Conference Theme:

Crossroads of Community & Collaboration: Building Dynamic and Innovative Partnerships

PDC’s annual conference strives to provide best practices and real-life implementation examples of what community leaders can do in their own communities. We strive to inspire, inform, and ignite leaders to be bold and to implement change. Our hope is that attendees apply what they learn from one another and bring back a gameplan to transform their communities.

Main and Elm Street organizations, managers and directors, other revitalization professionals and volunteers can only do so much. Often, these individuals are not the decision makers – they may be the influencers and informers, but it often takes another step or two to impact the change we want to see in our own communities. The work of community revitalization involves a variety of public-private and nonprofit organizations partnering to build collaboration among their communities. This year’s conference will highlight innovative examples of how we can accomplish more by working together.

We invite all the change-makers and decision-makers of your towns, boroughs, cities, and townships to participate in the Commonwealth’s Premier Revitalization Conference so that you too can be inspired, informed, and ignited to be bold and bring back a gameplan to transform your own community.

2024 Conference Schedule

Sunday, June 23 

12:00-5:00 PM | Registration Desk Open

1:00-4:00 PM | Community Revitalization 101 

Bill Arrowood, PDC 

This introductory session tailored to volunteers and managers seeking to better understand how to effectively lead a revitalization organization. Topics will include vision and action strategy; approaches to revitalization; fundraising; roles of volunteers and staff; and resources available to support your efforts. 

 2:00-4:00 | Leadership Forum 

Julie Fitzpatrick, PDC, and Debra Thompson, Strategy Solutions  

These forums provide local revitalization organizations and municipalities an opportunity to interact with and learn from the staff of PDC and other local revitalization efforts in their communities. Meetings are open to board members and committee chairs of your community’s revitalization organizations. Managers are not permitted to attend the forum. 

During this session, Debra Thompson will speak about “10 Board Habits to Kick.” This interactive session offers a provocative look at board behaviors, particularly those “personalities” that show up that stand in the way of good performance. Learn board orientation and onboarding strategies to ensure that board members understand their role(s) and how to support the organization. Learn how to “spot” these challenging behaviors when they do occur and interventions that can help get board engagement and performance on the right track.

1:00-4:00 PM | MOBILE TOUR 

Experience the Heritage Rail Trail Communities & Tips to Invest in the Outdoor Economy 

Silas Chamberlin, PhD, YCEA, and David Gonzalez, YCEA 

Join Explore York, Northern Central Railway, and the York County Economic Alliance to visit communities along the York County Heritage Rail Trail and hear directly from partners on the benefits of efforts to help bolster economic activity in communities in proximity to recreational amenities. The session will show attendees how the potential of the outdoor economy is leveraged to support business growth, improve visitor experiences and the placemaking of communities. The York County Economic Alliance (YCEA) is leading two large initiatives to leverage the outdoor economy as a driver for business growth and community resiliency. Join this session to hear how the YCEA is leading these strategic initiatives that are building the prominence of outdoor assets and how these will lead to economic change. 


Ride the Heritage Rail Trail for Yourself

Sam Pearson, PDC/WalkWorks

The Heritage Rail Trail provides the opportunity to travel by bike from the heart of the city both south and north along Codorus Creek. If you have the time and stamina, you can go all the way to the Maryland line and beyond, some 20 miles, but this group bike ride will be an out and back loop. This group will set out from the Yorktowne Hotel and take the King Street cycletrack to the Heritage Trail. From there we will follow the trail as it leaves from the transit hub where King Street crosses the creek along the gradual decline to the south for a mile or two, to get to the York College connection and see how the rail-with-trail installation is handled. We will then turn around and head back to the center of town and continue north along the more recently developed Northern Extension, a scenic route taking us just under 6 miles through and to several parks. The ride will ultimately cover approximately 20 miles all told. Participants should bring their own bikes, though a limited number of bikes, e-bikes, and an e-trike are available on loan from the PDC’s Micro-Mobility Micro-Fleet.


Haunted Downtown York Walking Tour 

Rissa Miller, Native Yorker & Historian

Thin time isn’t only in autumn, it happens near midsummer as well (June 24). That’s when the spirit world moves closer to the mortal world… Join storyteller and historian Rissa Miller to explore the mysterious side of York’s past and present. Guests will travel by foot from the Yorktowne Hotel to allegedly haunted locations around downtown. Stories include ghosts, poltergeists, fortune tellers, cannibals, witches, urban legends, and cryptids. History will stretch from the days of Natives into the 1970s, so yep, we’ll be talking wars, Underground Railroad, industry, art, murder, and more. There are about 12 stops on the tour, and two allow for seating to rest. Guests will hear about 20 stories and legends.


