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Students Bicycle in Unprecedented Numbers during Bike-to-School Week

by Aaron Skabelund, Provo Bicycle Committee Chair

Last week, I presented the Rad Riders’ Award to Westridge Elementary School for

having the most bicycle trips during last month’s Provo’s Fourth Annual Bike-to-

School Week (September 8-12) of all the K-12 schools in the Provo School District.

Students at Westridge made a grand total of 826 bicycle trips during those five days

of school, even though Monday and Tuesday morning were a bit rainy and chilly.

Impressive, but not all far behind were many other schools.

 

Students all across Provo bicycled to school that week, and continue to do so. (When

I visited Westridge last Monday, the five or six bike racks were nearly full.) Other

schools, such as Wasatch, Sunset View, Centennial, and Rock Canyon reported

that their bike racks were overflowing during bike week. And some schools that

participated for the first time this year, such as Franklin and Amelia Earhart, had

high participation rates. Some schools such as Edgemont extended the week beyond

bicycles to include scooters and walking, but what was important was that students

were using their own two-feet to get to school in unprecedented numbers. As the

Daily Herald put it, “The Sun Came Out; So Did the Bikes.” Parents got involved too,

riding with their children to school across the city, for example, from the Carterville

Neighborhood to Westridge. At Lakeview, one parent volunteer tuned up many

dozens of bikes for hours one day after school. Thank you schools and parents for all

your support.

And thanks to Mayor Curtis for jumpstarting things by proclaiming Bike-to-School

Week during a City Council meeting in early September. Thanks to the bike shops—

Canyons, Mad Dog, Outdoors Unlimited, Racers, and Taylor’s—that provided prizes

to assigned schools to help motivate students to ride. Thanks to Provo Parks and

Rec (and UVRMC as well as the Utah County Health Department, Jigawatt Cycles and

Mad Dog) for their support of the Bike-in-Movie and the Provo Bicycle Collective for

holding the Bike Tune-up Workshop. And most of all, thanks to all the students—

young and old—who rode and continue to bicycle to school. They know, from

experience, that everyday is a good day to bicycle.

 

Here are some photos of the week and the presentation of the Rad Riders’ Award at

Westridge.

Share Your Transportation Ideas at TransPlan40

Utah County is inviting residents to come out, see what projects are planned for the future, and share their thoughts on transportation priorities. The gatherings will happen at several Transportation and Planning Community Fairs around the valley. The one closest to us will be held in Orem (93 N. 400 E.) on October 22nd, from 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.

Prior to the meetings, check out the Mountainland Association of Governments website to take an educational quiz on how transportation projects work and share your comments with the government.

What kind of bicycle infrastructure to you want Provo to have in the next 40 years? This is your opportunity to help make your transportation hopes a reality.

Slate Canyon Trailhead Development Begins

Good news for recreational cyclists – development has now begun on the Slate Canyon Trailhead. According to the Mayor’s blog, the first phase of trailhead construction is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

Eventually, Slate Canyon will include a full bike skills park to rival those in Park City and Eagle Mountain. Check out this post from Aaron Skabelund to see what we kind of bicycle facilities we can hope for in the future.

Free Valet Bicycle Parking for Friday’s Downtown Celebration

Headed to downtown Provo on Friday night for the 5th annual Rooftop Concert featuring the Neon Trees, the opening of 5 new businesses, the art displays, or the street food? Your best bet is to ride your bicycle.

Traffic will be busy down there. But, Canyon Cycles and the Provo Bicycle Collective are happy to watch your bicycle for you at the free bike valet service in front of Canyon Cycles (187 W. Center St.) just West of to the on-street concert.

Downtown Provo is the place to be on Friday. See you there.

Bike Advocacy Success Story: New Business Racks

During the monthly Bike Committee meetings, we take a few minutes for people to share their “little wins” in advocating for a more bicycle friendly community. During the next few months, we’d like to share a few if these stories on the blog. This one comes from Clancy Black:

Our office is located at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi. I take the train and bike from Provo to get here. The office building does not have a bike rack, and I prefer not to leave my bike at the station all day, so I have always brought my bike inside our office. The building manager recently asked me not to do that due to the mess and that it looks “unprofessional”. Her suggestion was that I chain it to a tree outside instead. I explained that by being careful I can reduce most of the mess (don’t lean against wall, carry in hallway, etc.) and that chaining it to a tree outside looks much less professional than storing the bike inside. Anyway, after a few discussions back and forth and after I reached out to the building owner they finally relented and agreed to install a bike rack outside the building. It will be finished this week and you can bet I will be the first to use it.

This is just a small example of how being vocal about how to effectively accommodate cyclists can lead to small change. The building manager will be sending out a memo to all tenants about the bike rack, which will hopefully encourage others to use it and begin biking to work!

Great work, Clancy! If you have a story about your own advocacy to share (encouraging neighbors to ride, helping a business be more bike-friendly, working with a local official…just about anything), please feel free to share it by sending an email to: bikeprovo@gmail.com.

Let’s Talk Trails: October’s Provo Bike Commitee Meeting

Hello! Hope everyone is enjoying the wonderful autumn bicycling weather.

The last Rooftop Concert is this Friday (October 3rd)! If you are interested in volunteering at the bike valet, please contact Heather Skabelund at hskabby@gmail.com.

