ADVOCATING FOR BETTER, SAFER BICYCLING
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.
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.
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
The League’s Bike Friendly Community Specialist Visits Lebanon
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. Ultimately, he will provide feedback including a power point presentation. The above picture was taken at the Union Canal tunnel.
Earn a Bike Project Expands
With the support of Dale Speicher, Ed Krebs and Scott Shreve, on August 8th, three more persons “earned their bikes”. Since June, 14 bikes have been provided to their new owners who had to be involved in building their bikes. The photo shows Eric and Logan working on their bikes. The facility provided by E& E metalfab, Inc allows us to store bikes, tools and parts and be able to work indoors.
AASHTO Bicycle Facility Comes to Lebanon County – at Last!
Thanks to the work of the LVBC Planning Committee members, developers John and Dale Zimmerman, and Penn DOT’s highway occupancy permitting process, SR 322 has the appropriate bike lane to take cyclists from the shoulder to travel straight through. The new Country View Market location was required to have a right turn lane added to the roadway.
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.
LVBC Participates in Designing the Roundabouts on SR 322
When we learned, by chance, in February that Milton Hershey School’s proposed roundabouts were not going to provide facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians, the Board and members took action. Chris Shelly became our “lead” and armed with the AASHTO bicycle facilities recommendations as well as Alta Planning’s design recommendations, he spoke at the public meeting as did Board member Juliet Waldron. We then engaged in a campaign to advise Derry Township, MHS, and Penn DOT 8-0 that we expected the designs to include bike/ped. Every advocate who participated in this campaign helped greatly. Chris, Juliet and Pat spoke at the Derry Township Supervisors meeting. The county bicycle transportation maps proved to be very important in making the case for bicycle facilities; SR 322 is a Bicycle Regional Road. Penn DOT told MHS and Derry Township that bike/ped facilities were required, and they advised that Chris Shelly should participate in the re-design that will include bike/ped facilities. Chris presented what has transpired to date at a joint meeting of the Hershey Area Walk & Roll group and LVBC Board of Directors. The Board supports what has been included for bike/ped. However, Chris and the Board will continue to make the case for a pedestrian crossing with bicycle access at the east side of the roundabout at Meadow Lane. This advocacy effort has been and continues to be a challenging responsibility. Penn DOT makes the final determinations as to what is required for the HOP (highway occupancy permit). More information will be forthcoming.
Electric-assist Bicycles are Legal
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 Lebanon County Long Range Transportation Plan, 2015-2040: Where is Bicycling?
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.
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.