Murals, Makers, and Merchants: A Tour of Royal Square District, presented by Royal Square Development & Construction

Downtown York’s Royal Square District is full of art, music, and unique shops. This micro-district has undergone revitalization over the last decade to become a vibrant spot in our city. We invite you to tour the spaces that make up our unique neighborhood, build a one-of-a-kind piece of art to take home, visit the recently created Mural Park, learn about the redevelopment process, and end with a networking welcome reception at The Bond’s Royal Square Gardens.

Monday, June 24 

7:00 AM – 5:00 PM Registration Desk Open 


Mayor Michael Helfrich, City of York | YCEA Rep | Julie Fitzpatrick, PDC 


Redevelopment of the Historic York Armory into a Neighborhood Anchor and Community Hub for Families 

Jessica Brubaker, ED of Keystone Kidspace 

In 2021, Keystone Kidspace completed its redevelopment of the historic York Armory building in Downtown York, PA. The property is now a nonprofit STEAM makerspace for the region’s kids and their grownups, as well as an anchor at the northern gateway to our downtown, a unique third place for area families, and a trusted community partner. The session will provide an overview of how the process unfolded, focusing particularly on financing, design, and construction. 

9:30-11:30 AM | MOBILE BUS TOUR 

Brownfield Revitalization as a Catalyst for Economic Development in York City 

Mark Smith, Element Environmental Solutions, Inc. and Blanda Nace, Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of York 

Over the last 20 years, the City of York has been determined to redevelop brownfields throughout the city to promote economic growth and provide clean, safe spaces for the community. This bus tour will highlight a few completed projects, as well as proposed brownfield redevelopment projects within the city. Completed projects include Wellspan Park, home of the York Revolution baseball team, the Yorktowne Hotel, Northwest Triangle and the Homes at Thackston Park. Proposed and in progress redevelopment sites include the former York County Prison, Graybill Site, and 17-acre Dentsply Sirona campus along West College Avenue. These and many other brownfield redevelopment projects have provided new and improved housing, commercial spaces, and recreational area for the residents of the City of York to enjoy for years to come.


 Why York? How destination marketing has driven tourism for Downtown York & York County (and how you can do the same) 

Katie Mahoney, YCEA, Melissa Beaverson, Explore York, and Justine Trucksess, PDC 

Learn how Destination Marketing Organizations, Downtown Inc. and Explore York, have created robust marketing campaigns to increase foot traffic in the Downtown and County-wide. This session will outline partnerships local Main Street programs can create between local businesses and the destination marketing organizations that serve their district to produce successful events. 

Conflict Management Training Session 

Stephanie Fuentes, Connect the Dots and Anneke Kat, Connect the Dots 

Building upon the Connect the Dots Guide for Managing Conflict in the Public Participatory Process, this training + exercise session will equip planners who are seeking guidance on approaches to follow before, during, and after public meetings to make them less stressful and more productive for everyone involved. During this workshop, participants will learn about managing conflict, build safety plans for themselves and for teams, and practice these tools by role-playing conflict scenarios. 

The Yorktowne Hotel Project Story, Saving a Downtown Anchor 

Kim Hogeman, YCEA 

The Yorktowne Hotel historic rehabilitation was an uphill battle from the start. It took an entire community pulling together to save this community treasure. This panel discussion will cover the project life-cycle, funding strategies, strategic community partnerships, and some hardships along the way, along with some successes. After the session, attendees are invited to tour the property and hear some behind-the-scene details on the restoration. 

How to Complete a DCED Single App and Main Street/Elm Street Designation App  

Mandy Book and Christie Yerger, DCED & PDC Staff 

During this session you will be guided through the Keystone Communities Main Street, Elm Street & Keystone Community programs – as both a designation and the funding programs associated with it. Learn about the eligibility requirements and benefits of designation, funding opportunities, and an introduction along with “tips and tricks” to the Electronic Single Application (ESA) for the funding process. 

12:00-1:30 PM | LUNCH KEYNOTE 

Shaylyn Romney Garrett, Author, Speaker, Changemaker 

America’s Upswing: How Innovative Towns and Cities Once Led a National Revival, and Can Do It Again 

From the invention of free public high schools and publicly-owned utilities to the passage of women’s suffrage and trust-busting legislation, the stories of some of America’s most enduring and impactful reforms began not in the halls of power, but in small towns and cities. During a time of crisis remarkably similar to our own–characterized by unprecedented social isolation, political polarization, economic inequality and cultural narcissism–everyday Americans at the turn of the twentieth century sparked a movement that turned a deep societal downturn into an enduring upswing, moving us toward greater social connectedness, civic engagement, economic equality, and political cooperation than ever before. Drawing upon her award-winning book, The Upswing: How America Came Together A Century Ago and How We Can Do It Again, Shaylyn Romney Garrett paints a sweeping yet remarkably accessible picture of the past 125 years of American history–in which local activists, social entrepreneurs, and ordinary citizens played a starring role in reclaiming our nation’s promise. She offers an inspiring, thought-provoking historical perspective that invites local, rural, and small-town innovators to see the outsized significance of their work and leadership. 


