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June 18, 2019

Norristown Farm Park

Did you know that there was a 690 acre park with a working farm dated back to 1764 in the heart of Norristown?  Yeah, I didn’t either.  But it is one of the Trails on the Montco Trail Challenge that we told you about last week.  Since I had not heard of this park before I decided to do some research.

According to dcnr.pa.gov (Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources,) there are 15 historic buildings on the property and many have been in use since colonial times.  The park is home to:

71 species of wildlife, fish, reptiles & amphibians

173 species of birds

89 species of trees

216 species of wildflowers

Nearly 80% of the park is an active farm, and the stream is stocked with trout regularly during the season.  There are 2 picnic pavilions that are available to reserve for parties.  The park allows you to bike, walk, hike, run, jog, picnic, fish, walk your dog and view the wildlife mentioned in their natural habitat.  And it is all minutes from the PA Turnpike.  Here is how you get there:

From the Pennsylvania Turnpike:

  • Take Exit 333 (Norristown)
  • Follow signs for Germantown Pike, west
  • Go approximately 4 miles to North Wales Road (first light after railroad tracks)
  • Turn left at light heading into the Barley Sheaf apartment complex
  • Stay to the right, go through the main gate, and follow signs to the park office/visitor center

 

Don’t forget to sign up for the Montco Trail Challenge and head over to Norristown Farm Park.  If you go let us know about it!  Email us at info@ptma-mc.org.

 

By: Tiffany Marrero

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 6, 2019

 

JUST ANNOUNCED -- THE MONTCO TRAIL CHALLENGE!


Are you up for a challenge?

 

If so, the MontCo Trail Challenge could be just the activity you’re looking for this summer! 

 

Through December 1, participants are encouraged to visit as many of the 13 trails listed below.  Use the free tally card available for download at https://www.montcopa.org/trailchallenge to record the unique symbol available at each location’s trail head (main entry).   

 

Points add up for a number of prizes including wearable reflectors, medals, and cooling towels!  Simply submit your info online or drop off at a park office.

 

The participating trails are:

Route 202                        Perkiomen Trail

Audubon Loop                  Powerline Trail

Chester Valley                  Schuylkill River Trail

Cynwyd Heritage             Schuylkill River Tow Path

Green Lane Park              Skippack Trail

Norristown Farm Park      Wissahickon Green Ribbon Trail

Pennypack Trail

 

Many of the trails are in close proximity to one of our free bike share programs!  For instance, the Horsham Library near the Powerline Trail and the Red Hill Library for Green Lane Park and the Perkiomen Trail.

 

More than 1,500 people took the MontCo Trail Challenge last year and explored the 92 miles of trails in the County – such as beautiful Green Lane Park below. 

 

We hope to see even more residents joining in on the fun now through December 1!

 

 

Written by:   Anthony Johnson

 

 

May 29, 2019

 

A-MAY-ZING DESTINATIONS!!


 When you think of the East Coast, the #1 place that probably comes to mind is New York City.  And for good reason.  It is the #1 populous city in the United States.  It has been described as the cultural, financial and media capital of the world.  Whether you want to visit to enjoy some delicious food, get your Central Park on or see a Broadway show, you probably will leave wishing you had more time to see just “one more thing.”  Another thing that probably comes to mind when you think of travelling to and within NYC is “traffic!”

 One way to ease your frusturation and opt out of the busy streets, honking drivers and stop and navigating bumper to bumper traffic is to use public transportation.  Did you know that you can easily get to Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan right from one of our local train stations?  That’s right!  You can simply head over to North Wales or Lansdale train station and take the train to Doylestown, or, drive to Doylestown and park there.  Then you just need to hop on the Trans-bridge lines and it will take you all the way to either Newark Airport, JFK Airport or Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan!  A roundtrip ticket from Doylestown to PABT is $59.55.  Which, if you factor in gas, tolls & parking, will probably save you money as well as frustration in the long run.  You can get their full schedule with pricing here.  Once in NYC, just hop on the subway!

 So now that we got you there, the fun can begin.  Where to eat?  What to do?  Sure, you can visit the Empire State Building or go to Times Square.  But if you want to do something less touristy and have a unique trip, check out our Top 5 Things to Do in New York City that you may not know about.