Our monthly bicycle committee meeting will be this Thursday, October 2, from 5-6 pm at our usual location, the Community Oriented Policing building at 48 North 300 West, just west of the Convention Center.

If you have never attended a meeting, this would be a great one to start with: Jim Price, the trail guru at Mountainlands Association of Governments (the Utah County regional planning agency) who is probably the person most responsible for the valley’s wonderful urban trail system (most recently the Murdoch Canal Trail) will be presenting and discussing how Provo can effectively build on its recently approved Bicycle Master Plan to create a truly integrated network of bike lanes and trails.

Other agenda items include:

Sharing time: personal stories of bicycle advocacy during the last month

Update on planning for the Utah Bike Summit 2015 (Friday, April 10, at the Provo Library) with Bike Utah Director, Phil Sarnoff

Will the city apply for immediate UTA paint to improve bicycle connections to Frontrunner (600 S, South Freedom, and 920 W) and bus stops (500 E, Center St, and 1200 E/Birch) this fall?

Final update on bikeway improvement during this year’s road projects (bicycle markings will be painted on north Canyon Road)

Status of proposal to put lanes on 100 West from 800 North south to 100 North

Quick update on 300 South rebuild and University Avenue BRT developments

Brief Bike to School report

Brief report on BYU’s recent improvements and future plans

Status of Slate Canyon bike skills park project and other trails projects?

Proposal for city to create a position of an Active Transportation (transit, walkability, and bikability)

Budget submission to the mayor

Other items

Hope to see you on Thursday!

Bike-In Movie Tonight (September 12, 2014)

Looking for some family fun tonight? Tonight’s cool September evening will provide just the right temperature ambiance to the great bicycle scenes of “ET” and his friends racing through a Northern California forest on a refreshing Halloween night.

Don’t miss tonight’s Bike-in-Movie capping off the best ever Bike-to-School Week, and be sure to check out some cool booths before the movie begins in the south end of Kiwanis Park. Movie starts at dusk.

Mayor Announces Provo Bike-to-School Week

During the most recent Provo City Council meeting, Mayor John Curtis announced Bike-to-School Week and challenged students to ride at least 3 times this week (September 8-13th).

The week kicks off with individual school events and awards, a bike maintenance workshop on Wednesday, and a bike-in movie on Friday. Check out the event flyer to see the details.

Students from the community were invited to accept the Bike-to-School Week proclamation from the Mayor and shake hands with the Provo City Council members. Thanks to these students for representing the Provo bicycling community and working to become the next generation of cyclists.

Provo Bike-to-School Week 2014

A Week of Prizes, Bike-In Movies, Tune-Up Workshops, and More

For Provo students, school is in full swing. And now is the perfect time to get in the habit of riding as a family. Kids that ride their bike to school start the day with exercise, become more aware of their community, and are better able to concentrate on their studies.

During Provo Bike-to-School Week, our local elementary, middle, and  high schools will offer a variety of programs to help kids get in the habit of riding to school.

Students who bicycle to school will have the opportunity to win daily prizes and a weekly grand prize from Mad Dog Cycles, Taylor’s Bike Shop, Racers Cycle Services, Canyon Bicycles, and Outdoors Unlimited. Several schools will offer bike safety checks and group “bike buses” of students riding together. You can also compete against other participating Provo Schools for the Rad Riders’ Award.

Come to the Provo Bicycle Collective (49 North 1100 West Unit 2) on Wednesday, September 10th from 6-8 p.m. for a free tune-up workshop where you can learn how to do basic maintenance on your own bicycle.

On Friday, September 12th, don’t miss the Bike-In Movie ET, sponsored by Provo Parks and Rec. This classic will begin showing at dark.

Check back here (and be on the lookout for updates from your school) to find out more about Bike-to-School Week. Happy riding!

Making a Difference … (Almost) Instantly!

By Aaron Skabelund, Bike Committee Chair

One of the primary pleasures of being involved with the Provo Bicycle Committee is helping to make Provo more bicycle friendly. Rarely is there instant gratification. But sometimes changes can be made quickly. At our monthly meeting on June 5, Doug Robins, the Director of Parks, briefed the nearly 15 folks in attendance about a variety of projects, including the bike skills park. As we discussed how to remedy the bumps in the asphalt along the Provo River Trail, the issue of the blind underpasses was raised and committee member Spencer Hawkes suggested that Parks consider installing mirrors.

About a week later, I received a call from Mike Hoffman of Parks asking for my input about precisely where and how to install the mirrors. Apparently Doug ordered the mirrors right then and there during the meeting. And just three weeks after the meeting, I received another call from Mike indicating that the mirrors had been installed at the State Street, Columbia Lane, 820 North, and Geneva Road underpasses. Now that’s quick and definitely gratifying.

So here’s a shout out to the Parks Division for their support of bicycling in this instance and in many others. And a shout out to Spencer, who left Provo with his wife Sam for Boston this summer, for his many years of making a difference with the Committee as well as the Provo Bicycle Collective. We will miss you, Spencer and Sam, and (though this sounds a bit too grand) we will carry on your legacy here in Provo working to make a difference for bicycles, slowly but surely and sometimes (almost) instantly.

What little things have you done to make a difference for bicycling in Provo? We’d love to have you share your stories (even the little things) on the Provo Bicycle Committee Facebook group.