LEBANON VALLEY BICYCLE COALITION is a 501c-3 organization founded in 2008 to make the Lebanon Valley region of Pennsylvania, a better, safer place to bicycle. We work with elected officials and municipal, county and state governments to make certain that new road projects or redesigns consider the needs of bicyclists. We want cyclists to have the necessary skills to be able to bicycle for their transportation, recreation and health. We offer bike rides because we enjoy cycling together. Volunteering will give us more momentum!
Join LVBC as we strive for a safer, more convenient, and less stressed bicycle transportation network in the Lebanon Valley and region. You are joining an advocacy community who cares about bicyclists of all ages, skills and incomes. Join is in the top menu. You can make an even greater impact with an additional contribution for education and bicycle facilities. Dues and contributions are tax deductible.
Presentations at LEBCO MPO Policy Board Meeting in Support of a County Bike Ped Plan
Executive Director Pat Krebs made a presentation at the Policy Board meeting to support LEBCO’s undertaking a bike-ped Plan. Read here. Ellie Salahub, citizen of North Cornwall Township, provided persuasive argumentation for a county bike ped plan and was very generous in her view of what LVBC does for Lebanon County. Read here.
State Transportation Commission adopts Bicycle Pedestrian Study & Requires MPOs to have bike/ped plans
Penn DOT is striving to develop a comprehensive transportation system that includes bicycling and walking. The creation of the Multimodal Deputate and the position of a State Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinator has sped up the pace of inclusion. Training of Penn DOT personnel and planning staff at MPOs is starting. A major step forward was taken by the Transportation Advisory Committee that serves as an advisory group to the State Transportation Commission. TAC approved the Bicycle Pedestrian Study and the State Transportation Commission adopted the Study at its May 12th meeting. The Study lays out significant actions for incorporating bicycling and walking as modes of transportation. One of these is county or regional bike/ped plans. “MPOs/RPOs shall develop Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plans in cooperation with PennDOT Multimodal and Planning and Programming staff in the Districts and PennDOT’s Central Office.” The Bicycle and Pedestrian Study is a very important “read” at http://www.talkpatransportation.com/docs/TAC_Bike_Ped_Policy_Report_Final.pdf. LVBC has sought a county bike plan since 2009. Will this newly adopted policy convince Lebanon County’s planners and County Commissioners to undertake a county bike/ped plan? Funding has been offered by the Deputy Secretary for Multi Modal.
LVBC Easy Pace, Family Bike Rides
Saturday July 9, 2016 2-4 pm, Fort Swatara and Monroe Valley Road ride. Meet at the Swatara State Park parking lot off Monroe Valley Road. Total distance is 15 miles. Riders can stop back at parking lot after Fort Swatara Road loop, about 6.5 miles. We will stop at Monroe Valley Chapel.
Saturday August 6, 2016, 2-4 pm Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area ride. Meet at Visitors Center. We will follow the self-guided auto tour route. This route is on both paved and gravel roads. Use of hybrid or mountain bicycles is recommended. Bring your binoculars. Total distance TBD.
Saturday September 17, 2016 2-4 pm, Fort Indiantown Gap Ride. Meet at Memorial Lake State Park Lower Road parking lot. We will bicycle around Fort Indiantown Gap and stop at points of interest. Find out who was the first Medal of Honor recipient from Lebanon County. Total distance about 10 miles.
Bicycle Pedestrian Facilities Included in Cornwall Study
Eight LVBC members attended and spoke at the Cornwall Borough Council meeting where Eric Mountz of Transportation Planning & Design (TPD) presented two proposals for improving traffic flow through Cornwall. Increased traffic is anticipated due to the Preserve and North Cornwall Commons developments and increased employment at the V.A. The Coalition had an opportunity to provide recommendations and they were incorporated. The consensus amongst our members is that a roundabout is the better choice. We are impressed with the quality of work provided by TPD.
The Tragic Loss of Five Bicyclists
Across the nation, bicyclists who were killed or injured in Kalamazoo, Michigan, are being remembered. LVBC joins in this outpouring of collective grief and dismay. The five are Debra Ann Bradley, 53; Melissa Ann Fevig-Hughes, 42; Fred “Tony” Nelson, 73; Larry John Paulik, 74; Suzanne Joan Sippel, 56.
