Friday, October 30, 2009


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

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 — 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


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.

    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.
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

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)

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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

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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 |

Pedestrian victim is latest death on dangerous roads |

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Pennsylvania state-wide bike ride for childhood obesity awareness

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

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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”


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 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 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.