Friday, December 25, 2009

Make your comments before December 31

We wanted to make sure everyone was aware of an opportunity to comment on the Healthy People 2020 objectives. These objectives are issued every 10 years by the US Department of Health and Human Services. They are extremely wide-ranging, but there are several objectives that pertain to Safe Routes to School and bicycle and pedestrian issues.

Comments are due on objectives by December 31, 2009 – but it’s extremely informal and easy to comment. Most people are just submitting a sentence or two on the objectives they are interested in.

To comment, go to http://www.healthypeople.gov/hp2020/objectives/TopicAreas.aspx and either browse the topic areas or search by topic. To comment, click on a section header of interest, and then scroll through the objectives to find ones that you are interested in. When you click on the objective you can see other comments that have been submitted, and then click on “Submit Objective Comment” to add your own comments.

Please consider commenting on these sections:
Environmental Health section, objectives 9, 19, and 25·
Injury and Violence Prevention objectives 6, 7, 24 and 25·
Physical Activity and Fitness objectives 10 and 11

Happy holidays to all!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

...a lack of sidewalks shows a lack of respect for human dignity

Enrique Penaloso transformed Bogota Columbia by prioritizing people -- and creating a transportation plan that was meant to serve people. He focused his priorities on asking, "How will people travel in this city?" Not -- "How will cars travel through this city?" His comments below are quite remarkable. I hope you find them useful for your work.

Urban Democracy and Quality of Life Mayor Enrique Penalosa served the City of Bogata, Columbia from 1998 - 2001. During his tenure, he'd bought public lands, created pedestrian and bike ways, and created the "Transmillenium" bus system, building on Curitiba, Brazil's noted success. Penalosa's remarks about creating high quality urban environments were passionate and democratic. In doing so, he established an ethical rudder for the conference. Effective urban environments have space and access for all.

"Why can't we stop making 'dumb decisions' and step up the dual challenges of development and sustainability?" he asked. Ironically, as cities get richer their transport systems get worse. Wealthy citizens buy cars, highways are built that destroy urban cultures, and quality of life deteriorates. Thus developing countries have a huge advantage: "They can see that the highest quality cities have moved past cars!"

In Zurich and Amsterdam, mass transit systems are mature. In these cities, 40% of people travel by bike, irrespective of income. In Los Angeles and Houston, cars rule and the quality of life suffers. Mature cities are lowering auto use through policies on congestion pricing and stiff registration fees.

"Shouldn't the public interest prevail? Transportation corridors ought to be for the people first. And the people need sidewalks, bus and bike lanes, not massive arterials for the rich in their cars, only to be gridlocked in traffic." Penalosa believes that a lack of sidewalks shows a lack of respect for human dignity. "The quality of life in any city can be measured by the width of the sidewalks. All great cities have great sidewalks. Think of Paris, Buenos Aires, and New York!"
The 20th century will go down in history as a disastrous era in urban planning. American cities that myopically feature low densities keep looking to add more freeways and lanes of traffic.

"Increasing roads is like putting out a fire with gasoline! It's totally irrational." And the higher the density, the more opportunities for walking and biking and highly efficient, frequent, mass transit. "And if you must build new highways," Penalosa noted, "at least leave a few lanes for high-capacity buses."

"In safe and highly democratic urban environments," Penalosa remarked, "a $30 bicycle is just as prestigious as a $30,000 car. A good city is where people want to be out of their house, and not in a mall. The city becomes a playground, safe for kids and adults. It is where people are happy, not where there are happy cars!"

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Save Lives -- Support Complete Streets

Poorly designed roads like the one below cause hundreds of pedestrian deaths every month.


The Complete Streets Act would change the landscape and save lives.

Tell your lawmakers to support safer streets TODAY.

It's unfathomable, really. 400 people are killed in America every single month, just crossing the street, walking from A to B, or riding their bike through town.That's like two school-buses filled with kids disappearing every single week.The worst part is that many of these deaths are preventable. We need to start building roads in a way that works for everyone who uses them - motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and those with limited mobility.

Tell your lawmakers to get behind safer streets TODAY.

With the help of activists like you over the last month, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is now making pedestrian safety a priority, but if legislators on Capitol Hill don't join the effort, we won't see the change we need to save lives. There's a proposal in Congress that would make safer streets the standard - it's called the Complete Streets Act - but it won't go anywhere until more representatives and senators signal their support. Too many in Congress have yet to take a stand on this life-or-death issue - it's time to demand safer streets from our leaders in Washington.

Tell your lawmakers to get vocal in support of the Complete Streets Act of 2009.
One-third of Americans either can't drive or choose not to. Yet, most communities around the country are laced with roads that are inhospitable, at best, to people traveling by foot. Children, older Americans, and minorities are especially at risk. The desperate need for safe, "complete streets" in our communities is abundantly clear. Please don't miss this opportunity to help stop these preventable deaths. Thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,
Ilana PreussNational Outreach Director
Transportation for America

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Dangerous by Design

Dangerous by Design: Solving the Epidemic of Preventable Pedestrian Death (and Making Great Neighborhoods) ranks metropolitan areas based on the relative danger of walking.
Nearly 5,000 Americans die preventable deaths each year on roads that fail to provide safe conditions for pedestrians. More than 43,000 Americans – including 3,906 children under 16 – have been killed this decade alone. More than 76,000 Americans have died in the last 15 years. This is the equivalent of a jumbo jet going down roughly every month, yet it receives nothing like that kind of attention.
View the full rankings and download the report.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Redner's Family Expo



Visit our booth #302
Walk Bike Berks
DATE: Saturday and Sunday
November 7-8, 2009
TIME: 10 A.M. - 5 P.M
LOCATION: Greater Reading Expo Center
Reading, PA
DIRECTIONS

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

WALK THE VOTE -- BIKE THE VOTE

NOVEMBER 3, 2009

Today is Election Day!
Make sure you take time to stop
at your polling place and cast your ballot!
No better way to get there than by foot or by bicycle!
First time voting in your community?
to find your polling place in Berks County!

Monday, November 2, 2009

See You Tonight

Reminder:

The Second Angelica Creek Greenway Feasibility Study Public Meeting will be held tonight Monday, November 2, 2009 from 7-9 p.m. at Alvernia University. The meeting will take place in the Shander Room of the Physical Education Building.

Angelica Creek Greenway
Feasibility Study Public Meeting

Help create a vision for the Angelica Creek Greenway

The Berks County Conservancy is studying the possibility
of a greenway to connect Angelica Park and Nolde Forest along
with connections to Shillington Park, Flying Hills and Lock #54.
You are invited to attend an upcoming public meeting.
The Conservancy and their consultant will share results of research
and interviews and hear questions from citizens.
Monday, November 2, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
Alvernia University – Shander Room – Physical Education Building
For more information, visit www.berks-conservancy.org.

