America Walks Hosts Pennsylvania State Workshop

Five Cabinet-level officials with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania attended today’s America Walks Collaborative Workshop on Walkable Communities in Harrisburg, PA. State and Local Program Director Ian Thomas and Project for Public Spaces’ Gary Toth facilitated the workshop, whose goals included engaging State Department Secretaries in the benefits of walkable communities and the practicalities of inter-agency collaboration. During the workshop, Deputy Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health Loren Robinson reported that, while the state’s obesity level has fallen slightly in the last year, obesity among African Americans and Latinos is unacceptably high and health equity – as promoted through the Department’s Walkworks program – is a top priority. And PennDOT Secretary Leslie Richards announced “PennDOT Connects” – a new program funded by the Secretary’s discretionary budget that will re-evaluate 200 upcoming transportation projects to ensure they include an adequate focus on multimodal options. Secretary Teresa Osborne (Department of Aging), Secretary Cindy Dunn (Conservation and Natural Resources), and Deputy Secretary Tony Payton, Jr. (Economic and Community Development) also addressed the workshop and endorsed a multi-agency collaborative effort to expand walkable communities throughout Pennsylvania.