Increased use of motorized bicycles is a safety concern in Lebanon
At its monthly meeting, Lebanon’s city council heard comments from Jay Green, who has a home and workplace in the city, about the growing number of motorized bicycles on the city’s streets.
“They come in every form you can imagine,” Green said. “Some are loud and some are incredibly loud.”
He also said that some of the operators of these vehicles have a blatant disregard for traffic rules. He said he recently observed four cars sitting at a four-stop intersection in the city and a gasoline-powered cyclist drove through the center of the intersection without stopping.
Green said reckless driving like this would end up hurting someone.
“We totally agree with you,” said Mayor Sherry Capello. “It is a danger to the driver, other vehicle operators and pedestrians.”
The mayor said her administration would post information on social media to educate motorcycle and e-bike operators about the law and the rules they must follow when riding on public roads. She also said that townspeople will be urged to contact police if they witness unsafe driving on a motorized bicycle and are able to notify the police department where the vehicle is normally housed.
She said the calls can be anonymous.
Lebanese Police Chief Todd Breiner said he recently had fact sheets distributed to patrol officers indicating what types of vehicles should be registered and allowed on city streets and what types of vehicles should not. are not allowed on the streets, as well as the applicable laws and regulations for each.
He said his department is aware of 4 or 5 people riding motorized bikes in an unsafe manner, and he recognizes this as a growing concern, but law enforcement can be difficult. Breiner said he spoke to police departments in other cities to ask them how they were dealing with the problem and that he believed Lebanon was in tune with other cities in its crackdown.
He said that a gasoline-powered bicycle is not illegal if it has a tag and the rider obeys the rules of the road. An operator must have a driver’s license but is not required to wear a helmet. Breiner also told Green that city ordinances do not ban loud vehicles.
Also at the meeting, the board approved the appointment of Brian Martin as an alternate member of the Zoning Hearing Committee and career firefighter Anthony Ficco III to the board of the firefighters’ pension fund.
Cappello told council at its pre-council meeting that the city marked Earth Day by planting a paper bark maple on an island in the city’s parking lot behind the Lebanon Farmer’s Market building, in the east of North Ninth Street. The tree was purchased by the city and planted by Charles Wertz and Jerry Kalinoski, members of the City’s Shade Trees Commission. They were assisted by James Capello from the highways department.
The mayor said that Wertz, partner of the Wertz Candies company, has also “spent his time and money” creating and maintaining garden beds in the town’s car park islands west of South Seventh. Street and south of Walton Street. Wertz previously served many years as a specialist for the Lebanon County Conservation District.