Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Sponsorship Levels

Thanks to the generous support of JP Mascaro & Sons and the Pioneer Crossing Landfill, WalkBikeBerks is able to host BUNCO for Bicycles!

The Gold Sponsor will be
Printed on Event Ticket
Listed on this Blog and on the WalkBikeBerks website
Printed on the BUNCO for Bicycles! program
Be encouraged to display a company banner at the event
Be recognized in promotion and advertisement for the event
In addition the Gold Sponsor will receive two complimentary tickets to enjoy the evening of fun and food with us on July 30.

Two Silver Sponsorship spaces are still available. To become a Silver Sponsor, contact 610-799-9702 today.
For a donation of $500.00, the sponsor will:
Be listed on Blog and on the WalkBikeBerks website.
Be printed on the BUNCO for Bicycles! program
Receive two complimentary tickets to the event.

There is no limit to the number of Bronze Sponsors available. To secure your sponsorship position, call 610-779-9702 today.
For a donation of $250.00, the sponsor will be:
Listed on Blog and on the WalkBikeBerks website.
Printed on the BUNCO for Bicycles! program.

Table Sponsors
A donation of just $50.00 will sponsor a table for the event. There will be exactly 51 tables available for sponsorship.
Your company logo, information, and message will be placed on the table as the centerpiece.
Because this is a social / mixer game, guests will move from table to table during the evening -- increasing the number of players who will have access to your company information.

In-Kind Sponsors
Listed on the Blog
Printed as In-Kind Donors on the BUNCO for Bicycles! program.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Vulnerable Road User Law Needed in PA

Thanks to the watchful eye and intelligent blogging of John Boyle at the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, we are able to share the following post:

Enough Already - Amish Buggy Crash Cites Need For Vulnerable User Law
Today's Philadelphia Inquirer recounts a horrible crash where a 19 Year Old driver slammed into an Amish Buggy which killed a young mother and the horse while critically injuring the father and an infant child on Route 41 a road with wide shoulders just east of the Lancaster-Chester County line.There are a many thoughts in my mind as to how this type of crash can be been prevented: Lowering speed limits and traffic calming on rural roads adjacent to Amish populations, educating drivers to look out for vulnerable road users and having the State Police curtail speeders on these roads with radar. Believe it or not, local law enforcement in PA is forbidden to use radar.Besides fixing that absurd law, the State Legislature can and should pass a vulnerable road user law which penalizes the driver that hits a vulnerable road user is subject to a fine and possible license suspension. A recent post on the Virginia Bicycling Federation blog sums it up well:Whether the accident occurred through inattentiveness or incompetency, the driver doesn’t even merit a look by officials to see if they should continue to have a license. They are free to go back out and kill or injure someone else......would provide law enforcement with a useful tool for charging drivers who cause serious injury or death to other users of the public way. “I didn’t see him or her” will no longer be automatically excusable.To our knowledge none of the recent bike crashes including the incident at MLK drive crosswalk and the Taxi that ran down a cyclist and took off on Broad Street has resulted in any sort of charges. View Larger Map
Posted by John at 7:42 AM

Great principles for “smart growth schools”

Kaid Benfield's Blog :: Great principles for “smart growth schools”
Posted using ShareThis

11. Green building certification
Does the construction or renovation of the school follow best practices regarding energy efficiency, water efficiency, indoor air quality, daylighting, light pollution and earth-friendly construction techniques as set out in the LEED for Schools program?

Norris explains the thinking behind smartgrowthschools.org:
"The Smart Growth Schools website is designed to make it easier for people to understand how they can improve their communities and schools by considering issues that are oftentimes ignored in the school planning process. These issues pertain to the intersection between Smart Growth and K-12 schools. Paying attention to these issues will result in communities saving money, decreasing the environmental impact of schools on the community, improving the health of students, and increasing the long-term support for the school system by those who do not have school-aged children."

~Original Blog Post by Kaid Benfield
Director, Smart Growth Program, Washington, DC

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Baldwin Wins WalkBikeBerks Bike To Work Incentive!

