ADVOCATING FOR BETTER, SAFER BICYCLING
LEBANON VALLEY BICYCLE COALITION is a 501c-3 entity organized in 2008 to make Lebanon County, 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.
Tour de Lebanon Valley – May 30th
LVBC Speaks for Bicyclists at the Derry Township Supervisors Meeting
LVBC Board members, Juliet Waldron, Emmy Truckenmiller, Pat Krebs and Chris Shelly, presented the case before the Derry Township Supervisors that the MHS proposed roundabouts should include bicycle and pedestrian facilities that meet the guidelines of AASHTO bicycle facilities and/or NACTO bikeways. The Pennoni Associates engineer for this project stated publicly that bicycle and pedestrian facilities will be included but they have not yet been designed and included in the application for the necessary highway occupancy permit (HOP) from Penn DOT 8-0. The Supervisors voted unanimously for the MOU to submit the application. Derry Township submits the application for MHS. After the presentations, further direct discussions occurred between LVBC members, MHS officials and Pennoni Associates engineer. MHS Vice President Elliott Robertson assured us that MHS does want to provide the needed facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians as part of the roundabouts. Our advocacy efforts have brought about a change. We learned that the county bicycle transportation maps are very important for identifying roads important for bicycling. SR 322 is a bicycle regional road. The significant decision maker is now Penn DOT 8-0 as they review HOP applications and determine if they are satisfactory. PennDOT District 8-0 has advised MHS that bike/ped facilities must be included for Penn DOT’s approval of the HOPs. The situation appears much better than in February, but our concerns are not over.
Bike to Work Week is May 10th-16th and Commuter Services of PA would like to encourage commuters to consider bicycling to work as a way to GET FIT, SAVE $$$, and WIN PRIZES!
Log your commute on Friday, May 15th for the week and be entered to win a Bicycle Prize Pack valued at over $50.00! Go to www.pacommuterservices.org/biketoworkweek2015/ to find out more.
International Ride of Silence – May 20, 7:00 PM
Thousands of bicyclists participate in the Ride of Silence which is held annually on the third Wednesday in May. This ride commemorates bicyclists who have been killed or seriously injured in bike/motor vehicle crashes. To learn more, visit www.rideofsilence.org. Lebanon Valley Bicycle Coalition will host the May 20th Ride of Silence with the start location at the Cleona Borough Office, 140 W. Walnut Street, two blocks south of SR 422. All bicyclists are welcome. Helmets are required. Be ready to ride by 6:45 PM. If possible, have front and rear lights and other high vision items and clothing. Black arm bands will be provided for the ride. If you have sustained injuries in a bike/vehicle crash, you may wear a red arm band. Rides of Silence expect the participants not to converse during the Ride. A bagpiper – LVBC member will pipe “Amazing Grace” as we pass through the center of Annville.
The route will take bicyclists west on SR 422 from Cleona to the shopping center in N. Londonderry Township and return. The ride is approximately 10 miles in total. We have chosen this route because many bicyclists use SR 422 for their commutes to and from work or to reach other destinations. There are adequate shoulders on sections of the route but the section west of Annville will be radically changed during the next several years. Where parking is allowed, there is the risk of being doored. In Annville, bicyclists must take the lane. Our goal is to have shared lane markings installed at critical locations and persuade LEBCO MPO planners and Penn DOT traffic engineers to assist LVBC in making this important roadway for bicyclists safer.
Healthy Kids Day at the Y
Thanks to LVBC volunteers Chris Shelly and Juliet Waldron and Michael Kamumba, a HAAC student, the bike spin game was a great success at the Y’s Healthy Kids Day
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.
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/
The Lebanon County Long Range Transportation Plan, 2015-2040: Where is Bicycling?
Alta Planning + Design Presentations on the Regional Bicycle Connections Study
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 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.