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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. We need you to strengthen our efforts. With your help, we can be more successful. Become a Member or Supporter and especially volunteer your enthusiasm, skills and knowledge. Membership and Supporter Forms can be found in the GET INVOLVED Menu.

 

The League’s Bike Friendly Community Specialist Visits Lebanon 

  

TREK provides funding to the League for Steve Clark to visit communities that are considering how to become “bicycle friendly”.  This is the program that is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists.  He was invited to Allentown and Lancaster City and we are pleased that he could arrange to visit the City of Lebanon.  We also initiated contacts in Harrisburg and Camp Hill.  As a result, advocates and government officials welcomed his visit as well. Steve and LVBC members met with Lebanon’s  City Council President and we bike audited sections of the City.  Steve joined LVBC members for dinner and for a luncheon meeting.  Ultimately, he will provide feedback including a power point presentation. The above picture was taken at the Union Canal tunnel.

 

Earn a Bike Project Expands 

With the support of Dale Speicher, Ed Krebs and Scott Shreve, on August 8th, three more persons “earned their bikes”.   Since June, 14 bikes have been provided to their new owners who had to be involved in building their bikes.   The photo shows Eric and Logan working on their bikes.   The facility provided by E& E metalfab, Inc allows us to store bikes, tools and parts and be able to work indoors.  

 

 

 

Bike to Work Week Challenge Winners 

 

Phoenix Contact is the company that was recognized by PA Commuter Services because more of their employees biked to and from work than any other business entry.Bob Johnston, a former LVBC Member, earned the individual category. Scroll down at  http://pacommuterservices.org/wp-content/uploads/Commuter-Services-of-PA-Spring_Summer-2015-Program-Update_-WEB.pdf

 

 

LVBC Asked to Help Organize a UPS Safety Demo for Their Drivers

 

An LVBC officer’s reply to a  letter to the editor in the Patriot News led to a request by Dan DiBlasio, the UPS Safety Co Chair, that LVBC  assist him in developing a  safety demo that would focus on bicyclists and motorcyclists.  Pat Krebs worked with Dan who was in charge of the demo to develop information and resources.   Leo Tate, Jr. and Steve Unger, UPS Co-Chairman of the Comprehensive Healthy/Safety Program, also assisted.   Held for 24 hours at the UPS distribution center in Harrisburg, bicyclists worked many shifts alongside representatives of the motorcycling community and UPS volunteers to discuss our mutual need to share the roads lawfully and respectfully.   Bicyclists were impressed by the hard work and knowledge of UPS staff for their commitment to safety for all of us. Participants were LVBC members Rich and Ruth Barley, Mike Sheehan,  Chris Shelly, Chris & Juliet Waldron, Jeff McPartland and Emmy Truckenmiller;  Amy Hallock of Hershey Area Walk & Roll; Marilyn Chastek, BSCPA;  and League Certified Instructor, Sharon Kocevar, representing In Gear Cycling & Fitness.  Juliet notes “most enlightening was the perspective gained upon exactly how much a truck driver does not see of the road surrounding his cab. The recommendation of one of the UPS Safety volunteers was that cyclists who are stopping at a  traffic stop with a truck either halt a good car length ahead of the truck cab or near the back wheel, within view of the rear mirrors. ‘'  Jeff says  “that even when we can see the driver of these large vehicles he/she cannot see us!  The bike located 10 feet to the right of the front of the truck is not visible to the driver.  I personally checked it (from the driver’s seat) to confirm.  And, the back of a modern truck this long has no backup camera.”  Amy was impressed with the UPS endeavor. “These guys all chair the safety and wellness programs as volunteers - in addition to their 60 hour work weeks. They take a lot of pride in their work, and in keeping the roads safe.”

 

AASHTO Bicycle Facility Comes to Lebanon County – at Last!

 

Thanks to the work of the LVBC Planning Committee members, developers John and Dale Zimmerman, and Penn DOT’s highway occupancy permitting process, SR 322 has the appropriate bike lane to take cyclists from the shoulder  to travel straight through.  The new Country View Market location was required to have a right turn lane added to the roadway.

 

Helmet Cameras and Close Call Database Link 

 

Someone whose work  includes collecting bicyclist/motor vehicle  crash data provided the following link to a CNN news story which, in turn, provides a link to a Close Call Database.  http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/13/living/feat-bike-helmet-cameras/index.html   A helmet camera “caught” the crash in 2014 when a cycling friend was struck in Manheim by a motorist who turned into her.

 

 

 

LVBC Participates in Designing the Roundabouts on SR 322

  

 

 

 

 

When we learned, by chance, in February  that Milton Hershey School’s proposed roundabouts were not going to provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians, the Board and members took action.  Chris Shelly became our “lead”  and armed with the AASHTO bicycle facilities recommendations as well as Alta Planning’s design recommendations, he spoke at the  public meeting as did Board member Juliet Waldron.   We then engaged in a campaign to advise Derry Township, MHS, and Penn DOT 8-0 that we expected the designs to include bike/ped.    Every advocate who participated in this campaign helped greatly. Chris, Juliet and Pat spoke at the Derry Township Supervisors meeting.  The county bicycle transportation maps proved to be very important in making the case for bicycle facilities; SR 322 is a Bicycle Regional Road.   Penn DOT told MHS and Derry Township that bike/ped facilities were required, and they advised that Chris Shelly should participate in the re-design that will include bike/ped facilities.  Chris presented what has transpired to date at a joint meeting of the Hershey Area Walk & Roll group and LVBC Board of Directors.  The Board supports what has been included for bike/ped.  However, Chris and the Board will continue to make the case for a pedestrian crossing with bicycle access at the east side of the roundabout at Meadow Lane.  This advocacy effort has been and continues to be a challenging responsibility.   Penn DOT makes the final determinations as to what is required for the HOP (highway occupancy permit).  More information will be forthcoming.

