote bicycling.

No city in Pennsylvania has the designation, which has gone to 72 communities nationwide.
By Don Spatz
Reading Eagle
Reading, PA - The city wants to add at least one asset to its growing labyrinth of bike trails and its professional bike race in June. Recognition. It’s applying for designation as a Bicycle Friendly Community. The League of American Bicyclists has given that designation to 72 communities nationwide, but none in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia is likely to be first in the state to get it, but Reading would be happy to be second, said Emily Weidner, who was asked by Reading to lead the effort. Mayor Tom McMahon wants the designation for a number of reasons, among them reducing pollution and congestion, and promoting a healthier lifestyle, said his chief of staff, Cindy Heminitz.

To Read the Full Article and to read what BARTA might do for bicycles, go to:

Thursday, May 15, 2008

BIKE -- walk, carpool, or take the bus...or train


Due to the bad weather scheduled for tomorrow, we will promote "Bike to Work Day" on Friday, May 23rd. The forecast says it will be sunny and 75 degrees.

If you are participating in "Bike to Work Month" or "Bike to Work Day", please write to to share your story. We want to showcase your choice to "Travel Differently" in May.
Congratulations to Jeremy Slonaker and all of Baldwin for choosing to celebrate Bike To Work Month together. They set an excellent example for Berks County Businesses.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Thank You Reading Eagle

The Reading Eagle was kind enough to post a reminder message in today's paper for us.

Meeting set
Members of WalkBikeBerks plan to meet Tuesday with the Berks County Planning Commission to discuss the county’s bicycle and pedestrian plan, which calls for road improvements to accommodate cyclists and walkers. The meeting, set for 7 p.m. in Birdsboro Borough Hall, is open to the public.

See you there!

AARP Picks for 50+ Cyclists

Smart Fitness
Easy Rider
By Gabrielle deGroot Redford, May & June 2008

We asked Bicycling Magazine for their picks for 50-plus cyclists, plus we give you tips for proper bike fit.

Photo by Michael Darter

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Tri-County Chamber Of Commerce

I was honored to be a guest among so many excellent people on Thursday morning at the Tri-County Chamber's breakfast meeting. In truth, I was also envious of Pottstown's new program: Bike Sharing! The new yellow Fuji bicycles are beautiful -- and will be a true asset to their community. I plan to visit Pottstown often for biking and shopping.
Visit to learn about the program. Attend your local government meetings and encourage your community to work towards becoming a Bicycle Friendly Community.

In Photo (from left to right): Shayne Trimbell - GVF Transportation, John Reeber - Pottstown Parks Department, David Kraybill - Pottstown Area Health and Wellness Foundation, Tom Carrol - Preservation Pottstown, R. Dean Foster - Montgomery County Community College, John Armato - Pottstown School District, Shelli Keinle - Zap Digital, Michele Barrett - WalkBikeBerks, Hans Van Naersen - Greater Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition, Tim Phelps - TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


On Thursday, May 8 -- I speak to the Tri-County Chamber of Commerce about the Economic Benefits of Livable Communities and Hans van Naerssen addresses 'Removing Barriers and Building Connections.' On that same morning:

Pottstown is launching a bike sharing program!

Of course, bike sharing isn't new or restricted to cities.

I fondly recall the months I spent in rural Blackwell, PA as a nanny. I could stroll along the country road (or hike one of the various walking paths along the mountain) to a small home where the owner operated a "bike share" of his own. On an honor system, renters could fill out a brief form and leave it and a small fee in a box hanging on the wrap around porch. Then renters choose one of the nice bikes just sitting for the taking and go for the day. Go where? The Rails-to-Trails that meanders along Pine Creek in the PA Grand Canyon. I was on one of those bikes the first time I saw a Bald Eagle fishing to feed her eaglets. The young eagles were in full view as well from that gorgeous, remote trail -- and from the comfort of my 'shared' bicycle.

In Washington DC during the National Bike Summit, I invited my friends to visit Blackwell to ride with me again this summer. If you haven't been to the PA Grand Canyon to canoe in Pine Creek or Bike the Rails-to-Trails, make sure you add it to your places to visit this year.