Using Augmented Reality to Highlight History, Culture, and Attractions in Your Community 

James Andrew Lynch, Vision Solutions AR, Elizabeth Waite and Andrea Ryan, Explore York

Gain a general understanding of Augmented Reality (AR) and learn how Explore York and Vision Solutions worked together to fund and identify sites. Learn how to source custom content for each site and to create interactive, cutting-edge experiences and then how to market the AR experience to bring in visitors to your community.


York Landmarks & Legacies Tour

Blake GiffordBlake Gifford is a local architect and artist who works and lives in York and is fascinated by the area’s history. Blake’s walking tour will highlight the historic architectural sites along York’s West Market Street corridor, between Pershing Street and Continental Square. The timeline of the tour material will jump between multiple different historical eras in discussing these beautiful remnants of York’s past.


I DIDN’T GO TO SCHOOL FOR THIS: forging your own path in Pennsylvania’s downtowns.

Jane Lawler Smith, Derck & Edson 

This session will offer many ways Main Street Managers and others in the business of downtown can enhance their knowledge, fight imposter syndrome, and grow within their role. 

Implement a Community Calendar that Doesn’t Suck or Suck the Life Out of You 

Brian Ostrovsky, Locable 

This is an actionable session designed to revolutionize community calendar management. Drawing from Locable’s playbook & experience, it focuses on creating interactive, engaging calendars that enhance community involvement and simplify management processes. Participants will learn how to overcome common calendar challenges, use automation for efficient management, and utilize supplemental content to boost event visibility. This session will be enriched with successful examples from small to midsized communities which includes benefits to local businesses. 

Communicating on Main Street During Times of Crisis 

Alex Balloon, Passyunk Avenue Revitalization Corporation 

A crisis on Main Street can be overwhelming for an organization. Whether it’s an internal crisis or an external crisis it’s important to be prepared. In this session we will walk through important considerations when drafting a crisis strategy. This will include important board considerations, media techniques, and ways to help frame a response. This session will also highlight a real-world example and how an organization responded to public criticism. 

Creating Livable Spaces | Strategies for Public Space Utilization 

Ben Levenger, Downtown Redevelopment Services, LLC 

Public spaces do not have one purpose; they must be adaptable and easy to use. This requires a detailed level of planning and assessment, helping to forecast current and future needs. As quoted in the documentary “Social Life of Small Urban Spaces” by William Whyte, “public spaces are a mechanism, nothing more and nothing less; they must provide adequate uses for everyone throughout all times of the day.” 

The Upswing | A Deeper Dive 

Shaylyn Romney Garrett, Author, Speaker, Changemaker 

Dig a little deeper into “The Upswing” with keynote Shaylyn Romney Garrett. 



Connecting your Merchants with Capital Opportunities! 

Sully Pinos, Bloom Business Empowerment Center, YCEA 

Panel discussion from experts on the SSBCI loan program from the perspective of the state, local administrators, and a small business owner. 

Sustaining Your Main Street Program in Partnership with Your Municipality 

Lindsay Salas, Downtown Bedford, Inc. and Barbara E. Diehl, Bedford Borough Manager 

This session will provide participants with a comprehensive understanding of the merger between Downtown Bedford, Inc. and the Borough of Bedford, with a specific focus on how the collaboration impacts administrative funding. It will shed light on the motivations, processes, benefits, challenges, and opportunities arising from this merger, ultimately encouraging discussion and knowledge sharing among the participants. 

Utilizing Social Media as a Function of Merchant Engagement 

Hannah Beard, Downtown Inc. 

As the Marketing & Merchant Engagement Manager for Downtown Inc., I work to utilize relevant marketing tools as a function to increase our organization’s engagement with the small businesses in our community. This session will share best practices to improve merchant engagement using a variety of social media platforms while sharing examples of initiatives Downtown Inc. has implemented that have increased merchant satisfaction and visitation to Downtown York. 