  1. Chelsea Market, 75 9th Ave. – Chelsea Market is a food hall, shopping mall, office building and television production facility located in the Chelsea neighborhood of the borough of Manhattan.  It occupies an entire city block, with a connecting bridge over Tenth Ave. There are so many different dining options, but my favorite would have to be Los Tacos.  But if you are not a taco fan, you can find sushi and lobster to burgers and fries all under one roof.  And that is just the food.  After you grab a bite, make sure to save time to hit the shops and boutiques for a fun afternoon.
  2. 5 Beekman Street, Manhattan – Located just one block from City Hall, 5 Beekman Street is an awe-inspiring structure.  The building has been vacant for nearly a decade, with part of it shut down in the 40’s, but architecturally speaking it is rich in history.  It was built in 1882 and  has largely been unpopulated and boarded up, therefore it retains almost all of its original form.  It is one of NYC’s earliest surviving pre-skyscraper office buildings, being the third building in the city to accommodate an elevator.  You’re welcome for adding that to your useless trivia to throw out at parties.  
  3. Pickle Soft Serve @ Lucky Pickle Dumpling Co., 513 Amsterdam Ave. – Chefs at this Upper West Side Eatery noted that around the world cultures use the flavor of pickles in their food to combat the spicy and heavy flavors in many dishes.  So they thought, “How can we use this in our food?”  Enter Pickle Flavored Soft Serve Ice Cream.  The finished product, infused with cucumber as well, is refreshing and described as “light-yet-creamy.”  Bucket list item anyone?  (p.s. I don’t think Lucky Pickle Dumpling Co. necessarily created pickle flavored soft serve, but they are one of the hippest places around to try this trend out.)
  4. The Elevated Acre @ 55 Water Street – This is what you would call an “experience.”  This one-acre meadow flanked by beautifully designed gardens is elevated above the city streets.  It is easy to overlook the anonymous entrance, but this best kept secret in Lower Manhattan features a lawn, amphitheater, beer garden and view of the East River, Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Bridge.   
  5. Brooklyn Superhero Supply Store, BrooklynThis one stop shop for all of your superhero or villain needs is more than meets the eye. The store stocks all manner of eccentric equipment and merchandise for your fantasies.  But the best part is that behind a false bookcase there is  a secret room that hosts an afterschool writing center co-founded by best-selling author Dave Eggers.  All of the profits from the store, which is run by volunteers, benefits the writing center.    Seriously.  How cool is this?

 

So now you have all the information you need to hit up NYC for a long weekend.  I know I am going to go.   If you try any of our unique destination ideas, let us know about it!  Email us at info@ptma-mc.org, or visit us on Facebook @PTMAMC.

By: Tiffany Marrero

pictured (L) The Elevated Acre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 16, 2019

A-MAY-ZING DESTINATIONS!!

 

She doesn’t look a day over 240! 

As America celebrates 243 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the eyes of the nation now turn toward our great city where Liberty was born.  Philadelphia comes alive the first week of July when hordes of visitors take a step back in time at Independence Hall, pose for selfies with the Liberty Bell, and breathe in history at the Betsy Ross home. 

 

 

Last week, city officials announced the Wawa Welcome America schedule, a free multi-day celebration that runs from June 29 – July 4.  Events take place throughout the City.  SEPTA is the preferred way to travel during this busy time with already-scarce downtown parking spots at even more of a premium during that week.  Don't forget - sign up for your SEPTA Key card, register it, and the $4.95 fee is returned to your account instantly.  A SEPTA one-day family pass allows one person age 18 and over (adult) and 4 persons under 18 (minors) or 2 adults and 3 minors to ride unlimited all day for $30.  Individual passes with unlimited trips on a single day can be bought for $13.  Find more info at: http://www.septa.org/fares/.  

 

 

And now that you're in the mood for saving money, be sure to check out these budget-friendly attractions while in town:

 

--The new Horwitz-Wasserman Holocaust Memorial Plaza (16th Street & Benjamin Franklin Parkway) is the country’s first public space dedicated to this dark time in our history.  The site is free and visitors can experience an even more personal experience by downloading the digital guide app.  https://www.philaholocaustmemorial.org/

 

 

 

--More than 57 stories in the air, One Liberty Place offers stunning views from the top of the City’s third tallest building!  Save the $15 fee by visiting on June 30 from 8:00am – noon, when tours are free.  https://welcomeamerica.com/event/free-museum-day-one-liberty-observation-deck/

