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Grumble Strip Update

This is taken from 2 emails sent to the CRBC list serve on 2/21/2011 and 3/3/2011 sent by Chuck A.

3/3/2011 Email

Yesterday Paul Rito, a planner from COG, and I had a conference call with PennDOT. PennDOT briefed us on the time-line and proposed method for repairing the improperly installed rumble strips. We had serious safety concerns about PennDOT’s first repair proposal, so they came up with a new proposal which is much better. Here are the details:

Routes to be fixed this year
PennDOT will repair affected portions of state bike routes G and V this season. Places where 4’ of paving extends outside of the rumble strips will not be changed since they are in accordance with PennDOT standards for edge line rumble strips. PennDOT asked which sections are the highest priority, and we said 192 and 45 since they get the greatest bike use. PennDOT has created a map of the areas to be repaired which we have posted on the CRBC website at Rumble Strip Map. PennDOT is also preparing a map of all rumble strips in our area and that map will also be posted to the CRBC website when we get it from PennDOT. Roads not part of state route G&V will not be repaired this year.

Repair method
1) Rumble strips will be removed by milling a 2 foot wide by 1.5-2 inch deep groove in the asphalt
2) Groove will be filled with a fine-grained asphalt and rolled to match the height of the surrounding pavement
3) Seam between new and old asphalt will be sealed to prevent water intrusion

1) Road paving season in these parts starts in the summer
2) The repairs will be put out to bid in May-June and a contractor will be hired to do the work
3) We should start seeing action on the road by mid-summer and the work will be completed by the end of October.
4) Special previsions will be put in  the contract putting first priority on the 192 and 45 sections so they are completed first.
4) We will receive updates, including heads up on when road work will be effecting roads, as the process moves forward

No doubt many of you find the timing of this plan unsatisfactory.  It certainly does not fit with the time estimate given to us last fall, but that estimate was not realistic. The magnitude of the problem from a financial and technical standpoint is as great as it is for us riding the roads. The repair as proposed will make up a significant portion of this year’s maintenance budget for our area.  I think we are looking at a significant response from PennDOT on the issue, not a best case scenario, but there are precious few of those these days when state government finances are involved.

Ride well,


Hi everyone,

On Feb 10 Paul Rito and I met with PennDOT, along with
Pete F., Safety Enginner and Ryan’s boss, Eric B., a District 2 traffic
Engineer, and Brian Sanders, PennDOT’s statewide Bicycle/Pedestrian
Coordinator. Trish M. from COG was also there to help Paul and I interpret
the lingo and understand how things fit into our local area. Most of the
meeting was spent talking about PennDOT’s approach to bikes in their
planning process and how CRBC can be more involved in future planning so
problems like the rumble strips do not happen again. There is good news to
report on both these fronts, but I will save it for another email. We also
talked specifically about the rumble strips. Here is a summary of what we

1) The rumble strips were part of a nation-wide Federal Highway
Administration program specifically funded to install center and edge line
rumble strips.

2) There are no additional rumble strips scheduled to be installed in our

3) PennDOT’s design standard for rumble strips includes only installing them
on roads with a history of head-on and/or run-off collisions, and where a
minimum of 4′ of pavement will exist outside of the rumble strips after

4) As we know, there was a catastrophic breakdown between PennDOT’s design
standard and what was done to our area roads.

5) PennDOT acknowledges they screwed up and want to fix the problem, but
here is where things get complicated…

6) Fixing the problem requires repaving the whole road, or grinding down
enough of the road’s edge to make room for a new layer of asphalt that will
be stable and not make matters worse. Neither of these options is cheap and

7) The Federal funding used to install the rumble strips can not be used to
fix the problem, and state and federal budget woes mean there is not a lot
of discretionary money floating around to pay for the repairs.

8) PennDOT’s current plan is to not reinstall the rumbles strips when the
roads are resurfaced as part of the normal repaving schedule. Not a
satisfactory resolution to the issue, but it is a starting point and better
than no plan at all.

9) Trish M. is advocating that PennDOT find a better solution that will
get things fixed sooner. PennDOT is reviewing the issue and we hope to hear
back soon.

Paul and I were holding off on reporting all this to the list until after we
learned the results of Trish’s efforts, but wanted to bring you up to speed
now after the recent flurry of email concerning the rumble strips. We will
pass along additional information as soon as we receive it. Hopefully in the
coming week.

2/7/2011 Meeting Minutes

Meeting Minutes from 2/7/2011 Meeting at the SC Municipal Building

Agenda Item #1 | Presentation | Ballengers Battle the Beast 

CRBC member Jess Ballenger and his family have turned their love of cycling into a game. As a family they are making an effort to ride more than drive. Recorded car miles included vacation travel and trips to the market. The Ballengers only have one car and have been cycling for many years. 2011’s stats so far are 219 Bike, 769 beast including holidays. 219 miles through some of the coldest weather we have had in long time.  People at the meeting asked a lot of really great questions.

Agenda Item # 2 | Working with the SCASD

Tom Gasda phys ed teacher at State college Area High School talked about the SC High School’s efforts to include cycling safety into the curriculum. Members of the CRBC is working with the State College Area School District to help promote safe cycling. Physical education classes have been going on group rides, with the blessing of excursion permits signed by parents. There are a number of teacher that are excited about a bicycle education. The school is participating in bike to school day, as of this writing exact details have not been worked out, although there was some speculation about bike rack capacity.

