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Provo Bicycle Collective named Provo’s only Gold-level Bicycle Friendly Business

Today, the League of American Bicyclists recognized Provo Bicycle Collective with a Gold Bicycle Friendly BusinessSM (BFBSM) award, joining nearly 1,400 visionary businesses across the country.
With the announcement of 60 new and renewing BFBs today, Provo Bicycle Collective joins a cutting-edge group of 1,367 local businesses, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies in all 50 states and Washington, DC, that are transforming the American workplace.

“The League of American Bicyclists is excited to recognize this latest group of new and renewing Bicycle Friendly Businesses for making their workplaces and their communities safer, happier, healthier, and more sustainable through bicycling,” said Amelia Neptune, Director of the Bicycle Friendly America program. “We applaud these businesses, including Provo Bicycle Collective, for leading the charge in creating a more bicycle-friendly America for everyone.”

Encouraging employees to ride their bikes to work has boosted productivity by ensuring that each staff member arrives fully awake, energized, and ready for the day. Provo Bicycle Collective encourages bicycling as an easy option for transportation and provides amenities such as indoor bike parking and incentives such as access to employee pricing on bike goods for employees.

Moving forward, Provo Bicycle Collective will have access to a variety of tools and technical assistance from the League to become even more bicycle-friendly. When our employees bike, great things happen: the need for onsite parking decreases, productivity increases, and our carbon footprint greatly decreases.

To apply or learn more about the BFB program, visit the League online at www.bikeleague.org/business.

About the Bicycle Friendly America Program

To learn more about building a Bicycle Friendly America, including the Bicycle Friendly CommunitySM, Bicycle Friendly StateSM, Bicycle Friendly Business, and Bicycle Friendly UniversitySM programs.visit www.bikeleague.org/BFA.
The League of American Bicyclists is leading the movement to create a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. As leaders, our commitment is to listen and learn, define standards and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful, unified voice for change.

Provo Police Department Awarded Golden Spoke Bicycle Commuter Award

Each year, Provo Bicycle Committee chooses a dedicated commuter cyclist to give the Golden Spoke award to.  This year, we decided to honor those who keep the streets safe; Provo Police Department’s Bike Patrol Team.  The presentation was made during the Provo City Council meeting on August 29, 2017.  It starts at around 20:00 in the video below:

Community Applauds New Lanes on 500 West

People who bicycle are praising the new bike lanes on 500 West, which were installed early this month. The lanes run from 300 South to the new Lakeview Parkway (road and more importantly, trail), a distance of 1.6 miles. They provide folks in the southwest neighborhoods a safe route into central Provo (though not quite to downtown) for the first time.

Going the other direction, they give recreational riders, including families out for a spin, access to the trail that opens up stunning views of the mountain, lake, marsh and farmland as heads west to the airport. They also connect bicyclists to East Bay workplaces via the trail in the opposite (easterly) direction and the bridge over 1-15. In short, the 500 West lanes are a significant step toward the creation of a robust network of bikeways in Provo and a boost to quality of life.

The lanes at their southern edge at the Lakeview Parkway. The trail runs on the south side.

Becky Hunt, a resident of Lakewood Neighborhood who uses 500 West to get her job at city hall, said “I love the new bike lanes. My commute to work is much safer.” Curtis Thacker, who commutes from south Provo to BYU and uses it for recreational rides to get to Provo Canyon, commented, “The new bike lanes on south 500 West are great. Before this change there were no lines on the road. Adding bike lanes makes the road much safer for cyclists. These new lines on the road effectively narrow the road through a school zone, naturally slowing traffic through that area. 500 West also provides great access to Lakeside Parkway which is great for cyclists. The changes are an all around great thing. I only wish the bike lane went further north on 500 West.” Another resident of the neighborhood and fellow city employee, Phil Uhl, upon hearing the news that the lanes would be installed exclaimed on Facebook, “My commute (4x per day on this segment) just got safer.” He must go home for lunch.

The lanes looking running north from the 1-15 underpass.

Bike commuters headed to work in the opposite direction at companies in East Bay are happy about the lanes too. A resident of the Dixon Neighborhood who had just started a new job in that area and was unfamiliar with 500 West without bike lanes said that he was sure glad they had been installed. He could not imagine riding safely on the road without them. Brandon Taylor, who lives in Grandview North Neighborhood and works in the old Novell building, said “the new lanes are pretty cool. They are very obvious as opposed to most bike lanes that can easily be looked over.” Perhaps it is the newly painted lines on a road that was completely devoid of any lines before.

Looking south at the lane just north of the train tracks.

