Over 100 Bicyclists Celebrate Bike to Work Day with TMACC

5.19.2017_6_Riding OutOver 100 bicyclists from over 10 Chester County businesses filled the Chester Valley Trail to celebrate National Bike to Work Day in Chester County hosted by the Foundation for the Improvement of Transportation (FIT); powered by TMACC.

For the past 7 years, TMACC and FIT have hosted a fun corporate challenge posed to Chester County’s businesses to bring out the most riders from a company.  The Bike to Work Day Challenge is an energy driven morning, which continues to grow as more people discover using the trail for their commutes.

cvt map

TMACC Executive Director, Tim Phelps, stated that the Chester Valley Trail has been a huge asset in promotion of biking to work.  “Since the Chester Valley Trail opened in 2010, we’ve leveraged it to celebrate bike to work day and promoting it as Chester County’s “US 202 for trails.”  It is a safe, convenient and accessible alternative to using your car to get to work.  We hope more people consider commuting by bike.”

5.19.2017_Cerner w TrophyThe ride culminated with breakfast and awards at the Royal Worthington, a luxury apartment complex located in the Uptown Worthington Town Center.  The winners of TMACC’s challenge was Cerner with over 40 riders.  Vanguard came in second with 18 riders and Traffic Planning, and Design were third with 13.

The Foundation for the Improvement of Transportation (FIT) is a 501 (c) 3 foundation managed by local transportation demand management advocacy organization, the Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC).

For more photos from Bike to Work Day, visit our Flickr site!

5.19.2017_13_Tim Speaking

10 Tips to Start Biking to Work

Biking to WorkBike to Work Week is just a few days away now and a great time to start your new commute!  If you’re new to biking to work, or even biking in general here are 10 tips below that can get you started.

Check Your Gear:
As you’re planning your new commuting habits, check to see if you have all the necessary equipment and its condition.  Your check list should include: a well-running bike (make sure its serviced by a professional if you haven’t road in a while); a properly-fitted helmet; a bike light for those early morning and late evening commutes; and a backpack that fits all your work related items.

Biking LayerChart Your Route: Make it Attainable!
Before setting out on your normal route to work, make sure your commute is safe and attainable.  Maybe you only live a few miles away from work, but that route has windy roads and minimal shoulders; or maybe your roads are safe, but it’s a long commute.  If your normal commute is unsafe, chart out a different route to work.  Map out alternate roads that are safer and connect to trails.  An easy way to check for trail connections and safe biking roads is with Google Maps’ Bicycling layer.  This layer will show you official trails in your area and safe roads to ride on.  If your commute is longer than your body or schedule can handle, consider driving to a destination close by and riding the rest of the way.

Choose a Road with Minimal Traffic
Choosing a quiet road when considering your route will be helpful to keep your stress level down.  Even the most experienced cyclist will be more stressed in the presence of heavy traffic.  Also, think about it from the motorist side: Have you ever been stuck in traffic on a slim road just because there’s a cyclists ahead of you and no one can safely pass them? Quieter roads are better for everyone.

Set an Achievable Frequency:
Keep with a frequency works for you! Commuting by bike 5 days a week, sounds like a great plan, but is it something your schedule can handle?  Set a commuting goal of one to three times per week then add more frequency.

Do a Dry Run on a Day Off:
Commuting by bike is completely different than commuting by car – make sure you do a dry run on a day off.  If you’re doing it on a weekend, make sure you know the amount of traffic the road gets during rush hour.

Don’t Worry About What You’re Wearing:
We’ll let you in on a secret: You don’t have to wear lycra to be a cyclist.  If you have a short commute and are able to ride in your work attire, then do it!  All you need to ride your bike is a properly-fitted helmet and working bicycle.

But DO Consider Riding Shorts:
It doesn’t matter what you wear while riding, but if you’re commuting longer distances you may want to purchase padded riding shorts.  Your butt will thank you.

Fix A Flat Video

Learn How to Fix a Flat Tire:
A flat tire will ruin anyone’s day, especially if you’re on a busy road and need to get to work.  Know how to change a flat tire.  There are plenty of videos on YouTube to learn or check with your local bike shop to see if they have any fix-a-flat workshops.

Take Clothes and Food to Work the Day Before Your Ride:
Lugging around extra clothes and food while you’re riding can be uncomfortable.  Take work clothes and your food with you to work the day before your ride.

