Thursday, March 31, 2011

Volunteers: We Need Your Help

Represent Walk Bike Berks by wearing your new member T-shirt when you volunteer at one or more of the following events for Earth Day:

Apr 30, 2011

Wyomissing Earth Day Celebration 2011
Happy Hollow Playground
10 AM - 2 AM
We need 3-4 volunteers willing to spend 1-2 hours tabling for WalkBikeBerks.
For more information, email

West Reading Earth Day Clean Up
Community Garden, South 2nd Avenue and Chestnut Street in West Reading
Volunteers will be assigned to one of several teams to accomplish tasks in the areas of:
A. Clean trash & litter along the west shore of the Schuylkill River.
B. Apply fresh compost soil to garden beds in the West Reading Community Garden.
C. Clean trash & litter along the West Shore By-Pass.
D. Plant flowers & shrubs in various locations.
Free lunch and refreshments provided courtesy of Third & Spruce Cafe. All gloves, tools, trash bags, etc. will be provided. For more information, contact Dean L. Rohrbach, Elm Street Manager, at 610.685.8854.

May 1
Reading Earth Day Celebration
10 AM - 9 PM
Riverfront Park
We need 3-4 volunteers willing to spend 1-2 hours tabling for WalkBikeBerks.
For more information, email .

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Mount Penn Elementary School Wins Berks County Walk to School Challenge!

Here is our letter of Congratulations to the Winner:
WalkBikeBerks ● PO Box 6795 ● Wyomissing ● PA ● 19610
February 23, 2011

Mount Penn Elementary School
Antietam School District
2310 Cumberland Ave.
Mt. Penn, PA 19606

Dear Mrs. Bleacher,

Congratulations! Your commitment to increase the number of students who use active transportation to and from your school each day is a remarkable achievement.
WalkBikeBerks would like to recognize you for the wonderful efforts you make every day to care for the health and safety of the students at Mount Penn Elementary.

WalkBikeBerks is awarding your school $500.00 to build better walking and bicycling for Mount Penn Elementary School. Please email with a good time for us to present you and your students with the Walk to School Challenge Cash Prize of $500.00.

We applaud you for identifying walking and bicycling as every day activities that will help school age students maintain healthy body weights, breathe cleaner air, and prepare their bodies for a successful day of study while at school.

Please find the attached graphs which reveal the results of our Walk to School Challenge. You can see that Mount Penn is the winning school for the highest percentage of students who walk and bicycle to school for this competition! Well done! Your program is an excellent example for all of the school districts in Berks County. Your students, your staff, and your community should be proud that you are making student health and safety a priority.

We look forward to helping you continue to build on your past success. When you work to increase the number of students who walk and bicycle to school, fewer students may suffer from overweight/obesity related issues such as Type II Diabetes, asthma, heart disease, some cancers, and mental health concerns such as depression and anxiety. WalkBikeBerks remains committed to helping you increase the number of students who use active transportation to Mount Penn Elementary.

Michele Barrett
Safe Routes to School Chair

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Simulator Shows Students Dangers Of Texting While Driving - Regional News - Berks Story - WFMZ Allentown

Simulator Shows Students Dangers Of Texting While Driving - Regional News - Berks Story - WFMZ Allentown

READING, Pa. -- If you are guilty of texting while driving, you may want to put down your cellphone.

Take This Survey

Below is a brief survey (11 questions) about your opinions on the links between transportation and public health. We at Fenton will use your responses to inform our recommendations to APHA on ways the two fields can better communicate and work together.

Thank you!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Celebrate St Patty's Day by Going Green [Transportation]


SIGN THE PETITIONAmerica needs a transportation system that ends our dependence on oil, cuts pollution, and provides clean, efficient, and affordable transportation options while putting the country back to work.
Why Green Transportation?

Trails, walking, bicycling and public transit are critical elements of a safe, efficient and healthy transportation system. And yet, we currently invest far too little in these programs, while putting nearly 80 cents of every federal transportation dollar into roadways for automobiles. It’s no wonder, then, that so many Americans can’t safely and conveniently walk, bike or take transit to get where they’re going.

Need more reasons why you should act? You should know that increased investment in trails, walking and bicycling means:

More jobs per dollar for small local businesses:
Design, engineering and construction of walking and bicycling facilities such as trails create more good jobs per dollar than do other transportation projects, while keeping the profits closer to home.
Positive returns for the federal budget:
Active transportation investments save the federal government money by reducing the need to build more expensive transportation infrastructure, cutting federal health-care costs and creating jobs.
Greater travel choices for the American public:
A recent national poll found that nearly three-quarters of Americans feel they "have no choice but to drive as much as" they do, and two-thirds "would like more transportation options."
Health and safety:
By incorporating exercise into their daily routines instead of having to make time during busy lives, many more Americans will be able to reach the surgeon general's physical activity recommendations. Further, 13 percent of highway fatalities involve pedestrians and bicyclists; providing safe and convenient places to walk and bicycle increases demand and reduces crashes.
Reduced oil dependence:
Automobiles are responsible for 40 percent of U.S. oil use. Cutting miles driven—and reduced congestion with fewer cars on the road—is among the best ways to manage our oil-related economic, environmental and security vulnerabilities. Shifting short trips to bicycling and walking could save four to 10 billion gallons of fuel each year.




-> Last week, a jury in Price George's County, Maryland, awarded $3.3 million to relatives of a woman killed by a motorist as she walked along a stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue that lacked pedestrian facilities. The jury found the state of Maryland liable in the wrongful death suit for not providing safe accommodations for pedestrians.

Read more: Click Here

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Our Streets Are Dangerous By Design

Dangerous By Design

Recently, several pedestrians in various locations in Berks County have been struck while walking across our streets. Too often, the victim is found to be at fault for walking where pedestrians are not allowed to walk. Such is the case with the following story reported in the Reading Eagle Newspaper:

"A woman and her adult son were struck by a car and injured Monday night while crossing the Fifth Street Highway near the Fairgrounds Square Mall in Muhlenberg Township, police said.

The 60-year-old woman and her 25-year-old son.... were walking to the mall and crossing the road ... when they were both struck by a southbound car ... Reading, police said.
[Driver] was not at fault, police said, adding that the area is clearly marked with a "No pedestrian crossing" sign

...Investigators said she had a green light and did not see the pedestrians in time to stop..."

In the report released by Transportation for America:
In the last 15 years, more than 76,000 Americans have been killed while crossing or walking along a street in their community. Children, the elderly and ethnic minorities are disproportionately represented in this figure, but people of all ages and all walks of life have been struck down in the simple act of walking. These deaths typically are labeled “accidents,” and attributed to error on the part of motorist or pedestrian. In fact, however, an overwhelming proportion share a similar factor: They occurred along roadways that were dangerous by design, streets that were engineered for speeding cars and made little or no provision for people on foot, in wheelchairs or on a bicycle.

The answer: Prevent deaths and promote health with safer design!