 

 

--Being close to water is ideal on a hot summer day.  But how about being on top of the water?  Philadelphia’s newest free public space, Cherry Street Pier, allows you to walk through gardens, shop vendor booths, watch artists perfecting their crafts, and listen to engaging entertainment all in a massive fully restored wooden pier on the Delaware River.  https://www.cherrystreetpier.com/  

 

 

 

Did we mention the Phlash - a convenient, low-cost shuttle that zips through Center City with stops at these attractions and many more.  The colorful purple buses are only $5.00 for a day of unlimited rides or show your SEPTA Key card and you ride FREE!  https://welcomeamerica.com/guides/transportation/

 

Here’s to your pursuit of happiness this weekend and all summer long!

 

By: Anthony Johnson

 

 

 

 

May 8, 2019

A-MAY-ZING DESTINATIONS!!

 

This month we are talking about local destinations you may not know you can get to while using public transportation.  Whether you are looking to save some cash, go green, or just have a more relaxing commute, public transportation is the way to go.  Last week we told you how to get to Atlantic City for some sand and sun.  Or casinos and drinks, whatever floats your boat.  This week we are switching it up and telling you how to get to Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia. 

Morris Arboretum is a historic public garden and educational institution owned by the University of Pennsylvania.  They promote an understanding of the relationship between plants, people and place through programs that integrate science, art and the humanities.

From the Montgomery Mall, you can hop on the Route 94 bus and take it all the way to Stenton Ave. & Bethlehem Pike in Flourtown.  It would be about a 45 -50 minute ride.  From there, it is only about a 14 min. walk to the Arboretum, or you can use and Uber or Lyft to get there if you would prefer to not walk. 

The cost is $2.50 each way if you are using cash.  Don’t forget that you have to have the exact fare, as no change is given.  If you want to save some money and make things easier, use your SEPTA Key Card.  The fare is only $2.00 and is deducted right from your prepaid balance in your account.  If you don’t have a SEPTA Key Card yet, you can find out how to buy/load one here.

If you make it to the Arboretum, let us know about it!  Tag us on FB @PTMAMC or email info@ptma-mc.org.

 

 

By: Tiffany Marrero

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 3, 2019

 

A-MAY-ZING DESTINATIONS!!

 

This month, The Partnership TMA will spotlight several unique and interesting places in our region that you can actually get to by public transportation!  First up, one of my favorite year-round destinations ...

 

 

Warm waters welcoming you in for a swim.  Soft sand sifting through your toes.  Screeching seagulls swooping down to steal your funnel cake.

 

Ahh, there’s quite no other place on Earth quite like Atlantic City!  From the neon lights and ringing bells of the casinos to the rush of the amusement park rides, this beachside resort has been drawing millions of people to its world-famous Boardwalk for years. 

 

With the unofficial kick-off to the summer season at our doorstep, hordes of cars will begin to pack the Atlantic City Expressway each weekend. But there’s good news for those of us who want to experience the fun of the Jersey Shore without the frustration of the traffic jams. 

 

NJ Transit is restarting the Atlantic City Rail Line on Sunday, May 12.  The train starts at 30th Street Station in Philadelphia and has 7 stops before arriving in Atlantic City.  The ride lasts about 90 minutes and only costs $10.75 one-way.  The Atlantic City Rail Line has been out of service since last summer while engineers installed Positive Train Control safety features to each car. 

To see the new schedule, please visit https://www.njtransit.com/var/var_servlet.srv?hdnPageAction=ACRLTo.

 

 

While in Atlantic City, be sure to see beyond the beach by visiting The Walk.  The open-air outlet mall covers three blocks downtown and has more than 100 stores and restaurants including Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, DKNY, and Brooks Brothers.  Or, stop by historic Gardner’s Basin, a section of the city housing an attractive park away from the crowds as well as an aquarium and restaurants!

 

 

 

So whether it's for a fun-filled daytrip or a long relaxing holiday weekend, Atlantic City is always an amazing destination - and you can leave your car behind!

 

 

By:  Anthony 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 22, 2109

The future of Automobile Tech

Last week we told you about what features are standard in most cars today.   Ten years ago, cars with built-in navigation, bluetooth or parking sensors were only found in luxury vehicles.  Now they are mostly standard.  So what does that mean for 2029?  What will we be seeing?  The future of cars are being made now, so we don't need a crystal ball to try to figure out what's coming to the car industry.  Let's explore the up and coming tech trends in motor vehicles.

