While reading through the comments on a Facebook Post in Provo Forward, Susie Slattery Record told me about a Wasatch Elementary crossing guard who decks himself out in fully-metallic clothing to be as visible as possible to drivers. He sounded like a character that I had to meet.
Robert’s crosswalk outfit includes a sequinned superman trucker cap, a metallic silver long-sleeve shirt, a silver chain, orange visibility vest, bright white pants with gold and silver sequins, and bright white sneakers with all sorts of colors on them. If that doesn’t catch drivers’ attention, there is no hope left in this world.
Robert told me he is from Nigeria and works both as a security guard and a crosswalk guard. This is his favorite of the two because he loves interacting with the kids and helping them get safely across the wide and high-speed 900 East. He does such a good job that parents who drive their children to school regularly drop their kids off in the parking lots near his intersection so he can help them safely cross the street.
Though it is a tough job being a crossing guard–there have been incidents of Provo crossing guards being hit by careless drivers–Robert says about 95% of drivers he deals with are kind and do slow down. Of course, we hope for a city where street design would slow drivers down so crossing guards don’t have to put themselves at risk, but until then we have everyday heroes like Robert.
Thank you Robert for all you do to keep Provo children safe!
The mayors office asked me to write an essay about why people should bike in Provo. Sadly it didn’t make it into this quarter’s Involved magazine–too many other good things to choose from–but I wanted to make sure it got read.
All of you already know why you should bike but I think you’ll enjoy the story in the beginning of Alan and Erin Farnes who went car-free earlier this year.
Getting hit by a driver while riding a bike can be disorienting and confusing. Your initial reaction might be to get up and say you’re okay or to get in a fight with the driver. However, there is a correct way to approach the situation. The following steps come from CityLab:
Stay calm and move out of the street
Keep the driver there
Call the police and wait for them
Collect the driver’s information and take tons of photos
On Saturday, April 13, UTA hosted an event to celebrate the reopening and improvements of the College Connector trail.
UTA was well-prepared with swag, donuts (covered in green and blue frosting for UVU and BYU, of course!), and gift cards for those who biked the farthest to get to the event, took transit the farthest, etc. BYU’s Cosmo the Cougar and UVU’s Willie the Wolverine also showed up!
Jim Price of Mountainlands Association of Governments and Aaron Skabelund of BikeWalk Provo gave short speeches about the history of the trail and its new improvements. The trail was completed in partnership with UDOT, Provo, Orem, and MAG in the early 2000’s. It now gets about 10,000 riders per month using it, many for commuting purposes. And thanks to UTA’s UVX project, the trail will be even more pleasant for those riders to use. The College Connector trail has been resurfaced in many areas and has improved lighting. If you haven’t ridden it yet, get out there!
According to US Census Bureau, about 15% of all trips to work and school in Provo are done on foot or on bike–the highest percentage in the state by far (the average is 4%). However, our streets are designed primarily for the rapid flow of motor vehicles. Provo needs safe streets designed for people–adults and children, including those with disabilities–walking, biking, and rolling to their destinations.
Our ask is simple–that $100,000 of Provo City’s streets budget be dedicated to small street design changes that make it safer to bike and walk. With the new quarter-cent sales tax increase going to transportation, that will be less than 3% of the current streets budget.
These projects will literally save lives. After 14-year old Caleb Lane was killed walking to the Rec Center, Provo City installed a safe crosswalk that cost about $50,000. $100,000 will allow Provo to do two similar projects per year, this time beforetragedies happen.
In an effort to be more inclusive–and to make it clear we support all active transportation–BikeProvo will soon be called BikeWalk Provo. I’ll soon be redesigning our logo and updating our website and social media pages.