Friday, March 27, 2009

Tell Governor Rendell to Release Millions of Dollars of Safe Routes to School Money to Our Communities

(Thank you to Scott Bricker of BikePittsburgh for the content of this post.)

Take Action:

Remember when we told you that the League of American Bicyclists ranked Pennsylvania as 38th out of 50 states on their Bike Friendly States list? Well that’s not as low as we can go. Another measure of bike and pedestrian friendliness is the level to which Safe Routes to Schools are funded. Well, we have bad news: PA ranks 49th in the nation on Safe Routes to School spending.
If you look at the Safe Routes to School programs map below you’ll notice an enormous hole where PA is filled with only a handful of orange dots. All of our neighboring states have filled their map with Safe Routes to School success stories. Communities in PA are still waiting.
Pennsylvania has received $21 million over five years (FY05 – 09) for the federal Safe Routes to School program. So far it has only released $2 million of that money to date. This leaves $19 million collecting dust that is earmarked for making our streets safer so kids can walk and ride bikes to school. We want Governor Rendell to release this money for its intended use—to make our communities safer for kids to walk and bike to school.
These funds are critical to help schools and communities make it safer for children to walk and bicycle to school—and at least $14 million of those funds are for building sidewalks, crosswalks, and other bike/ped infrastructure near schools.
Thus far, only 11 mini-grants for $5,000 each have been awarded to schools in PA—putting the state next-to-last in the nation for funds awarded to local communities.
Last fall, PennDOT held a grant competition for approximately $12 million in infrastructure grants. Nearly 100 schools applied, requesting $56 million in funding, showing the demand for Safe Routes to School across the state.
The awards still have not been announced, and the last update from PennDOT said grants would be awarded in December 2008.
Please contact Governor Rendell to ask him to release these grants as soon as possible. Schools and communities need these funds to address traffic congestion and air quality, help children lead healthy and active lives, and to create safe infrastructure for children walking and bicycling.

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

Thursday, March 26, 2009


1. Fight pollution -- And breathe cleaner air!

  • Automobiles pollute the ground, air and water
  • Burning fossil fuels creates CO2; contributes to global warming
  • Automobiles also produce noise pollution

2. Stay fit -- Strengthen your body on your way to work -- talk about multi-tasking!

  • Bicycling allows you to workout during your daily routine
  • Riding a bike instead of sitting in traffic is less stressful
  • Staying in better shape decreases your chance of getting sick

3. Avoid traffic delays -- Enjoy trees along trails or neighborhood streets.

  • Off-road trails, bike lanes, wide curb lanes let you pass traffic
  • Bike commutes takes less time if you add car parking and traffic delays
  • Longer rides = less traffic, more enjoyment of your commute

4. Save money -- And loose weight?

  • Maintenance costs for a car will decrease, as will your gas bill
  • You will save money on parking (and tickets)
  • You won't have to pay gym memberships to workout

5. Enjoy your commute -- It's fun to go by bike!

  • Arrive refreshed and full of energy; relieve stress after work
  • Bike communiting empowers you with an accomplishment
  • Take the long way home; ride through parks or along rivers

Thanks to the League of American Bicyclists for this content!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

US Transportation Secretary LaHood

Today, I'll be sharing my appearance with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. Together, we will announce a joint effort to revitalize our downtowns, foster walkable neighborhoods, and bring people, employers, and housing closer together through public transportation.[…]owns-americans-deserve.html
March 18, 2009
Livable communities, the hometowns Americans deserve

Like going home. That's what I've been thinking about my visit to Congress today. I did, after all, serve my hometown Illinois district in the House of Representatives for 14 years. But, the truth is that Congress is not home; Peoria is. And communities like Peoria are the reason I'm going back to Congress today.

When I appear before the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee this afternoon, I do so on behalf of the Obama Administration, yes, but more importantly on behalf of communities like Peoria.

Fostering livable communities is a key aspect of President Obama's urban policy agenda and Vice President Biden's Middle Class initiative. The way we design our communities has a huge impact on our citizens social, physical, and economic wellbeing. Yet many Americans live in neighborhoods without sidewalks or access to public transportation.

Therefore, one of my highest priorities is to work closely with Congress, other Federal departments, the nation's governors, and local officials to help promote more livable communities through sustainable surface transportation programs. By focusing on livability, we can help transform the way transportation serves the American people and create safer, healthier communities that provide access to economic opportunities.

Today, I'll be sharing my appearance with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. Together, we will announce a joint effort to revitalize our downtowns, foster walkable neighborhoods, and bring people, employers, and housing closer together through public transportation.

I can't offer the specifics until the hearing this afternoon, but I can say this: you will see federal agencies working together and sharing resources on behalf of America's hometowns.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Biking in Berks

Our Calendar:

April 17: East Stroudsburg University, Bike Riding Awareness Day
April 18: Alvernia University, Road I Course
April 19: Earth Day, Reading Riverfront Park
May 5: Bike to the Capitol with PA Bikes and Walks, Harrisburg
May 15: Bike to Work Day, Reading PA

Please contact us at or 610-779-9702 if you would like to participate, donate, or partner with us for any of these event.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

National Bike Summit 2009, Washington, DC

This year's Bike Summit was bigger and better than ever before. By the end of the week, more than 600 representatives from across the nation walked the halls of Congress to speak out about livable streets. Among the participating groups were PA delegates from Bike Pittsburgh, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, WalkBikeBerks, Lebanon Valley Bicycle Club, and the Centre Region Bicycle Coalition. Among us, we covered at least 21 different offices from PA, NJ and DE, which is fantastic!