Residents in Washington DC have their own opportunity to 'bike share' this summer. Take a look:

I'm just as eager to make a weekend visit to the city to bicycle the Capital. My one-time-around in the pedicab whet my appetite for more biking in our nation's cities. The experience -- relaxed and safe -- riding the pedicab (in the open air at a reasonable pace) was far more enjoyable than the "thrill-ride" of a taxicab just a few nights prior. As a tourist: a bicycle is definitely the way to experience a city.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Birdsboro Borough Hall - May 13, 7 PM

We want our communities safe and inviting for all travelers,
even the most vulnerable citizens -- children, elderly, poor, and disabled.
You are invited to
The County’s Only Bicycle and Pedestrian Non-Profit
May 13, 2008
7:00 PM
Birdsboro Borough Hall
202 East Main Street, Birdsboro, PA 19508

The Berks County Planning Commission
Guest Speakers:
Michael Golembiewski
Lori Lencheski
Join WalkBikeBerks before or during the May 13 meeting to learn how
the Berks County Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation Plan
can be implemented through local Subdivision and Land Development.
Join now: Donations of $35.00 can be made payable to:
PO Box 6795
Wyomissing, PA 19610

Monday, May 5, 2008

Bikers, Pedestrians: Caution on 73

Visibility problems for motorists suggest hazards for other users of the roads. Be cautious if you are traveling in Ruscombmanor Township.

Last Update: 5/5/2008 5:24:00 PM
Ruscombmanor Township supervisors to ask PennDOT to address safety problem
The Ruscombmanor Township supervisors have agreed to ask the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to address a safety problem at Route 73 and Hartz Road.The supervisors explained that PennDOT had recently installed new guide rails on Route 73 that have created visibility problems for motorists attempting to drive into the intersection.
— By David A. Kostival
The Reading Eagle

Robeson Group -- Horseshoe Trail Plans


Robeson group outlines Horseshoe Trail plans
Berks County, PA -

The Robeson Environmental Advisory Council has provided an update on the status of the Horseshoe Trail Club.The nonprofit group wants to protect, improve and reroute the trail, which runs along several roads in the township.Council member Todd Stell said the club obtained a $25,000 grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for a feasibility study and wants the township to match an additional grant of $1,000 that the club has received for strategic planning.The 140-mile trail runs from Valley Forge to Dauphin County, eventually intersecting the Appalachian Trail.The trail linked many furnaces such as Coventry, Hope well, Joanna and Cornwall in operation during the industrial revolution in the 1700s and 1800s.The conservation department has recently put the trail on its most endangered list.
— Keith Smoker
The Reading Eagle

H.R. 5951

To learn more about how you can support a Federal Complete Streets Policy, go to:

Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia

Hans van Naerssen, Alex Doty, John Boyle, Jill Minick and all of the others are doing amazing work in for the Greater Philadelphia Area. In fact, Pennsylvania as a whole has benefited from their efforts at the State and Federal Level as well. Please visit their blog to learn as much as you can from their success:

I just received a call from Barbara McCann with the National Complete Streets Coalition. She got my name and number from John Boyle. (Thank you John for helping us make that contact.)
Ms. McCann asked WalkBikeBerks to support House Resolution H.R. 5951 -- a brand new Complete Streets Policy that will require states and local MPO's to implement complete streets policies at the state and local levels.

As you make necessary calls and write letters to your elected officials on behalf of the Complete Streets Policy, remember:

Complete Streets are NOT more expensive -- they simply require that design and implementation are done better, to accomodate all users of our transportation system.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Walk to Money!

From Focus on Livable Communities:
The Economic Benefits of Walkable Communities

"First fix the streets, then the people and business will follow."
–Dan Burden, Walkable Communities, Inc.

In many cases, designing neighborhoods, main streets and town centers so they are walkable and transit-oriented can be a good investment. A 1998 statewide survey of local government elected officials and top staff in California conducted by the LGC revealed that an economic benefit was a clear motivator for these leaders to advocate for pedestrian-oriented design and infrastructure. This fact sheet (PDF, 788 KB) profiles examples of walkable design leading to higher property values, increased private investment, tourism, and, citywide, to a good climate for the businesses of the New Economy.

The Economic Benefits of Walkable Communities (PDF, 788 KB).
A color hard copy can be requested by calling the Local Government Commission at 916-448-1198, or 1-800-290-8202.

This project is funded by the Physical Activity and Health Initiative, California Department of Health Services under a Preventive Health Services Block Grant from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Work performed as part of a UC San Francisco contract.

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