 

1. Connectivity- GM has offered OnStar for years now, and some other versions are NissanConnect, Apple Car Play and BMWAssist.  Toyota, Lexus and others all have variations of the popular service that connects you to things like Sirius XM Radio, Crash Assitance, Hands-Free Messaging and more, with the touch of a button.  They all vary as far was what they offer, but most offer things like being able to quickly connect to roadside assitance, answer and send calls and messages with your voice, calling an ambulance for you if you are unable to respond, and remotely starting your car with an app on your phone.  This will most likely be standard in 2029, for now, it is offered as an upgrade to base models.  Another thing to note is these services generally charge a subscription fee.

 

2.  Autonomous Driving - This is quickly becoming more popular and mainstream, with companies like Tesla introducing an auto-pilot system.  First there was cruise control, then techonology offered ways for us to stop, steer and accelerate independently.  Tesla realized if we can do all of these things separately, there must be a way to combine them to simultaneously talk to each other and work together.   Drivers are still needed behind the wheel and to be responsible for the car ultimately, but the idea is that with human imperfection, having a computer do a lot of the work for you will go a long way for safety on the roads.

 

3.  Connected Cars-  Did you know the original animated Disney movie Cars came out in 2006?  It did.  And that makes me feel old.  But Disney knew what was up back then because cars of the (near) future will basically be talking to each other like Mater and Lightning McQueen.  Ok so they won't actually speak, but it might be even creepier becuase they will just sense that there are cars near them, and sense what they are about to do or just did.  And then, they will change lanes or move or brake all before you can say " Life is a highway."

 

We can already sit back and ask Siri/Alexa/Google to make a phone call, create an email, order food or stock up on toilet paper.  Pretty soon driving a car will take about as much effort.  I wonder what will be happening in 2030?  Flying cars, anyone?

 

By: Tiffany Marrero

   

 

 

 

 

 

April 15, 2019

Mobility Monday

This is not your grandfather’s Buick. 

That popular old saying has never been truer as today’s cars and trucks continue to evolve.  Filled with safety features and creature comforts, automobiles now offer something for even the most discriminating shopper.  Let’s take a look at some of the popular features that are standard in many cars being sold today:

 

 

Rearview or back-up cameras were created to solve one of the biggest problems facing drivers – the dreaded blind spot!  The days of using an inside mirror, two outside mirrors - and a healthy dose of luck – are over for many new car owners.  Crystal-clear images broadcast from the back of the car along with complete 360-degree views in some models make backing up a much safer experience for the driver - and for any recycling bins that are in the way!

 

 

At The Partnership TMA, we are constantly reminding the general public about the dangers of talking and driving.  Or, texting and driving.  Or, playing Candy Crush and driving.  I think you get the picture.  Any handheld electronic device can be extremely distracting.  In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), taking just 5 seconds to read or text means your eyes are not focused on the road long enough to have traveled the entire length of a football field if driving at 55 mph!  Auto manufacturers worked in conjunction with cell phone providers to install Bluetooth or hands-free capability in the vehicles.  And, while many statistics show that fumbling with Bluetooth features or being thoroughly engaged in conversation no matter the device can be just as dangerous, there’s no denying that more and more buyers are looking to have Bluetooth standard.

 

 

Lastly, as someone who loves horror movies, it’s because of them that I love the last items on my list – power windows and locks!  How many times have you seen Bigfoot chasing the person to the car, the scared person jumps into the car safe and ready to pull off until ... Bigfoot jiggles open the door handle and the screen fades to black?  Having a quick way to create a safe zone by locking all doors and rolling up all windows with the press of a button is all that person would have needed in order to speed off leaving Bigfoot eating some serious dust!

 

Next week – we’ll look at some exciting new features that are soon to become must-have items for savvy car shoppers.  Thanks for reading!

 

Submitted by:  Anthony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 8, 2019

Mobility Monday

Bike Commuting

Spring is in the air in Montgomery County right now.  I bet a lot of you had the same thoughts as me while working inside at your office all day, which was "I wish I was outside right now!" Well, one way to increase your time in the outdoor sunshine and also get your exercise in for they day is by commuting to your job by bike.   Your first reaction might be something along the lines of "What??!?!"  But believe me, it can be a feasible option for some of us.  Let me break down for you some ideas on how to get started.

