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.
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.
Tour de Lebanon Valley Attracted over 200 Cyclists
LVBC and VIM Free Health Clinic volunteers worked diligently on May 30th to provide a rewarding bike ride for participants. Cyclists came from nearby counties and from out of state. A group from Maryland were “scouts” and checking out the Lebanon Valley. They liked the ride and the scenery, and said they would return with more club members. This event would have been impossible without the diligence of many and Ron Birch’s serving as Co Chair.
Ruth Barley Congratulations Palmyra Elementary School Student
Ruth and Rich Barley visited a Palmyra Elementary School on Bike To School Day. They met parents and several student cyclists. This student bikes to school regularly and wears his helmet.
Lebanon Daily News Recognized by LVBC
The Lebanon Daily News has provided much coverage of Lebanon Valley Bicycle Coalition since our being organized in 2008. Journalists and photographers have done excellent reporting, often with very clever headlines. LVBC showed our appreciation by providing a framed recognition and LVBC mugs for Chris Sholly; John Latimer; Jeremy Long; Andrea Rich, Managing Editor; and Publisher Scott Downs Members who attended the event were Troy Peters, Ed Krebs, Lin and Mary Donmoyer, Mike Sheehan, Walt Haber, Willie Erb and Pat Krebs.
Ride of Silence Sponsored by LVBC
The annual Ride of Silence was held on May 20th. Participants remembered the five cyclists who were killed in south central Pennsylvania in 2014 - Jonathan Currier, David Wilson, Donald Brown, Arthur Garzon, Roseanna Newswanger- as well as Paul Ziegler. Paul, a McPherson College student, was killed by a distracted, young driver in 2012 while he was cycling on a road near his college in Kansas. His Uncle annually joins the Ride of Silence to remember his nephew. Amazing Grace was bagpiped by two members of the Quitpahilla Highlanders as the cyclists travelled through Annville.
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 Bike Rodeo – a Partnership with the YMCA & Lebanon City Police
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
Advocating for safer bicycling (and walking) on Lingle Avenue
Bicyclists depend on Lingle Avenue to reach many destinations such as connecting to Hersheypark Drive, the Northside Shopping Center and the elementary school. Also, many bicyclists reside close by Lingle Avenue and must use Lingle. LVBC prepared a document to explain and illustrate the unsafe conditions and presented this at the June Policy Board meeting of LEBCO MPO. Read the document by clicking here. Your assistance in helping us to get Penn DOT to fix some of the conditions soon can make a difference. Tell us why you use Lingle Avenue. If you live in North Londonderry Township, Palmyra, or South Londonderry Township, ask your elected officials to help get action.
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?
The League’s American Bicyclist Magazines are a Valuable Resource
If you are not a member of the League, you can still read their magazine, American Bicyclist. The publication provides much information including plenty of examples of what is happening for cyclists in the USA and sometimes much father away.
What you learn may be very “transferable” to Lebanon County no matter which of the 5 Es, Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Encouragement or Equity, is the topic. Go to http://bikeleague.org/americanbicyclist. The latest issue is not immediately posted on their website.
Complete Streets is a Policy Adopted by Lancaster County
In 2014, the Lancaster County MPO adopted a Complete Streets policy. Municipalities in the County are being educated on what Complete Streets is and encouraged to adopt this policy. The most recent Planning Department Director’s newsletter includes an update on Complete Streets as well as promotes bicycling.
http://www.lancastercountyplanning.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/190 . Lancaster County has also published the Lancaster County Complete Streets Design Guidebook which can be accessed at
http://www.lancastercountyplanning.org/179/Implementation-Tools-for-Complete-Street This is a detailed publication and, if utilized by municipalities, can assure implementation of better, safer bicycling facilities.
What Can We Learn from Other Counties?
Arlington County, Virginia, understands the importance of developing a “bike culture”. Several years ago they started a Bike Culture Forum that brings together people who belong to varied organizations and understand what the value of a bicycle-able county can do for businesses, residents, commuters and visitors. While the Lebanon Valley is not Arlington, we can learn from their efforts and from the video that Arlington County produced, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mU0oRC_gxys. This video includes educating school children, building amazing infrastructure for cyclists, promoting bike to work, bike share and more. Take 30 minutes to watch, listen and then offer your ideas. Read about the start up of the bike culture initiative: http://www.bikearlington.com/pages/news-events/blog/2012-arlington-bike-culture-forum-recap/
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.