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Congratulations Lexi Williamson, for Being Recognized with Canyon Bicycles’ Winter Bicycle Commuter Golden Spoke Award

At last night’s city council meeting, Provo resident Lexi Williamson was recognized for her dedication as a winter cyclist. Mayor Curtis and Aaron Skabelund, Chair of the Provo Bicycle Committee, presented Lexi with the “Canyon Bicycles’ Winter Bike Commuter Golden Spoke Award.”

Mayor Curtis told audience members a bit about Lexi: “Lexi is a BYU student and a Provo native. She lives on the west side of Provo has been riding since she was in high school and now consistently rides to BYU year round, which is about a 10 mile round-trip commute. She rides what her mom described as a Schwinn Specialized ‘comfort bike’ to also run errands and to do shopping, and for recreation, such as up Provo Canyon on the River Trail.”

Provo Bike Committee Chair Aaron thanked the council for their support last year noted that the Committee looks forward to their support this year–making the 200 East Neighborhood Greenway a priority as the city applies for CBDG funds.

Finally, Aaron counted down the top 7 (not so) secret benefits of biking through the winter:

7. It makes you feel like a rebel to know that the cold can’t beat you.
6. You never have trouble finding bike parking.
5. Friends and peers may think you are nuts, but they are secretly impressed.
4. It’s all about the layers, its not as specialized, or complicated, as you might think. (And I mentioned that there is “no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear” and that folks just needed to dress warmly like their mother told them too.)
3. You’ll be warmer riding your bike than waiting for the the car to heat up.
2. You won’t foul the air with your tailpipe emissions and you can easily earn of the mayor’s clean air pins.
1. Some days, it’s safer to walk or take the bus than to ride–doing so does not make you any less of a rebel.

After the presentation, Lexi was asked to make some remarks. She said she was honored but felt like she was not doing anything special, and asked the council and mayor to continue to provide support to create an interconnected network of bikeways so that bicyclists could get places safely.

Thanks for your dedication and example, Lexi! Congratulations!

Action Alert: UTA Wants to Know Where We Want New Bike Lanes and Lockers

This year, the Utah Transportation Authority wants to put in new bike lanes and lockers in places that connect to FrontRunner or Trax stops. Please let them know where you’d like to see these lanes and lockers by making a comment on their one-question survey. If you’d like, you can also add photos or mark locations on their map.

Provo’s FrontRunner station, in particular, could use some additional bicycle connectivity. For example:

- 600 South (the street to the North of FrontRunner) feels particularly dangerous as cyclists and pedestrians approach the station. Although there seems to be a lot of excess gravel and weeds on the side of the road, there is essentially no shoulder and no sidewalk.

- Additionally, the overpass bridge on University Ave. is extremely dangerous to cyclists and has such narrow sidewalks that two pedestrians can’t even cross each other without one stepping into oncoming traffic. Cyclists have very little shoulder to work with and the overpass is not designed in a way that encourages cars to anticipate cyclists on the road.

- Often, cyclists coming from downtown Provo miss their FrontRunner trains because they get stuck behind the flashing train crossing arm while other cargo or Amtrack trains cross (often sitting on the rails at the intersection ten minutes). Cyclists must choose whether or not to go all the way around and over the bridge to catch the train on University Ave. Many cyclists have reported waiting in front of the tracks for a significant period of time and watching as their trains leave without them.

Certainly, your experiences will give you additional ideas for Provo areas that need connectivity. Please help out our city by taking the survey as soon as possible and passing it along to your friends. Also, be sure to click on “Feedback” and hit the “Support This Suggestion” button below Provo suggestions you agree with. Let’s make sure Provo’s voice is heard.

Big News: 2015 Utah Bike Summit to Be Held in Provo

Here’s some huge news for our increasingly bike-friendly city: the Utah Bike Summit will be in Provo for the first time ever this spring. While the summit has traditionally been held in Salt Lake, this time they’re making the trek to the Provo City Library on April 10, 2015.

