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Walk and Bike in September!

The weather has finally settled down a little bit and we’re headed to fall!  We know that everyone has been going a bit stir crazy, so now’s the time to start heading outside (again!) and get your steps in.  COVID-19 has put a real stop on life. But at the same time, it’s given us a chance to reconnect.  Take some time to get moving and center yourself. 

Normally we celebrate National Bike Month in May, but 2020 has been nothing like a normal year.  If you’re following along with your bingo card, we finally reached volcano.  The reality is, though, that biking and walking are some of the safest and most healthful things you can do during the pandemic.  According to The League of American Bicyclists “Bicycling makes life better. It makes us healthier and it makes us happier, two things that are always good for us and that are even more important in 2020. That’s why the League of American Bicyclists is so very excited to celebrate National Bike Month.”  Learn more about the Bike League’s September Bike to Work Week here.

In an effort to encourage and increase active transportation, Commuter Services of PA has decided to combine our Bike Challenge and Walk Like a Boss campaigns.  Now is a great time to rethink your commute and how you get around your neighborhood.  America Walks is a fantastic resource when it comes to making walkable communities.  They cite not just the health benefits, but the benefits to the community as a whole. “Good health is not the only benefit of walking. In fact, there is a broad range of individual and community benefits that accrue when people walk more often and when communities are designed to make walking safe, enjoyable, and convenient.

Safety Benefits: Walkable neighborhoods have much lower rates of traffic fatalities – for both pedestrians and motorists – compared with automobile-oriented areas.

Health Benefits: Fewer than 50% of Americans meet the minimum guidelines for moderate physical activity – walking is the easiest and most affordable way to correct this problem.

Social Equity Benefits: Low-income families are more reliant on walking for essential journeys than the middle class, and yet low-cost housing is often located in the most car-dependent places.

Transportation Benefits: One quarter of all trips in the U.S. are 1 mile or less, and yet most of these trips are taken by car – increasing walking reduces traffic congestion and the cost of road maintenance.

When you record your trip in Commute PA you can see the actual benefits to your health, your environment, and your community.  Just in the last six months of tracking my commutes (and telecommutes count!) I’ve already saved nearly $900 in gas, burned 15,000 calories, and didn’t emit 1500 lbs of CO2!

 Bike & Walk Week are coming up September 20th to the 26th – don’t forget to log in and record your trips to help us shatter last year’s record.  In September 2019 we recorded 283,291 reduced miles in single occupant cars.  This amounted to almost $165,000 saved by our members.  This year our goal is 350,000 miles and $175,000.  We know you have it in you, Pennsylvania!  Record your bike & walk trips for a chance to win some great prizes.  Tap the App to record bike and walk trips.

More details on our promotions can be found on our website HERE and if you are interested in making your community safer for pedestrians you can visit PA Walk Works for a host of free resources to make your neighborhood safer & more equitable for everyone.