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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.

Utah Rides for Cancer on Aug 16th

The Central Utah Clinic Foundation is hosting the second annual Utah Rides for Cancer event on August 16, 2014, from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event brings the community together to raise funds and awareness for local cancer patients.  Many cancer patients must travel long distances to receive their treatments, making trips to and from the clinic expensive and burdensome for them and their families.  Central Utah Clinic Foundation strives to alleviate some of the burden of cancer treatments by helping patients pay for gas and lodging costs incurred through their travels to the clinic.

Utah Rides for Cancer consists of three rides: metric century (70 miles), half metric century (30 miles), and fun ride (10 miles).  The event will also include a bake sale and a gift basket auction.  Each rider will receive a URC t-shirt and food after the ride.

For more information and to register go to www.utahridesforcancer.com

Be sure to check out the facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/UtahRidesForCancer and watch this video to find out more:

PlayStreet Provo Tomorrow: Saturday, July 19th

If you’re in favor of more inviting neighborhood streets, take part in PlayStreet Provo tomorrow. Here are the details from the PlayStreet Provo website:

What is PlayStreet Provo?

PlayStreet Provo is a day of free family-centered fun in Downtown Provo. 100 South will be closed to traffic allowing families to walk, bike, and play in downtown. The event will be FREE with dozens of games and activities.

Date: Saturday July 19, 2014
Time: 9:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Place: 100 South between 450 West and 300 West

Features of the event include:

  • FREE School Carnival-Style Games (Example: Ring Toss)
  • FREE Popcorn & Cotton Candy
  • FREE Prizes, Toys, and Activities
  • FREE Breakfast Pastries (9:30 to 11:30 or until the food runs out!)
  • FREE Contests (Example: Pie Eating Contest)
  • FREE WALK: Streets will be often for you to stroll, ride your bike, or push a stroller.
  • FREE RELAX: We’ll turn parts of center street into a mini-park complete with grass and benches where mom & dad can relax.
  • EAT: We’ll have plenty of options.

University Ave. Guerrilla Urbanism Demonstrates Possibilities & Potential

Early this morning, Provo guerrilla urbanists descended on University Ave. to temporarily transform a block and help BRT decision-makers imagine what-could-be.

The group measured out the currently proposed BRT street plan, and placed flags where the new sidewalk will end. Flags were also used to demonstrate how bulb outs could potentially improve visibility and create safer intersections.

A colored shared-use lane was created with chalk near the side of the road. Currently, the large shoulder allows bicyclists and motorists to easily share the available space. However, the new plan will eliminate the large shoulder and push bicyclists into the lane. Bicycle lanes are not considered politically feasible for the entirety of University Ave. since they would eliminate parking – however, a colored shared-use lane (such as those used in Salt Lake) would be an effective way of promoting safety for those in cars and on bikes.

Potted flowers and trees were brought in to encourage the preservation of as many mature trees as possible and the use of green space throughout University Ave.

Businesses along the block participated by coming outside and having a more prominent on-street presence, creating a visual incentive for pedestrians to interact and enter storefronts. Signs, flags, and free samples enticed passerbys.

 

Zero Proof Mocktails set up an on-street gathering place with free (and delicious) drinks while conversations took place.

Meanwhile, around the corner, the use of inviting tables, umbrellas, and a mock bistro was so welcoming that people passing through the neighborhood naturally starting congregating and asking questions about the project.

In the end, the project hopefully gave decision-makers and Provo residents the chance to re-imagine what University Ave. might become.

The truth is that the BRT road construction process (like all major construction) is not going to be pleasant. People are going to get annoyed with the noise, the roadwork, and concerns about any potential changes. However, now is the time to make a thoroughfare that Provo can be proud of – a street that is bustling with business and inviting to all road users.

Rarely does a city have the opportunity (and the funding) to re-design a major street into a national example and a go-to destination. Provo has that opportunity right now…let’s encourage decision-makers to step outside of the status quo and take the lead on transforming University Ave.

A huge thanks to Bill Graff, Susan Krueger-Barber, and Aaron Skabelund – the dedicated urbanists that led out on this project.

Come See a Piece of Guerrilla Urbanism That Re-Imagines University Ave.

Bus Rapid Transit is coming to University Avenue soon. The change represents what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to re-imagine University Ave. as a street. What could it look like? Rather than a speedy route for cars to get through the city could it become a Complete Street that encourages pedestrians and bicyclists while promoting local businesses?

Come see what could be possible in a guerrilla urbanism display tomorrow, July 16th from 9-10 a.m. on University Ave between 200 N. and 300 N.

Here’s what the organizing committee has to say about the project and the possibilities:

The construction of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) on University Avenue with its dedicated lanes running down the middle of the street represents a HUGE once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the downtown blocks into a more livable, pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly, AND business-friendly streetscape from the current unappealing loud automobile thoroughfare. Who wants to spend time in the downtown University area when cars–and oftentimes semis–are noisily hurtling by much faster than the posted 35 mph speed limit?

To witness–and participate in–a vision of the downtown University core as a street that is complete and better for everyone–business owners, customers, pedestrians, bicyclists, the increasing number of downtown residents–please drop by University Avenue between 300 N and 200 N this Wednesday between 9 and 10 am. You will see an act of guerrilla urbanism performed by a broad cross-section of concerned citizens of local business owners, property owners, local residents, pedestrians, and bicyclists that (re)imagines the University downtown area as a destination that is inviting, interesting, and people want to be rather than the noisy, fast traffic automobile corridor it is now.