Even better, this summit will feature a keynote address from Gary Fisher. Gary is a member of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and recognized as The Founding Father of Mountain Bikes.

Following the summit, participants will hop on their bikes and ride over to a swanky after party in downtown Provo.

More information and online registration will be available soon at BikeUtah.org. Bike Utah and the Provo Bike Committee have been working non-stop to make this an event to remember.

For now, please mark your calendars and get the word out as much as you can (please, help us make this a success!). If you would like to be a sponsor or have connections to a restaurant that is willing to make a food donation, please contact us at bikeprovo@gmail.com.

Image: Gary Fisher in 2011, Creative Commons, Wikimedia

A Research Study About Bicycling & Safety

Please consider taking the following online bicycle safety survey from a doctoral student at SUNY Downstate School of Public Health in Brooklyn, New York. Your answers will be confidential:

Dear Fellow Bicycle Riders,

IF YOU ARE 18 OR OLDER, please take part in an anonymous survey for a research study about bicycling practices and bicycling accidents. The survey will take only about 15-20 minutes to fill out.

IT DOES NOT MATTER WHETHER OR NOT YOU HAVE HAD AN ACCIDENT RIDING YOUR BICYCLE. Your answers will help researchers find out how to make bicycling safer.

YOU WILL NOT BE ASKED FOR YOUR NAME. No one will find out how you answered the questions.

TO GO TO THE SURVEY, please use this link: http://survey.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_eXRDaDI9sn3TrrT

THANK YOU! If you have any questions, please feel free to call me. (I won’t ask you to tell me your name. )

Mark W. Hoglund

Doctoral Student

School of Public Health

SUNY Downstate Medical Center

450 Clarkson Avenue

Brooklyn, New York 11203

718-270-4718

Send Us Your Snapshots of Thanksgiving by Bike

Are you or your family celebrating this Thanksgiving on bike? If so, please send a snapshot or two for our new photo essay of Provo by bike.

We’d love to have photos of people:

- Picking up their turkeys or the trimmings by bike

– Going on a leisurely ride

– Decorating their bikes with leaf garland

– Riding to volunteer at soup kitchens or donate canned goods

– Anything else you might do in honor of Thanksgiving…by bike

These can be old or new photos. Please send photos to Jamie at jamielittlefield(at)gmail.com. And, have a wonderful holiday!

Image: BikeHugger

A Photo Tour of Bicycle Resources at the Provo FrontRunner Station

Bicycles and public transportation go hand in hand, and the Provo FrontRunner station now offers a variety of bicycle amenities to help cyclists travel by train and bus. UTA has been doing a fantastic job adding resources to help make riding to and from the Provo station easy. Here’s what you need to know.

Bike Racks

Just south of the platform, the Provo FrontRunner station offers numerous bicycle racks. Anyone is free to leave their bike, although the racks to tend to be a bit crowded. If these racks are full, a few additional racks can be found by heading east along the same sidewalk. Be sure to bring your U-Lock.

Bike Lockers

More secure bike lockers are also available to rent. The box-shaped lockers can be found just east of the bike racks. Each locker is rented to an individual rider for $70 a year (plus an initial $30 deposit) and is accessed by a key. To rent a bike locker, fill out the form on the UTA website.

DERO Self-Serve Bike Fix-It Station

UTA recently installed a DERO bike fix-it station. To find it, walk to the far east side of the sidewalk south of the platform. With this station, anyone can fill a tire, tighten loose parts, or perform basic bicycle maintenance. The station includes all of the essential bicycle tools on cables attached to a bike stand. There is also a bicycle pump and wheel holder. There is no cost to use the  Provo bike fix-it station.

Bike Coaches

Most FrontRunner trains have a bike coach, designed to hold 12 bicycles and their owners.

See all those bike symbols on the coach above? Apparently, that coach has room for 12 bikes. You can just roll yours on in and sit next to it; no need to worry about awkwardly affixing it to some caboose carrier or anything.