1. Make sure it is an achievable distance.  If you work in Philly and live in, say, Hatfield, you are not going to commute via bike.  But Hatfield to Montgomeryville? Probably doable!  Plan your route to make sure there are safe ways to ride during your entire commute.  

2. Don't go all or nothing. Start small, even trying it out once per week is a good start.  

3. Wear a helmet.  Nough said.

4. Do a dry run on the weekend.  Make sure you know where you are going, and that way you can time yourself to see when you will need to leave.

5. Bright clothing or a bright vest is a must.  

6. If you plan to change when you get to work, take clothes to work the day before.

7. Shower if possible, if not use soap, water, washcloth or both when you get to the office.

8. Always have a charged cell phone with you, that way if something happens on your way in to work you can call for help or a ride.

 

So why not give it a try?  You don't have anything to lose, except money and pounds. Here are some extra tips that I also am in agreement with 100%.  Especially number 1.

By: Tiffany Marrero

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 1, 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mobility Monday

 

If you have ever been to New York City, there is probably one memory that is inescapable – the GRIDLOCK!

Whether it’s the congested streets, the crowded subways, or the packed public spaces, the Big Apple is definitely well-used to its very core.  But a group of NY lawmakers are attempting to tackle traffic congestion in parts of the city by recently approving a congestion pricing plan.

 

 

 

 

Congestion pricing works by charging a fee to enter NYC via private vehicle in a section of Manhattan starting at 60th Street in Midtown (George Washington Bridge) and going south to the tip of the borough.  The amount charged will increase during peak travel times (e.g. morning rush) but will decrease or even disappear during times with traditionally lighter traffic.  This practice is currently being used in cities such as London and Stockholm, but no other American city has attempted it just yet.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So how does it work?  Drivers would be charged through an existing EZ Pass transponder in their vehicles or a bill will be sent to the person registered to that vehicle’s license plate.  Congestion pricing has mixed reviews.  Those in favor believe it’s a logical way to raise funds for much-need road repairs and public transit improvements while also helping to cut traffic congestion and related air pollution.  The New York Times noted that within a year of implementation in 2003, London reported an 18% drop in the number of vehicles entering the targeted area, a 30% reduction in traffic delays, and a 12% increase in air quality due to fewer emissions being spewed out of vehicles.  Critics, however, believe it is one more tax on working people (with no guarantee the rates won’t continue to rise) and that also some of the technology needed to make such a system work (e.g. mounted cameras and overhead gantries) amount to “visual pollution”. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Locally, the idea of congestion pricing has been mentioned for Center City with a related idea of “Lexus lanes” proposed for motorists on the Schuylkill Expressway, the Blue Route, or Roosevelt Boulevard who wouldn’t mind paying a fee to have access to a dedicated lane during rush hour.  In fact, the Metro US this week cited a study that found Philadelphia tied for second-place with San Francisco for the American city with the slowest travel times in the downtown core (yes, New York City was unfortunately #1).

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

It will be interesting to see what we can learn from our neighbor to the north’s bold step forward into the unknown.

By: Anthony Johnson

 

 

 

March 25, 2019

Mobility Monday


Featuring:  How to buy a bike

There are a lot of things to consider when purchasing a bicycle.  And considering most new bike's are going to cost you at least several hundred dollars, you want to do some research on what matters.  Here are 10 things that you should consider when making your decisions.

1. Start with what you are going to be using the bike for.  Are you just going to take it to the park once in a while and ride on the cement paths?  Are you looking to start doing mountain biking in some of our area parks that have hilly trails?  Do you want to just ride around the neighborhood with your toddler in tow?  Once you determine what you will be doing with the bike, then you can go from there.  If you are unsure of what kind of bike to buy based on what you goals are, the best thing you can do is to visit a local and trusted bike shop to get advice.  

2. Next firgure out your budget.  To get a good mountain bike, you most likely won't be spending anything less than $500.  Bikes can go up to the thousands of dollars, and quality does matter.  So before you even start shopping, set a budget based on how interested you are in this new hobby, how much you are willing to spend and how committed you are.

