New Signs for the Provo River Trail

Bold green signs are coming to the Provo River Parkway Trail soon, making it easy for cyclists and pedestrians to navigate their way from the trail to the surrounding streets. In early January, the Provo Bicycle Committee asked Parks & Rec if signs could be created. Just two weeks later, Doug came to the next committee meeting with the first sign already created! Whoohoo!

The new Provo River Trail signs will let riders know what streets they are crossing. This will make it easier and safer for cyclists to use the trail for transportation. In case of emergency, trail users will be able to more easily identify their location and tell 911 operators where they are. Thanks, Provo Parks and Rec!

Bikes Suck

I never thought I would say it but after this video I have to agree that bikes are just a hassle.

The police officer says, “So just how fast have you been driving today sir.” The end text says, “Cycling is annoying isn’t it?” Pretty funny stuff.

Bike Lanes Will Get You a Job

(Provo City creating jobs and bike lanes on LakeShore Drive)

I recently came across an awesome report from PERI (Political Economy Research Institute). In the report they outlined the estimations of employment based on the different types of road work which can be done. These types are; bicycle lanes/boulevards, pedestrian facilities and, road repair/construction. Here are some interesting numbers straight from the report;

“While road construction projects create approximately 7 jobs per $1 million spending, pedestrian projects create over 11 jobs for the same level of spending, and bicycle projects create up to 14 jobs.”

As can be seen bicycle and pedestrian facilities create a greater number of jobs than regular road construction with bicycle lanes and boulevards creating double the amount of jobs. These numbers are pulled in from a few different perspectives. There is the direct effect, indirect effect, and the combined effect of both of these on the local economy.

Looking first at the direct effect they analyzed material intensity to labor intensity. As it turns out bike lanes and pedestrian paths take less materials and require more labor. This means that more people are paid for work done and less resources are used up in the process.  This labor is specifically involved in the engineering department of the city or business that is doing the initial work. The indirect effects have to do with industries which make signs, haul material, and manufacture the general things needed for said projects. The combined effect of indirect and direct employment is the jobs that are created by these two groups spending money, think food services and health care.

I will let PERI explain the really neat thing about this report and, how it can help cities as well as businesses realize the economic validity of complete streets and livable communities;

“Other studies have shown that investments in bicycle and pedestrian facilities can reduce carbon emissions and improve quality of life. Here we find that these investments bring an additional benefit to the community: they are an important source of job creation.”

With that said we can see that bicycles will give you cleaner air, a better lifestyle and, jobs. Now all we need to do is get this information to our elected officials so they to can see the benefits of making the streets not only safe but, usable for everyone. The original report can be found here and, if you are interested in sharing a link to the report or, this article, you can find the city council emails here. Ride safe, stay warm and, enjoy this break in the weather.

Support the Proposed Westside Multi-Use Path

See the little blue squares in the map above? Those could turn into a multi-use bicycle and pedestrian path if enough cyclists show their support.

Provo is currently considering the Northwest Connector project designed to make it easier for cars to travel north/south in the city’s west side. A part of the proposal includes a multi-user path near Utah Lake.

A public open house to discuss the proposed road and multi-user path will be held on February 10th from 4-6pm at Lakeside Elementary. It’s a great time to check out the project and show your support. More information about the open house and the multi-user path plans can be found on the Provo Northwest Connector website.

Bike Committee Meeting – Thursday, January 20

If you want to make a difference for bikes in our city, don’t forget to come to the Provo Bicycle Committee Meeting tonight!

Here’s what Committee Chairman Zac Whitmore has to say about the meeting:

“This week we are narrowing down priority lanes. We have a great group from BYU that is going to do some connectivity analysis for us. We will continue to get the subcommittees organized with the hopes of having actual meetings by the end of the month. Doug Robbins from Parks and Rec will have more information for us on signage and bike parking. As always if you have something to add (lanes, snow clearing, safety, etc) please come out and help us make Provo a more livable community.”

Check out the full details on Facebook. Everyone interested in bikes is invited!

Yes Yes Yes

I do not know much about Kia the car. I have actually owned a Kia bicycle and I believe so has my good friend Tod. I usually am not pulled in by marketing and am weary of big business as well as cars. However the message below is so simple and different from anything I have ever seen I had to share it. When I saw this commercial it made me smile and I hope it will make you smile to. (Notice the ‘share the road’ text at the bottom of the screen when they are in the city.)

