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. Join is in the top menu. You can make an even greater impact with an additional contribution for education and bicycle facilities. Dues and contributions are tax deductible.
Test Driving Pedal Assist Electric Bikes from In Gear Cycling & Fitness
Thanks to Sharyn Kocevar of In Gear Cycling & Fitness, members had an opportunity to test several pedal assist electric bikes.
BMUFL Signs Installed on SR 422
West of Annville on SR 422, the shoulders become useless and narrow as the road crosses over an unused gravel pit. For many years LVBC advocated for Bicycles May Use Full Lane signage.The issue was complicated because there was uncertainty about whether PennDOT or municipalities had to maintain the signs once installed. This was resolved a few weeks ago with PennDOT’s assuming ownership of the signs. We have identified other locations in Lebanon County, such as Campbelltown, where we think that BMUFL should be installed. We need to have PennDOT’s approval.
Penn DOT Responded to LVBC’s Request to Promote the 4 Foot Passing Law
The “4 foot passing law” with additional safety provisions was enacted four years ago. Lebanon County Penn DOT Maintenance Division posted a message board at their complex on SR 422 to educate motorists about passing bicyclists. Bike Ped Coordinator Roy Gothie has encouraged Penn DOT Districts throughout the state to post the same message in April – May. Penn DOT provided the wording, “Passing a Bicyclist, Keep 4 feet Away” with the second flash being “It’s the Law.”
LVBC Initiated a Health and Wellness Meeting
Representatives of health care providers and other organizations responded enthusiastically to LVBC’s invitation to address the health risks of Lebanon County residents who are overweight and/or lack enough physical activity. The resulting chronic illnesses are prevalent. For several weeks, information was shared amongst the groups. The YMCA hosted the meeting. Attendees included WellSpan Good Samaritan, PinnacleHealth, Lebanon Family Health Services, the Lebanon Valley Chamber of Commerce, Lebanon School District, Safe Kids Lebanon County, First Aid and Safety Patrol, Bayer Healthcare, the free health clinics, Mission: Readiness, Community Health Council of Lebanon County, PA Department of Health, Public Health Program Administrator Justin Lehman, and others. Information was shared and there was much networking. It was agreed that there needs to be a community wide effort to address the wellness of residents. LVBC will be a partner and the Community Health Council will serve as leader. LVBC needs to provide bicycling activities and engage many who want to resume or start to bike.
Expanding Our Constituency – the Underserved
The message delivered by Roy Gothie, Penn DOT’s Bicycle Pedestrian Coordinator, at the Bike Summit needs a wide circulation amongst advocates for safer, better bicycling. His message is about the need to engage those who are not dues paying members of bicycle advocacy groups and recreational bike clubs. These are the underserved populations who often don’t have cars as their alternative vehicles. They need to bike. As Roy notes, they don’t fit the term “cyclists”. Instead, they are people who bike. Click here to read his keynote address. A week after the Bike Summit, LVBC members were equipping four men with bikes because they need them for their transportation. How can we do more for the communities not represented in our membership? How can we engage them and advocate for their needs for safer, better bicycling?
A History of How Bicyclists Lost their Lane Rights
The “I am Traffic” website provides a detailed and interesting history of bicyclists’ right to use the roads. Click here to view.
Members Represent LVBC at the Bike Summit
Dale Speicher, Rich Barley, Juliet Waldron, Chris Shelly, Bob Johnston, Pat Krebs, Jeff McPartland attended the Bike Summit. Some of us belong to other groups including HBC and SAMBA. Many participants signed our petition to remove edge line rumbles that are dangerous for bicyclists. Networking with others was valuable. Penn DOT Bike Ped Coordinator Roy Gothie spoke about the importance of advocates’ representing those who depend on bicycles for their transportation needs. Attendees wore I Bike I Vote buttons and wanted our four foot passing static stickers and county scenic bike maps.
Educating Youth & Parents at Healthy Kids Day 2016
LVBC members Ron Birch, Rich Barley, Chris Shelly, Sharyn Kocevar and Dean Auchenbach educated youth and their parents about bicycling safely at Healthy Kids Day. Dean reports that “as usual we were swamped with kids’ playing the bicycle wheel game. Hopefully, something we said sticks with these kids and their parents and they learned something.”
Bicycle Occupancy Permit (BOP) continues to be a roadblock
The BOP continues to be a barrier for bike lanes, sharrows, pocket bike lanes and other road markings on state roads for bicyclists’ safety and motorists’ awareness. LVBC, BSCPA, HBC, Recycle Bikes, CentreBikes, Bike Pittsburgh, Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Bike Bucks County sent a letter to Penn DOT Secretary Richards to ask for a resolution. Until the BOP is eliminated or revised significantly, most municipalities will not accept bike road markings for which they are presently liable according to Penn DOT. Visit the Bicycle Coalition’s blog to understand more fully what has stymied safer bicycling in Pennsylvania by clicking here. UPDATE: It was announced at the March PPAC meeting that Penn DOT will provide funding for pilot bike lane projects. The pilots will be located in southeastern PA and Harrisburg area. The intent is to determine the cost of installing and maintaining bike lanes. LVBC will recommend two candidates – Derry Street in Swatara Township and a SR 422 segment east of Downtown Hershey to Lingle Avenue intersection. The pilots will be within Tri County Regional Planning Commission/HATS.
Bicyclists Speak about Importance and Safety of SR 422
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.