Find Friends:
Biking to work with a friend can keep you motivated and improve your visibility on the road.  Check your company’s HR Department to see if there is a cycling group or ask your riding buddies that work near you if they would like to change their commute with you.

If you don’t have cycling friends here is a good way to make them: www.nationalbikechallenge.org.  The National Bike Challenge, powered by Strava, is a fun way to log your riding miles and see how other locals compare to you May through September.  TMACC is hosting a local advocacy challenge on the website called “Chester County’s Bike Challenge Presented by TMACC”.  We will have monthly rides and prizes to give away during the challenge. Sign up today!

Bike to Work Day Header for Constant ContactCelebrate Bike to Work Day!
A good way to get tips and encouragement is to celebrate biking to work with friends!  National Bike to Work Day is May 19th and all over the country advocacy and biking groups are hosting fun rides.  If you live or work in Chester County, make sure to sign up for TMACC’s Bike to Work Challenge at www.tmacc.org and bring your co-workers!  The more riders you bring, the better chance at winning the TMACC Bike Horns Trophy.  If you don’t live in Chester County, check your local TMA or bicycling advocacy group for a ride.

Tell Congress: Commuter Benefits Have Value

Phelps HeadshotA special letter from TMACC Executive Director, Tim Phelps:

In planning and funding transportation infrastructure the Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC) believes we should be mode agnostic and focus on the holistic approach of the multimodal movement of people; pedestrian, cyclists, cars, and public transportation. As we build federal and state policy, whether its Tax or Transportation Investment, we need to be visionary, flexible, and incentive based. An example of one of these successful programs that is currently offered by many businesses is Commuter Benefits.

As Congress, and specifically the Ways and Means Committee, begins the process reforming the tax code we urge Members to preserve the Commuter Benefits offered in section 132(f) of the tax code.

TMACC commends Congress for tackling the tremendous task of tax reform. Commuter Benefits are a staple in many employee benefits packages nationwide; a benefit that encourages employees to use alternative commuting options. Commuter Benefits are being offered in all states and have a value to businesses of all shapes and sizes. The provision enables employers to subsidize commuting expenses or for employees to contribute on a tax advantaged basis through a payroll deduction. Thus, employers can reduce payroll taxes, providing sound fiscal savings and providing many employers with additional resources to expand and create new jobs. The benefit accomplishes this in a simple manner without any administrative burden on taxpayers. Commuter Benefits help working Americans reduce what is often their second largest household expense – transportation.

Elimination of the commuter benefit would negatively impact millions of Americans who may see a small reduction in their tax bracket, but a large increase in their commuting costs. For example, a working family that takes advantage of the full allowable monthly pre-tax deduction for transit in 2017 could pay as much as $1,200 more in taxes. Eliminating Commuter Benefits would also then result in an increase in payroll taxes for small and large businesses.

  • Higher Taxes – If tax advantaged parking and/or transit benefits are eliminated, employer provided parking now must be valued, accounted for and taxed.
  • Parking Growth-NOT Job Growth– Employers may spend money, space and resources to expand parking areas or rent/lease additional parking.
  • Less Productive Workforce – More drive time + less money = Unhappy and less productive workforce.

Commuter Benefits have achieved over 30 years of bi-partisan support. In partnership with the Association of Commuter Transportation (ACT), we urge Congress to continue the preservation of these vital transportation benefits as they work towards tax reform legislation. Commuter Benefits work.

Enjoy Commuter Benefits? Take five minutes on the ACT website ( http://association-commuter-transportation.rallycongress.com/ctas/save-transit-benefit-dont-create-transportation-tax ) to defend them.

TMACC is a membership based non-profit transportation advocacy organization working with the public and private sectors of Chester County to identify transportation issues and recommend solutions that increase connectivity, reduce congestion and improve air quality.  To learn more about TMACC visit www.tmacc.org.

To learn more about the Transit Benefits, click on the links below

Transit Benefit Primer_ACT 2017

APTAReport_CommuterBenefitPaper_ESONLY (002)

Multimodal Plans Slated for Tredyffrin, West Whiteland, Downingtown and Coatesville

At the Transportation Management Association of Chester County’s (TMACC) Annual Spring Breakfast, multimodal planning was the key theme for the morning’s discussion.  Representatives from Treydffrin, West Whiteland, Downingtown and Coatesville gathered to present future improvements for their communities.

