February 2006 NEWS & DIGEST.
Hello BICYCLE ACCESS COUNCIL members.
It's a beautiful day in Pennsylvania!
WHO YA GONNA CALL?...
Every winter in Pennsylvania is tough on roadways for bicyclists. The freeze/thaw cycles break up road surfaces and accumulated roadside anti-skid material (stone and cinders) makes bicycling more difficult.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has maintained a Pothole Hotline for several years. Bicyclists who find roadway hazards may use a toll free number to report these conditions: 1-800-FIX-ROAD [1-800-349-7623]. Use this number to report potholes, missing signs, shoulder drop-offs, roadway washouts and other road problems. This number is active all year, not just for winter months.
Dave Bachman, PennDOT Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator, also has this to add. "The hotline is for any road hazard, regardless of the road user, so the fact that a bicyclist is registering the complaint should never be irrelevant and should lend weight for most issues."
Dave describes how it works. "The toll free call does not go to a central office. It is actually directed automatically to the County Maintenance Office from whichever county the call originates from. The dispatcher will determine if the road is state or local. If it is a state road, they address it. If it is a local roadway, they assist the caller in contacting the proper local officials. PennDOT owns just 35% of the state's roads. Municipalities own 65%.
Of course, it is incumbent upon the bicyclist to provide as much location information as possible about the reported hazard. For referencing state-maintained roads, small black and white signs (called "paddles" by PennDOT) denoting state road numbers and segments can be found at intersections. For local roads, the road name may be the only reference. Intersecting roads, either state or local, are helpful reference points."
And, if you don't get results, Who Ya Gonna call? The Bicycle Access Council is interested in feedback regarding PennDOT responsiveness from bicyclists. After all, it is a bicycle access issue.
YOU CAN'T GET THERE FROM HERE...
Access to the Pike-2-Bike Trail is restricted.
Since 2001, many Pennsylvania bicyclists have trekked out to Breezewood (Bedford County) to ride on the 8.5 mile stretch of abandoned Pennsylvania Turnpike, now officially known as the "Pike-2-Bike Trail" (P2B). With two long tunnels still mostly intact, it makes a worthwhile trip to experience the near total darkness of these holes in the mountains of 6,800 feet (Sideling Hill) and 3,600 feet (Ray's Hill) respectively lying mostly within Fulton County.
This unique facility was originally considered for part of the BicyclePA Route-S cross-state touring network. Conditions weren't acceptable at the time and a parallel route was chosen. In the future, the P2B Trail may become an alternate section of BicyclePA Route-S in the Bedford/Fulton County area.
The most convenient access to the P2B Trail was at the west end in Breezewood behind a Ramada Inn. This has now been eliminated with the recent removal of a bridge over Route 30. The east end bridge (over Pumping Station Road) has also been removed; however, the access path from Pumping Station Road is still open with an improved gate according to Murray Schrotenboer, P2B Steering Committee chairman. There are no official trailhead areas yet, so parking is limited.
To get updates of the Pike 2 Bike Trail access and latest developments, check out the website hosted by Grouseland Tours: www.pike2bike.org
THE FRENCH CONNECTION...
Here's the answer to last month's question, which was:
"Okay, BAC is finally able to end one of the most persistent debates among bicyclists. What is the proper way to pronounce the word used for rear rack bags? Is it PAN-YEA? or PANNY-UR? Or, something else?"
The answer is: SACOCHE [sákósh]
def: f. saddle-bag; courier-bag; tool-bag [bicyclette].
The most commonly used term, Panier [panye], is a small front basket term.
How do we know? We asked a Frenchman touring across the US last year. Now you know.
Spring ahead, April 2...
Daylight Saving Time (DST) goes into effect on Sunday, April 2, 2006. To learn more about DST, go to: http://wwp.daylight-saving-time.com
There will be an official change to expand DST in 2007. Check out what and why.
Remember to adjust your clocks and your riding time to take advantage of the daylight period. Complete sunrise/sunset table or
Note: When using these sources, be sure to adjust for EST or DST.
THE 2006 PENNSYLVANIA BIKE CLUB CONFERENCE...
Is scheduled for Saturday, April 1, in York, PA. No fooling! Clubs are invited to attend this meeting to learn about club dynamics and share their experiences with other Pennsylvania bicycle clubs. The conference is meant to showcase Best Practices. This is an opportunity for new club officers to gain confidence and insight about their duties and for established clubs to show leadership from experience.
John Allen, the author of "Street Smarts" has accepted an invitation to attend this year's conference. "Street Smarts" is the main text of the Pennsylvania Bicycle Driver's Manual published by PennDOT.
This will be the fourth annual Pennsylvania Bike Club Conference hosted by BAC. Detailed information was mailed and e-mailed to bike clubs in January. Ask if your club has received this information and will be attending.
Check out the following links for an event description and form to register:
Bike Club Conference Letter
Bike Club Conference Registration Form
SAVE THE DATES...
March 1-3 National Bike Summit
March 11-12 The Bike Show
The Bicycle Access Council will be there. Stop by to say hello.
BAC NEWS & DIGEST ARCHIVES...
To view past issues of the Bicycle Access Council's monthly News & Digest, go to the BAC website, click on the BAC News & Digest button.
The Bicycle Access Council is a non-profit advocacy organization that serves as a forum for Pennsylvania bicyclists and as an ombudsman for bicycling issues.
It is the objective of the Bicycle Access Council to make bicycling on roads throughout the Commonwealth safe, respectable and a transportation choice by educating its members and the motoring public.
All funding for the Bicycle Access Council comes from memberships and donations. Annual membership is $20 per year. BAC does not share membership information.
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Joe Stafford, Executive Director
Bicycle Access Council
P.O. Box 92
Dallastown, PA 17313
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