Friday, October 30, 2009

MEMBERSHIP DRIVE

See each of you tomorrow morning at 9 AM at the Holy Cross Church in Reading!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Local News Covers Walkability in Berks

Too often in communities throughout Berks County -- the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists go unmet. Still -- local, state, and federal policies do require that pedestrians and bicyclists have access to the transportation system.

For example: Sidewalks are a requirement in the Exeter Township Municipal Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance (SALDO). It is important that political candidates understand that walking and biking are not optional -- but necessary components for a healthy, livable community.

Exeter Township supervisor candidates focus on financial issues at forum, By Erin Negley
Reading Eagle
10/23/2009

...
Democrat Anthony R. Distasio and Republican Kenneth A. Smith are running for the six-year seat.... Republican Gary E. Lloyd is running against Distasio to fill... the two year term....

When asked about requiring developers to install sidewalks,
Distasio said they should be required in every development.
Lloyd agreed.
Smith questioned the need for sidewalks everywhere and said he would like to use common sense when making requirements....


If not sidewalks -- then:


  • Shared Use Paths?
  • Pedestrian bridges?
  • Pedestrian crossings?
  • Footpaths?
  • Pedestrian malls?
  • Pedways?
  • Stairways?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Support Completion of the Schuylkill River Trail

It is time for Pennsylvania to fill the gaps in the Schuylkill River Trail, for Pennsylvania to have a connected East Coast Greenway connecting to New Jersey and Delaware, and for Camden, New Jersey to become a city of trails, not highways. Between the Complete the Schuylkill River Trail and East Coast Greenway campaigns, a broad network of organizations is asking that supporters of green infrastructure (you!) ask the Governor to support funding these trails. The Coalition has applied for a 36 million dollar grant to complete key sections of the trail network including long segments of trail in neighboring Montgomery and Schuylkill Counties.

Write today to Governor Rendell asking for him to support funding the Schuylkill River Trail in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware and Schuylkill Counties.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My recommendation to WalkScore.... What's yours?

Allow users to compare Walkability Checklist results (real) to WalkScore potential.
When the Walk Score is calculated, provide an online "real-world' Walkability Checklist for users to calculate their own score. Provide such questions as "Is this route networked with sidewalks, greenways, or walking trails?" The negative responses should subtract from the WalkScore. This allows folks in suburbs or rural regions to compare their walkability potential to their real situation.

Vote on Walk Score improvements
WalkScore just launched WalkScore.org — a new website where you can vote on Walk Score improvements. They're also releasing open source code for Walk Score on this site.

We'll See You
November 7-8, 2009
Reading, PA

Friday, October 16, 2009

HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS -- WALK WITH CARE!

Be Safe, Be Seen.

  • Use bright, reflective clothing, zipper pulls, lighted sneakers, flashlights, and white clothes.
  • Always look twice in each direction before stepping onto a street.
  • Walk with an adult whenever possible.
  • Cross streets at marked crosswalks.
  • Look for crossing guards on the way to school.
  • Obey pedestrian traffic laws.
  • Don't run or "mess around" with friends when walking to / from school.
  • Be extra careful when Trick-or-Treating this year.
    ___________________________________________________________

    WHY?
    For pedestrians, the deadliest day of the year is January 1st followed by October 31st. The most deadly day of the week is Saturday followed by Friday. The months with the highest number of pedestrian fatalities are October, November, and December. These findings are consistent with previous reports.
    Saturday and Sunday also have a higher probability of fatality in a crash than any other day of the week.
    Autumn is the deadliest season for pedestrians, with two of the highest fatality months being October and November.
    The highest percentage of pedestrian fatalities occurs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., followed by 9 p.m. to midnight. The percentage of pedestrian fatalities between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. is low, but the crash fatality probability is the highest during that time period.
    The number of deaths during a time period is a base for assessing risk control. Between 1997 and 2006, an average of 13 pedestrians died per day in vehicle crashes. By comparison, there were approximately 216 total pedestrian crashes per day and 116 deaths per day in all motor vehicle crashes.
    In the United States, a pedestrian was killed in a vehicle crash every 107 minutes. However, pedestrian crashes and vehicle crash fatalities occurred every 7 minutes and 12 minutes, respectively.

    http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810968.PDF
WHAT CAN COMMUNITIES DO TO MAKE A CHANGE?
Safe Routes to School programs enable community leaders, schools and parents across the United States to improve safety and encourage more children to safely walk and bicycle to school. In the process, programs are working to reduce traffic congestion and improve health and the environment, making communities more livable for everyone. Learn more.-


Other General Pedestrian Safety Tips
http://www.dot.state.pa.us/Pedestrian/web/general.htm

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Waiver creates a public danger (10/15/09)

Want a safer, stronger, healthier neighborhood plan for your community? Write a letter to the Reading Eagle and express your concerns for Complete Streets and Safe Routes to School.

Waiver creates a public danger (10/15/09)

Shared via AddThis

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Support TRAILS in Berks County!

Angelica Creek Greenway
Feasibility Study Public Meeting


Help create a vision
for the Angelica Creek Greenway

The Berks County Conservancy is studying the possibility of a greenway to connect Angelica Park and Nolde Forest along with connections to Shillington Park, Flying Hills and Lock #54.
You are invited to attend an upcoming public meeting.

The Conservancy and their consultant will share results of research and interviews and hear questions from citizens.
Mark your calendar now.

Monday, November 2, 2009
7:00 p.m. Alvernia University
– Shander Room –
Physical Education Building

For more information,

Friday, October 9, 2009

Maxatawny Township officials want help paying for sidewalk near Kutztown University

Some communities in Berks County are working hard to find solutions and improve walkability.

Maxatawny Township officials want help paying for sidewalk near Kutztown University

Shared via AddThis

Lucky for them, hundreds of millions of dollars will be available to help them make their communities safer, stronger, healthier and more livable.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention grants can fund bicycle and pedestrian campaigns, programs and initiatives that increase physical activity.

CDC Releases Grant Application for Hundreds of Millions in Community Prevention Dollars September 29, 2009
Through the new Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) grant program, the CDC will award $373 million to 30 to 40 communities throughout the country to reduce obesity and tobacco use. The program is an opportunity for bicycle and pedestrian advocates and local and state health departments to work together to secure significant funding to increase walking and bicycling for transportation and recreation.

No Sidewalks for Exeter Township

Exeter Township, like many communities, has a written policy that requires new developments to build sidewalks to code to create access for all road users. Yet, over and over again through the years, the elected and appointed representatives "waive" the requirement -- telling developers who build in Exeter that money is more important than the lives of the people who live, work, and worship here.