Maintaining Mayberry: How to Identify Economic Facadism and the Gentrification Redevelopment Bubble 

Alec Hersh, City Avenue District, Philly 

When main streets revitalize, they often rely heavily on tourism, nostalgia, and things that appear quaint/charming. Doing so, however, can create a gentrification bubble that relies on outdated practices and is destined to burst because they have not addressed the reasons why their downtown took a downturn in the first place. Through this session, we will dive into this problem, understanding how to identify these issues and tactics to generate succinct, proven economic development strategies. 

5:00-6:00 PM | TOWNIE RECEPTION | Vendor Halls 

6:00-9:00 PM | TOWNIE AWARD DINNER | Ballroom 

 *Townie Nominations are Closed for 2024*


Tuesday, June 25 

7:00-5:00 PM Registration Desk Open 


Walk2Connect: Movement, Mindfulness & Connection

Jonathon Stalls, Walking Artist with Intrinsic Paths and the Pedestrian Dignity Project

Join us for a calming morning walk (or roll if you use a wheelchair) to engage the senses, invite mindfulness, and make meaningful connections to other conference participants. We will move at an unhurried pace in the downtown area and through a nearby park. We will make a loop back to our starting location. Jonathon will guide participants in a few breathing, centering, and connection activities while offering a reading or two from his book, WALK – Slow Down, Wake Up & Connect at 1-3 Miles Per Hour. We will begin with easy introductions and will start moving no later than 7:10. There is no need to register. Please plan to wear comfortable shoes and clothing and meet us at or just before 7:00 am at the side entrance of the hotel lobby.


Building a Safe & Inclusive Community

Panelists: Aaron Anderson, LogosWork, Robin Shearer, Friends & Neighbors of PA, and Micheal Muldrow, York City Police Commissioner 

Hear from three partners committed to public safety, group violence intervention, and the unhoused population crisis in America. They’ll discuss challenges present in York, which are true for many cities across the Commonwealth, and how they have begun to make substantial changes.

9:30 AM-1:30 PM | MOBILE BUS TOUR  

Hanover’s History and it’s Future 

Justine Kilkelly Trucksess, PDC

Travel to Hanover to learn about Main Street Hanover use of history, wayfinding efforts present and future, restaurants – old & new, and brewery growth and what all of these things mean for the downtown revitalization effort.


Effectively Integrating Nonprofits, Entrepreneurs, and Creatives into Our Communities 

Andrew Smith, Visual Realia, and Ophelia M. Chambliss, Fine Artist 

The arts and entrepreneurial community and our communities as a whole work in a symbiotic relationship when operating effectively. Session attendees will discuss the role of establishing trust, building communities within communities, the role of arts in placemaking, and supporting our creatives. Optional post-session opportunities include a WeCo neighborhood walking tour and a conference-attendee public mural painting session. 



Creating a Year Long Sponsorship Package 

Donna Ann Harris, Heritage Consulting Inc. 

Learn why you should gather all your sponsorship opportunities for the year into one package, rather than wasting time soliciting sponsors one event at a time. We’ll show you three great examples of year-long sponsorship packages and explain how this simple marketing effort will bring in more revenue from existing sponsors by offering more sponsor opportunities, and why you should finetune your sponsorship benefits every year to increase and diversify your revenue. 

Developing Housing Opportunities in York County’s Historic Boroughs 

Silas Chamberlin, PhD, YCEA 

Building and developing new housing through in-fill or redevelopment is challenging in main streets across the Commonwealth. However, increasing housing capacity in our communities offers competitive advantages and ignites energy into the local economy. This session will feature York County developers who have completed successful development projects in multiple boroughs, ranging in scale and offerings. 

Embracing the Shadows for Economic Growth 

Rissa Miller, Native Yorker & Historian 

YCCE, Community Room 

Nothing draws a curious crowd into a historic downtown like walking into the liminal. Rissa Miller will share evidence of how Dark Tourism works for small businesses by attracting travelers. Her experience as a tour guide, combined with years of in-depth research offers a fresh look into society’s fascination with the unknown. Nowadays, haunts aren’t just for Halloween, they are the riveting intersection between the present and the past. 

First Timers: How to Start your National Register Nomination 

Elizabeth Rairigh, Pennsylvania State Historic Preservation Office  

PA SHPO staff will introduce you to the National Register program in Pennsylvania and explain how to approach this important national recognition program. We will walk through the entire process, from PASHARE search to eligibility, to listing! You will leave with an understanding of the benefits of listing, the National Register criteria, and how to see your resource as our next NR listing in the Commonwealth. 