New Pocket Bike Lane on SR 72
In 2010, LVBC had a wake up call. PennDOT reconstructed the intersection of Forge Road (SR 117) and SR 322 with no thought about bicyclists’ (and pedestrians’) safety. Shoulders were taken for making turning lanes. With the support of our PA Senator, there was a meeting of many Penn DOT staff with LVBC members at the intersection. In 2015, two improvements were made to the shoulders but safety remains a major concern. Having been burned badly once, LVBC sought to prevent this happening again. A few days later we became directly involved in the designing of the new, large intersection of SR 72 and SR 419 in Quentin. We’ll be advising you of all who cooperated with our mission. This project is not yet done and bicyclists who live and ride in this area are asked to pay attention. Meanwhile, we can enjoy the pocket bike lane to the south of the intersection.
Tour de Lebanon Valley
Thanks to superb LVBC volunteers and our supporting non members, ie Ross Willard, Bill Slabonik and members of the Lebanon Valley Conservancy, the Tour de Lebanon Valley was a success. It always starts with a leader – Ron Birch – and the initial work including the website, redoing the route, making cue sheets and then it expands to finding sponsors, purchasing items, doing the road cues, and finding day of workers to do SAG, to do rest stops, to bake and prepare foods, to deliver food, to get the bike racks, photograph. Lost bicyclists had to be re-routed. Commissioner Litz experienced the ride on a pedal assist electric bike. Visiting bicyclists stayed overnight which is good for the hospitality businesses. The weather cooperated.
Earn a Bike Depends on Volunteers
Fixing Shoulders Means Engaging Penn DOT Lebanon County Maintenance
SR 322 is developing more frequently small sinkholes in the otherwise good shoulders. The depressions and damaged asphalt force bicyclists into the travel lanes. Maneuvering into a stream of motorists is risky, especially for those who don’t regularly bike on this roadway and are not aware of these locations. Penn DOT Lebanon County Maintenance responds to our requests for filling and patching.
International Ride of Silence
Annually, LVBC has held the Ride of Silence. One of the non members who has attended for four years has a personal reason for memorializing the loss of cyclists. His nephew, Paul Ziegler, was killed by a 17 year old who was distracted when reaching for something inside his vehicle. The victim, a sophomore in college, had dreamed of biking across America for world peace. His father taught in the Palmyra Area School District. Quittapahilla Highlanders, Linda Longenecker and Jim Scott, piped in Annville as the bicyclists passed by. Ray Weaver led the Ride. Photograph done by Jeremy Long, Lebanon Daily News.
LVBC has a Presence at the V.A. Wellness Event for Employees
Ruth Barley took charge of having a booth at the V.A. wellness activity for their employees. Sharyn Kocevar mounted a pedal assist electric bike on a stationary stand for employees to test. More people on bikes is our goal.
Why Bicyclists Should Ride with Traffic
A video link was passed on to LVBC. Watch it and if you know someone who should also view the results of riding on the wrong side of the road, please send this link to him/her. It could be life saving. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6_ojiqB_9U
Test Driving Pedal Assist Electric Bikes from In Gear Cycling & Fitness
Thanks to Sharyn Kocevar of In Gear Cycling & Fitness, members had an opportunity to test several pedal assist electric bikes.
BMUFL Signs Installed on SR 422
West of Annville on SR 422, the shoulders become useless and narrow as the road crosses over an unused gravel pit. For many years LVBC advocated for Bicycles May Use Full Lane signage.The issue was complicated because there was uncertainty about whether PennDOT or municipalities had to maintain the signs once installed. This was resolved a few weeks ago with PennDOT’s assuming ownership of the signs. We have identified other locations in Lebanon County, such as Campbelltown, where we think that BMUFL should be installed. We need to have PennDOT’s approval.
Penn DOT Responded to LVBC’s Request to Promote the 4 Foot Passing Law
The “4 foot passing law” with additional safety provisions was enacted four years ago. Lebanon County Penn DOT Maintenance Division posted a message board at their complex on SR 422 to educate motorists about passing bicyclists. Bike Ped Coordinator Roy Gothie has encouraged Penn DOT Districts throughout the state to post the same message in April – May. Penn DOT provided the wording, “Passing a Bicyclist, Keep 4 feet Away” with the second flash being “It’s the Law.”
LVBC Initiated a Health and Wellness Meeting
Representatives of health care providers and other organizations responded enthusiastically to LVBC’s invitation to address the health risks of Lebanon County residents who are overweight and/or lack enough physical activity. The resulting chronic illnesses are prevalent. For several weeks, information was shared amongst the groups. The YMCA hosted the meeting. Attendees included WellSpan Good Samaritan, PinnacleHealth, Lebanon Family Health Services, the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce, Lebanon School District, Safe Kids Lebanon County, First Aid and Safety Patrol, Bayer Healthcare, the free health clinics, Mission: Readiness, Community Health Council of Lebanon County, PA Department of Health, Public Health Program Administrator Justin Lehman, and others. Information was shared and there was much networking. It was agreed that there needs to be a community wide effort to address the wellness of residents. LVBC will be a partner and the Community Health Council will serve as leader. LVBC needs to provide bicycling activities and engage many who want to resume or start to bike.