In the near future, the new lanes on 500 West will connect to the wider network of lanes that is emerging in Provo. UDOT has indicated that next year they will be installing bike lanes on the part of 500 West that they control: State Street. Although they have not revealed their final plans, those lanes will likely run north from 300 South to Bulldog Boulevard, which will be endowed with protected bike lanes next year. Those two projects will connect people on bikes to the lanes on 500 North (going in this year); those going east and west on 800/820 North; the bike lanes on University Avenue, both those installed by UDOT north of 700 North to the mouth of the Canyon last fall and those that will be installed south of 700 North to 500 South as a part of the BRT project; to the Provo River Trail and College Connector Trail; and so on. The goal is an interconnected web of bikeways (absent of any gaps!) that people of all ages can navigate safely and conveniently making bicycling not an alternative form of transformation, but at least for short trips around town, a safe, convenient, and preferable mode of getting to work, to school, and to run errands. That will greatly improve resident’s quality of life.

A bike marker moments after it was painted in the lane on July 6th.

Thanks to Mayor Curtis and his Public Works team for understanding that and for their dogged efforts to ensure that bike lanes were installed on 500 West, despite the legitimate demand for on-street parking on the road. It’s now time to officially install bike lanes on another important north-south corridor, one with negligible on-street parking: Canyon Road.

Headed north on the new lanes from the Lakeview Parkway Trail.

by Aaron Skabelund

Complete Street Celebration: Sneak Peek

What do raised intersections, painted crosswalks, buffered bicycle lanes, signage, and bulb outs have to do with creating a safer street?

Find out for yourself by taking a look at the temporary 500 North Pilot Project, organized by neighborhood volunteers. The project will be up for a couple weeks (although the paint is freshest now!) until the city is ready to re-pave the street and will give the public a chance to try out potential new road features.

Come to the Complete Street Celebration and BBQ on Saturday, July 29th from 7-8:30 in front of the Rec Center. Also, stop by any time with your family and friends to take a look, snap some photos, and give the street a try.

Here’s a quick glimpse and what you’ll find:

Thanks to Christopher Wiltsie for snapping these early morning shots!

What were Provo Police, Neighbors, the Bicycle Committee, and People From All Over Provo Doing with Dozens of Cans of Paint at 2 a.m. on Friday?

You may have noticed something unusual on 500 North this Friday night.

Neighbors, police officers, city employees, the Provo Bicycle Committee, and people from all over the city joined together to paint the town. Literally.

What’s the deal with all the fresh paint (and bales of hay)? We’re running a pilot project to make 500 North a safer street for neighbors and residents headed to the Rec Center and North Park.

Come to the family-friendly 500 North Celebration (7pm on 500 N by the Rec Center) tomorrow (July 29th) for free KirbyQ BBQ and the chance to see the pilot and share your own ideas.

In the mean time, here’s a tiny sneak-peak of the fun we had in the middle of the night:

Photo credit: the good ones were taken by Christopher Wiltsie and I took the not-so-great ones.

Help Us Re-Imagine 500 N!

500 N will look different on the morning of Saturday, July 29th. That transformation will be the result of a neighborhood experiment, funded by a state grant and supported by the city, to model a street safer for people to get to the Recreation Center, North Park, Timpanogos Elementary School, the Library, and other destinations. This means making the street friendly and safe for neighborhood residents, pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers (for EVERYONE!) who would like to use 500 N.

Please join us this Friday night (July 28th) as we make temporary changes to 500 N to make it safer for people who walk and bike. After a quick BBQ at 10:00 pm (prepared by the North Park Neighborhood chair), we will begin our work at 10:30 pm. We will be simulating a raised tabletop intersection at 300 W and and raised crosswalk at 400 W with paint. We will be installing buffered bike lanes between 200 and 500 W.

The City’s Street Division has already started the poject by painting in two parallel buffered bike lanes on both sides for the Street from 200 to 500 W. On Friday, one group will paint in the cross-hatching between these lines and bike markers on the right side of them.

Provo Police will be closing down the road from 200 W to 400 W so that we can safely implement the pilot. (Please wear bright clothing.) We will work in the cover of night but with the blessing of the city. This pilot is funded primarily by a $1,000 grant from the Utah Department of Health, sponsored by Bike Utah and supported by the Utah County Health Department. Please come prepared to have fun and make a difference.

Please RSVP so we can get an idea of how much food to prepare for the BBQ and how many worker bees we will have to execute the pilot from 10:30 pm. We hope to be finished by midnight.

Complete the Street Celebration

The following evening, Saturday, July 29th, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm we will host a public event to introduce the project to elected officials and the general public. Please join us on 500 N between 200 W and 500 W to re-imagine what our streets can be. The project will demonstrate possible changes to the street (that might be implemented soon or in the future) and start a conversation about our public streets. Most importantly, the pilot project requires… A GOOD IMAGINATION! Keep in mind that what you’re seeing is just a mockup of how permanent street changes might look. See beyond temporary items like chalk and cones to imagine how the street could look in the future.

