SR 322 Roundabouts – Two Years of Advocating
Disappointment Brings Success
In 2010, the intersection of SR 322 and Forge Road was reconstructed to make turning lanes. The end result was the loss of shoulders for bicyclists and pedestrians to use, and bicyclists who are going west risk being struck by motorists who are turning right. This experience taught us that until Penn DOT included bicyclists and pedestrians’ needs in their planning, we bicyclists had to become more knowledgeable and involved. Very quickly, we were participating with Steckbeck Engineering and ELA Group to include bicycling and pedestrian facilities at the reconstructed intersection of SR 72 and SR 419 (Quentin). Their cooperation was excellent and refreshing; and now, six years later, through bike lanes are installed not only on SR 72, but at the right turn into Eagle Rental. The Bicycle Occupancy Permit (BOP) requirement did not allow for improving the segment of SR 419 in Quentin village. Six years ago, there was not the amazing amount of information available on bike facilities that there is today. We were dependent on the draft AASHTO bike facilities guidebook. To get an example of today’s resources visit http://nacto.org/publication/urban-bikeway-design-guide/intersection-treatments/through-bike-lanes/. PennDOT is also undergoing a transformation to be supportive of all users of their roadways. An example of this is that the reconstruction of the intersection of SR 422 and Killinger Road now has through bike lanes. LVBC did not have to make the case for these bike facilities. PennDOT District 8 had recognized that bicyclist facilities were needed. In March, 2016, District 8 staff met with LVBC members to discuss the 2017-2018 resurfacing project for this section of SR 422.
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.
Relying on the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) for Advice
During our many years of advocating for safer bicycling conditions on the roads in our area, LVBC has faced many “roadblocks” . One of these that has been especially difficult is persuading Lebanon County Metropolitan Planning Organization (LEBCOMPO) that they have a responsibility for the safety of bicyclists who use roads. Because they rejected funding for a county bike/ped plan, we have to continue scrambling to identify possible opportunities for improving roads to make them safer for cyclists. This year, a segment of SR 501 was resurfaced. This is an important road for bicyclists and especially important for the Amish population. The resurfacing was done but neither Penn DOT nor LEBCO MPO saw value in expanding the shoulder widths where possible within Penn DOT’s right of way. Our many years of advocating for SR 501 failed.