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. The 2017 membership dues is any contribution that you are willing to provide. You can join by PayPal which allows for use of a credit card or you can pay by check. Go to "Contribute" at the Menu Bar to access the form or pay on line through PayPal. Your contribution is tax deductible.
BMUFL installed on Walton Avenue, Derry Township
Bicycling on Walton Avenue near the intersection with Hersheypark Drive requires guts and skills. There are right turn lanes to reach eateries, lodgings and other businesses. During the tourism season, conditions worsen. Bikes May Use Full Lane signs were installed. We learned about these newly installed signs from a restaurant employee. He lives in Hummelstown and bikes to and from work on Walton Avenue to save money. He now feels more confident in taking the lane as the signs confirm his right to do so.
Bicycle Auditing SR 422 in Derry Township
In 2018, PennDOT will resurface SR 422 between Orchard Avenue and Lingle Avenue. Pat Krebs, representing LVBC, met with Derry Township officials including Supervisors John Foley and Justin Engle and Economic Development staff, Chuck Emerick and Lauren Zumbrun. PennDOT Bike Ped Coordinator Roy Gothie also attended to ask them to consider an on road, SR 322, demonstration project with bike lanes. The meeting was very positive. Next, a bicycling audit was needed beyond what LVBC had done several years ago. LVBC members Mike Sheehan, Fred Richter and Pat Krebs volunteered to audit and develop their findings for the Township and PennDOT 8-0. Discussion about what is possible to improve the safety of bicyclists within the limits of both the PennDOT and the Hershey Downtown projects will be forthcoming.
EARN A BIKE 2017 VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Every 4th Saturday from March through November, the Earn A Bike program gets together to fix up old bikes. In collaboration with the Lebanon Rescue Mission, Jubilee, the VA and others, the Earn A Bike program helps people earn bikes for transportation to work and to share the joy of biking. With volunteers from the Lebanon Valley Bicycle Coalition and the generous donation of warehouse space by E&E Metal Fab, the Earn A Bike program has provided more than 50 bikes for guys seeking to improve their lives while having fun fixing up old bikes.
No bicycle mechanic experience is necessary if you'd like to join us. You're likely to make a few new friends along the way while perhaps learning some repair techniques. Donations of repairable bikes are welcomed with adult mountain bikes being the most sought after style. Check out the smiles of those we've helped to date in the attached pictures and be prepared to see some of these faces riding by you in and around Lebanon, hopefully on the correct side of the street (e.g., with traffic). If you have questions, call Scott at 717 273-1571. Many thanks to Common Wheel of Lancaster and Recycle Bicycle Harrisburg for their wonderful support of Earn A Bike.
Disappointment Brings Success
In 2010, the intersection of SR 322 and Forge Road was reconstructed to make turning lanes. The end result was the loss of shoulders for bicyclists and pedestrians to use, and bicyclists who are going west risk being struck by motorists who are turning right. This experience taught us that until Penn DOT included bicyclists and pedestrians’ needs in their planning, we bicyclists had to become more knowledgeable and involved. Very quickly, we were participating with Steckbeck Engineering and ELA Group to include bicycling and pedestrian facilities at the reconstructed intersection of SR 72 and SR 419 (Quentin). Their cooperation was excellent and refreshing; and now, six years later, through bike lanes are installed not only on SR 72, but at the right turn into Eagle Rental. The Bicycle Occupancy Permit (BOP) requirement did not allow for improving the segment of SR 419 in Quentin village. Six years ago, there was not the amazing amount of information available on bike facilities that there is today. We were dependent on the draft AASHTO bike facilities guidebook. To get an example of today’s resources visit http://nacto.org/publication/urban-bikeway-design-guide/intersection-treatments/through-bike-lanes/. PennDOT is also undergoing a transformation to be supportive of all users of their roadways. An example of this is that the reconstruction of the intersection of SR 422 and Killinger Road now has through bike lanes. LVBC did not have to make the case for these bike facilities. PennDOT District 8 had recognized that bicyclist facilities were needed. In March, 2016, District 8 staff met with LVBC members to discuss the 2017-2018 resurfacing project for this section of SR 422.
