• September Walk With a Doc Prep Happening Now!
  • Equity Spotlight: New "Arrested Mobility" Podcast
  • Grant Deadlines May Mean Showtime or Point the Way for Future Apps
  • PennDOT Connects Webinar on AT Data Resources
  • League of American Bicyclists State Rankings Released
  • What's In a Word? Quick-Build
  • Infrastructure Insights From the Interwebs

Read this newsletter as a webpage here.
It may only be late April and you're still getting your brain around Spring and the upcoming Summer, but it's already time to be thinking about September if you're interested in being part of the big coordinated Walk With a Doc event. The PA partners for Walk With a Doc -- DCNR, Geisinger, and the Pennsylvania Medical Society -- encourage you to start planning now! They suggest you select a location, date, and time to host a 30- to 60-minute walk any time in September of this year. Choose a park or other safe walking route in your community as your site. And fill out the Walk With a Doc event registration by May 15. If you don't have a doctor to take part, the state organizers will hep you locate one. Then you can plan and promote your event using the available digital toolkit (available, that is, once your event is registered). During the event, take pictures and make sure people sign in so you can share photos and the roster of attendees with the state organizers. And don't stop there! If you're interested in hosting additional walks as an official Walk With a Doc chapter, the DCNR liaison can help you get signed up. Contact DCNR Recreation and Conservation Advisor Cheri Matter with any questions.
Charles T. Brown, the founder and CEO of Equitable Cities, an urban planning, policy, and research firm working at the intersection of transportation, health, and equity, has a new podcast out called Arrested Mobility. In it he takes on questions about why Black Americans and other people of color are disproportionately victims of overly aggressive police enforcement and brutality while walking, running, riding bicycles, taking public transit or driving and what we can do about it.

"Charles will take you to the streets of Philly, the sidewalks of Seattle, and the neighborhoods of Kansas City. In each place he'll ask: What can we do to change the outcomes when people of color step out their door to exist in the world?"
It can be hard to keep your eye on the funding ball! Try to be strategic about it. On the one hand, you might get frustrated if you miss things like the American Trails trail maintenance funding whose deadline just passed, but what you should actually do is mark your calendar now for next year and start getting anything you might need for your application in order.

Similarly, maybe you're poised to be able to take advantage of the upcoming CFA (Commonwealth Financing Authority) Multimodal Transportation Fund. Applications are due on July 31 by 4pm. Or maybe now is the time to review the guidelines with an eye to applying not this year but next. When you go through the details, you will need to take note not just of what the funds may be used for (in this case development, rehabilitation and enhancement of transportation assets to existing communities, streetscape, lighting, sidewalk enhancement, pedestrian safety, connectivity of transportation assets & transit-oriented development) but also how you need to build your case for your project as one of the ones to be selected. Do you already have design and budget in place? Are there requirements for surveys or site delineation? Do you need to put together a project team? (Make sure you're clear as well about the difference between this and the totally separate PennDOT Multimodal Transportation Fund, which has very different scope, funding levels and criteria and is not available every year.)
The next PennDOT Connects Active Transportation-related Drop-In webinar is scheduled for Thursday, May 12, at noon. Presenters Patrick Wright and Marvin Ta will be reviewing data considerations for bike/ped planning. If you are in the middle of your planning process now or have a completed plan on file already, you may think that this is what the consultants are for, but the reality is that those plans are part of a process that continues once the consultants are done. Once your plan is in place, you will need to be able to navigate at least some of the mapping resources in order to track your progress, look for updated data, and check for shifts in conditions.

If you haven't yet started an Active Transportation plan, learning about these sources can be a good way to make the case within your community for doing one and/or for seeking funding to do so.
The League of American Bicyclists just released their updated Bicycle-Friendly Rankings and state report cards. Pennsylvania remains in about the same place in the state rankings as it has been, at #12, in close proximity to Michigan and New York. The report cards review each state's performance across a range of measures and standards and also include a key list of recommendations. For PA, those include suggestions that the state incorporate Vision Zero into its Strategic Highway Safety Plan, increase bike/ped staffing at the District level, pass legislation to make parking-protected bike lanes and e-scooter/other micromobility device use legal, and revisit/update the Complete Streets policy statewide.

You may note that the Pennsylvania Downtown Center is now listed as the Statewide Advocacy Organization. We're not sure that great power comes with this designation, but we take the responsibility very seriously!
The term "quick-build" shows up in the Funding Toolkit shared last issue. It's not necessarily familiar. It refers to rapid implementation projects, something that is very much not the rule in the Commonwealth (though the pandemic response has highlighted the potential of and need for them). Quick-build projects go a step beyond temporary "pop-ups," "demonstration projects," or "tactical urbanism." The Minnesota Department of Transportation has put out a guide for demonstration projects. And the California Bicycle Coalition has a guide on quick-builds. In both cases, the projects are above all faster, cheaper, and bolder. They may entail a trial run or proof of concept. Whereas pop-ups are expected to be temporary (whether 1 day or 6 months), quick-build is more of a rapid implementation on the way to a more extensive or robust final product. Ultimately these projects entail the introduction of new design and street layouts in order to do something -- anything -- to address a critical issue. In many cases the project is intended to address an intolerable lack of safety in current infrastructure which accounts for the urgency to put it in place.
Active transportation really is ideal for people of all ages, abilities, means, and modes. And the benefits, while varied, often boil down to something very concrete for a given individual. In the examples below, maybe it has to do with the health benefits (and related financial implications) for one and for the other, it's all about autonomy, giving children safe places to explore and grow up (and their parents a bit of a break) without being imprisoned by dangerous traffic.
Portrait of a Cyclist
What a difference a transportation mode makes!
Youthful Independence?
It's cute and the commentary is pretty silly, but the implications are deadly serious. Does Japan really have communities designed to be so safe a toddler can run errands on their own?
Safe travels near and far!
Sam Pearson
M: 781.366.0726
PA Walkworks | Website