In the Reading Eagle News today is yet another report that demonstrates a growing trend in Berks County to build communities that are specifically designed to neglect the people they serve.

Children and parents will still have to find their way to bus stops along these business streets -- but again -- the township will do nothing to protect the most vulnerable in our community. Whether going to school, work, doctor's appointments, or grocery stores -- access to public transit is being denied as well. If there is no safe access for pedestrians -- there is no access to bus service.

This vote clearly demonstrates a vote against children, against pedestrians, and against the people of Exeter in general.

Sidewalk, curb requirements waived in Exeter Township

Thu Oct 8, 2009 9:46 pm (PDT)
Sidewalk, curb requirements waived for credit union project in Exeter TownshipThe Exeter Township Planning Commission have voted to grant waivers from curb and sidewalk requirements for a proposed Diamond Credit Union at Pineland Road and Route 422.The township supervisors had requested that sidewalks be required.But township engineer Cheryl A. Franckowiak told the planning commission Tuesday night that curbing and sidewalks did not make sense at the location.The developer asked for a waiver on curbing, but planning commission members said they preferred to waive the sidewalk requirement as well.Franckowiak said it would be dangerous to have sidewalks along the busy section of Route 422 because there are no pedestrian crosswalks.The supervisors still will have to act on the recommendation from the planners.- By David A. Kostival

Have we already forgotten all of those who have died on Perkiomen Avenue?

Let's not forget:
According to a Reading Eagle report in March 2001, a woman threw her granddaughter to safety moments before she was struck by a car and killed while walking along Perkiomen Avenue in Berks County, PA. She was walking to get the bus.

Gloria, 66, saved the life of her 2-year-old granddaughter, Kelsey, when she threw her onto an embankment before she was struck, dragged about 100 feet and killed, said the investigating Patrolman.

“What this woman did was really heroic,” said Berks County Acting Coroner.

You can contact Exeter Township by mail, email, phone or in-person at:
The Township of Exeter
4975 DeMoss Road
Reading, PA 19606

Office Hours

Mon-Fri 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Contact Us

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A Tale of Two Neighborhoods

What a beautiful day for a walk to school! There is nothing quite like a morning walk in the fall, leaves crunching underfoot and crisp morning air in my face!

Today is International Walk, Bike and Roll to School Day in the USA! This is the second year I celebrated a walk to school kick-off program with Mount Penn Elementary. Later today, I have statistics and numbers to report on the growing success of their program -- but this morning, I wanted to talk about built environment.

You see, I live in a neighborhood that is equally as dense in housing and population. The types and styles of home are pretty similar to those in Mount Penn. I'm pretty sure the families are also much alike. We live just a short distance from our public library and equal distance to the elementary school, grocery store, and communities parks as do those families who walked to school this morning with their children --

All of them talking, laughing, and enjoying their time together. Some walked their dogs -- others walked their bikes to stay with the Walk To School procession.

The difference between our two communities -- mine and that of Mount Penn -- seems to be design. Mount Penn was built for people. My community was built for cars.

That means my children cannot safely walk to their designated bus stop without the threat of being seriously injured in a traffic collision. That means my children cannot safely walk to their public library.

Built environment will determine my children's quality of life -- how they travel, play, and how they connect to their community. As a mother, I want my children to love their home -- their whole sense of home -- including their street, their schools, their neighborhood, their parks and the memories that they make while living here. I want them to look back as adults and recall their days bike riding with friends and hiking adventures across town to see a movie or grab a bite to eat.

It's funny to me that something as simple as some sidewalks and a little traffic calming makes that much difference in how we live. It's also funny to me that Mount Penn and my community share the same postal zip code.

Today, my daughter will celebrate Walk AT School Day with her wonderful PE Teacher who does recognize that fun, simple, everyday activities -- walking and biking -- help children remain healthy and active.

This morning in Mount Penn, there was a real sense of joy and shared appreciation for the neighborhood. A real "coming together" for kids and the school. It was nice to be a part of that -- if even as a guest for just the morning walk.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pedestrian victim is latest death on dangerous roads | PoconoRecord.com

Pedestrian victim is latest death on dangerous roads | PoconoRecord.com

Shared via AddThis

Pennsylvania state-wide bike ride for childhood obesity awareness

FIGHTING CHILDHOOD OBESITY
during International Walk, Bike And Roll to School in the USA Week

Join D.C.'s Dr. Andy Baldwin in a week-long bike ride for childhood obesity awareness

Posted using ShareThis

You can register for the event online now.
Cost of any day 70 mile day ride = free with purchase of T-shirt.


Here is an agenda for the week's events.
The Pennsylvania Health Ride will follow the PennDOT S Bike Route and make several stops across the state. Some details are still being finalized, but the schedule is as follows:

• October 2 – Kickoff assemblies at two City of Pittsburgh schools
• October 4 – Ride begins with event in downtown Pittsburgh
• October 5 – Ride to Rockwood (Somerset Co.) Health Fair at Rockwood Elementary
• October 6 – Ride to Everett (Bedford Co.) Health Fair at Everett Elementary
• October 7 – Ride to Chambersburg (Franklin Co.) Health Fairs at Fayetteville Elementary and Cumberland Valley High School (Cumberland Co.)
• October 8 – Ride to Columbia (Lancaster Co.) Health Fair at Park Elementary School
• October 9 – Ride to Valley Forge, Health Fair at Hill-Freedman Middle School (Philadelphia Co.)
• October 10 – Ride into Philadelphia with celebration on Art Museum’s “Rocky Steps”

YES YOU CAN!

Plan a Walk to School event in 7 days

Walk to School Day events draw attention to the benefits of walking and any changes needed to make it safer for students to walk to school. Larger events include breakfasts, balloons, school mascots, and press conferences.

Many events are simpler. In fact, it's possible to plan a Walk to School event in one week.

Here are some tips:
  1. Get the principal's approval.
  2. Post flyers at school (available at www.walktoschool.org/resources/flyers.cfm). If your school has an e-newsletter or listserv, send an announcement that way. The event doesn't have to be formal — just inviting families to walk or bicycle to school together is what the Day is all about.
  3. On Tuesday, October 6, make an intercom announcement to remind students to walk to school on Wednesday.
  4. Register the event at www.walktoschool.org/register so that students and the school will be counted among the thousands of participants across the USA and worldwide.
  5. Create posters that will greet students when they arrive at school on October 7. Potential phrases include "Thanks for walking," "It's Walk to School Day" or "It's cool to walk to school!"
  6. Have fun! And remember your success for next year, when you can plan a bigger event or repeat the simple path.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Walk with Us in OCTOBER

Walk and SAVE!

SAFER, HEALTHIER, STRONGER, MORE LIVABLE STREETS

Cars and fuel are expensive and take a large amount of your money. Safe facilities allow you and those you love to walk more and spend less on transportation. That means you will have more money to save or spend on other things.