Expanding Our Constituency – the Underserved
The message delivered by Roy Gothie, Penn DOT’s Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinator, at the Bike Summit needs a wide circulation amongst advocates for safer, better bicycling. His message is about the need to engage those who are not dues paying members of bicycle advocacy groups and recreational bike clubs. These are the underserved populations who often don’t have cars as their alternative vehicles. They need to bike. As Roy notes, they don’t fit the term “cyclists”. Instead, they are people who bike. Click here to read his keynote address. A week after the Bike Summit, LVBC members were equipping four men with bikes because they need them for their transportation. How can we do more for the communities not represented in our membership? How can we engage them and advocate for their needs for safer, better bicycling?
A History of How Bicyclists Lost their Lane Rights
The “I am Traffic” website provides a detailed and interesting history of bicyclists’ right to use the roads. Click here to view.
Educating Youth & Parents at Healthy Kids Day 2016
LVBC members Ron Birch, Rich Barley, Chris Shelly, Sharyn Kocevar and Dean Auchenbach educated youth and their parents about bicycling safely at Healthy Kids Day. Dean reports that “as usual we were swamped with kids’ playing the bicycle wheel game. Hopefully, something we said sticks with these kids and their parents and they learned something.”
Bicycle Occupancy Permit (BOP) continues to be a roadblock
The BOP continues to be a barrier for bike lanes, sharrows, pocket bike lanes and other road markings on state roads for bicyclists’ safety and motorists’ awareness. LVBC, BSCPA, HBC, Recycle Bikes, CentreBikes, Bike Pittsburgh, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Bike Bucks County sent a letter to Penn DOT Secretary Richards to ask for a resolution. Until the BOP is eliminated or revised significantly, most municipalities will not accept bike road markings for which they are presently liable according to Penn DOT. Visit the Bicycle Coalition’s blog to understand more fully what has stymied safer bicycling in Pennsylvania by clicking here. UPDATE: It was announced at the March PPAC meeting that Penn DOT will provide funding for pilot bike lane projects. The pilots will be located in southeastern PA and Harrisburg area. The intent is to determine the cost of installing and maintaining bike lanes. LVBC will recommend two candidates – Derry Street in Swatara Township and a SR 422 segment east of Downtown Hershey to Lingle Avenue intersection. The pilots will be within Tri County Regional Planning Commission/HATS.
Bicyclists Speak about Importance and Safety of SR 422
I Bike & I Vote – Campaign Buttons to Educate Candidates
Bicyclists can educate candidates for political office by wearing campaign buttons with the message, I Bike, I Vote. In 2016, Pennsylvanians will elect a U. S. Senator, all of our U.S. Representatives, half the PA Senate and all the PA House. Many candidates don’t realize that safer and better bicycling is an issue of importance to thousands of voters. By wearing one of these outstanding campaign buttons, you will be delivering the message. Buttons are free to LVBC members.
OBTAINING A COPY OF THE LEBANON COUNTY SCENIC BICYCLE RIDES MAP
The Lebanon County scenic bike ride map depicts the 10 scenic bike rides described in detail on the LVBC website. The Map allows cyclists to connect scenic loops to have more miles or shorten the ride to the return. It is 24 inches by 18 inches on glossy paper. Cyclists can choose to start anywhere on the loops. By showing all 10 rides, visitors can decide which lodging works best for them. You can receive a map from LVBC by paying $5 for Postage & Handling online by clicking here.
Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission Investigates the Safety of the Dauphin Narrows Underpasses
A bicyclist/advocate had learned that it was conceivable that the PUC might be helpful in trying to improve the safety of the Dauphin Narrows underpasses. He pursued this. In May, LVBC members met PUC officials who attended the bike to work event in Harrisburg. LVBC had an information table at this event. We had been approached several years ago to help cyclists who live in Dauphin Borough and Upper Dauphin County to help them have a safer travel by bike to and from Harrisburg. Another vexing problem for some is that the roadway is closed to cyclists from sunset to sunrise. This prohibition forces them to risk being cited or stop commuting to their jobs for many months. LVBC members who live in Lebanon County also use the Dauphin Narrows route as there is no other alternative. The PUC has issued an order for an investigation and LVBC is one of the parties. We may have to provide testimony at a hearing.