Every Welcome Sign is not a Welcoming Space: Why Your Downtown Should Invest in Creating a Sense of Belonging for the 110 Billion dollar African American Tourist Industry 

Joanne Wilmore, Grace Manor Bed & Breakfast, and Elaine Bonneau, Bonneau & Associates 

Join Sojourn Noir, experts in attracting African American tourism, for a conversation. As Black travelers contribute over $100 billion in tourism revenue, Sojourn Noir challenges destinations to provide the welcoming spaces they deserve. Get to know the team and what drives them to create dynamic training to better ensure your downtown meets the mark. Leave with a history of Black travel and a rich overview of Black travel motivations to inspire your downtown call to action. 



From the Merchant Perspective – The Importance of Events 

Alexandria Keener Hammond, My Girlfriend’s Wardrobe 

Community events are part of almost every downtown area, whether they’re merchant-organized or main/Elm Street-organized. I believe as a merchant I can offer some insight that Main Street organizations may not take into consideration when it comes to the planning and execution of events. 

How You Can Target Revitalization Efforts Using Catalytic Potential 

Mike Newman, Landscape Architect, and Kendel Baier, Derck & Edson 

“What’s most important?” and “Where do we start?” are the two primary questions every community faces at the start of a revitalization project. Using examples from Pennsylvania communities, this session will equip attendees to use Catalytic Potential analysis to answer both questions. Attendees will be guided through the development of a weighted factor chart and take away a draft plan for implementing Catalytic Potential in their own project. 

Pennsylvania’s Demographic Future – Implications for Long-Term Planning 

Dr. Kyle C. Kopko and Laura R. Dimino, Ph.D., Center for Rural PA 

Over the next 30 years, Pennsylvania will experience three significant demographic changes: rural depopulation, an aging population, and a decrease in birth rate. These shocks will have ripple effects throughout the state economy and housing market. Using recently released county-level population projection data, this session will explore the historical roots of these demographic trends and highlight their regional differences. 

Dealing With Problem Properties In Your Town 

Bill Fontana, Former PDC Executive Director

Everyone has them – an abandoned building, a vacant lot, a “drug property,” a deteriorating structure. Left alone, these properties pose a significant impediment to the success of your revitalization effort. Unfortunately, in too many smaller and rural communities, there are neither the human nor financial resources available to deal with these problem properties and, even when there are, there may not be the knowledge base or the political will to address them effectively. In this session, the participant will learn the devastating effect that these types of properties may have on your ability to effectively implement your revitalization strategy. We will discuss how to engage your board so that they see the benefits of dealing with these problems. You will also learn some of the lesser-known tools you have at your disposal to combat these blighted properties and structures. Finally, we show you how your organization can partner with PDC’s non-profit subsidiary, Keystone CORE Services to address these problems and make sure that you are “making your town a better place.” 

Non-Public | FDIC Business Loans 

Henry Pyatt, FDIC, Genny Chow, OCC 

The purpose of this session would be to help Community Based Organizations understand what aspects of their work, if supported by a bank, would qualify for credit for that bank under the Community Reinvestment Act. This session would also feature speakers from banks who would describe how they found successful partnerships with CBOs. 

12:15-1:30 PM | LUNCH ON YOUR OWN 

Downtown Lunch Options will be available shortly!


Julie Fitzpatrick, PDC and Mandy Book & Christie Yerger, DCEC 

Creating Welcoming Communities through Events and Partnership with Justine Trucksess & Rita Whitney or Kelley Gibson with YCEA 

Get to Know Your SHPO! with Elizabeth Rairigh, SHPO 

More to come. 


Trail Town Planning – Partnering, Design, and Heritage-Based Tourism Strategies 

Mark Evans, Derck & Edson and Dr. Allen Dieterich-Ward, Shippensburg University 

We will highlight the role that the Cumberland Valley Rail Trail and strategic partnerships are playing in a period of revitalization and reconnection in Shippensburg. An overgrown area separating Shippensburg University from the downtown has transformed into a point of pride, with public art and railroad museums now lining the trail. The success of this heritage-oriented trail development has sparked a broader connectivity and revitalization planning process, with additional trails and community spaces underdeveloped. 

York County Care Coordination Project 

Natalie Williams, Healthy York Coalition and April J. Billet, Chief Probation Officer in York County 

The York County Care Coordination Project began with 120+ concerned individuals from health systems, community-based organizations, local government, and local companies wanting to find new ways to improve community health and well-being in York County. During this session, we will explain our collaborative journey of taking this idea from concept to pilot. 



New Zoning for Old Towns 

Eric Mains, Borough of Hanover, and Shawn Rairigh, Gannett Fleming 

Hanover Borough undertook a large zoning update in 2019 to support economic development in the downtown and the creation of new mixed-use districts for neighborhood corridors. This session is for municipal leaders, zoning officials, and public planners rethinking their zoning ordinances, and consultants engaging in similar projects. Learn how the rewrite team changed requirements to reflect existing neighborhoods, and “right-sized” parking requirements, addressed hot zoning topics, and established a regular amendment process to address unpredicted outcomes. 

