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.
A Regional Bike Summit on March 19th – Your Participation Will Help to Strengthen the Bicycling Advocacy Movement
Building a strong advocacy presence throughout south central Pennsylvania will make a difference for better, safer cycling. There are 6 metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs) in our region. We want all of them to work diligently to improve bicycling conditions. We want Penn DOT District 8-0 to work with the MPOs and our many bicycle organizations to provide for well designed bike facilities on state roads. Promoting mountain biking and bicycle tourism on trails and scenic roads will help to show the economic value of cycling.
Bicycle South Central PA is the sponsor of the Regional Bike Summit at Quality Bicycle Products in Lancaster on March 19th for this all day event. The Summit will bring together people involved in all aspects of bicycling in order to explore ways we can work together to make bicycling safer and more popular. Topics include education, tourism, advocacy, biking events, bike infrastructure planning, trail building, partnerships and more.
The Summit presenters include Alex Doty, Executive Director of the League of American Bicyclists; Roy Gothie, PennDOT Central Office Bike/Ped Coordinator; and Anthony Duncan, Mid-Atlantic Regional Director for the International Mountain Bicycling Association. (IMBA) Transportation experts will serve as panelists. There will be opportunities to network . The cost is $10 which includes lunch. Detailed information and the registration form is at http://www.bicyclesouthcentralpa.org/images/documents/Invitation_to_attend.pdf
2015 ANNUAL REPORT
LVBC’S ANNUAL REPORT is now on this website. That report can be read by clicking here. Reports for previous years can to read in the About Us section of this website.
Roundabout at Forge Road and Northside Drive: 2015 Improvements
In 2011, LVBC advised Penn DOT before construction began that bicyclists and pedestrians needed to be included in the roundabout design. This did not happen. Since then, LVBC members have continued to advocate for the facilities recommended by the two national organizations, AASHTO and NACTO. PennDOT listened and we credit District 8-0 Executive Mike Keiser for his leadership. First, a narrow path was built on the east side which helps cyclists and pedestrians if going north. In 2015, a short path was asphalted on the west side and cross walks added. While they are not up to “standards” due to inadequate right of way, these facilities are allowing cyclists who are intimidated by riding with traffic in roundabouts to use the alternative path and crosswalk system. Penn DOT also added curbing within the roundabout to slow motorists which also helps bicyclists. Unfortunately, some motorists insist on not giving a bicyclist the opportunity to merge into the travel lane before entering the roundabout. LVBC still has work to do in regard to the entrances and exits. BMUFL signs will be installed at the roundabouts on SR 322 as a result of our efforts and District 8-0 concurrence.
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.
New Leadership at PennDOT Lebanon County Maintenance
Tim Singleton, the new manager of Penn DOT’s Lebanon County Maintenance division, met with LVBC’s Executive Director to discuss potential state road improvements for bicyclists’ safety. Included on the lengthy agenda were improving shoulder widths when undertaking road resurfacing and rehabilitation; storm water grates that are not bike-friendly, removing edge line rumbles where they were installed incorrectly, and other issues. The resurfacing of SR 501 is high on LVBC’s list for 2016 as this is an opportunity for widening shoulders for both Amish and bicyclists.
AAA Provides Bicycle Road Assistance as a Member Benefit
We had been advised that it would be Spring, 2016, when AAA would provide a bicycle road assistance service. Instead, the service began on January one. LVBC and HBC made known to Central Penn that they should offer this service since the Mid Atlantic AAA began to provide this benefit in May, 2015.
Here it is: AAA Central Penn now provides bicycle service to Plus & Premier members. Service is provided to a member whose bicycle has become disabled or inoperable, and can be reached safely from a normally traveled road. This service applies to all bicycles as long as service can be safely delivered using normal servicing equipment. Transportation is provided to the member and the disabled bicycle to the member’s destination of choice within a radius of the bicycle pickup, according to the mileage limits for vehicle tows for your membership level. Bicycle repair or tire change not included. Additional mileage will be at the member’s expense and payable to the service provider at the time of service. Simply present your valid AAA card: Members are expected to be with the bicycle at time of service. Service can only be provided within AAA Central Penn territory. Some restrictions may apply.
FYI: The Better World Club, http://www.betterworldclub.com/roadside-assistance/bicycle-roadside-assistance/ also has a roadside assistance service.
I Bike & I Vote – Campaign Buttons to Educate Candidates
Bicyclists can educate candidates for political office by wearing campaign buttons with the message, I Bike, I Vote. In 2016, Pennsylvanians will elect a U. S. Senator, all of our U.S. Representatives, half the PA Senate and all the PA House. Many candidates don’t realize that safer and better bicycling is an issue of importance to thousands of voters. By wearing one of these outstanding campaign buttons, you will be delivering the message. Buttons are free to LVBC members.
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
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
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.