Imagine what you could do with an
extra $7,000.00 every year!

Yearly Costs
Operating a Car -- $7,834
Operating a Bicycle -- $120
Walking -- Free !
October 2009 is
International Walk, Bike or Roll to School in the USA!
But, we here at Walk Bike Berks know that you have lots of places to go -- including school -- so we are encouraging you to just get out and walk in October. We'll be posting special announcements in the coming days -- so check back with us often. In the meantime, send us a message and tell us where you are walking in October. Maybe we'll join you!
WHY WALK?

Fun
Free
Clean
Healthy
Easy


WHY NOT?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A PARTY FOR YOU!

BUNCO for Bicycles! is the very first members (and friends) party where we can all come together and celebrate the accomplishments of our first two years of building bicycle and pedestrian friendly communities.

Volunteers have worked behind the scenes promoting safety and access throughout your neighborhoods all over our beautiful county -- and we want to meet you. Come, party, play, eat and win prizes on Thursday, September 24.

Bring your friends -- and grow the movement to build Livable Streets throughout Berks!

Sincerely,
Michele

PS You can buy your BUNCO for Bicycles! ticket online right now -- click here!

Where's the party?
Thursday, September 24
10 Village Center Drive, Reading, PA 19607
Refreshments/Wine -- 5:30
Guest Speaker Kimberly Murphy -- 6:30
BUNCO! Game and Prizes*! -- 7:00

Monday, September 21, 2009

A PARTY -- YOU ARE INVITED!


A Party for You -- This Thursday!
Click Here to buy your ticket -- and receive FREE MEMBERSHIP FOR ONE YEAR!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Anti-Biking and Walking Amendment Fails in Senate

We did not fare as well as we should have and this is a good opportunity for us to follow up, be heard, build more positive relationships, and let them know we are watching. Senate Amendment 2371 would have allowed states to ‘opt out’ of spending 10% of their Surface Transportation Program Funds. This amendment failed in a 39-59 vote in the Senate this morning. Senator Coburn withdrew S. amendment 2370.

Had this amendment passed, it would have decimated federal funding for bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The Transportation Enhancements program has provided between one half and three-quarters of all Federal funding invested in bicycling and walking improvements in the last 20 years. More than $250 million is at stake in fiscal year 2010 – if Coburn’s amendment had been successful it would have affect hundreds of trail projects, sidewalks, bicyclist education programs, bike rack on bus programs, and roadway improvements for bicyclists.

PLEASE FOLLOW UP WITH YOUR SENATORS OFFICE NOW.
The calls to Senators offices definitely helps to let Senators know we’re watching. It’s also time to thank your Senators who voted with us. AND to let the Senators who voted against us to let them know we disagree with their vote and we’re paying attention. Here are suggested messages courtesy of our friends at America Bikes:

THANK YOU MESSAGE FOR THE Pro-Walking and Pro-Bicycling Votes

Dear Senator ________,
Thank you for voting against Senate Amendment 2371 on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill. The amendment would have allowed states to opt out of the Transportation Enhancements program, which is the main source of funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects.

Bicycling and Walking are clean and efficient modes of transportation.

Currently, bicycling and walking account for 10% of the national mode share and yet receive less than 2% of the surface transportation funding. These cost efficient programs save 1.4 billion gallons of gas a year and 12 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year. At a time when we are looking to address climate change and reduce Green House Gas Emission’s (GHG) we should not be cutting funding for biking and walking.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure saves lives.

Nationally, 13% of all roadway fatalities involve bicyclists or pedestrians. 41% of pedestrian fatalities occur where crosswalks are not available. Additionally, a recent survey conducted by AARP, shows that 47% of the nation’s elderly currently do not feel safe crossing the streets in their neighborhoods.Building Bicycling and Pedestrian facilities are good for the economy.

Building biking and walking infrastructure creates jobs – bike infrastructure is more labor intensive and less material intensive than building roads.

Sidewalks and bike lanes make streets and downtowns into destinations for shopping and entertainment. Investing in walking and biking facilities helps local business and is an investment in the local economy.

Thank you again for your support of the Transportation Enhancement program and voting against Senate Amendment 2371.
____________________

MESSAGE OF CONCERN FOR THE Anti-Bicycling and Anti-Walking Votes

Dear Senator ____________,
I am concerned by your vote to support Senate Amendment 2371 on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill. The amendment would have allowed states to Opt out of the Transportation Enhancement program, which is the main source of funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects.

Bicycling and Walking are clean and efficient modes of transportation.
Currently, bicycling and walking account for 10% of the national mode share and yet receive less than 2% of the surface transportation funding. These cost efficient programs save 1.4 billion gallons of gas a year and 12 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year. At a time when we are looking to address climate change and reduce Green House Gas Emission’s (GHG) we should not be cutting funding for biking and walking.

Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure saves lives. Nationally, 13% of all roadway fatalities involve bicyclists or pedestrians. 41% of pedestrian fatalities occur where crosswalks are not available. Additionally, a recent survey conducted by AARP, shows that 47% of the nation’s elderly currently do not feel safe crossing the streets in their neighborhoods.

Building Bicycling and Pedestrian facilities are good for the economy. Building biking and walking infrastructure creates jobs – bike infrastructure is more labor intensive and less material intensive than building roads. Sidewalks and bike lanes make streets and downtowns into destinations for shopping and entertainment. Investing in walking and biking facilities helps local business and is an investment in the local economy.

Please reconsider your support for Transportation Enhancements. This program is vital to providing transportation options for all Americans.

Sincerely,
Sign Your Name Here
___________________

THANK YOU ALL!
Jeffrey Miller
President / CEO
Alliance for Biking & Walking
PO Box 65150, Washington, DC 20035
www.PeoplePoweredMovement.org

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

PROTECT Transportation Enhancements -- TODAY!


· Main Street Revitalizations
· Elm Street Projects
· River Fronts and Business District Enhancements
· Safe Routes to School
· Smart Transportation and PCTI Funded Projects
· Trails and multi-use paths
– some of which build safer access for children and their families to walk and bike to schools and parks so that they do not need to cross busy four-lane highways.

These and other Transportation Enhancement funded projects are at risk today in the US Senate. Projects that build community, increase safety, protect children, and provide us a high quality of living – those are at risk if Senator Coburn and Senator McCain are successful today. Please speak to our senators on our behalf – and demand that they not only continue to support existing Transportation Enhancement funding, but increase those dollars so that every American has equal access to travel freely, safely, and independently in their own communities.

We would ask you to do the following:

Visit The League of American Bicyclists at http://capwiz.com/lab/callalert/index.tt?alertid=14032801 . They provide phone numbers for your Senators as well as talking points.