Congratulations to the Baldwin employees for having the most number of employees bike to work during the month of May! In total there were 6 employees who made a total of 86 trips and traveled 447 miles by bicycle from and to work during May.

In total our entrance commuted by bicycle for a total of 189 trips and 1,460 miles!

A raffle was held at Baldwin to select the winner for the $200 gift certificate to a bicycle at Spokes Bike Shop. Stay tuned to see who the winner is!

Join us and the other winners at Spokes Bike Shop on Friday July 3rd at 6:00p.m. as we present the winners with their prizes!

Make It Intermodal!

Our BCTV Program will air June 22 with the the title "Make It Intermodal."

Fourth Monday of even months
7:00 PM (30 minutes)
Replays on: Wednesday @ 1:00 PM, Thursday @ 10:00 PM, Friday @ 9:00 AM

Create awareness of need for improved accessibility for individuals using non-motorized forms of transportation.

Contact: WalkBikeBerks
Address: PO Box 6795, Wyomissing, PA 19610
Phone: 610-779-9702
Web: www.walkbikeberks.org
Email: info@walkbikeberks.org

Produced and Hosted by Bob Hospidor

Become a Program Underwriter for BCTV -- our local public television station.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Destination: Port St Lucie, Florida

The train ride was fantastic! No potty breaks, no gas stations, no hotel 1/2 way through the route -- dinner and breakfast included with the train ticket! The kids played outside in a gated park setting while we waited to board the train -- and slept through the night while we traveled!

Travel was good. The destination -- even better. Check out Tradition, FL in Port St Lucie -- and maybe take moment to visit the new HGTV Green Home/ Dream Home.

"We designed the community with sustainability in mind. People can walk or bike anywhere."

Friday, June 12, 2009


Our family beach vacation is taking us to St. Port Lucie, Florida -- a long trip from Berks County, PA. Frustrated by airline service, long lines, and other travel nonsense when we fly -- my husband and I decided to take an adventure on the train! Our four-year old son is train-crazy and we've decided to make our travel option part of our family vacation. I've found some travel tips to help prepare -- and thought they were good enough to share. On Car Free Friday -- consider other ways you might get where you're going this summer!

Top Tips for Traveling by Train
This ever increasing air travel frustrations and higher fuel price, train travel may be the alternative travelers are looking for. Trains offer a relaxed vacation environment and add the romance of traveling by train.
• Riding the Rails• World’s Best Trains• Great US Train Getaways• RTM’s Train Travel Sections
The editors of IgoUgo, one of the most popular online travel communities in the world, believe train travel may be the way to go for summer vacations. Tapping into its community of savvy travelers, IgoUgo’s editors have pulled together tips, advice and itineraries for travelers looking for something other than the traditional fly-in summer vacation.
“Flight delays, schedule changes, cancelled flights, bankruptcies and mishandled baggage are pushing flyers’ frustration to an all-time high.” Said IgoUgo.com Content Manager, Michelle Doucette. “The summer of ’08 just might be ‘the summer of the train.’ Not only does train travel provide a totally different experience, statistics show it is often better for the environment than flying.”
Train travel offers an alternative to the hassles of airline travel. The U.S. airline industry received the worst score ever recorded in the most recent Airline Quality Rating (AQR) study. In the same study, consumer complaints were up 60 percent over last year. Americans may be increasingly more open to the idea of train travel. In 2007, Amtrak reported more than 25.8 million passengers, representing the fifth straight year of record ridership. More than 70,000 people ride on an Amtrak train each day. IgoUgo believes in many cases, Amtrak is a convenient alternative — with intercity passenger rail services to more than 500 destinations in 46 states.
For those looking to take a more eco-friendly vacation, train travel may be the more energy efficient alternative. The US Department of Energy found that Amtrak — on an energy-consumed-per-passenger-mile basis — is 18 percent more energy efficient than commercial airlines. IgoUgo editors suggest that while not every train trip is more energy-friendly than flying, it can be an added consideration when planning for a family vacation
To venture into the world of train travel, remember these helpful tips for planning, booking and taking a train travel vacation.

