Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pennsylvania Walks & Bikes Hires First Paid Staff

Posted Jul 22, 2009 by erok under BikePGH in the News

PA State Legislators and Bicycle Advocates at the First PA Bike Summit, May 5 2009. Michele Barrett is front and center. Can you find Scott and Erok from BikePGH?

One step in taking Pennsylvania off the List of “Least Bicycle Friendly States”

PA Walks & Bikes is a new organization working to create healthy, sustainable communities by making walking and bicycling safer, more convenient, and more enjoyable. On June 30, PA Walks & Bikes received a $30,000 matching grant from the Alliance for Bicycling and Walking. The Board of Directors, advocacy executives from Bike Pittsburgh, Greater Philadelphia Bicycle Coalition, and Walk Bike Berks, appointed Michele Barrett, as its new President and Executive Director.
“Michele was selected”, says Hans van Naerssen, a founding member and President of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, “because of her record of success in Berks County, her passion for livable communities, and her leadership skills.
Since its inception four months ago, PA Walks and Bikes organized the first state level Bike Summit where attendees met with various legislators to promote Safe Routes to School, Complete Streets, and a new safe passing legislation for bicyclists and other vulnerable road users.
PA Walks & Bikes was one of only seven recipients – out of 94 nationwide applications – to receive a start up grant. The Advocacy Advance Grant will be used to jump-start the emerging advocacy organization and to fund innovative campaigns with the potential to dramatically increase biking and walking. Members will work to ensure state bicycle and pedestrian laws, policies, and funding are enacted. This grant is part of the Advocacy Advance Partnership with the League of American Bicyclists.
“Bicycling and walking are simple, every day solutions to so many issues we face today. When Pennsylvanians choose livable communities where they can easily walk or bike to most destinations, they can enjoy better health, higher quality of life, less traffic congestion, lower transportation costs, stronger local economies, reduced air and water pollution, reduced carbon emissions, and higher real estate values. Perhaps most importantly, improving pedestrian and bicycling accommodations increases access for everyone in a community, even the most vulnerable road users. While no single measure can ‘fix’ all of the problems we face, I am excited to work with the many others who are making biking and walking part of the statewide approach to get Pennsylvania moving again,” Michele Barrett. The new grant combined with matching contributions makes this possible.

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