Specifically we hope to accomplish the following through this “performance piece”:

  • To persuade UDOT to slow down vehicular traffic to at the most 25 mph in the core of the downtown from at least 300 South to 500 North.
  • To use good design, not (just) speed limit signs, to calm traffic by creating a more visually narrow and interesting streetscape by:
  • Saving and planting as many trees as possible and increasing greenery
  • NOT adding righthand turn lanes and eliminating them wherever possible to calm traffic
  • Adding bulb-outs wherever possible to make pedestrian crossings safer
  • Turning the outside travel lanes into enhanced shared auto-bike lanes by painting the lanes green or blue and marking them with bicyclist icons
  • Stringently enforcing the current but largely unenforced restrictions on semi-trucks using University Avenue
  • Installing signals that give pedestrians plenty of time to cross University
  • Building safety islands at all pedestrian crossings

Bill Graff
Chair, Provo Walkability Committee

Susan Kruger-Barber
Co-chair, Joaquin Improvement Association

Aaron Skabelund
Chair, Provo Bicycle Committee

Picture from the Deseret News…if Salt Lake can have green shared lanes, why can’t Provo?

Utah Valley Regional Medical Center Opens New Employee LiVe Well Bike Locker Room

A growing number of Provo employers are recognizing how much bicycling can help their employees be more healthy, take fewer sick days, perform better, and be all around happier people.

We were delighted to hear that the Utah Valley Regional Medical Center just opened a new bicycling resource for its employees. Here’s what they have to say:

“On Monday, July 14th, Utah Valley Regional opened an indoor bike storage area called the LiVe Well Bike Locker. The LiVe Well Committee is excited to offer this new benefit to employees.

The LiVe Well Bike Locker is located inside the Northwest Plaza near the dock. Badge access is required to enter this area.

There is also 40 individual lockers available for helmets, gloves, bags, etc. in this secured area.

Additionally, employees who use the Bike Locker will be given access to the showers in the Wellness Center.”

Great work, Utah Valley Regional! We hope other employers in the Provo area will be inspired to follow your example.

Did You See the Provo Bike Committee at the Parade?

Thanks to everyone that waved hello or took one of the Bike Provo Ride Guides during the Provo 4th of July pre-parade. The Bike Committee riders looked great out there in their custom Leuven t-shirts. If you’re new to the site, please take a look around – in particular, spend a few minutes exploring the links on the top menu bar.

Also, thanks to Dixon Holmes for snapping these photos!

Free Bicycle Valet Parking at the July 4th Rooftop Concert

The best way to spend your 4th of July is listening to Provo bands on a downtown rooftop, while your friends sway under the lanterns and watch the fireworks. The best way to get there is to ride your bike.

Come to the Rooftop Concert this weekend on two wheels. The Provo Bicycle Collective and Provo Bicycle Committee will watch over your ride with tender loving care. And you’ll skip out on 4th of July traffic and parking woes. Find the valet bike parking on the West side of the rooftop concert garage.

It’s going to be a night to remember.

Utah Clear the Air Challenge Starts July 1st

Here’s an important announcement from Utah’s Clear the Air Challenge. Air quality matter to all of us, particularly since inversion can trap bad air in the valley. Let’s show everyone what Provo can do!

CLEAR THE AIR CHALLENGE STARTS TUESDAY!
July 1 – 31
REGISTER NOW

The Clear the Air Challenge is nearly upon us! This statewide Challenge begins on Tuesday, July 1. Remember, it’s all about driving smarter and driving less.

If you haven’t, now is the time to make sure you are all registered in our new tracker system. Our new tracker can be found at www.cleartheairchallenge.org.

To make things simple, you can register with your Facebook account. Also remember to join a team! Get your business, coworkers, friends and family engaged in the Challenge to see who can save the most miles driven. If you need help in setting up a team, please contact tracker@ppbh.com.

Starting Tuesday, we want to see you taking public transit, carpooling, biking and walking to help clear the air. We’d love to see what you’re doing on social media, so don’t forget the hashtag #ClearTheAir.

And if you’re active in tracking your miles saved, you have a chance to win some great prizes!

If you have any other questions, concerns or comments about the Clear the Air Challenge, feel free to reach out to us! Ben Hoyle | 801.328.5056 | bhoyle@slchamber.com

New Provo Bicycle Lanes This Summer

“If we build them, people will come … and bicycle”

At the last monthly Provo Bicycle Committee meeting, the city engineering informed us what roads would be blessed with bicycle facility improvements this summer. Most are the result of road repaving projects and correspond to what is called for by the city’s newly adopted Bicycle Master Plan. Here is the list:

- Bike lanes have already been painted in on 600 South (from 1600 W to 1100 W) and on 1100 W (from 600 S to 1560 S)

- Bike lanes are likely to be painted in on 1150 South (from 1600 W and 1100 W) pending a decision about removing some on-street parking

- Bike lanes on Canyon Rd (from Foothill to University Ave)

- Marked road shareway on 2320 North (from 2200 N to Timpview Dr) and 2230 North (from University Ave to Canyon Rd)

- Bike lanes on 2230 North (from Canyon to 2320 N)

- Bike lanes on 2200 North (from N Temple to 2300 N)

- Even though road work is taking place on 900 East, bicycle improvements will wait until BRT construction begins

- Roadwork will occur on Freedom Boulevard this summer (from 200 N to Bulldog) but there is no room for lanes. The Committee has proposed putting lanes in on 100 West (from 800 N to Center) where there is plenty of width so on-street parking would not be impacted.

That’s it. Enjoy the ride–it will be safer and more pleasant thanks to Engineering and the efforts of the Committee.

Post by Aaron Skabelund, Chair of the Provo Bicycle Committee. Thanks to Joli for the new lane photography.