Here’s a quick tour someone posted to YouTube of how these cabs look:

Neat, huh? BikeSLC offers these tips for taking your bike on the FrontRunner:

Board the bi-level car closest to the locomotive. There are spaces for 12 bicycles to be parked upright on this car. If using any other car, enter through the door with a green bicycle symbol. Place the bicycle under the stairs (room for 4 bicycles).

Bike Parking in Regular Coaches

If the Bike Coach is full, you can also look for bike spots in other double-decker cabs. Each stores 4 on the bottom level. No bikes are allowed in single-level cars. Your best bet is to line up just behind the bicycle icon on the platform. Happy riding!

Provo Bicycle Action Alert: Take This UDOT Bicycle Survey By Friday

UDOT is taking Provo’s input on how to spend funds available for bicycle infrastructure and facilities in Utah Valley on state-owned roads. Please help them out (and help them see what Provo residents feel is important) by taking this online survey by Friday.

Please share this link with your family and friends…and fill it out yourself as soon as possible. Completing the survey is a quick way to make your voice heard and should only take 5-10 minutes.

Provo Parking Plan Public Kickoff Meeting

Do you care about Parking in Provo? You should.

Join in with other residents and municipal leaders to help create a city-wide parking plan on Thursday, November 13th from 5:30-7:00 p.m.

This is your chance to weigh in on an important issue that will directly affect cyclists for years to come. Should parking take precedence over wide sidewalks and bike lanes? Does every stall need to be for a car or should bike parking be included as a part of the plan (as it is in Salt Lake)? How do we weigh the need for parking spaces with the need for other public facilities (green space, bike lanes, public transportation, etc.) Now is the time to let your voice be heard.

If you’d like to read up on some of the issues surrounding parking, take a look at these insightful essays: The Cost of Free Parking, Free Parking or Free Markets, Free Parking Comes at a PriceSalt Lake Rolls Out New Bike Corrals, Direct Costs of Urban Travel (image), Downtown Provo Parking Map (interactive map).

Check out more information from the Provo press release below:

Parking Plan Public Kickoff Meeting

Post Date: 11/06/2014 7:50 AM

Provo, Utah – (November 4, 2014) – The Provo community is invited to a presentation and public input forum that will be held at the Provo Municipal Council Chambers on Thursday, November 13 from 5:30 – 7:00 PM.

The forum will be conducted by representatives from Kimley-Horn and Associates, a national consulting firm that has been engaged to create a Strategic Parking Management Plan for the City of Provo.  The goal of this planning effort is to develop recommendations for a customer-focused and effective parking management program that will complement the City of Provo’s larger strategic and economic development goals.

Kimley-Horn has conducted similar planning efforts in cities across the United States and the presentation will include an overview of the project scope, as well as examples of “Best-In-Class” parking management practices from communities similar to Provo. The forum will be led by Dennis Burns, CAPP, Regional Vice President of Kimley-Horn and Associates, a nationally recognized parking expert who speaks on a variety of parking and transportation topics both nationally and internationally. Mr. Burns has been honored as the International Parking Institute’s “Parking Professional of the Year” and was invited by the White House to be a speaker at the first “Green Government Symposium” held on the campus of the George Washington University in Washington, DC. Mr. Burns will be joined by Vanessa Solesbee, President of The Solesbee Group. Ms. Solesbee will present a brief case study of how the community of Cedar Rapids, Iowa successfully implemented a Strategic Parking Management Plan.

The forum will serve as the project’s official “kick-off” and is the first of many opportunities for the Provo community to provide feedback on the Strategic Parking Management Plan. The consulting team will be meeting individually with key community stakeholders during throughout November and December, and will hold another public input forum in early December, which will feature top parking and transportation program managers from across the country. There will also be several opportunities to provide feedback online via a new “Vision Provo” virtual town hall website, which will be launched in conjunction with this public meeting.

For more information about this public input forum or the Strategic Parking Management Plan, please call or email Josh Yost at 801-852-6408 or jyost@provo.org

Image: A new buffered bicycle lane in downtown Salt Lake balances sidewalk space, on-street parking, off-street parking, and roadway.

