ADVOCATING FOR BETTER, SAFER BICYCLING

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LEBANON VALLEY BICYCLE COALITION was organized in 2008 to make Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, a better 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.

Bike Ped Coordinator Position is Advertised

After many years of advocating for a full time, bike ped coordinator in Penn DOT Central Office, we have reached our goal.  This position was part of our “ask” when we supported the comprehensive transportation bill, Act 89.  Without an advocate who focuses on bike/ped in Central Office, there has been no update of the state bike/ped plan; no education of staff at the district level. Nor has there been an educational outreach to metropolitan planning organizations and municipalities.  We advocates have been very much on our own in areas of the state where there are no bike ped specialists at the MPO or county levels.   The cities of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have succeeded with support of their respective city governments, their regional MPOs and the advocacy groups have paid, professional staff.   The rest of Pennsylvania has especially needed a robust bike/ped presence in Central Office.  The Coordinator does not need an engineering degree and will report to the Deputy Secretary of Multi Modal Transportation.  Very importantly, the position can be filled from outside.  January 6th is the cut off date.     http://agency.governmentjobs.com/pabureau/job_bulletin.cfm?JobID=1017008  We are especially  grateful to Secretary Barry Schoch and Deputy Secretary Brad Mallory who undertook the challenges necessary to make this happen. 

Improving Access to Bicycle Information on  Penn DOT’s  Portal

  It has been brought to our attention by LVBC members  that www.dot.state.pa.us, the website for PennDOT, does not identify bicycling as part of the comprehensive transportation system.  Nor does it offer any links to bicycling information without searching.   This contrasts sharply with other states such as nearby Maryland, http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/.  Member Fred Richter will raise this issue at the March PPAC meeting.  We anticipate that the Central Office Bike/Ped Coordinator will be hired by this time and will be able to address this absence of bicycling (and pedestrian). Bicycling can be found at “other links”.   Another LVBC member provided the graphic, We’re on this Road Together,  that was taken from Maryland’s State Highways site.  We depend on our Members to direct our efforts to improve bicycling at the municipal, county, state and national levels.

 

LVBC Continues to Make the Case that a County Bike Plan is Needed

  Since 2009, LVBC has requested that LEBCO MPO undertake a county bike plan to assure that bicycling is a safe, convenient means of transportation for residents, neighbors and visitors. The request is identified on the Long Range Transportation Plan but never has received serious consideration to obtain funding.  LVBC Board is now seeking support from cyclists, “want to be” cyclists and others to help us make the case for a countywide bike plan.  Click here to read a Lebanon Daily News article on the issue. Secretary of Transportation Barry Schoch has suggested that LEBCO MPO apply for a grant from the Multi Modal Fund which can provide 70%of the cost of a county bike plan.  Part of the local match can be in kind services such as staff time.  A major planning and design firm has indicated that the estimated cost for a plan is $70,000.  LVBC Board of Directors voted unanimously to contribute $5000 towards the local match.  The Coalition made its case for a county bike plan in our response to the proposed Long Range Transportation Plan. Click here to read.

 WORRIED ABOUT CONGESTION ? 

 

  Reach your own conclusions.

Governor-Elect Tom Wolf’s Views on Bicycling 

 During the General Election campaign, Governor-Elect Tom Wolf responded to the questionnaire sent to both gubernatorial candidates.   Governor Corbett did not respond.  Review Wolf’s answers by clicking here.

Please Don’t Count on Luck to be Safe

 A Guest Column in the Gettysburg Times was written by Mark Berg after he barely avoided crashes with bicyclists when driving his car.  Mr. Berg supports Active Transportation and represents AARP at the Keystone Transportation Funding Coalition in Harrisburg.  His descriptions of what two bicyclists did at great risk to themselves are clear reminders that both bicyclists and motorists need to obey traffic laws.   Click here to access the article.

POWER MOVES FOR BICYCLE COALITIONS

 Randy Neufeld as the Director of the $10 million SRAM Cycling Fund is a leader in cycling advocacy nationally and internationally.   From 1987 to 2009 he served as the Executive Director and then Chief Strategy Officer of Active Transportation, formally known as Chicagoland Bicycle Federation.  He worked in all aspects of cycling promotion including planning, mapping, safety, marketing, design, policy, lobbying and funding.   Learn from Randy’s perspective on effective advocacy by clicking here. 

To learn  about SRAM’s Cycling fund visit www.sramcycling.fund.com.

LVBC and PennDOT District 8 Study SR 897 for a Safer Route to an Elementary School 

  

South Lebanon Township resident and LVBC member Steve Doster is leading an LVBC  effort to improve conditions for families and students to bike and  walk to South Lebanon Elementary School.  Penn DOT will resurface SR 897 from Evergreen Road to Schaefferstown next year.  The Coalition is asking Penn DOT at the same time to widen the shoulders for a road section prior to Evergreen.   Steve will meet with PennDOT personnel and Jon Fitzkee, the LEBCO MPO’s transportation planner, to study the roadway.  LVBC realizes that extending the sidewalk would be an optimal solution for children; decisions regarding sidewalks, however, are a municipal function.  Steve and Ed Krebs conducted preliminary work before the meeting with PennDOT.  The photo depicts where the wide shoulder ends.

 Q:  Do you use a bicycle for transportation, health, fitness, recreation?    Q:  Are you interesting in bicycling but want safer bicycling conditions?

 

Your Input is Needed to Make our Region More Bicycle Friendly. 

 

  Background:

A year ago a group of advocates for bicyclists, including LVBC Members, prepared an application for a Tri County Regional Planning Commission grant to have a bicycle connectivity study undertaken on how to improve bicycling between and within our connecting communities of Harrisburg, Paxtang Borough,  Swatara Township, Hummelstown, Derry Township/Hershey, and Lebanon County’s South Londonderry Township, North Londonderry Township and Palmyra.  There are so many destinations for bicyclists to reach, whether going to work, to school, to shop, to enjoy events.   We were successful.  Grant  was won.   LVBC contributed $750 for our municipalities, and individual members contributed as well.   Alta Planning + Design was contracted after interviewing many excellent finalists who responded to the RFP.   Derry Township is the lead municipality for the grant.  For several months, Alta Planning has been undertaking the study and collecting as much data as possible.

On August 7th there was an opportunity to provide your knowledge and experience about the roads in the study area.  Juliet Waldron and Phyllis Zitzer assisted Alta’s staff.  The study will be completed in early 2015. The website, www.RegionalBicycleConnections.com   provides more information about the study.

 

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 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.

 

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. 

 

Providing Mentoring to New and “Returning” Bicyclists

Coalition members will mentor bicyclists who are just starting to bike or returning to this great way to become fit, have fun, and use their bikes for many utilitarian purposes.  If you want an experienced bicyclist to ride with you and offer advice, complete the survey provided on Survey Monkey.  http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/JZMF2D8

There is also much information available for both adults and youth under the Education section of this website.  These include links to videos.

We also recommend that bicyclists take the League of American Bicyclist Traffic Skills 101 course provided by a League Certified Instructor.  When there are four persons interested in taking the course, we will make arrangements for this full day class that will be offered on a Saturday.   Let us know if you want the class scheduled.  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..     Read more about the League’s courses.  http://bikeleague.org/content/take-class

 

LVBC MEMBERS IN ACTION

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 A short, four-mile round trip by bicycle keeps about 15 pounds of  pollutants out of the air we breathe - WorldWatch Institute

SCENIC BICYCLING VISTAS IN THE VALLEY

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