Get More Lanes in 1 Minute

Good morning. Looks like the Provo Bicycle Committee has a survey going around to help prioritize where new potential lanes are going. If you want safer more rideable streets in Provo take a minute and mark down the top 10 roads in Provo that you would like to see with bike lanes. This is going directly to Provo City and a group at BYU that is helping with some connectivity analysis. If you are looking for the easiest way to make a difference it does not get any easier than this. . The survey is due on Thursday afternoon so don’t delay. You can find everything here. Also make sure to share this on all the different interweb outlets Facespace, twittle, electronic mail, etc.

Do Roads Pay for Themselves?

“Bicycles do not have a right to the road because they do not pay for the roads.” This is an argument I have been in more times than I want to think about. Luckily this is not an argument I have ever been in here in Provo. However, I believe it may reflect a general mindset one that, even I as a cyclist, was not sure how to answer at first. Recently I  stumbled across an interesting article about how much roads pay for themselves and thought that we could all learn something from it.

So, the question stands, “Do roads pay for themselves?” The report comes from a public interest group that crunched some numbers and came up a little short of the answer yes. Actually they came up about 600 billion (2005) short of yes.

One of the biggest reasons that I have heard the above statement is based on the idea of the gas tax. The gas tax is what pays for roads, right? Wrong. Since 1947 the gas tax and all other road user fees combined (tolls, state park entry, etc.) have actually left a 600 billion dollar tab for all of us to pay into. There was a stint in the 1930’s when all gas tax went to the highway system. That lasted for 17 years. This was also before the start of the large interstate projects which began in the 1950’s. Essentially what the report says is that even if we allocated the gas tax to just roads we would have to raise it as high as 70 cents or more (currently user fees barley pay for 50% or roads). That 70 cents however is only applicable to just the roads. The report says nothing of the larger reaching effects of road expansion and use by only motorized vehicles. If we were to add in wear and tear on the road, air quality, utility expansion to support urban sprawl, as well as the impact car-centric facilities have on the quality of life, we would actually have to raise the tax by $2.10.

As can be seen roads most definitely do not pay for themselves through only one user base. We are all paying for them. Not just with money either but with quality of life and, clean air. Do I think that roads are evil? No. Do I think that cars are evil? Used like a privilege and not a right I do not think cars are evil. What I am trying to point out and, what this report expressly points out, is that roads are for all users. Cars do not have anymore of a right to be there than pedestrians. Bikes do not have anymore of a right to be there than cars. So why is it that roads are constantly being built with out any other user in mind than the driver? I believe it is because most of us buy into this idea.

Now that you know the truth you are obligated to tell at least one person. As a result that person will tell some one else and, someday not to far off, every new road will have car lanes, bike lanes, and great sidewalks. Even if that does not happen we, as users of the roads that we all pay for, can be more aware of our rights as well as, the rights other users have to get from point A to point B the best way we know how. We can not blame ourselves if everyone does not know that the bike is the best way :).

For further reading Streetsblog had a great write up and the PDF can be found here.

Good To Be Back

As you may or may not have noticed BikeProvo has not had very much content the last month or so. The reason for this is that we were having some intense technical issues. It looks like all of that is finally come and gone. We can once again keep bringing you to notch bicycle information to keep you rolling.

While we have been out there is so much that I have wanted to post. Below you will find a list of all things bicycle that have caught my eye recently. I promise that following the links will be well worth your time. I hope that everyone is staying warm while riding or at least dreaming of riding when it gets warmer.

  • To get the list rolling we start with a great idea from Peter Miller. Have you ever been in a situation where you wish you could a) tell a driver that they are driving poorly or b) apply some u-lock justice. Well now you can do the less violent action with this image some glue and some magnets. We are printing some of these off and making sure they are in a convenient place while riding.
  • Personally I do not care if someone is Conservative, Liberal, or somewhere in between. However, this article has some great talking points about bicycles and bicycling that are good for those times when people ask, “Why do you ride bikes?”
  • This piece comes from Copenheganize.com. While it is about cycling propaganda I mainly put it here to inspire some of you who are artistically inclined to make some similar posters for Provo. We will be waiting for emails with images attached.
  • Finally we have a great submission from one of our readers (thanks Krysta) it is a Tumblr dedicated to famous people on bikes. Enjoy

I have so much more to add but, this is probably a sufficient list for now. Keep checking in for more great bicycle information and inspiration.