ADVOCATING FOR BETTER, SAFER BICYCLING
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.
Bicycle Safety Signage Installed on SR 322
The first Begin Right Turn Yield to Bikes sign in Penn DOT District 8 has been posted at the right turn lane into Country View Grocery.
As a result of LVBC members’ work with the developers John and Dale Zimmerman, this MUTCD approved sign was posted in conjunction with the AASHTO recommended bike lane. It took several months for this sign to be erected in spite of the fact that it was part of the approved Highway Occupancy Permit (HOP). The Zimmermans’ support for bicyclists’ safety is greatly appreciated. We will continue our efforts to have Penn DOT install this sign on the westbound side of SR 322 at the intersection of SR 934 and SR 117.
Installation of multi bike rack at Hershey Public Library
Hershey Public Library President Julie Isaacson and LVBC’s Secretary Juliet Waldron presided at the “ribbon cutting” installation of a new multi bike rack at the Library. LVBC purchased the bike rack from local manufacturer, E&E metalfab, Inc., for the Library’s many patrons who bike. Assisting at the event were In Gear Cycling and Fitness owner Scott Kocevar and Retail Manager Michael Mutzabaugh; Quality Bicycle Products Advocacy Coordinator Nick Loftus; E&E metalfab’s Steve Hetrick; LVBC members Ray Weaver, Pat and Ed Krebs; and Derry Township resident cyclist, Nate Fitterer. LVBC needed to provide the “muscle power” to unload the bike rack and then load the old bike rack destined for recycling. E&E generously provided the needed transportation for the racks. Mike Sheehan and Ed Krebs secured the bike rack later in the day and discovered the rack was already in use by young cyclists.
Volunteers Prepare for the 2016 Earn a Bike Program
Chairman Scott Shreve and his crew of volunteers, Fred Richter, Brandon, Luke Walmer, Chris Waldron and Michael Gilmartin, got a bit dirty and greasy as they prepared the Earn a Bike “shop” for 2016.
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.
Bike Friendly Specialist Steve Clark Provides the City’s Report Card
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. Click here to review the City’s Report Card. A more detailed presentation is available. The above picture was taken at the Union Canal tunnel.
Maryland DOT Expedites the Use of BMUFL
Maryland’s Department of Transportation has been removing Share the Road Signs and replacing them with Bikes May Use Full Lane. They identify where these signs make it clearer to motorists that bicyclists will have to be in the full travel lane. The MUTCD approved signage is installed as well as this version of the signage. LVBC has been attempting for several years to have BMUFL signage installed at critical locations including Campbelltown, the most dangerous sections of SR 419, and the SR 422 segment that crosses over a gravel pit. Central Office Penn DOT's newly appointed full time bike-ped coordinator, Roy Gothie, was a Maryland DOT planner. BMUFL was on the PPAC agenda at their September meeting. This is an opportune time for LVBC and other advocacy groups to pressure PennDOT to begin to install these signs.
Members Provide Their Approval for the Lebanon Valley Bikeways Signage
AAA Mid Atlantic Provides Roadside Assistance for Bicyclists. Service Will Come to Central Penn AAA Members in 2016
Members of AAA Mid Atlantic can use any of their yearly service calls for bicycle roadside assistance. This service was introduced in May, 2015. If their bicycles break down, they call the road service number just as they would if their motor vehicles could not be driven. There is no additional charge to members for bicycle coverage. The bicycle towing mileage is the same as vehicle towing mileage - 3 miles for Basic, 100 miles for Plus/Premier and one 200 mile tow for a Premier household. Service is provided only along a normally traveled road or street.. More information is available on the AAA Mid Atlantic website. When LVBC learned about this service for AAA members who reside in southeastern Pennsylvania, we contacted Central Penn AAA about the need for providing this service to their AAA members who bicycle. Lisa Highlands responded that “we are planning to have bicycle coverage available to our members in Central Penn by Spring of 2016.” Another company, The Better World Club, offers roadside assistance for bicyclists.
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.
Electric-assist Bicycles are Legal
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?
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.