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. 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. The 2017 membership dues is any contribution that you are willing to provide.  You can join by PayPal which allows for use of a credit card or you can pay by check.  Go to "Contribute" at the Menu Bar to access the form or pay on line through PayPal.  Your contribution is tax deductible. 

 

 

LEBANON COUNTY BICYCLE TRANSPORTATION MAP

 

The Lebanon County Bicycle Transportation Map is located at the Lebanon County Metropolitan Planning Organization website, http://www.lebcounty.org/Planning/Pages/MPO.aspx .   This major endeavor has been a partnership with the Bicycle Coalition, the Lebanon County Metropolitan Planning Organization (LEBCO MPO), and PennDOT. The staff at the County GIS office were able to provide important data, experience and expertise.

The purpose of this Map is to inform Penn DOT, our metropolitan planning organization, municipalities, and contracted planners and engineers which roads are most frequently used by bicyclists to reach their varied destinations.

Reconstruction of intersections, adding turning lanes and other road projects should include the needs of bicyclists especially on these designated roads. Close examination of the Map shows that there are many important state roadways that lack four foot shoulders. As these roads are resurfaced and improved, a concerted effort should be made to widen the shoulders. Dieting the travel lanes may be possible. Traffic engineers determine if a road can be dieted. One example of a state road that should be prioritized for improvement is SR 501 from Reistville to SR 422. This section needs shoulders that will make this roadway safer not only for bicyclists but Amish who are using scooters and horse drawn vehicles. Pedestrians will be better served as well.

The County Bicycle Transportation Map is being used as a template to prepare Bicycle Transportation Maps for Dauphin, Cumberland and Perry Counties. Their MPO, Tri County Planning –HATS, is working with Harrisburg Bicycle Club members to determine which roads and streets to include in their bicycle network for each county. The HBC Committees have added transit stops and made a few other revisions for the Legends. Within a few months, we can identify a regional network of bicycling routes

 

Introduction

 

 

 

PennDOT has a planning policy called “Smart Transportation” .  They also have a 2007 Bike Plan.     Our LEBCO MPO (metropolitan planning organization) has a Comprehensive Plan with transportation being one of the key components. Every other year, our MPO updates its Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) and funds projects on the TIP, Transportation Improvement Plan.   Our municipalities prepare their own comprehensive plans.

 

 

 

As a result,  it is necessary for members of LVBC to provide input into these many planning processes and be prepared to respond to plans that fail to accommodate bicycling  as a serious mode of transportation in addition to being of value  for recreation and fitness.  We need to know what bike facilities may solve problems.  We need to  prevent the many miles of existing and sufficiently adequate roads for bicycling in Lebanon County  from being ruined for cyclists to use safely.    An example of this is the Connector Project in S. Londonderry Township that has resulted in a dangerous intersection at Forge Road and SR 322 for bicyclists.   This is demanding work.

 

 

 

The good news is that the more we study and respond to transportation planning, the easier it gets to provide information and  persuasive arguments.   Another  positive factor is that many communities throughout the country as well as  many states are far ahead of us in Pennsylvania.   We learn from their experiences with bicycle facilities.  On internet sites, we  can watch many videos on the implementation and  use of bike lanes, boulevards, sharrows, and other accommodations for bicyclists  and determine whether any of these, if implemented,  will improve bicycling in Lebanon County.

 

 

 

This section includes resources for bike facilities planning.  In addition, relevant articles and websites will be included as they are brought to our attention.    Responses to PennDOT, the LEBCO MPO and municipalities in Lebanon County will be available for  review and your commentary and suggestions.   You are invited to recommend information for inclusion on the Planning site as well as your own commentary.  Your attendance at LEBCO MPO monthly meetings and at meetings conducted to develop municipal comprehensive plans is so important.

 

 

Resources for  Bicycle Facilities – Planning & Implementation  

 

Bicycling as a mode of transportation has led to the development of a number of excellent resources that offer information and guidance on how best to accommodate bicycles and their drivers.   

 

Whether you are a professional planner,  traffic engineer,  local government official, or citizen who has an interest in supporting bicycling, these publications and websites can be very useful in planning the appropriate facilities. 

 

Smart Transportation Guidebook, March 2008, PennDOT,  7.4 Bicycle Facilities  This  document is available on the PennDOT website. http://www.smart-transportation.com/guidebook.html  

 

    Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, AASHTO, 1999  This edition will be replaced with a new publication in 2011.  This resource is the basis for most planning and implementation of bicycle facilities.  It sets national standards.   The Guide  also provides an understanding of the different types of bicyclists and their needs.  It makes the case that education of bicyclists should be one of the elements of a bicycle transportation plan.  The new edition’s title is Guide for the Planning, Design and Operation of Bicycle Facilities.  The draft document  can be found through an internet search. 

 

PennDOT’s Bike Ped Check List  should be used  to make certain that bicyclists and pedestrians’ needs are included in a road project.     ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/PubsForms/Forms/D-310.pdf  

 

PennDOT’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Training Manual  prepared by  Michael Baker Jr., Inc. and URS Corporation, 2006, continues to serve as a useful guide.     ftp://ftp.dot.state.pa.us/public/pdf/BikePedTrainingManual.pdf 

 

BIKESAFE: Bicycle Countermeasure Selection System, FHWA, May 2006 This resource is available from the FHWA.  This detailed  publication is especially designed for planners and engineers,  but the public can find information to substantiate their  arguments for bicycle facilities and the need for education and enforcement. Hard copies can be ordered from the FHWA or the digital version is available on the internet or at bicyclinginfo.org. 

 

MUTCD, Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices:  The section on bicycling includes the newest two additions: Bikes May Use Full Lane signage and the road marking for shared lane (sharrows).  PennDOT is in the  approval process for both of these, but requests at the district level  can be made for use prior to final approval.  http://mutcd.fhwa.dot.gov/htm/2009/part9/part9_toc.htm  

 

Bicycle Parking Guidelines, 2nd edition, 2010, Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP)  This is a document for purchase; however, they provide a free download Bicycle Parking Resource which provides basic information and recommendations.   www.apbp.org     

 

www.bicyclinginfo.org  is the website funded by FHWA as a location for much information about what bicyclists need for driving on the roads.  This site has a plethora of recommendations for advocacy and planning.  The site has examples from across the U.S. including examples of  bike plans and other activities to improve bicycling for transportation.    For example, there is a major article about the research completed on shared lane markings (sharrows).   It links the reader to many other resources.  

 

League of American Bicyclists, www.bikeleague.org , provides information on a variety of issues that help to make bicycling more viable as a means not only of recreation, but practical transportation.  They also emphasize the importance of becoming a skilled “driver” of a bicycle.  

 

LVBC IN ACTION

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“Life is like a bicycle, you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein

 

"Same Roads - Same Rights - Same Rules" - probicycle.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VALLEY BICYCLING VISTAS

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