 

Electric-assist Bicycles are Legal

 

Electric-assist bicycles are now legal in Pennsylvania.  The definition for an electric-assist bicycle is that it must have operable pedals, a motor rated at no more than 750 watts (1 hp.), weigh no more than 100 pounds with a speed limit of 20 mph under power.  The bicyclist must be at least 16 years old.    What will be the impact of these bicycles for transportation?  If you ride an electric assist bicycle, share your experiences by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Click here to go to a Bicycling magazine article on how to turn any bike into electric assist.

   

LVBC Response and Recommendations  to the 2015-2040  LRTP & TIP for Lebanon County’s Comprehensive Transportation System

Due to a very condensed time period to review and make recommendations to the LRTP (Long Range Transportation Plan) and TIP (Transportation Improvement Program) that covers  the next 25 years, LVBC Executive Board and our non voting representative on the Technical Planning Committee have prepared and approved a response.  It can be read here.     The packet includes the FHWA documents on planning for bicycling as a mode of transportation, federal recommendations for the use of CMAQ funds and  past requests that LVBC has made since 2010.   The TIP/LRTP can be revised during the 25 year span.  However, with the increased funding provided by Act 89, the state  transportation bill,  that bicyclists and bicycle advocacy organizations  worked diligently to get passed by the legislature, the time is now when bicycling and walking, should be clearly shown to be part of the comprehensive transportation system of Lebanon County in the MPOs’ Action items and on the Transportation Improvement Program for 2015-2018.  

 

The Lebanon County Long Range Transportation Plan, 2015-2040: Where is Bicycling? 

 

In June, 2014, the Lebanon County Metropolitan Planning Organization’s Policy Board adopted a transportation plan for all modes of transportation for the next 25 years.  The LVBC Board is very disappointed that many of our concerns and recommendations were not accepted.   Twenty five years, we believe, is a long period of time without having a bicycle transportation plan for the County.   If you take the time to skim through the Plan, you will find sections where LVBC has had some impact, but for those of us who have tried to be persuasive since 2008, the results are minimal.  The Plan is at this link,  http://www.lebcounty.org/Planning/Pages/MPO.aspx.   Scroll down.     If you live in Lebanon County, your assistance is needed in advising our MPO of the importance of having a plan for bicycling that can gradually be implemented over 25 years.  If you are willing to help in this campaign, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Thanks to the Members who have committed their personal funds to help pay for such a plan.

 

 USING HEADLIGHTS DURING THE DAY 

 

Five bicyclists were killed in crashes with motorists in our region in 2014; there were also seriously injured cyclists.  Four of the fatal crashes happened in full daylight.   The crash in late November which resulted in the cyclist’s death was a result of a motorist who turned left into the cyclist.  Without the advantage of having the reports done by law enforcement, we can only surmise what were all the factors that caused these crashes.   While discussing the November fatal crash, a Manheim Township officer advised that bicyclists should  be as visible as possible in daylight as well as night.  He encouraged the use of strobe headlights.  LVBC’s President has conversed with several  bicyclists who routinely use daytime headlights.   Two of these cyclists have commuted to and from work for many years.   Another member observed a touring cycling club from Ohio and they all used daytime headlights.  They were very visible.  One member noted that we should promote the use of a light with a flash mode and that the light be rated at at least 600 lumens in the flash mode.  He also uses other lights including having them on his wheels as well as reflective clothing.  He notes “If you can’t see me at night you’re blind!   On a mtbr forum in 2012, a member said “In times past just wearing bright clothing was thought to be enough. Like you, I believe times have changed. We need more...we need something that metaphorically reaches out and slaps the distracted driver in the face.   Yeah, it will make me feel like a moron using lights during the day but it's better to be a LIVE SPECTACLE than a dead fool. “    This link, http://bicycles.stackexchange.com/questions/23307/does-it-make-you-safer-to-use-lights-during-the-day, may be useful in your making a decision to use day time running lights. LVBC is not endorsing a specific product or brand,  and there are many from which to choose.   The photograph is from our 2010  Ride of Silence on SR 422. 

Lebanon County Bicycle Transportation Priorities Map

The Priorities Map depicts which state  roads need immediate improvements.  The Map also identifies where signage, Bikes May Use Full Lane and Begin Right Turn, Yield to Bikes, should be installed.  There are recommendations for shared lane markings (sharrows).   You can access the Map by clicking here. 

 

LVBC MEMBERS IN ACTION

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“In the past two decades, thousands of miles of trails have been paved in the United States, but many of them look as if they were designed by someone who’d never ridden a bike. By consulting more with the people who do a lot of travelling under their own power, transportation planners ought to be able to come up with imaginative schemes for making roads, paths and sidewalks more usable to them, and maybe help cut down a bit on our reliance on the automobile.”  Trouble on the Trail, Washington Post op-ed, May 18th, 1993

SCENIC BICYCLING VISTAS IN THE VALLEY

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