3. Test drive before you buy.  Even if you find a really goodlooking bike on a really good sale, but you hop on for a ride and something just doesn't feel quite right, you might not want to buy it.  You can request to have the bike fitted for you, and you can always make adjustments to things on the bike.  But this usually costs extra, and it can really add up if you need to make a lot of adjustments.

4.  Do not test drive a bike in the store and then buy it online.  If you are going to go to a bike shop (which I recommend!), you don't want to go there and get all of the advice you need and help and then take your business elsewhere.  It's not fair to do that, and you will want to maintain a relationship with your bike shop for the future.  Buying a bike is like entering into a relationship.  A lot of shops offer free tuneups and other perks to loyal customers.  Also, you can't guarantee the bike you order online will feel the same way as the one you tested at the store.

5. Don't forget to ask for discounts and sales.  Profit margins on new bikes are typicall small, so you may not be looking at huge savings, but it doesn't hurt to ask.  You may be able to haggle some higher margin accessories at a good discount.  And please make sure a helmet is your number 1 accessory on your list of must haves to add to your purchase.  I would go into the reasons why a helmet is so important, but it is such a long list, we will have to save that for another blog.

In Montgomery County, we are fortunate to have so many places, parks, and safe roadways to be able to ride on.  Buying a bike can be a big expense initially, but if you use it regularly for exericse, fun, commuting or running errands, your initial investment will be paid back to you in many ways.

By: Tiffany Marrero

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 11, 2019

Mobility Monday


Featuring:  Bike Rodeos

One really fun way to get kids involved in learning about bike and helmet safety is to hold a “Bike Rodeo”.  It’s not the kind of rodeo with cowboy hats and boots.  It’s actually a fun event where children bring their own bikes, police and other safety officials can attend, there is usually some type of obstacle course set up for the kids to ride through, and then there are various safety demonstrations and even helmet fittings.  Of course, the details vary depending upon the event.  The idea is to have children practice their bicycle riding skills in a safe environment, with qualified people there to help children learn how to be safe while riding. The TMA enjoys supporting these Bike Rodeos because we know how important bike and helmet safety is. 

Here are some of the facts according to helmet.org:

  • From January 2006 through December 2015, more than 2.2 million children age 5 to 17 years were treated in US hospital emergency departments (EDs) for bicycle-related injuries. This averages to 608 cases per day, or 25 every hour.
  • Most injuries (45.7%) involved children 10 top 14 years of age and boys (72%).
  • Helmet users were less likely to injure head or neck (OR: 0.52) and be hospitalized (OR: 0.71).
  • Motor vehicle involvement increased the odds of bicycle-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) (OR: 1.98) as well as injury-related hospitalizations (OR: 4.04).
  • The most common injury regions were upper extremities (36%), lower extremities (25%), face (15%), and head and neck (15%). The most common types of injury were bruises and scrapes (29%) and cuts (23%).
  • Overall, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) represented 11% of total injuries and were most common among patients 10 to 14 years of age (44%). About 4% of patients were hospitalized.


Bicycle injuries and deaths affect children and young people more often than any other age group.

  • In 2005, 44 percent of nonfatal bicycle injuries occurred in children and youth age 5 to 20.
  • In 2005, the rate per million of nonfatal bicycle injuries in children and youth age 5 to 20 was 462.17 compared to 153.3 overall.
  • In 2005, children and youth age 0 to 20 made up 23.4 percent of bicycle fatalities.
  • In 2005, the rate per million of bicycle fatalities in children and youth age 5 to 20 was 4.37 compared to 2.64 overall.
  • In 2005, children under 15 accounted for 53 percent of bicycle injuries treated in emergency departments.
  • From 1999 to 2002, the average annual cost of bicycle fatalities in children and youth age 0 to 19 was $1.03 billion.
  • From 1999 to 2002, the average annual cost of nonfatal bicycle injuries in children and youth age 0 to 19 was $3.6 billion.

Young cyclists are more likely than adult cyclists to die of head injuries, most of which are caused by motor vehicle collisions. Among children and youth age 0 to 19 in 2000:

  • Head injuries accounted for 62.6 percent of bicycle fatalities.
  • Collisions with motor vehicles accounted for 75.7 percent of bicycle fatalities.
  • 61.7 percent of motor vehicle collision deaths were due to head injury.