Most notably, newly appointed Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood repeated twice that "You have a full partner at US DOT."

One of my favorite moments was attending a reception where I met Senator Specter to talk about Complete Streets. You can find a picture in the slide show below.

On Capitol Hill day we were tasked with several asks for our Congressional Reps and Senators:
Support the America Bikes Agenda
Support the Current Complete Streets Bills in the House and Senate
Support the CleanTEA Bills in the House and Senate - An exciting new bill that will set aside 10% carbon cap and trade revenues in the future climate bill that would go to transportation projects that reduce Greenhouse Gases which is bicycling walking and transit.
The Senate Complete Streets and CleanTEA bills are Sponsored in the Senate by our local Senators Tom Carper (DE) and Arlen Specter (PA).

Of course, I made a clear request for continued support and involvement to promote Safe Routes to School in Pennsylvania -- as schools throughout the Commonwealth are depending on the Federal Government's support of safer, complete infrastructure for kids who walk or bike to school.

(Thanks John Boyle, BCGP for your contribution to this blog.)

Other Blogs covered highlights from the Bike Summit Bike Summit Coverage
Top ten Tweets from the Bike Summit

This slide show is updated periodically as new photographs are added by PA Delegates from across the state. Please take time to watch this at least one more time, to see everyone and everything that we captured on film during our days in Washington, representing you and your community.

National Bike Summit 2009

Pictured, left to right:
Alex Doty, Congressman Jim Gerlach, Bob Hospidor, Stephanie Potts, Michele Barrett, PA Delegate, Kathleen Hospidor, Dennis Dempsey

More photographs and details of the Summit to follow. Check back later today.

Monday, March 9, 2009

The League of American Bicyclists Call To Action!

Contact Your Governor
Tell your Governor to Build Bicycle and Pedestrian facilities with Economic Recovery Funding

Take Action!

Congress set aside funding for the transportation enhancement program, which funds bicycle and pedestrian projects. However, they also gave states a time limit. States must identify which projects they want to fund, and to obligate the funding to those projects. If states do not do so, they will have to give back the money.

CALL or WRITE your Governor now to ensure that important bicycle and pedestrian projects get built, and the funding is not wasted.

On Monday, March 2, 2009, America Bikes sent each of the Governors a letter requesting they obligate their transportation enhancement funding in a timely manner. Now we need you to follow up: CALL your Governor now to ensure that important bicycle and pedestrian projects get built, and the funding is not wasted.

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

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Walking in Laureldale -- a Complete Streets Story

...elderly residents of Laureldale can thank Mayor Feltenberger for clearing their way.

...Feltenberger said he received complaints from elderly residents that there are sections of the borough where they can't walk when it snows because there is no sidewalk and the grassy areas near the curb aren't shoveled.

Borough Ordinance 182 requires borough residents to shovel a path through the snow near the curbline whether it's paved or not. Feltenberger said the borough ran an ad in the Reading Eagle advising residents the borough would be enforcing the shoveling ordinance.....

Click Here to read the full article in the Reading Eagle.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Bicycles and the Law

Meet me in DC!

Next week I will be attending the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC. Hosted by the League of American Bicyclists, the League's annual National Bike Summit is where advocates, industry executives and education experts gather to speak up for bicycling on Capitol Hill. I'm excited to take our local community issues to the Congress. Consider joining me on March 12? For more information, contact WalkBikeBerks today!

Go for Green: Building Bicycling into the Transportation Bill
Bicyclists led the Good Roads movement in the 1880s, successfully lobbying for paved roads to drag our nation out of the mud. In 2009, the stage is set for bicyclists to once again lead reform of our transportation system. A “smart” transportation movement is needed to solve the challenges of climate change, obesity, congestion, pollution, safety, and dependence on foreign oil. The 2009 National Bike Summit is focused on making a powerful case for expanding Federal support for bicycling – for active transportation and recreation. Join fellow advocates, industry leaders, and retailers as we make our voice for change heard: we have a new President, new Congress and new administration to address. The new Congress begins writing a new federal transportation funding bill and bicyclists must be at the table. Please join us: we need every Congressional District to be represented.
Summit program

The opening banquet of the 2009 National Bike Summit, Tuesday March 10 at 6.00pm, will feature Andreas Rohl, head of the City of Copenhagen's Bicycle Program Office - 36% of trips in Denmark's capital city are made by bike, and Andreas' job is to increase this to 40% or more! Also on the program that evening, the presentation of the National Center for Safe Routes to Schools' James L. Oberstar prize - the award will be given by none other than Congressman Oberstar himself.
Wednesday morning's opening plenary will be kicked off in traditional style by Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), with a discussion to follow featuring prominent players in the upcoming transportation bill authorization.
Wednesday lunchtime our focus shifts to the critical links between transportation, land use, recreation and physical activity. Our featured speaker is Larry Selzer, President and CEO of The Conservation Fund, a national nonprofit organization headquartered in metropolitan Washington, DC. The Conservation Fund protects the nation's legacy of land and water resources in partnership with other nonprofit organizations, public agencies, foundations, corporations and individuals. Through land acquisition, community initiatives, and leadership development, The Fund and its partners demonstrate sustainable conservation solutions emphasizing the integration of economic and environmental goals.

To read more about the Bike Summit, visit the LAB's website.