Buying Back Our Town! Bringing Community-Owned Commercial Real Estate Development to Your Community 

Autumn Vogel, Keystone Development Center 

Across the country, communities are coming together to take control of development in their towns and neighborhoods. This session will be a primer on cooperative real estate development, highlighting two models: real estate investment cooperatives and commercial land trusts. Participants will leave with an understanding of these models, the benefits of cooperative ownership to local community and economic development, and the resources available to support efforts like these across Pennsylvania. 



Large Venues | Impact & Transformation | Stadium Behind the Scenes Tour

Eric Menzer, President of the York Revolution and former City of York Economic Development Director 

WellSpan Park has anchored the transformation of the north end of downtown York. Eric will give participants insight into how and why that has happened – hint: it’s not fans coming to baseball games. This session is not just about stadiums – it is relevant to any attendee interested in understanding the power of anchor developments to spur further investment. Eric will also give participants a preview of a new public-private development in front of WellSpan Park, and a behind-the-scenes tour with insights into the unique business of minor league baseball. 


5:30-9:00 PM | EVENING EVENT 

Baseball at the York Revolution WellSpan Park from the 1741 Club | Pick up your tickets at the Will Call Window

Gates open at 5:15 PM with a gametime of 6:30 PM

Enjoy dinner and a game in the 1741 Club. Cash bar available.


Wednesday, June 26 

7:00-10:00 AM | Registration Desk Open

8:00-9:15 AM | Breakfast Keynote 

Anna Zivarts, Author of ‘When Driving Is Not an Option: Steering Away from Car Dependency’

When Driving Is Not an Option

Anna Zivarts, author of When Driving is Not an Option and co-founder of the Week Without Driving campaign, will discuss the reality confronting nondrivers on a daily basis and explain how improving our transportation system with nondrivers in mind will create a better quality of life for everyone. One third of people living in the United States do not have a driver’s license. The majority of involuntary nondrivers are disabled, lower income, unhoused, formerly incarcerated, undocumented immigrants, kids, young people, and the elderly. They are also largely invisible due to a mobility system designed almost exclusively for drivers. When the needs of involuntary nondrivers are viewed as essential to how we design our transportation systems and our communities, not only will we be able to more easily get where we need to go, but the changes will lead to healthier, climate-friendly communities for everyone. Communities across the United States can use the Week Without Driving challenge to build consensus around the urgent need for more inclusive and accessible communities.



Pedestrian Dignity:  Participate in a “Walkshop” for York and Learn How to Realize One in Your Community

Jonathon Stalls, Walking Artist with Intrinsic Paths and Walk2Connect

Shuttle from south entrance

The walkshop features the lived experience and on-the-ground reality for people walking, rolling, and taking transit to get to everyday destinations. It is an opportunity to foreground the segments of the transportation system that are often glossed over by those who have other transportation options. The group will be out in the field walking, talking, and documenting the challenges and opportunities for improvement in areas that are not top-of-mind for planners and promoters, but are barriers and dangers to everyday folks. The group will explore a route to a key destination on the outskirts of York and then take public transit to return to downtown. Learn about how you can use a similar process to amplify awareness and urgency related to pedestrian mobility in your community. This event will entail walking along roads in some locations that lack adequate provisions for pedestrians and those in wheelchairs, standing, and riding a public bus. People with mobility challenges are welcome to participate, but please let us know about your issues so that we can plan accordingly. The event will take place outdoors even in rain.


Taking ‘I’m’ Out of Impossible: How WE Won $869,000 from the Local Share Account 

Sam Thrush, Downtown Chambersburg Inc. and Kirsten Hubbard, Ghost Writer LLC 

Taking the ‘I’m” out of Impossible When downtown organizations have strong planning, infrastructure, and relationships, the impossible is made possible. We share how our community came together to win $869,000 in Local Share Account funding for land acquisition and an open-air community amphitheater, emphasizing trust, relationships, and gratitude. No one organization or person alone could have accomplished what WE accomplished together. Colleagues will leave with a checklist for each topic, setting the stage for success. 

Workforce Housing: Another Employee Benefit 

Brad Jones, Harristown Enterprises, Inc. 

With the significant decrease in student renters in the city due to the pandemic in 2020/2021, the student housing market had literally dried up overnight. Harristown transformed 61 former student housing units into market-rate, affordable apartments to expand downtown housing options, and offers these all-inclusive apartments to their lower-income staff at a discount, providing clean, safe housing opportunities. As a unique and significant employee benefit, we can attract a larger employee pool. 