SR 322 Roundabouts – Two Years of Advocating
Invisible Bicyclists - Bringing Them into the Light
There are hundreds of bicyclists in our region who bike because they have no other choice for their means of transportation. Unfortunately, they are not involved in advocating for better, safer bicycling. What roads are most important for their use and do they have concerns when riding on these roads? What are their destinations? Do they combine bike and bus? We need to bring them into the light. For information on the plight of invisible bicyclists read https://www.strongtowns.org/journal/2017/5/1/invisible-bike-riders
LVBC Members Explore Options for the Dauphin Narrows
Your LVBC Board of Directors needed a better understanding of conditions at the underpass on SR322/22 and possible solutions, short term and long term. With the support of advocates who experience firsthand the underpass, they explored off road possibilities and biked through the underpass as well. LVBC participants were Fred Richter, Chris Shelly, Mike Sheehan, Ed Krebs,and Pat Krebs. The Board remains committed to supporting the right of bicyclists to use this roadway even if nothing is done to make it safer. The Board supports electronic signalization to alert motorists that a bicyclist is passing through the underpass which is biked in a few seconds. The Board supports off road alternatives as the best solution. The photo shows the bicyclists on the shoulder south of the underpass. One recommendation is to construct a path from River Road where it ends to just south of the underpass and provide a ramp for bicyclists and pedestrians to use. A suggestion was made to allow two way direction for bicyclists and pedestrians on the River side shoulder.
Update on Bicyclists' Access through the Dauphin Narrows
Advocates for bicyclists’ access to travel through the Dauphin Narrows (SR 322/SR22) had been waiting for PennDOT to determine if they would develop an off-road means of bypassing the underpass. We had shared information with PennDOT in the Fall regarding River Road as a possibility to bypass the southbound underpass. There were onsite visits. This would require obtaining right-of way from a property owner and, perhaps, other types of permission from property owners which might include Norfolk Southern. Another recommendation was to determine if the shoulder on the southbound side could accommodate two way bike/pedestrian travel. If this were possible, it would allow for the first time access for pedestrians. Much more costly ideas which would require years for design, approvals, construction, and funding were also presented by advocates in 2016.
Not having any updates from PennDOT, Bill Hoffman, PPAC member, initiated a letter in January to Secretary of Transportation Leslie Richards requesting a meeting. The LVBC Board voted to co-sign the letter as did Bicycle Access Council. A meeting with advocates and the Administration was held in April. Ed Krebs represented LVBC as he had biked through the underpass and also viewed firsthand the potential for an off road solution.
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.
LVBC Members Pick Up Litter on SR322
Seven hardy LVBC members did a lot of back bending work on a chilly Saturday morning to remove litter from a section of SR 322 in Cornwall Borough. Many more volunteers are needed in order to remove litter as far as Boyd Street.
Relying on the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for Advice
During our many years of advocating for safer bicycling conditions on the roads in our area, LVBC has faced many “roadblocks” . One of these that has been especially difficult is persuading Lebanon County Metropolitan Planning Organization (LEBCOMPO) that they have a responsibility for the safety of bicyclists who use roads. Because they rejected funding for a county bike/ped plan, we have to continue scrambling to identify possible opportunities for improving roads to make them safer for cyclists. This year, a segment of SR 501 was resurfaced. This is an important road for bicyclists and especially important for the Amish population. The resurfacing was done but neither Penn DOT nor LEBCO MPO saw value in expanding the shoulder widths where possible within Penn DOT’s right of way. Our many years of advocating for SR 501 failed.
AAA Central Penn Expands Bicycle Emergency Roadside Assistance Program
In discussions with AAA Central Penn representatives, LVBC learned that during the first year of availability their members used the Emergency Roadside Assistance due to bicycle breakdowns . However, only Plus and Premier members could avail themselves of this service. The program is now available for Classic members. AAA will send a light duty service vehicle equipped with a bike rack to take the member and bike to a repair shop or to home. Responding to a bicycle roadside assist becomes one of the allotted member’s yearly service calls. Mid Atlantic AAA also provides this service which is reciprocal.
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.