Agenda Item #3 | Bike to Work Month

Bike to work month will be held in cooperation with anyone and everyone able to ride their bike to work.  Some of the events currently being proposed: bike rodeo, treasure hunt, vineyard ride, yoga/bike.  There will be a flyer that will be circulated with details. It was determined that Bike to work month includes all students riding to class. Places we hope to get advertising, CATA, Print Shops. There was even talk that we could use C-NET time to show some bike to work month stuff.. The group discussed making Critical Mass part of the event -> it is suppose to be a spontaneous event. It happens on the LAST FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH AT THE MAIN GATES.

Side Notes:

The group discussed having 8 business meetings and 4 fun meetings a year. This was generally thought to be a good idea.  Business meetings would include the attendance of all officers, executive committee members, and those interested in agenda items to get involved. Fun meetings may include food, music, bike riding, children’s laughter, slide shows, bike stories, demonstrations, demo rides, and or any number of other exciting event/topics.

Treasurer LB said most people have paid their dues, and those that haven’t should.


Winter Cycling Tips

Tips from our October 11, 2010 Meeting

Maneuvering Tips

Slow & Steady

When there’s even the chance of ice on the road, slow down. If you do encounter an ice patch, DON’T PANIC — keep your line, keep your hands off the brakes, and ride through it. If you try to turn or stop on an icy section of roadway, you’re most likely going to fall. Be especially careful at dusk and dawn when the road surfaces are just freezing or still frozen.

Generally, though, the SLOW DOWN tip is applicable to all bad weather conditions, just as it is in other vehicles.

Winter Conditions

In the area, even after a large snowstorm, roads are usually clear enough for riding within 1-3 days of a storm.

State College Borough, Ferguson Township, Penn State plow their bike lanes and paths after street snow removal is done. College Township plows some paths, but not all. Patton and Harris do not currently provide winter maintenance for their bike paths. (Bicyclists in those townships who’d like to see winter clearing are encouraged to attend a supervisor’s meeting and make a comment during the public comment portion!)

Update 2019: While we reported earlier that Harris and College Twps were clearing the South Atherton bikeway, in 2018-19, that isn’t being done. Use those paths in winter? Call the townships and let them know. Winter 2016: Harris Township is now clearing the S. Atherton Bikeway. Thanks to Centre Bike’s Jim Serene, Township Manager Amy Farkas and the Harris Twp Board of Supervisors for making this happen.


Dry 50-60 Degree

  • Torso – Short sleeve jersey, arm warmers
  • Legs – Shorts with knee warmers, Knickers, Capris
  • Hands – Short finger gloves, light full-finger gloves
  • Feet – mid cuff socks, shoes
  • Head – headband for ears under helmet

Dry 30-49 Degree

  • Torso – Long sleeve jersey, long sleeve base layer, vest
  • Legs – Knickers/Capris with leg warmers, light/midweight tights
  • Hands – Full-finger gloves
  • Feet – Wool socks, shoes
  • Head – Helmet cover/liner or skull cap under helmet

Dry 10-29 Degree

  • Torso –Long sleeve jersey, long sleeve baselayer, wind breaking thermal jacket
  • Legs – Insulated tights over shorts or Capris, Wind pants over knickers & warmers
  • Hands – Cold weather full-finger gloves, Lobster gloves, handwarmers, glove liners
  • Feet – Thick wool socks, shoes, thermal shoe covers, or winter riding boots
  • Head – Balaclava under helmet, helmet cover

Dry 0 Degree

  • Torso –Long sleeve thermal jersey, long sleeve baselayer, insulated wind jacket
  • Legs – Insulated tights with baggy overlayer
  • Hands – Cold weather full-finger gloves, Lobster Gloves, Handwarmers, glove liners
  • Feet – Thick wool socks, shoes, thermal shoe covers, or winter riding boots
  • Head – Balaclava under helmet, eye protection

Rainy Conditions

Rain protection is either waterproof or water resistant. Waterproof means that seams will be sealed and breathability will diminish. Ventilation is important. Water resistant means that water could get through in a downpour, but a shower will be kept out. Water resistant is much more breathable and does not need added ventilation. Armpit ventilation is a nice extra to have if you are buying new rain gear (or any jacket for that matter).



For snowy and icy conditions, reduce tire pressure for better traction. Try 40-50% of the rated pressure to start, but you’ll have to experiment based on your weight and the tire size. Too low a pressure and the tire will want to come off the rim. Mountain Bike or Cyclocross knobby tires are recommended for winter conditions (but under dry conditions, standard tires are fine, too). Studded tires are available, but the consensus was that studs are good where there are continual icy conditions, such as trail riding, but that they don’t work as well on wet or dry pavement. The attendees preferred regular tires to studded tires for mixed pavement/snow/ice riding.


In the winter, when daylight is at a premium and conditions can change quickly, don’t go out without them. Front and back. Minimally, use blinking lights that can be seen 500 ft in either direction. Better, are higher power headlamps because they not only allow you to be seen, but let you see road obstacles such as downed limbs, potholes, or piles of ice/snow. With the proliferation of smart phones and distracted drivers, we now suggest front and rear lights 24/7/365, especially with strobe/blinking modes. You need to get those drivers eyes looking up.


Two words: Wear one! Always. This is under Equipment and not Clothing because we don’t feel a helmet is optional, especially in winter conditions. You buckle up each time you get into your car, right? Then put a helmet on each time you get on your bike. A fall in winter conditions is more likely than in other seasons and rather than being surrounded by two tons of steel and protected by a seat belt and air bags, your head is at risk for collisions with those two ton missiles and believe us, it’s more fragile than you like to think.

Derailleurs and chains

Keep your chain and derailleur pivot points clean and well-lubricated. This is especially important in Central PA where road salt is heavily used.


A quick wipe of your rims and brake pads after a ride will keep accumulated grit from damaging wheel braking surfaces. Lube the brake pivot points as you do your derailleurs.

Something we forgot? Add a comment below and share your tips with us.

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