Kids might initially be hesitant to wearing a helmet.  But as you can see, a little bit of frustration on your part as a parent or caregiver can mean your child’s life.  Always say yes to wearing a helmet.  Make it a rule from the start so they are less likely to resist.  The PTMA will be holding Bike Helmet Safety workshops around the Montgomery County area for local elementary schools.  If you are interested in working with us, contact us at info@ptma-mc.org.  Or call us at 215-997-9100.

 

 

 

By: Tiffany Marrero

 

 

March 4, 2019

Mobility Monday

Every dynamic city has a dynamic transit agency, and Philadelphia is certainly no exception!  With an annual operating budget of $1.45B to service more than 1.3 million daily riders, SEPTA provides bus, trolley, light rail, commuter rail, and trackless trolley options throughout its 2,200 square mile service area – that’s twice the size of Rhode Island!

As you can imagine, an agency this large generates lots of news daily.  The Partnership TMA would like to catch you up on some of the latest updates from SEPTA:

  1.  SEPTA bus route schedules (including Routes 80, 94, 96, 132, 310, and 311) changed on February 24, 2019.
  2. New SEPTA Regional Rail schedules go into effect on Sunday, March 10, 2019.  The Lansdale/Doylestown timetable has “significant changes” that include earlier departure times and adjusted train service patterns.
  3. New 1-trip tickets and 1-trip tickets with transfer are now available for human services agencies that had found it difficult to provide trips to clients under SEPTA Key.  The new tickets serve the same purpose as traditional tokens – use only one per ride.
  4. Congratulations to our member, HNTB Engineers Inc., for winning a bid to provide design services on the Norristown High Speed Line’s extension to King of Prussia!  
  5. If you work or visit University City, we have a new bus route to tell you about! SEPTA Route 49 began service on February 24 and operates between Strawberry Mansion and Grays Ferry via 30th Street Station and Ben Franklin Parkway.
  6. Proof of valid fare is required at all Center City stations daily before accessing the platform to catch the train.

7. With the world-famous Philadelphia Flower Show in bloom through March 10, SEPTA ticket counters are selling show tickets/train fare combo passes at a significant savings!  Ambler, Fort Washington, and Lansdale will have extended hours on Saturday, March 9 from 8:30am – 3:00pm and Sunday, March 10 from 7:30am – 2:00pm.  (Enjoy this flashback picture from last year when our Marketing Coordinator, Tiffany, used SEPTA for the first time to attend the show!)

8. The Quiet Ride program on all Regional Rail lines is temporarily suspended to accommodate increased ridership during the Philadelphia Flower Show.

Thank you for reading – and riding!

 

 

By: Anthony Johnson

 

 

February 25, 2019

Mobility Monday

Featuring: Vision Zero   

I was able to attend a webinar this week about Vision Zero.  In case you don’t know what that is, it’s a strategy being adopted by communities across North America to eliminate traffic fatalities and severe injuries.   While safe mobility is not a new concept, Vision Zero requires a shift in how communities approach decisions, actions, and attitudes around safe mobility.  Why is this necessary?  According to WHO, traffic accidents are the 8th leading cause of deaths globally.  The vision was first adopted as policy in Sweden in 1997, and since then, traffic deaths have dropped by 30%.  Here are some things I learned that are important areas to focus on for Vision Zero to become successful:

1.      What’s the difference between the prior approach and the Vision Zero approach?  Traffic related injuries and deaths were considered inevitable.  Focus was put on perfecting human behaviors to prevent injury and death, and the focus was on individuals.  Vision Zero says traffic deaths ARE preventable, focus on the system not the individual, and integrate human failing into your approach.  This means instead of focusing on preventing mistakes, like a child running out into the street after a ball, focus on the fact that those things WILL happen, but it should not be a fatal mistake.

2.      Slowing down saves lives.  The number one thing we can do is to reduce our speed on the road.  That could involve getting the speed limit reduced in certain high impact areas, or installing more speed bumps.  On a personal level, we can all be more cognizant of our speed and pledge to remain vigilant to not go over.  Studies have shown that the difference between a pedestrian surviving being hit by a car at 20 mph is that 9 out of 10 will survive, while only 1 in 10 will survive a crash at 40 mph.

3.      Equity and Engagement.  Elevating equity and meaningful community engagement, particularly in low-income communities and communities of color, should be a priorty in all stages of Vision Zero work.  Not surprisingly, low-income areas tend to have less sidewalks, and low-income people as well as people of color are 2x more likely to be killed by walking.  This means engaging these communities in particular and providing the education needed as well as the tangible changes needed to make a difference.

