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.