“Being close to public transportation allows us greater mobility opportunities.” said Executive Director of TMACC, Tim Phelps, in his opening remarks, “Applying transportation oriented development principals to our communities along the Keystone Corridor creates new residential and business opportunities and reduces road and highway congestion.  We are excited that these municipalities see the opportunity and are reshaping their communities around their rail stations in partnership with Amtrak and SEPTA.”

Among the plans for Tredyffrin improvements were the demolition of the current North Valley Rd Bridge and the extension of Darby Road to include a new bridge.  Tredyffrin Township Manager, Bill Martin, also discussed the East Central Avenue Multi-Modal, which includes new sidewalks and the addition of bike lanes.  The East Central Avenue project is expected to begin in May and be completed by the end of 2017.

West Whiteland, although ahead with their Exton Train Station construction, discussed challenges with planning to connect people to their station. “Transportation oriented development surrounds Exton, except we can’t easily get people to transportation in Exton.” said West Whiteland Township Manager Mimi Gleason.

As of now, West Whiteland has five plans and projects going on to improve mobility in the township including a Main Street to Exton Station Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan, the Chester Valley Trail Extension Plan and the Pottstown Pike Congestion Mitigation Plan to try and find alternative, safer ways to get to the Exton Train Station.  “In an ideal world, Exton Station would be in the middle of Exton, but instead we have 5 lane highway to be crossed, bridge abutments and multiple bypass on and off ramps in the way.  Planning for safe connections has been no easy task, but we know we have to create them.”

Mike Trio, City Manager of Coatesville reported that the 3rd Avenue Streetscapes Project has received final PennDOT approval and will move ahead with the project in June 2017.  The 3rd Avenue Streetscapes Project is the beginning to the 4 Phase Coatesville Train Station Improvement Project.  The next three phases in the project are the 4th Avenue Streetscapes Project (Phase 2), the Train Station Improvement Project (Phase 3) and, finally, the creation of a parking garage with office space.

Trio stated that his main focus for this project is to improve the lives of the residents in Coatesville, “The heart and soul of Coatesville are the people.  Planning for the improvement of their lives and connections is the main goal in our plans.”

The event ended in a panel discussion where guests from the audience were able to ask questions about each representative’s projects.  The event was hosted at Downingtown Country Club.

Chester County 2020 Joins TMACC Membership

East Whiteland, PA – The Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC) announced today that Chester County 2020 is now a member of the local transportation advocacy’s organization.Chester County 2020

Chester County 2020 (CC2020) is a board-run charity, established in 1996.  CC2020 works to educate, convene and facilitate conversations that address common issues in Chester County; dispel misguided rumors that develop in any community discussion; and produce measurable action on issues that affect the county’s quality of life.

CC2020 focuses on wise land use and has been recently concerned with the increase in Chester County’s population. The major increase in population translates into multiple challenges for livable communities, resource protection and increased traffic congestion.  Investing in TMACC through membership ensures more work in creating a better, more connected community.

“A community’s assets have little value if citizens cannot get to and from where they live, work and play. That is why we at Chester County 2020 want to do all we can to support innovative transportation management as exemplified by TMACC.” said William Stevens, Executive Director of CC2020.

TMACC is a member-based transportation advocacy organization working to reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality in Chester County through transportation management strategies.  To learn more about TMACC and its members, visit www.tmacc.org.

Ground Breaking for Paoli Train Station

From Executive Director of TMACC, Tim Phelps

While talking with constituents, friends and family about the Paoli train station, I have heard either “that will be a cold day in hell” or “never in my lifetime.” For over thirty years, a discussion about the renovation of one of the busiest stations in the Delaware Valley and the busiest station outside of Philadelphia has taken place. The complexity of the station from geography to bureaucracy is one of epic proportions: from who owns what to who is responsible for what maintenance.

Finally, on Tuesday February 28, 2017, a “Kodak moment” took place with the ground breaking of the most significant portion of the first phase of the project, known as the Paoli Station Accessibility Improvements. This phase will include a new center high level platform, elevators, ramps, a pedestrian overpass, parking lot improvements, ADA improvements to the existing station building, and changes to infrastructure (i.e. track, signals from Paoli to Frazer, and electric traction). Once complete, this work will bring the Paoli Station into compliance making it accessible for all users.

For the past five years and spearheaded by Tredyffrin Township, all the federal, state, regional, county and local agencies have been meeting to communicate, discuss, and advance the design and funding of the station. They established a clear vision and path to a new and improved station.

