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Feb 04

Bicycle Heaven in Bethlehem eNews

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Friday, February 3, 2012 – The CAT-Coalition for Appropriate Transportation Bicycle Heaven in Bethlehem program continued to pedal forward today as  Bethlehem Police Commissioner/International Police Mountain Biking Association certified Trainer, Jason Schiffer;  CAT Bike Director, Scott Slingerland; and CAT Director, Steve Schmitt met to discuss bicycling in Bethlehem. Both Slingerland and Schmitt are League of American Bicyclists certified Cycling Instructors.

Some highlights from the meeting:

Commissioner Schiffer supports the idea to hold the Patrick Ytsma Ride of Respect each year on December 22.  The route will be the same as the first year’s ride.  Schiffer will again arrange Bethlehem Police Department support to accompany the ride.

The police department will establish in their “Wish” fund a separate category for monies raised to put in and maintain Shared Lane Markings in Bethlehem.  There will be no cost to administer the fund so every dollar raised will be used only to put in or maintain Shared Lane Markings on the roads of Bethlehem and to install the accompanying Bikes May Use Full Lane signs.

There will be another League Cycling Instructor Seminar held in the Bethlehem Police Training Facility.  Scott Slingerland will be site coordinator working directly with the League of American Bicyclists to put it together.  CAT Board member Roy Young, CAT Administrative Assistant, Meg Buck and proposed CAT Assistant Director Joshua Buck have indicated a desire to become LCIs.

There will be two motorist education classes for police officers in the Bethlehem Police Training facility on March 9 (11AM-1PM & 3-5PM).  The targeted audience is police officers who have not received training on riding a bicycle legally and safely in traffic.  Steve Schmitt will teach the class based on the Pennsylvania Bicycle Drivers Manual with assistance from Commissioner Schiffer.  Bethlehem Police may take the course for free; police from other enforcement agencies will pay $50 for each officer.

A trial diversion program, offering local Magistrates the option to give cyclists who receive citations in Bethlehem a chance to take Smart Cycling: Traffic Skills 101 instead of paying the fine for the citation, will be formally introduced to Bethlehem officers at the March 9 motorist education courses.   Cyclists in Bethlehem who ride against traffic, through red lights, without lights at night or on the sidewalk in busy commercial districts will first receive written warnings with a recommendation to take Traffic Skills 101.  Upon a second offense a citation will be issued with the standard fine.  Packages explaining the safety class alternative will be delivered to all five Magistrates who deal with Bethlehem traffic incidents before March 9.

Commissioner Schiffer, Slingerland and Schmitt will appear on a WDIY radio show concerning bicycle safety to be taped March 8th.  CAT seeks a volunteer bicycle commuter to participate.  Write director@car-free.org for more information.

The City will work with CAT to promote bicycle education programs aimed at training cyclists to ride in the middle of the right lane on the North bound portion of the Fahy Bridge where the new temporary walkway makes the lane only 9 feet wide.  PennDOT has agreed to place Shared Lane Markings in this lane as part of the walkway project.  The markings will go in this Spring.

The Commissioner agreed to have the Police Department sponsor another Monocacy Way 5K Run, again on Father’s Day (June 17th, 2012) with the proceeds to benefit CAT efforts to enhance the Monocacy Way.  The police department horses are stabled along this trail at Burnside Plantation.

Bicycle Heaven in Bethlehem Graphic Contest

CAT announces it is holding a Bicycle Heaven in Bethlehem graphic contest with the winner to be awarded a $300 Gold membership in the Bethlehem Bicycle Cooperative.  The Gold membership entitles the bearer to participate in all CAT events, take any bicycle education class for free, use the tools with mechanic guidance any Thursday evening or Saturday and to use any available bike or trailer in the CAT Bicycle Library for 365 days.

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