Bike Pittsburgh Takes the Lead with Car Free Fridays

Launch: June 12, 2009
Every year BikePGH joins bicycle advocates across the nation to promote and participate in Bike to Work Day. There is one problem…one day a year to celebrate and encourage biking to work is hardly enough.
So BikePGH and our partners have decided to launch a city-wide initiative to encourage commuters to leave their cars at home at least once a week. We’re calling it Car Free Fridays - a day where the air is a little cleaner and the streets a little safer. A day each week we can all look forward to, not just to welcome the weekend, but to welcome the use of smart transportation.
How to Participate
  1. Don’t Drive Today
  2. Encourage your friends!
  3. Join or Start a Neighborhood Bike Pool
    What’s a BikePool?
    It’s like car pooling, but on bikes! People who need to ride from one neighborhood to another on a daily basis, meet up at a specified location and ride into work together. It’s a great way to learn how to commute by bike, beat the traffic jams, park for free, and build community.
    New to Bike Commuting? This is a great way to “learn the ropes” and take a ride with experienced cyclists. Read our Bike to Work Guide to get started. Once you try it, we promise you’ll be hooked.
    Experienced Bike Commuter? Join the Bike Pool to help create safety in numbers and show someone else that it can be done. Riding with new cyclists is an effective way to get people to try it out and take their first ride.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Come Ride With Us!

WalkBikeBerks will be offering a hosted bike ride or walk on the second and fourth Saturday of each month this summer. The first event takes place this Saturday.

Event Type: Bike Ride

Date: Saturday, June 13, 2009
Start Time: 9AM
Start Location: Gibraltar Trailhead, Schuylkill River Trail, Gibraltar, PA
Leader: Benton Levengood

Description: This bike ride will follow the Schuylkill River Trail to the Brentwood Trailhead, then return to Gibraltar. Prior to the ride there will be a short discussion on basic bicycle safety practices and trail riding etiquette. This ride is suitable for families. Please note that helmets are required for all participants.

Length: Approximately 8 miles
Terrain: Flat
Surface: Crushed Gravel
Pace: 8-10 MPH, or group preference
Equipment Required: Bicycle, Helmet

Enjoy a nice day on the trail and even get some ice cream at the nearby Scoupe DeVille in Gibralter or one of the many local eateries off of Brentwood.

Be sure to check out our calendar of events frequently at www.walkbikeberks.org

Questions: Contact Benton Levengood
blevengood [at] walkbikeberks.org


will host
July 30, 2009.

Please mark your calendars and call your friends! Reservations can be made for single players or entire BUNCO teams -- so plan to attend! We're teaming up with Breast Cancer Fight Club - a local Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk Team.

Opportunities to volunteer, donate, or sponsor the event are available now. Call 610-779-9702 or visit the Bunco for Bicycles blog for more information.
Keep checking back for more details as they become available.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Complete Streets in Philadelphia, PA!

Policy in Philadelphia!June 5, 2009
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed a Complete Streets executive order yesterday, June 4, at noon, establishing Philadelphia as the first city in Pennsylvania to adopt a complete streets policy. It emphasizes the many benefits of complete streets, from cleaner air to more efficient use of road space, and pays special attention to the safety of its most vulnerable citizens: children, older adults, and those with disabilities. ...

[Andy Clark] also presented Mayor Nutter with the League of American Bicyclists’ Bicycle Friendly Community Award. The City is the first in Pennsylvania to receive the honor, making yesterday’s event a particularly important landmark in moving toward a more livable Philadelphia.
[Continue Reading "Policy in Philadelphia..."]

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Walkability is the Solution to our Biggest Challenges

Walking In Your Neighborhood: It's Not Just a Mild Workout
by Alan Durning, Sightline Institute

Compact, walkable communities—the opposite of poorly planned sprawl—are the solution to some of our biggest shared challenges, from childhood obesity to social isolation, from crash deaths to disappearing farmland, from the high price of gas to the architectural blight of strip development.