Bring your neighbors, friends and family and come celebrate a completed street! There will be food trucks, information booths, activities, and lots of people. Hope to see you there!

For more information visit the Facebook Event Page.

The Provo Bicycle Police (Now with Dramatic Explosions)

Did you know that Provo has its own bicycle patrol?

Not only can bike patrols help keep us safe in public spaces like the Provo River Trail, they’re also a great way for officers to better get to know the community and observe problems.

Plus, our officers have some pretty sweet moves…


According to the Provo Police Department’s Facebook page: “…We send them to a police bike school where they learn not to flinch when large explosions occur.”

Utah County Health Department Named a Bicycle-Friendly Business

By Melissa Porter, Health Promotions Division, Utah County Health Department

The League of American Bicyclists has designated the Utah County Health Department as a Bronze-level  Bicycle Friendly Business. The application is very well put together and easy to fill out. The employees at the League of American Bicyclist were very helpful. Per my request they sent me an example of another county health office application from a previous year. The application example was helpful when filling out the  application. The League employees are more than willing to answer my questions.

When we were named a BFB, the League provided us with feedback that is very detailed and specific to our organization. The Health Department is proud to be Provo’s second BFB, and our goal is become a Silver-level BFB within the next four years.

Being a bicycle friendly business means that we are working toward a more welcoming atmosphere for bicycling employees, customers and other residents of Provo. It also means helping our communities be safer, happier, healthier and more sustainable through bicycling. For more information please visit the League of American Bicyclist website: http://bikeleague.org/business

Thoughts on Our Bike-Friendly City

In my work at Bicycle Collective, I’ve met fellow bicycle advocates throughout the state and heard their experiences biking in their respective cities.

Just in the past month I’ve heard horror stories from a friend in Ogden about having glass bottles thrown at her from a vehicle whizzing past.  I’ve heard from dozens of mountain biking enthusiasts in the Salt Lake area who have had their $3,000+ bikes stolen from their garages.

No, Provo is not immune to these sorts of problems; it has its fair share, but I’d like to offer a positive outlook from personal experience.  Though we have much to improve, Provo is a bike-friendly city.

I’ve bike commuted since 2012 and have seen the worst of it; cyclists speeding toward me head-on riding the wrong way in the bike lane, inattentive drivers swerving into my travel area, and that guy in the lifted pickup who laughs as he drives past you, rolling coal all the way.  We’ve all had one too many encounter with that guy.

But while completing my annual post-finals century ride around Utah Lake last week, I was more than pleasantly surprise to not have even one negative encounter with a motorist.  Keep in mind this includes suburban sprawl like Eagle Mountain and tiny farming towns like Elberta, typically seen as bicycle un-friendly.

While riding, I reflected on my past two years of bike commuting in Provo and tried to recall any sour memories, but I couldn’t!  In fact, since returning from my mission in 2015, I haven’t had a single negative experience with a motorist that was caused intentionally.

Some may think it’s just luck, but I believe that our presence, as normal people who choose to transport ourselves bike, is noticed and respected.  Thanks to the incredible support from local agencies like Provo City, Provo Bicycle Committee, and my fellow staff and all our 400+ volunteers at Provo Bicycle Collective who jointly push for bike safety and even dedicate a whole month to celebrating cycling, biking to and fro has never been safer or more fun.

Take a ride around the city today and realize what a great place we live in.  Yes, Provo has shortcomings to overcome before becoming a model city, but it is a bicycle-friendly city and becoming more so each day.

 

Austin Taylor

Residents Love Provo’s First Bicycle-Friendly Intersection

As the final touches of landscaping and paint our applied along 300 South the past few weeks, Provo’s first bicycle-friendly intersection at 200 East/300 South is getting rave reviews. Here is one from from Tony Dittmer of the Maeser Neighborhood, who lives just north of 300 South:

“I work up in Lehi and take the FrontRunner when I bike to work. In the past crossing 300 South has been such a pain. Recently UDOT installed a new bicycle signal at 300 South and 200 East. I love this intersection. I have often looked for paths that were less busy for biking. I prefer not to ride close to heavy traffic. In the past I would have to ride on the shoulder or University Avenue until I passed 300 South, but now thanks to this signal I have a very mellow commute home.

Photos courtesy of Karen Tapahe

200 East has very light traffic and there are signs when you get to the intersection to take the lane. When approaching the intersection you pull into two curbs in the middle of the intersection where there is a friendly sensor and bicycle traffic signal and you don’t have to wait long before it changes and let’s you go right through and across 300 South. Crossing 300 South used to so dangerous, but not now thanks to this signal. The new bike lanes along around 300 South are also very welcome. I love Provo and the steps we are taking to make it better.”