Please help join us in sounding the alarms and taking action this morning!


Thanks!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rails-To-Trails CALL TO ACTION

Your voice is urgently needed. The U.S. Senate is scheduled to vote on eliminating walking and biking funds tomorrow, September 16.
About an hour ago, we received word that Senators Tom Coburn (Okla.) and John McCain (Ariz.) just issued amendments to the FY10 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. Their changes specifically attack funding for rail-trails, bicycling and walking.
Please take a minute right now to call your senator and ask him or her to vote against Amendments 2370 and 2371 to H.R. 3288.
Amendment 2370 would prohibit the use of federal funds for pedestrian or bicycle facilities, efforts to reduce vehicle collisions with wildlife, or other specified Transportation Enhancement (TE) projects if the Highway Trust Fund cannot cover unfunded highway authorizations.
Amendment 2371 would allow states to eliminate spending on TE, the nation’s largest funding source for trails, walking and bicycling. Congress currently sets aside a portion of federal funds for TE to support these projects in all states.
This is truly an all-hands-on-deck moments. Please act now—call your senator and ask him or her to vote against the proposed amendments.
Thank you,
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pennsylvania has a new state-wide Walk and Bike Organization!

Click on the new logo to visit the Livable Streets page and learn more today.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dear Congress

Join the Safe Routes to School
“Dear Congress” campaign


Deadline: September 24, 2009

The Safe Routes to School National Partnership has launched a “Dear Congress: Why Safe Routes to School is Important” campaign.

Safe Routes to School is helping make it safe for children to get healthy and active through walking and bicycling to school. [You can see the impact that the federal program is beginning to have in PA. The chart demonstrates the funding that has been allocated to communities throughout the state in just the last several months.]


The Partnership needs your help generating hundreds—if not thousands—of letters from children, parents, program staff and volunteers, and school and city leaders talking about why Safe Routes to School matters to individuals and communities. The Partnership will bundle your letters and share them with members of the House and Senate so that they know how many people in their states and districts value Safe Routes to School.

For more information on how you can join the letter-writing campaign, please visit
http://www.saferoutespartnership.org/national/299443 and look for the link on the homepage.

The deadline for the campaign is September 24,2009.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Trail User Surveys -- Find One Near You

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RTC Surveys Trail Users in Pennsylvania

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's (RTC) Northeast Regional Office is conducting interactive user surveys for rail-trails throughout Pennsylvania. The first completed survey was of the 64-mile Pine Creek Trail in north-central Pennsylvania. "Slightly more than 1,000 trail users responded to the survey over an eight-month period," says Carl Knoch, manager of trail development for the Northeast Regional Office.

Feedback from these surveys provides important information on levels of rail-trail use and how much economic impact rail-trails can produce for local communities. Questions on the surveys include how many nights visitors stay in local accommodations during their trail visit, how much they spent on items like beverages, snacks, sandwiches, ice cream and meals, and where people travel from to use the trails. "One of the most surprising statistics we received was that respondents came from 57 of the 67 counties in the state," says Knoch.
Trail managers use this data to understand the type and frequency of users their trail sees.

Since the Pine Creek survey, funded by Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, RTC has placed infrared counters in select areas. Though often unnoticed by trail visitors, these counters can greatly enhance user profile analysis.

Following the Pine Creek survey, Knoch and Patricia Tomes, program coordinator for the Northeast Regional Office, are completing the analysis for the 19.5-mile Perkiomen Trail outside of Philadelphia. Also, this past fall Tomes placed two dozen survey boxes on the Schuylkill River Trail. The surveys will be available for an entire year. Tomes says the next survey project will be held this spring on the Ghost Town Trail in Indiana County.

The vast majority of trail managers don't have the ability or funding to conduct surveys or measure user counts. So when trail managers are able to utilize these resources RTC provides, their leverage in seeking more maintenance and operation funding grows exponentially—not to mention their case for extending their trail or building others.

RTC is currently talking with other states about the possibilities of expanding this initiative. In the meantime, if you are visiting a rail-trail in Pennsylvania, be sure to look out for a survey to share your voice.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

ROADS THAT ARE DESIGNED TO KILL

In an Aug. 18th Boston Globe article, Mark Rosenberg wrote "Three years ago, I was driving in Atlanta early one morning when I saw a body on the road. It was a young female runner. I called 911 and then ran to her. She had a horrendous head injury but still had a heart beat. I started CPR, but her injuries were too severe. She died in my hands.

I wrote a column in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about what happened to the runner, and a flood of letters came in.

"Half blamed the runner, saying she should not have been running in the street at that hour. Half blamed the driver, for not paying close enough attention. Not a single writer blamed the road. I took a photograph of the scene where I had found the runner. When I showed this picture to friends from Sweden they asked, 'This is where you live? This is your neighborhood? Your streets are designed to kill people.'..."

Source: http://tinyurl.com/ml9wkr
The Boston Globe
Archive search: use "Search" window
Archive cost: No
Title: "Roads that are designed to kill"
Author: Mark Rosenberg

~From CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Want Bike Routes on Google Maps? -- Suggest It

Visit Bike Routing on Google Maps - Suggest It and vote now.

-> According to an article in the Aug. 26th Marin County Bicycle Coalition newsletter, "It has come to MCBC's attention that a request for Google to create maps for the best cycling routes in any particular area has been posted on their 'Suggest It' page. MCBC thinks this is a great idea as well -- a tool in virtually every cyclist's interest. And we're asking you to flood Google with requests for it...
"If you want to do more than click a request, you need to write to the discussion forums and hope Google staff pays attention. If you choose to take this extra step, feel free to use the above talking points. Thank for helping! An onslaught just might get Google's engineers in gear..."
For more info and tips, go to the MCBC's website: http://tinyurl.com/ksv96t

To vote, go to: http://tinyurl.com/ctuuos

*Don't forget to vote for WALKING route maps, too!

~From CenterLines, the e-newsletter of the National Center for Bicycling & Walking.

Friday, August 28, 2009

3 Berks County sites trade on natural beauty

Take a hike

Copies of the "Hike the Highlands" cards can be downloaded at www.outdoors.org/hikethehighlands.

The free cards also are available for pickup at:

• Berks County Conservancy, 25 N. 11th St.

• Nolde Forest Environmental Education Center, Cumru Township.

• Hopewell Furnace National Historic Site, Union Township.

• French Creek State Park, Union Township.

The cards feature 22 recreation areas in the Pennsylvania Highlands. They include trail maps, descriptions, directions and other information about the sites.