They're even one of our most powerful weapons against climate change—they conserve fossil fuels like nobody's business. (It takes effort to burn gasoline when everything is so close to your front door.)

But the main reason to love walkable neighborhoods is their human energy: they're fun, lively, memorable... not boring. They're the kinds of places where you might bump into a long-lost friend; stumble across creative inspiration, whether for a song or a new business; or meet the love of your life. (That's why they're becoming among the most sought-after addresses around.)

Visit WalkScore.com to read more.

Take Action to Protect Pennsylvania’s Parks and Forests

Take Action to Protect Pennsylvania’s Parks and Forests
IMBA’s Mid-Atlantic office urges mountain bikers to help protect vital natural resources, including singletrack, by asking the Pennsylvania legislature to reconsider drastic budget cuts. The proposed cuts would negatively impact 117 parks and 2.1 million acres of forests managed by the state.Take Action by speaking in favor of strong funding for Pennsylvania’s treasured parks and forests. IMBA’s online form allows you to easily contact your state legislator and let him or her know that you support an equitable review off all state programs, and that state parks and forests are critical to the economic well being of the state and the health of its citizens. Additional InformationThe Senate’s current budget plan (Senate Bill 850, now in the House as Bill 1416) reduces the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) budget by about $19 million more than Governor Rendell’s current proposal. This could force DCNR to close between 35 and 50 state parks, and close more than 1,000 miles of State Forestry roads. Prime mountain bike trails in state parks such as Blue Knob, Laurel Summit, and RB Winter would be affected. The list of closures centers disproportionately on the central region of the state, where the state parks are vital to tourism and local businesses. For example, every park that the Wilderness 101 ultra endurance race passes through would be closed. The State Forest system itself would need to close 20 percent of their forest road inventory to meet the proposed budget. Read the DCNR press release. While IMBA appreciates that in these tough economic times we all need to tighten our belts, the Senate’s plan cuts a disproportionate amount from the DCNR budget. The proposal cuts the state park budget by 14 percent and the state forest budget by 30.5percent (a 17-percent reduction to DCNR overall). State parks and state forests have already taken strong cost-cutting measures to accommodate the economic downturn: reduced maintenance, limited purchasing and reductions in travel and training. The next step, should the Senate bill pass the House, would be closure and reduction in programs. DCNR is already facing a loss of their trust to the tune of $174 million, a fund created by resource extraction fees and leases.

PA Walks & Bikes Wins Advocacy Grant

Alliance Grants $125,000 to Organizations Visit Link WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRAIN)—The Alliance for Biking & Walking is awarding seven grants totaling more than $125,000 to grassroots biking and walking advocacy organizations. The Advocacy Advance Grants will be used to jump-start emerging advocacy organizations and to fund innovative campaigns with the potential to dramatically increase biking and walking. These grants are a key part of the Advocacy Advance Partnership with the League of American Bicyclists. Launched this year, the grants are made possible with generous funding by SRAM, Planet Bike, Bikes Belong and Cannondale. Nearly 100 proposals totaling more than $2 million were received in this first round. Awards include: Pennsylvania Walks and Bikes Pennsylvania Walks and Bikes will put a $30,000 matching grant to work to help build the first statewide coalition for biking and walking in Pennsylvania. The coalition will work to ensure state bicycle and pedestrian laws, policies, and funding are enacted. PA Bikes and Walks was founded in 2009 to create healthy, sustainable communities across Pennsylvania by making bicycling and walking safer, more convenient and more enjoyable.
In addition, the Alliance is granting scholarships and travel stipends to the start-up grantees (Minnesota, Oakland, and Pennsylvania) to attend key trainings on membership development and winning campaigns. The Alliance thanks our funders, the League, and our volunteer grants committee for their assistance and support. For more information about the Advocacy Advance Partnership and the Alliance grants program, please visit http://www.PeoplePoweredMovement.org/grants Source: http://www.bicycleretailer.com/news/newsDetail/2787.html

Walk and Bike to School for Safety

National Child Passenger Safety Week, September 21–27, 2008
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among children in the United States, but many of these deaths can be prevented.