4.      Reducing cars on the roadway.  If we increase cycling and walking, thus decreasing vehicle travelling, we will be reducing emissions & air pollution, have fewer crashes and fatalities and create a safer environment for all.

5.      It’s going to take time.  Vision Zero will not be implemented overnight.  Like the saying “It takes a village to raise a child”, it is going to take the community, elected officials, public agencies and police to come together to grow the vision.  Montgomery County has a lot of people working on this to create a safe environment for us all, and we can all do something to have a part. 

An average of 100 people lose their lives each day nationally in traffic crashes.  This loss and suffering is preventable.  Vision Zero is not a tag line or even just a program, it is a fundamental shift in how communities approach the issue of safe mobility.  To make a real difference, it will take a firm commitment to change.  You can learn more at www.VisionZeroNetwork.org. 

By: Tiffany Marrero

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 14, 2019

Telecommuting Thursday


Featuring: Tips and Tricks for Working @ Home

In the past 3 weeks we have helped you learn all about why telecommuting is good for both employee and employer, ideas on how to convince your boss to allow it and help with setting up a work at home policy/home office.  What now?  Hopefully you were able to get a telecommuting schedule.  If you did, here are some tips and tricks to help you be successful, from people who have been there before you…

1.     Keep a sign on your office door with “Office Hours”.  Anything that helps you establish a set schedule and allows others in your home to be aware of this is good.  This could be a small framed chalkboard that you are able to write (and change as needed) your hours for the day when you are not available.  If you have small children at home, you could fashion a stop light which makes a good visual for them knowing that red means Stop (Do not come in) and green means they can!

2.     If you have a laptop at your office and can take it home, you will never have to worry about something being on your “work computer” when you are not in the office.  If that isn’t an option, Inc.com had a great suggestion to make full use of the cloud or google drive.  These storage programs are web based, so you can access any documents you need from any computer.  That way you can start working on your project in the office, save it to the cloud (or google drive, which I prefer), and then finish it from home just by signing into your account.  This storage is free up to a certain amount.

3.     Get out of the house.  If you work from home full time, it will no doubt get very boring at times.  It’s a good idea to get a fresh perspective and head out to your local coffee shop to get some work done.  A lot of places have free Wi-fi and allow anyone to access it at no charge.  The only caveat is security.  Usually, places like Starbucks have completely unencrypted hotspots.  This means your data could be at risk while you are connected to them.  Surfeasy.com has some great tips to stay secure.  1. Disable sharing in your settings on your device.  2. Ensure your software is up to date. 3. Use a VPN if you can.  It is a way to stay connected and keep your data private when accessing public hotspots. 

4.     Enjoy the flexibility!  One of the absolute best things about working from home is that you can be flexible.  I used it to put a lot more movement into my day.  Set your schedule so you have some chunks of time throughout your day to go for a bike ride, take a walk or take a dip in your pool on those hot days.  Studies prove that this gets your creative juices flowing, gives you more energy and keeps you more alert and awake.  Bonus – this all makes you a better employee and more productive!

5.     Have scheduled meals & snacks.  Otherwise you are liable to find yourself walking into the kitchen on the regular mindlessly munching.  This should stay the same as if you were in the office.  If you take lunch at 12 for 30 minutes in your office, do the same at home.  And keep snacks and coffee breaks the same as well.

6.     Check in with your boss and co-workers throughout the day.  This shows your boss that yes, you are there and yes you are working, and keeps you connected to your team.  Set up video meetings, be on instant messaging and answer emails promptly.  Technology makes this so easy today, with free communication tools like HipChat (for group chatting), Trello & Asana are great resources for project management you can share between co-workers, Expensify tracks your expenses and Squiggle keeps your webcam turned on so any one of your team mates can get in contact with you when they need too.  And it is almost like being in the office. 

These are just some of the ideas I used and heard worked for others to be successful telecommuting.  Some experts suggest everyone will be working from home in the (not too distant) future, so you may as well get some experience with it now if you can!  If you have a good tip for working from home, please tell us about it!  You can email me at marketing@ptma-mc.org, or tweet to us @PTMA19454 or Facebook @PTMAMC. 

By: Tiffany Marrero

 

 

 

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