Provo Action Alert: Help Get Bike Lane Markings on the South Portion of Canyon Road

By Aaron Skabelund, Provo Bicycle Committee Chair

This action alert is about bike lane markings on the south portion of Canyon Road and is specifically directed to all residents living in the Edgemont, Rock Canyon, North Timpview, Pleasant View, and Riverbottoms neighborhoods, which include or border Canyon Road. Others who use Canyon Road and/or concerned about creating an integrated bicycle network are encouraged to be involved as well.

This year, when the city repaved Canyon Road north of 4525 North (Foothill Drive), it painted in bicycle lanes from 4525 North all the way to University Avenue and recently officially designated them as bicycle lanes by painting in the pavement bicyclist markings as seen below (note the children walking to school).

But last year, when the city repaved Canyon Road south of 4525 North to about 2825 North, it painted in bicycle lanes along this entire stretch and intended to officially designate them as bicycle lanes with the pavement bicyclist markings, but before it could do so, a few residents and at least one business complained directly or indirectly through their neighborhood chairs about the imminent loss of on-street parking. In the face of this opposition, the city understandably backed down and the street does not include the previously anticipated bicycle lane markings.

In short, the periodic on-street parking of a few on a public road trumped the creation of a complete street that would have resulted in a safe corridor for bicyclists along this road that is widely used to commute to BYU and central Provo, to get to thee Provo River Trail and the canyon, and with bike lanes could be a safe and popular route for K-12 students riding to school and for families and others going for a ride the area.

Unfortunately, the bicycling community heard nothing about this until the city felt like it had no choice but to back down. It would make a huge difference–hopefully THE difference–if members of the bicycling community, especially those bicyclists who live in the neighborhoods that include or border Canyon Road, communicate to their neighborhood chairs (contact information below) and city council representatives for officially designated and marked bicycle lanes on the south portion of Canyon Road. Others who feel strongly should direct their comments to District One City Councilman, Gary Winterton (gwinterton@provo.org), and city wide council members, David Sewell (dsewell@provo.org) and Gary Garrett (gary@garygarret.org). Please send an email or call these folks. If we raise our voices passionately but respectfully and rationally, I am confident that by next summer the lanes will be all officially marked as bike lanes along Canyon Road.

Additionally, please keep riding on Canyon Road and make a point of patronizing businesses on that street on your bike and don’t be shy to mention that you did so when you are making your purchases (and thank them if they are providing bicycle parking or kindly request bicycle parking if it is lacking). Our actions should match our words and hopefully together they will make the difference.

This morning,  I went for a run up to take a few photos of the lanes at 4525 North (Foothill Boulevard) because I had not yet seen them first hand and only been told that they had been officially marked to the north. A mother  (Alison Parker) who was walking home from Canyon Crest noticed me taking the photos and asked me when the lanes south of 4525 North would be officially marked. She lives to the south of 4525 off Canyon Road and her children like to ride to school but she does not feel comfortable letting them do so unless they ride on the sidewalk because the lane, in her words, is “a pull-over lane” rather than an officially marked bicycle lane. During Bike to School Week at Canyon Crest in September, she let her kids ride in the lanes because she rode with them. If the lanes were officially marked, she feels that would be much safer for her kids than them riding on the sidewalk and risking getting hit by cars pulling in and out of driveways as has nearly happened. In short, this is a safety issue that needs to be remedied, as Engineering intended, as soon as possible.

If you are not sure what neighborhood you live in, please check these maps.

 

Edgemont Neighborhood Chair

Marian Monnahan

marian.monnahan@gmail.com

801-373-6054

 

Rock Canyon Neighborhood Chair

Maureen LaPray

4mlapray@gmail.com

801-375-5470

 

North Timpview Neighborhood Chair

Bonnie Morrow

bonniepr15@gmail.com

801-836-7793

 

Pleasant View Neighborhood Chair

Paul Evans

Mydna@byu.edu

801-226-4430

 

Riverbottoms

Ben Markham

Bsmarkham@gmail.com

801-374-3252

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.