The Power of Observation to Uncover Clean and Green Solutions 

Jack Howell, SACA and Elyse Jurgen, Waxwing EcoWorks Co. 

“As managers, we’re tasked with problem-solving. But are we missing key observational Clean/Green details on our blocks that aid in compassionate action? In part one of this session, we’ll focus on mindful observation, learning strategies to absorb urban details. In the second part, we’ll break into 

groups for a facilitated exercise, showing rapid-fire photos of downtowns and neighborhoods, stimulating interactive problem-solving and eliciting our enhanced observational skills to real-world scenarios.” 

AT SUMMIT SESSION: FHWA and PennDOT Overview of Complete Streets, Government Funding Opportunities and Current Progress on Safety Initiatives

Ronnique Bishop and Bill Houpt, Federal Highway Administration, and Patricia Meek, PennDOT

FHWA will present an overview of the National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS), Safe System Approach (SSA), Complete Streets model, and share the various funding sources available that can be used to support projects and programs that advance complete streets and safety. Then, PennDOT will share how the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is advancing the SSA.

AT SUMMIT SESSION: Ride, Roll & Stroll Lancaster – Youth Volunteers and Active Transportation

Laura Pauls-Thomas and Caleb Bornman, Global Shapers Lancaster Hub

Join young adult volunteers from the Global Shapers Lancaster Hub to learn about their efforts to increase active transportation in their community. Learn about the Ride, Roll & Stroll Lancaster campaign that they launched in May 2023 to encourage Lancaster County residents to explore their active transportation options using a passport available in 6+ languages. Bring your ideas and questions about ways that your community can advocate for robust active transportation options within your community.



Collaboration and Demonstrations: Partner Cultivation and Creative Community Engagement for Safer Streets 

Miranda Pace, NeighborWorks Northeastern Pennsylvania, and Jennilyn Schuster, Interior Designer 

NeighborWorks in West Scranton, PA, and the Bellefonte Historic Preservation Society in Bellefonte, PA both engaged their communities to reimagine safer streets in 2023. They cultivated partnerships to foster improvements on public streets in their respective communities. This session will explore methods of forming partnerships and the impacts of demonstration projects for safer streets. 

York City Revitalization Showcase 

Frank E. Dittenhafer II, Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects 

Frank will present an engaging visual showcase of award-winning urban revitalization and adaptive reuse projects including “behind the scenes” informative and inspiring stories related to partnerships and collaborations for each project. The projects included in the presentation reflect Murphy & Dittenhafer Architects’ 30+ year commitment to the revitalization of York City – the location of the firm’s Pennsylvania office. 

AT SUMMIT SESSION: Paint, Policy, and Pragmatism:  Connecting Local Pedestrian and Cyclist Needs with Regional Planning Efforts

Mike Pritchard, York County MPO

The York Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (YAMPO) adopted a new county-wide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan in June 2023. This session will cover the framework used to develop the plan, a high-level review of critical analyses within the plan, best practices for collaboration and implementation, and key takeaways for downtown/neighborhood advocates and municipal staff looking to improve multi-modal transportation options in their community.

AT SUMMIT SESSION: Empowering Communities: Building Program Evaluation Capacity for AT Planning

Matt Spindler, Penn State University

It would be challenging to overstate the importance of informal transportation related education and outreach activities that are used to engage diverse audiences, share knowledge, and promote innovation. However, strengthening education and outreach design, growing accessibility, identifying realized outcomes, and measuring impacts requires evaluation. Through case studies and discussions, attendees will develop a deeper understanding of how to: employ UDL; define measurable outputs, outcomes, and impacts; and plan the design and implementation of meaningful evaluations.




Jess King, ED of the Steinman Institute for Civic Engagement

Description Upcoming 



AT SUMMIT SESSION: Regional Bike Share Collaboration

Karl Graybill, City of Lancaster, Andrew Bomberger, Tri-County Regional Planning Commission, Laura Heilman, Commute PA

Susquehanna Regional Transportation Partnership (SRTP)/Commute PA took the lead to create a Regional Bike Share committee. The committee, has worked to implement a regional bike share initiative across South Central PA. As of today, a commuter can purchase a universal annual membership for the 4 active bike share systems, in Harrisburg, Hershey, Lancaster, and Wyomissing. This session will explore the steps taken to create a cohesive transportation network using a regional bike share approach.


AT SUMMIT SESSION: Newtown Borough Walk

Erika Morgan, McCormick Taylor

Traffic violence is affecting Pennsylvania small towns and big cities alike. Between 2019 and 2022, Pennsylvania’s traffic fatalities increased 12% from 2019 to 2022 (according to a Stateline analysis). Learn how Newtown Borough, a 0.6-mile borough in Bucks County with a historic district, pursued a safety and walkability review to create a list of pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements and their next steps to implement them.