Heath & Seasonal Observances
Walk to School Day
Publications & Resources
Reducing Childhood Pedestrian Injuries: Proceedings of a Multidisciplinary Conference
Reducing Childhood Pedestrian Injuries: Summary of a Multidisciplinary Conference
Protect the Ones You Love: Road Traffic Injuries

Friday, June 5, 2009

ACTION ALERT: Fund Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School: The federal Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program provides children the opportunity to safely walk or bicycle to school, while also benefiting others interested in walking or biking and the community at large. Please encourage your U.S. senator to co-sponsor a SRTS reauthorization bill now.

Pennsylvania US Senators
Robert Casey

393 Russell Senate Office BuildingWashington, D.C. 20510

Phone: (202) 224-6324

Toll Free: (866) 802-2833

Fax: (202) 228-0604


Berk's US Congressman


Berks County Office

4918 Kutztown Road Temple, PA 19560 Phone: (610) 921-3502 FAX: (610) 921-3504

Berks/Lehigh County
840 N. Park Road Wyomissing, Pa. 19610

610.376.7630 tel

610.376.7633 fax

Increased Reliance on Cars May Pose Health Risks - News digest - Public Health newsroom - Public Health

Increased Reliance on Cars May Pose Health Risks - News digest - Public Health newsroom - Public Health

Shared via AddThis

As the nation's reliance on cars for daily transportation grows, research on the subject suggests such dependence on vehicles may have a negative impact on the health of the general public, Reuters reports. According to a professor at the University of Colorado, although people should ideally take 10,000 steps per day to maintain optimal health, individuals who rely heavily on cars for transportation typically take just 1,000 steps daily. Meanwhile, researchers from the University of British Columbia in Canada quantified the link between distance driven and body weight, finding that an individual's obesity risk increases 3 percent for every 30 minutes spent in a car each day. By contrast, residents of neighborhoods with shops and businesses located within walking distance are 7 percent less likely to be obese than individuals who live in less walkable areas. In an effort to address such concerns, some community planners are exploring the possibility of modeling new community designs after older cities, such as New York, Boston and Chicago, which have densely populated streets and ample access to public transportation. As part of the shift, community planners also are examining ways to increase access to sidewalks, bike paths and other activity areas. For example, in Atlanta, which is known for its sprawling suburbs that are most easily navigated by car, city officials are considering a tram line project that would connect the city center with parks, communities and businesses (Bigg, Reuters, 6/1/09).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Educators try to connect kids with outdoors

Educators try to connect kids with outdoors: Too much video smothers innate need for nature
Erica Burrus - Journal Prince Charles Yakubu leads a small group of students in jumping across rocks in a stream at the Deer Lake area in Forest Park. The students, all members of the after-school bike club at Compton-Drew Investigative Learning Center Middle School, regularly explore nature during their rides.