The Paoli station is a part of a legacy. The present station, a one story tan brick building, was constructed by the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) in 1953 with a price tag of $140,000. I believe we received maximum value from that investment.

Paoli Station is Great Valley’s train station serving the residents and the employees of Tredyffrin, Willistown, Malvern and East Whiteland, but also reaching beyond to Phoenixville, Easttown and Marple. People are traveling to and from Harrisburg, Philadelphia and New York City. This station helps support a key economic engine in Chester County with an average daily use of 1550 boardings and alightings.

February 28th was a beautiful day in and for Paoli. It ushered in success for all of the entities coming together, as well as an opportunity for continue economic growth and vibrancy for our region.

For more information and renderings on all the phases click HERE

Thank you to all who continue to advocate for the completion of this project:

DVRPC
PennDOT
Amtrak
SEPTA
State Senator Dinniman
State Representative Kampf
Chester County Commissioners
Chester County Planning Commission
Paoli Task Force
Tredyffrin Township Board of Supervisors and Staff
Gannett Fleming

TMACC Board of Directors Elect New Board Chair and Executive Committee

don-jacobs

Don Jacobs, TMACC’s New Board Chair

The Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC) is pleased announce the election of Donald Jacobs to Chair of the Board of Directors and three new elections to the Executive Committee.

Don Jacobs serves as Executive Vice President of Public and Agency Design at Traffic, Planning & Design Inc.  In his role, he manages the planning of traffic impact studies, environmental clearance documents and design criteria reports.  He also oversees the designs for transportation corridors and interchanges, intersection improvements and construction cost estimates.  Don has served on TMACC’s Board and as Treasurer for over eight years.

TMACC’s Board of Directors also elected their Executive Committee.  Greg Davis, Partner at Saul Ewing, was elected to Vice Chair; Matthew Baumann, Assistant Township Manager at Tredyffrin Township, elected to Secretary; and Anthony Nichols, Senior Vice President at Workspace Property Trust, elected to Treasurer.

“We are excited to welcome Don, Greg, Matt and Tony to lead our Executive Committee,” said Tim Phelps, Executive Director of TMACC.  “These individuals bring a wealth of experience and knowledge in their fields and will be assets to TMACC as we continue our mission of providing sustainable transportation options and infrastructure to Chester County.”

TMACC is a non-profit in Malvern who advocates for the improvement of air quality and congestion through transportation management demand strategies and congestion mitigation strategies.  Their Board is made up of over 20 professionals from the public and private sector.

TMACC is hosting a Welcome Reception for their new Executive Committee open to the public on Thursday, February 23rd from 5:30 to 7:00 PM at Victory Brewing in Downingtown.

To learn more about TMACC, visit www.tmacc.org.

TMACC Welcomes Workspace Property Trust to Members

workspace-property-trust-final-logo

We are pleased to announce the addition of Workspace Property Trust to our list of members!

Workspace Property Trust (WPT) is a privately held, full-service commercial real estate company specializing in the development, management, and operation of office and flex space in large metropolitan suburbs in six U.S. markets including Malvern, Exton, Wayne and Horsham in Philadelphia.

As part of their goals, WPT aims to provide their tenants with full-service, socially-responsible, and environmentally conscious office spaces, which is why WPT struck up a partnership with us.

“TMACC is an aggregate of transportation resources, information and insight,” said Tony Nichols, WPT Senior Vice President. “Partnering with them will improve Workspace Property Trust’s communications with our tenants and expand on our environmental efforts in office spaces.”

In 2016, WPT acquired 108 office and flex buildings, plus 26.7 acres of land in PA, MN, FL and AZ in a $969 million-dollar deal with Liberty Property Trust. This deal added to their preexisting 2.3 million square-feet, 41 building, portfolio in Horsham, PA; bringing their total to 149 buildings and 10 million square-feet of office and office-flex properties throughout the United States. The acquisition has put them at the forefront of suburban commercial real estate and positioned the company as a leading suburban landlord.

WPT joins a group of members comprised of over 120 corporations, universities, townships, elected officials and governmental agencies that work to improve traffic congestion and air quality in Chester County.

IN NEWS: TMACC Appoints Steve Bolt, Nathan Cline and Katherine Donnelly to Board of Directors

The Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC) announced the appointment of new Directors to the Board: Steve Bolt, PE, PTOE, Vice President of Transportation at Burns Engineering; Nathan Cline, PE, Office Director at Pennoni; and Katherine Donnelly, Director of Plant Operations at West Chester University.