Source: Appalachian Mountain Club
3 Berks County sites trade on natural beauty

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Asthma, Air Pollution, Children -- ASTHMA FREE ZONES

WalkBikeBerks encourages parents and school staff to walk or bicycle to school to reduce emissions and improve health for themselves, their children, and the communities where they live. If you cannot walk or bicycle to school -- please remember to turn off your engines when waiting in school zones. Let's work together to create Idle Free / Asthma Free zones near schools and parks -- so that our children can breathe clean air.

The Links Between Asthma and Air Pollution

by Molly Marie Griffin
June 15, 2009
You can't catch your breath, your chest tightens, your airways constrict and suddenly you feel like you're drowning on land. Asthma, a chronic, genetic respiratory condition, currently affects more than 22 million people in the United States alone.... Click Here to Read the Full Article

The final paragraph of the article brings the whole issue into focus:

"Things aren't looking great for asthmatics today, but all is not lost. During the 1996 Olympic games in Atlanta, the city closed roads downtown to private cars and allowed only public transit for 17 days. During that time, ozone levels dropped 28 percent and there were 20 percent fewer hospitalizations due to asthma. If only big cities like this, which have much higher asthma rates, will follow Atlanta's example or make permanent changes, someday we might all be able to breathe a little easier."

Here is a fantastic example of a community working to reduce harmful auto emissions near schools and playgrounds: http://www.hastebc.org/school-anti-idling-sign-order-form

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Berks County Bicycle Club -- SHOOFLY Ride

Reminder the SHOOFLY ride is this Sunday, August 30.
Ride starts at 8AM.
Course closes at 4PM.
Let me know if you can volunteer or will be riding in the Shoofly.

Michele
484-638-1391

The BERKS COUNTY BICYCLE CLUB
presents the
Shoo-Fly Classic
Bike Ride
Sunday, August 30th, 2009
20, 40, & 60 Mile Ride Options
Also New This Year is an 18 Mile GPS Ride
In the Beautiful Oley Valley
-------------------------------------------
Come enjoy the fantastic scenery in the beautiful and historic Oley Valley. Take a nice gently rolling 20-mile ride through the valley out to a rustic covered bridge. Looking for more of a challenge? Then try our 60-mile ride to the Trexlertown Velodrome. This ride takes you over some of the same roads that pro riders from around the world have trained on. There is some climbing but the downhill payoff is spectacular. Need 100 miles? Then add on the beautiful 40-mile ride option out to the Daniel Boone Homestead.
Want to test your GPS navigation skills? New this year is an 18-mile GPS coordinate guided adventure ride. We’ll give point to point GPS coordinates to guide you around the course. You must have a working GPS device and a cell phone. We will provide you with a sealed map and SAG cell phone number just in case.
Snacks and drinks are provided for registered riders at our start/finish area and at mid-ride refreshment stops on the 40- and 62-mile loops. Support vehicles will patrol all routes offering assistance to riders if needed. Riders are provided with course maps and written directions. All routes are clearly marked. After the ride, relax and feast from a broad selection of goodies, pizza and our signature bite-sized SHOO-FLY pies.
-------------------------------------------
Click here to register for the Shoo-fly Classic.

Obesity Costs PA In Excess of $4 Billion Annually

In a period of time when health care is so heatedly debated, I can't help but wonder what first steps we can take towards solving the crisis ourselves. What might be the least costly, most effective means to reduce the cost of health care? Can it really be as simple as taking a 30 minute walk every day?

http://www.healthnotcosmetics.org/Website%20Files/ObesityExpenditure.pdf


"For the United States as a whole, obesity-attributable medical expenditures are estimated at $75 billion, with $17 billion financed by Medicare and $21 billion financed by Medicaid. State-level estimates range from $87 million (Wyoming) to $7.7 billion (California)." [Pennsylvania holds second place for the highest obesity-attributable medical expenditures -- $4.138 Billion annually.]

Monday, August 24, 2009

PANA SRTS Farrah Kauffman Guests on BCTV Tonight

BCTV
WalkBikeBerks
Monday, August 24 -- Creating Safe Routes to School in Your Community
Watch the archived show

Replays on: Wednesday @ 1:00 PM, Thursday @ 10:00 PM, Friday @ 9:00 AM
Web: http://walkbikeberks.org/
Email: walkbikeberks@yahoo.com
Producer: Bob Hospidor
Host: Michele Barrett

PA Grants
2009 SRTS Academy Grants! APPLY NOW!

October 16, 2009: Application deadline
November 1, 2009: Schools selected. All applicants notified

The program offers small grants in the amount of $5,000 each to schools (public or private), grades K–8 to help improve the safety of walking and bicycling to school.
In addition to the $5,000 grant, schools will be eligible to receive a FREE 2–day walkability audit, during which a team of trained experts will observe main walking routes to school and develop a comprehensive plan on how to improve the safety of those routes. This costly service will be FREE to all schools selected to receive the grant.

How do I apply?
Applying is as easy as 1–2–3! Follow these simple instructions:

  1. Read the Safe Routes to School Academy Grant Program – Overview and Instructions
  2. Print and complete the SAMPLE Safe Routes to School Academy grant application.
  3. Go to http://www.srtsacademy.org/app/index.cfm?event=object_application/2009_srts_application to access the online application.

That’s it! The deadline to submit your online application is October 16, 2009.

If you have any questions, please contact Farah Kauffman at 717–531–1440, ext. 3

Sunday, August 23, 2009

BIKE & WALK TO MONEY

I just returned home from the Safe Routes to School National Conference -- hosted in Portland, Oregon. While there is much to share about lessons learned for the Safe Routes to School movement -- today, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on an article just shared with me. The focus here is the economic benefits of reducing vehicle miles driven. Bicycling and walking play key roles in building the city's economy. Take a look!





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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

UPDATE ON TRAIL ATTACK

Teens were attackers, not victims, in Thun Trail assault, police say
By David Mekeel
Reading Eagle
8/18/2009
- A homeless man accused of stabbing a teen on the Thun Trail was defending himself after an unprovoked attack by a group of teenagers, investigators said Monday.Edward M. Drake, 48, who was living along the Schuylkill River, had been arrested and charged with robbery and aggravated assault after the July 31 incident.Cumru Township detectives later determined the teens were lying when they said Drake had attacked them with a knife, Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams said.Prosecutors withdrew all charges against Drake during a preliminary hearing Monday before District Judge Nicholas M. Bentz Jr.Drake was released from Berks County Prison, where he was being held on $25,000 bail following his Aug. 3 arrest.Adams said authorities haven't decided whether to charge the teens with crimes.The incident unfolded about 7:30 p.m. July 31 when a teenager, whom police did not identify, told authorities he was riding his bike with friends when Drake jumped in front of him and demanded the bicycle.The youth said he was confronted on the footbridge over the Schuylkill River between Reading and West Reading.The teen said that when he refused to hand over his bike, Drake pulled out a knife and threw it, striking him near the hip.That's not true, Adams said.What actually happened was that the teens encountered Drake on the Thun Trail and decided to attack him, Adams said. The youths ganged up on Drake, kicking and punching him as they wrestled him to the ground.The teens fled, but one returned to retrieve a backpack he had left behind, Adams said.When Drake saw him coming, he feared he was going to be attacked again and threw a folding knife at the boy to try to scare him.The knife hit the boy, causing a minor wound, Adams said.Adams said it became clear something wasn't right with the original story when the teens began declining to cooperate with the investigation.Contact David Mekeel: 610-371-5014 or dmekeel [at] readingeagle.com.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bicycle Crash Investigations -- Will there be a detailed report?