AT SUMMIT SESSION: The Other Historical Inequity in Active Mobility Infrastructure Planning & Investments:  Building a Bridge to Older Adults

Carol Kachadoorian, dblTilde CORE, Inc., and Mineta Transportation Institute

Active modes are often left out of transportation planning for older adults (OAs), yet we know that remaining physically active and independent affects health and quality of life. This session shares three ways to consider AT for OAs, then a study of AT for residents in 10 older adult communities, including jurisdictional planning practices. We’ll end by discussing how specific changes to AT planning and investments can result in a better outcome for OAs.


2:00-3:15 PM Redesign a Main Street With Us 

Matt Ludwig and Laura Barna, NV5

(runs through break, snacks will still be available!)

Active Transportation on Pennsylvania Main Streets can achieve health and mobility goals for residents, and economic development and sustainability for downtowns. Staff from NV5 will show how enhancing Main Streets can support these goals through case studies and discuss implementation strategies with the group. Once equipped with a toolkit of design treatments participants will redesign a real-life Main Street. Class designs will be shared with the larger group and NV5 will facilitate a discussion.



Transportation Demand Management – Active Transportation Strategies

Laura Heilman, Commute PA

Learn how Commute PA conducts outreach and provides educational tools to achieve success in the active transportation space. They will dive into the importance of data collection and how collaboration with local partners has been a key to growing awareness locally.

Delco Safety Ambassadors:  Neighbor to Neighbor for Road Safety

Cathy Spahr and Brittani Hales, Delaware County Planning

Delaware County embarked on a County-wide Vision Zero Traffic Safety plan with the goal of including a rigorous community engagement component. Achieving the grassroots level community engagement the county was looking for would be difficult. The County decided to try something new, launching a pilot program called the “Delco Safety Ambassador program”. We will review this program- the collaboration it took to get started, selecting residents to participate, training provided, and designing tools for success.

Community Engagement Through Intergenerational Mobility: All Ages and All Abilities on Bikes

Rick Holt, Early Childhood Mobility Coalition

Children and older adults need opportunities to engage in active travel and interact with other members of the community. To do so we need to support safety awareness and create opportunities for these groups to learn more about the transportation network, and get outdoors, and active on bikes. Traffic gardens, bike education, bike bus, and intergenerational mobility events, all serve as platforms for raising awareness and engaging all ages and abilities in active transportation.



YCEE, Community Room and Front Parlor




MOBILE Walking Tour of Downtown Active Transportation Infrastructure

Mike Pritchard, York County MPO

Starting from the sidewalk in front of the YCEE along Market Street – Participants should wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to walk between 1 and 2 miles. If anyone wanting to participate has a mobility challenge, please let us know so we can plan accordingly.

The group will walk and look at what works and what needs work to address the needs of people using active modes in downtown York. Participants will get to see a range of active transportation infrastructure installed in recent years, including a two-way cycletrack, separated multi-use trail, sidewalks, Rectangular Rapid Flashing Beacons, and the alley network.


MOBILE Bike Tour of Downtown Active Transportation Infrastructure

Marvin Ta, Pennoni, and Sam Pearson, PDC/WalkWorks

Starting from the south entrance of the Yorktowne Hotel — Participants should plan to bring their own bikes. A limited number of loaners will be available by prior arrangement. In addition, one or two passenger seats for non-riders will be available, by prior arrangement. – Tour will travel between 3 and 7 miles on a combination of downtown routes, including some portions riding with traffic.

PennDOT Connects staff will help lead the tour, visiting a variety of different bicycle facilities in the immediate area, including shared, visually separated, and physically separated. This will provide an opportunity to identify the different bicycle groups that can be accommodated by the different types of facilities. Main references

include both PennDOT Design Manual Part 2 – Contextual Roadway Design and FHWA Bikeway Selection Guide.

Using Data and Technology to Improve Bicycle Safety

Clark Haynes, Velo AI, and Armin Samii, Dashcam for Your Bike

Learn about technological solutions to road safety being rolled out for urban cyclists in Pennsylvania. Hear from Dashcam for Your Bike and Velo AI. uses crowdsourced hazard reporting to help the City of Pittsburgh prioritize its limited resources without waiting for crash data to accumulate. And Velo AI has developed Copilot, an AI-powered bike light and camera, to help keep you safe on your bike. Copilot is constantly collecting data on bike rides and the Velo team is partnering with cities to analyze data and provide actionable insights for infrastructure policy making.



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