These three join a board of individuals representing businesses, universities, municipalities, engineering firms, and transportation and governmental agencies, who provide guidance to fulfill the TMACC mission to “activate, foster, and facilitate cooperation between the public and private sectors…that reduce congestion and improve air quality.”

bolt_9830_retouched-new-e1483628542308-1024x696Steve Bolt, PE, PTOE, is Vice President of Transportation at Burns Engineering.  Steve’s extensive experience includes major highway design projects, environmental impact statements and assessments, route location design, traffic signal system design projects, construction management, highway safety improvement programs, stormwater management, and traffic operations studies.  He has been involved in more than 50 major highway and intersection improvement projects in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.  In addition to serving on the TMACC Board, Steve leads the Design Technical Advisory Group for the Pennsylvania State Transportation Innovation Council (STIC) to develop and implement cost effective and innovative project design technologies throughout the state of Pennsylvania, and is a Past-President of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Pennsylvania.  Steve is a lifelong resident of Chester County.

clineNathan M. Cline, PE, serves as Office Director for Pennoni’s West Chester, PA office. Nate is responsible for public and private client services and business development efforts for the office and for managing the success and growth of the West Chester staff and projects. Nate serves as township engineer for many of Pennoni’s municipal clients in both Chester and Delaware counties. He has managed a wide array of projects, including a $2.5 million athletic field complex in Concord Township, multiple successful grant applications, annual road programs of over $400,000, road replacement projects, UCC reviews and inspections, storm and sanitary sewer capital projects, subdivision/land development reviews, and construction observation.

img_6990Katherine Donnelly, is Director of Plant Operations at West Chester University.  Kate is responsible for facilities maintenance in the Plant Operations Department including management of trades, energy management, auxiliary maintenance, and small projects management.  Before her position at WCU, she was Senior Property Management Specialist at Exelon and Assistant Facilities Manager at Longwood Gardens.  She has a Master’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and experience in facility and capital project management in higher education, a not-for-profit institution, and the petroleum refining industry.

“These individuals and their experience will be invaluable assets as we work to reduce congestion and improve air quality in Chester County,” said Tim Phelps, Executive Director of TMACC, “We are excited to have these new additions to our dynamic Board of Directors.”

Currently, TMACC has over 120 member organizations who strive to improve transportation options and reduce transportation issues, such as traffic congestion and connectivity, in Chester County and the Greater Philadelphia area.

TMACC Delivers 1,500+ Gifts to Coatesville VA Medical Center

12192016_group_vidOver 1,500 gifts were delivered to the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center on Monday by TMACC and volunteers.

After weeks of collecting, wrapping and sorting, all of our efforts have finally come to a close!  On Monday, with the help of many volunteers and the ChescoBus, TMACC delivered the 1,500+ gifts to the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

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Representative Harry Lewis Jr. 

As volunteers ushered gifts into the Great Hall, the Coatesville Area High School band played Christmas music – further improving the already festive moods of the morning.

Among volunteers were Rep. Harry Lewis Jr. (R-Chester), Rep. Becky Corbin (R-Chester) and Rep. Warren Kampf (R-Montgomery/Chester) who were grateful to see another successful drive going to a good cause.  “Our Veterans often get overlooked; it’s great to see such a flourishing program that helps our Vets.” said Rep. Harry Lewis Jr. (R-Chester).

TMACC would like to thank Citadel Banking for their support of the program and to the following organizations and individuals for donating: McMahon Associates, American Executive Centers, Burns Engineering, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, DivisionOne, Pennoni, Dascanio Barber Shop, Summerfield Homes in Frazer, the Chester County Commissioner’s Office, Representative Becky Corbin, Representative Harry L12222015_22ewis, Representative Warren Kampf, Senator Pat Toomey and Senator Bob Casey Jr.

 

We would also like to recognize and give a huge thank you to staff member, Betty Shaw.  Without her, none of this program would be possible.  She wraps and sorts all of the gifts herself, pushes each of our members to get to our goal, and keeps the holiday spirit alive in the office.

TMACC’s Veterans Gift Drive Program is operated through our charity, FIT (the Foundation for the Improvement of Transportation).  Contact us to learn about more of the programs we have through FIT!

To view more photos from the day, visit our Flickr page here.