Ask a bicyclist about their crash -- go ahead. Most of them can tell you the details of their own story. They all seem to have one. Interestingly, many of those stories also include questions regarding how their crash investigation was handled. After witnessing a pretty bad crash myself just recently, I asked others to share their stories with me. I wanted to know: who conducts detailed investigations for bicycle crashes?

My Story:

On Thursday, August 6 at about 6:20 PM a bicyclist crashed on Gibraltar Road in Exeter Township at the intersection of Gibraltar and Pheasant Run Road. I witnessed the crash as a motor vehicle driver traveling north from Birdsboro towards 47th Street. The cyclist was traveling south on Gibraltar Road towards me in the opposite lane. The amount of traffic was moderately high and most traffic seemed to be going faster than the posted 35 mph – though I was not. Thank goodness. If I had been speeding, I would have hit and perhaps even killed the bicyclist.

I noticed the cyclist before the incident began because of the work that I do – advocating for bicycling and walking. I noticed that he did not appear to be wearing a helmet or have a visible bicycle light on his vehicle, but that he was riding in an upright position, seemed to have full control of his bicycle and was wearing a light colored (white) shirt. It was bright daylight and he was fully visible from a distance. He was wearing a backpack and appeared to be holding a water bottle in his right hand. As he came down a slight hill on Gibraltar towards me, I saw that his bicycle was in the center of his travel lane, which I thought was appropriate for the amount of motorized traffic and the lack of a shoulder or bike lane. A white Jeep was traveling directly behind him. As the bicyclist appeared to come down the lane in a straight controlled manner, his bicycle suddenly veered widely into my lane. I applied the break, I felt I was far enough away from him that it was unlikely that I would hit him with my vehicle. “What just happened?” I said.

I watched as the cyclist swung wide in the lane of oncoming traffic – make a broad, wide right turn towards Pheasant Run Road – then hit the curb and stop sign at the intersection. His body seemed to wrap around the stop sign post and then he fell to the ground, motionless. I picked up my cell phone and dialed 911 as I watched the driver of the white Jeep immediately park his vehicle in the grass just beyond the victim, throw his door open and run back to him. I found a safe place to park while I spoke to the 911 dispatcher. I explained that from where I was walking toward the cyclist that I could not see the cyclist move at all. His body appeared to be in the same awkward position as when he first fell. The 911 dispatcher asked me if the victim was breathing, but I was standing on the opposite side of the street at that point. I crossed the road and saw that the driver of the white Jeep was returning to his vehicle. “Sir, is he breathing?” I asked. The driver of the white Jeep did not look at me or speak to me, but got back into his Jeep and drove away. I spoke to the 911 dispatcher. “The driver of the white jeep is getting into his jeep and driving away. His license plate number is _______.”

As I continued to move towards the victim, another man in a sleeveless shirt with tattoos on his arms spoke to me. He said, “I made the call. I am an off-duty Reading Police Officer. I made the call. Get off the phone. No one hit him; no one is leaving the scene. I made the call. I saw everything.” So, I repeated what he was saying to me to the 911 dispatcher. I answered the questions of the 911 dispatcher and ended the call.

The female companion of the off-duty officer asked me, “Does Exeter have a paid emergency response service or do they have a volunteer service?” I answered that I was not certain, but I thought perhaps there was some paid staff. She responded, “Oh. I’m just wondering as it seems to be taking a long time for them to respond and I was wondering if paid staff are actually at the station ready to respond to a call or if they have to drive from home.”

During this time, many motor vehicles passed the scene. I also noticed four other cyclists traveling on that same right of way. One man appeared to be a bicycle commuter. Two cyclists appeared to be teenagers riding to see what was happening in their community. One man asked if he could help – but decided other than making a call to 911 (which had been done) there was nothing more for him to do. Only one of the cyclists wore a helmet and had a bicycle light on his vehicle. Five pedestrians also traveled that route – one man walking his dog, one runner, and two young people walking together. [Note – there is no shoulder, no bike lane, no sidewalk, no crosswalks or even share the road signs on this length of road.]

After several minutes, an Exeter Township ambulance arrived at the scene. The female companion of the off-duty officer spoke to me, saying, “Oh, they don’t have their lights or siren on. That’s weird.” That same woman also commented to the off-duty officer, “Don’t the police usually arrive to an accident with an ambulance?” The man answered, “Yeah, I don’t know.” A few minutes later, a police officer did arrive to the scene, and I noticed that there was no siren or flashing lights on his vehicle. Another few minutes, a second police officer arrived. The officers approached the off-duty officer and spoke to him in familiarity. I did not hear any questions about the accident or the victim. The EMTs were caring for the victim and began to stabilize his neck and body. At one point they asked the officers to assist them with the board to make sure that the victim was stable.

During this time a large white van pulled around the corner and parked where the white Jeep had previously been. A young man with dark curly brown hair approached the scene and stated that he was responsible for the victim – as the cyclist was a “consumer” from his group home. He reported that the cyclist was in his early 30s. The EMTs asked him to assist in speaking to the victim to try to get him to respond. They expressed that needed him to help them compare his normal ability to respond to his present condition.

An officer approached me, took my name, phone number and address. He stated that no one may actually need to speak to me about the incident, but as a witness they would need my contact information. I then walked away from the crash site to return to my vehicle and continue to my destination.

I can’t help but wonder – wouldn’t the driver of that white Jeep have something important to contribute to the investigation report? After all, he was directly behind the cyclist when he began to lose control of this bike, he saw him crash, and he was the first person to go to him after the crash. Did the police get his contact information and speak to him to make sure that the report includes the information necessary to determine the cause of the crash? Maybe they were able to contact him from the license plate I provided the 911 dispatcher? I also wonder if I was the witness who saw the full scene from the opposite lane – do they need me to provide a report of what I saw from my angle? Will the cyclist receive a full, complete report that may be necessary for his insurance purposes?