By Shawn Clubb
Monday, June 1, 2009 5:11 PM CDT
By Shawn Clubb

On a nice summer day, Thomas Nolan would look outside and say "Who cares?"His mother would tell him to go outdoors. He'd ignore her and sit in front of the television or play video games.For the 13-year-old North County boy, nature held no interest.
Photo Galleries Prep Sports Photos
"I'd be like 'This is a stupid plant. Who cares about it?'" he said. "'Stupid bug.' I'd step on it."Thomas was not alone. Educators and conservationists across the nation have become aware of most children's lack of exposure to nature. They call it Nature Deficit Disorder. The term was coined by Richard Louv in his book "Last Child in the Woods.""It goes back to the idea that we as a species have an innate need for nature," said Lydia Toth, senior manager for education at the Shaw Nature Reserve in Gray Summit.Toth has noticed children becoming more tentative about nature for the last several years. She also has witnessed the documented increase in childhood obesity, attention deficit disorders and hyperactivity.Conservationists additionally fear there will be no future stewards of wild lands and wildlife if today's children do not develop a love of nature."When folks in my shoes retire, who's going to take over?" Toth asked.The problem lies in breaking the trend of people spending more time indoors and plugged in to television, computers and video games, said James H. Wilson, the E. Desmond Lee Professor of Experiential and Family Education at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.Conservation educators throughout the nation increased their efforts to impress upon school administrators and teachers the need for nature education. It's often hard to get teachers to buy into the idea that children need nature and incorporate it into the curriculum, Toth said."The kids embrace it if they're given the opportunity, but if they don't have a teacher that gets it, they don't get outdoors," she said.The Green Center in University City has worked for years with the University City School District and the St. Louis Public Schools to bring elementary school and middle school students to its property, which includes 30 acres of woodland, prairie and wetlands."It's so obvious that students aren't comfortable being outdoors; it's such a foreign environment to them," said Jan Oberkramer, education and volunteer manager at The Green Center. "(But) it doesn't take long for kids to become comfortable in it."Wilson has worked for years with the Herbert Hoover and Mathews-Dickey boys and girls clubs, introducing children to hiking, fishing and exploring nature. Wilson, Toth and Oberkramer all said it's most important to give children unstructured time in nature, where they can do what interests them.To that end, Toth has taken the lead of a new coalition of 22 entities called the Gateway Children's Nature Connection. The coalition is developing a website geared to serve as a clearinghouse for information about nature activities and events happening in the region.Thomas, the boy who cared little about nature, now spends more time outdoors. He used to pass when offered the chance to go camping with his Boy Scout troop. Now he camps often.He had his mind changed this year after joining an after-school bike club at Compton-Drew Investigative Learning Center Middle School in St. Louis city, which he attends through the inter-district transfer agreement. He has lost 10 pounds biking through Forest Park and now appreciates the birds, bugs and foxes he sees outside. He describes a peaceful vista he encountered while biking on the Katy Trail."It's actually a beautiful sight," Thomas said.Joe Torrisi, a community education specialist with the St. Louis Public Schools, helped start the club almost 10 years ago to combat childhood obesity. The club added nature education after a Katy Trail ride when Torrisi found a student crying because the wilderness scared her. Both a physical education teacher and a science teacher now ride with the club."We're getting them outdoors breathing the fresh air, seeing nature and interacting with it, not just driving by it," Torrisi said. "That enriches the whole experience."The science teacher, Donna Callahan, said her students at first groused about going outside, but now come back to her after a weekend and talk about what they discovered."I saw this. I saw that," she said they tell her. "What is it? What is it?"This exposure of one group of children to nature can have ripple effects, as Torrisi has seen with the bike club."Through the years, that gets passed on," he said. "Nature and the outdoor experience is what they verbally pass on to the next kids."


All good things on the agenda in my local community tonight -- a pharmacy, elementary school, trees and walkways and trails. It's a meeting not to be missed. If you are an Exeter Township resident, I strongly encourage you to attend tonight's meeting. Arrive prior to 7:00 to be sure you have a chance to sign up for public comments -- and let our appointed planners know that you appreciate their support of safer, better transportation network in our neighborhoods.

If you can't make it? Contact the township to support safer streets and better access for walking and biking. Write a letter to:

The Township of Exeter
4975 DeMoss Road
Reading, PA 19606

Office: 610.779.5660
Fax: 610.779.5950
E-mail: Troy S. Bingaman

A copy of tonight's agenda is below:
Call to Order – Pledge to the Flag
Motion to approve the minutes – May 5, 2009
Motion to approve the agenda
Public comments after presentation of the plan
GVCExeter School District Annexation
GVCExeter Township Elementary School
EACExeter Township Elementary School EAS – Phase I site assessment & Exeter School District
BOS – Minutes – May 11, 2009