Sally’s Story
One evening at 4:40PM I was attempting to use the new crossings on the Martin Luther King Drive to get from the bike path to the Art Museum side. Inbound crossing went okay. Outbound crossing started okay, a driver in a large SUV stopped waved me across, I started across, and another driver, crossed the white line to pass and came inches from hitting me. I crashed my bike into the street landing inches from the second car’s tires. I suffered multiple bruises, scrapes, and was bleeding.

Here is the weird part: A police vehicle came upon the scene, the cop got out, spoke to me for 10 seconds, asked the driver to pull off the road so he (the cop) could speak to him, and then they both drove off! The cop never returned to check on me, to ask if I was able to get home, needed an ambulance, etc...I called 911 to see what I should do. They instructed me to wait and I did, for a total of 1 hour from the time I was almost hit till I had to start riding home to care for my injuries. Ok, I was not killed, and that's good.

But while standing there for an hour I saw near miss after near miss as drivers either did not stop for pedestrians and cyclists trying to cross, or as drivers tried to blow by a motorist who was trying to do the right thing. Should I have done anything differently?

Sally Poliwoda
Co-founder, Sturdy Girl Cycling

Ben’s Story

On Saturday, June 17, 2006, I was riding down Main St in Oley, shortly before noon. I was on a new custom bike with less than 500 miles on it. Just down and across the street from the fire company is an outgrown shop. As I approached this shop, a lady opened her car door directly in my path. I was traveling approximately 20 mph. Yes, I was in the door zone.

Literally, she opened the door at precisely the right moment for me to slam into it. I hit the door head on. The bike had a heavy rear end due to an internal gear hub, so the back end flipped up and over. I separated from the bike at about vertical and landed square on my back. I tried to get up to get out of the street, but I could not. I tried to slide on my back to get out of the street, but by that time some people from the outgrown shop (they were having a sidewalk sale) came over to me and told me not to move.

Since I was just down the street from the fire company, and there was a traffic accident elsewhere in Oley at the same time, an EMT was with me in about two minutes. They moved me to a backboard and walked me across the street to the fire company. Since the Oley ambulance was already engaged, I had to wait for the Fleetwood ambulance to take me to the hospital. I spent the afternoon in the hospital getting a variety of tests, but I was home by 6PM.

I was incredibly lucky. The results could have been devastating if I landed on my head rather than flat on my back. This accident was the impetus for me becoming an LCI. It also gave me a reason to purchase and recommend the Road ID(TM). The Oley police were called and were on the scene with the EMT's when I was still on Main St as well as when I was at the fire company. It was a pretty brief investigation for them. They determined it was the driver's fault, but it was an accident.

My family lives in Oley, so the people at the outgrown shop took my bike and gear and called my relatives. My mother retrieved the bike and took it to one of my relative's houses in Oley where I picked it up the next day. The bike did not look to be severely damaged to my relatives, but closer inspection showed that the fork was bent beyond repair and the frame was cracked in several places. The main parts of the bike were a total loss.

Because I was injured and had out of pocket medical costs, plus loss of the bike, I followed up with Chief White from the Oley police department. He was very helpful in explaining the legal aspects of the case from his point of view. He made it clear that it was her fault and that he would gladly ticket her if I would like. Her insurance may have paid for damages.

I felt the Oley police did a good job with the investigation, and in facilitating the return of my bike, gear, and wallet, to my relatives through the folks at the outgrown shop. Chief White was very helpful after the accident. I did not ask for the full report because I was not going to pursue legal action.

Benton Levengood
League Cycling Instructor
Board of Directors, WalkBikeBerks

What a Police Officer Has to Say about ‘Bicycle Crash Investigation, Part I’
“After reviewing a number of crash reports by officers and crash reconstruction experts, it is apparent that many important factors involved in bicycling are either unknown or unconsidered and quite often undocumented by crash investigation professionals.The state of the art in specialized bicycle crash investigation and reconstruction is rudimentary at best. Focused training in bicycle crash investigation is rare, if it exists at all.

In virtually every state, bicycles have most of the same rights and responsibilities as motor vehicle operators. Many officers don’t seem to know, or care, that they do. Training in bicycle traffic law is virtually nonexistent in police academies and crash investigation courses.

Unfortunately, many serious road cyclists know and understand traffic laws regulating bicycles far better than most street cops. Officers who have received quality bike patrol training, such as the IPMBA Police Cyclist™ Course, have been trained in the legal status of bicycles in traffic, proper and legal lane use, and other pertinent provisions.

When investigating a bicycle-vehicle crash, it may be a good idea to involve a trained bike patrol officer to help get a comprehensive perspective as to the bicycle-related factors and conditions involved. Criminal charges may be warranted. An officer knowledgeable in bike law could be a victim cyclist’s best advocate, or a legal opponent, providing the details for fair prosecution.

Some states don’t require, or even allow, a police crash report unless the crash involves a motor vehicle. Yet, it is quite possible to have a serious or fatal crash involving a lone cyclist, two or more bikers, or even a cyclist and a pedestrian. Since these don’t involve a motor vehicle, none would be reported on an official state or FARS crash report form. These incidents would be classified as a public accident of some sort. The obligation for a thorough and detailed investigation is no less important.”

~Kirby Beck, PCI #002T
Coon Rapids PD (MN) retired

Law Enforcement & EMT’s

For information on how to locate IPMBA Training, please click here.
IPMBA Police Cyclist Course
IPMBA Public Safety Cyclist II Course
IPMBA Survival Tactics and Riding Skills Course
IPMBA EMS Cyclist Course
IPMBA EMS Cyclist II Course
IPMBA Instructor Course
IPMBA Maintenance Officer Course
IPMBA Bicycle Response Team Training
IPMBA Security Cyclist Course
IPMBA Night Ops-Firearms & Tactics Course

WHAT TO DO IN A BICYCLE CRASH Call the police and get a report. There are a few things you need to know to protect your legal rights in a bike crash. If you are in a crash with a car, do not leave the scene without:

· tag number of the car
· names & phone numbers of witnesses
· driver name and contact information
· police officer name and badge number

Even in cases where cyclists are badly hurt, the police have not always identified the vehicle or driver involved. The ambulance personnel will not include this information in their report – you must make sure the information gets recorded by the police. If it is a hit and run, you need to file a police report as soon as you are able.


Your Turn

Support
· HB1110
· HB1109
· SB 776

Call and write to your state legislator today and ask them to support these bicycle friendly bills – to create safer access for cyclists on the streets in Pennsylvania.

The single most important action that you can take now is to contact your legislator and encourage them to support HB1110 or SB776 (Safe Passing Legislation). And HB1109, a harassment bill meant to protect cyclists from "bullies" on the roadways. An email, phone call or brief letter will only take a moment of your time, but is vitally important to the success of these laws.

Please also be sure to ask your legislator to support the Federal Safe Routes to School Program so that children can safely walk or bicycle to school.Contact Your Legislator