Provo Bicycle Plan Passes

provo bike imageThe Provo City Council passed the bike plan last night – unanimously.

After many years in the making, this plan lays the groundwork for transforming Provo into city that is truly friendly for all road users including bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers. It will also be remembered as a happy tribute to our friend and bike advocate Andrew Ungerman who passed away this week. His dedication and work on the plan from the very beginning, made a big difference. Thank you all for your support over the years. There is still much to do, but we now have a very solid foundation for future work.

You can see the bike plan resolution here. Aaron Skabelund represented the Provo Bicycle Committee last night with the following comments:

I am grateful for this invitation from council chair Hal Miller to talk about the role of the Provo Bicycle Committee in the formulation of this bicycle master plan. This is a banner day for bicycling in Provo. (This afternoon, I attended a meeting where the BYU administration announced that it would be implementing almost every single element of its Campus Bicycle Master Plan as it completes the Campus Unification Plan.) And tonight, we celebrate an important step in improving the quality of life of our city.

Yet my heart is heavy. As some of you know, this last week our community lost one of its most active members in Andrew Ungerman. Since Zac Whitmore and I reestablished the Provo Bicycle Committee back in 2009, after it had been dormant for a number of years, Andrew was a quiet but committed member of the Committee, one of the most consistent volunteers at the Provo Bicycle Collective, and visible year-round riding back and forth to UVU where he was a student. One of my fondest memories of Andrew is decorating cookies with him and Zac in preparation for a ride celebrating the reopening of Provo River Trail two years ago, a ride the mayor and several council members joined.  Tonight we will gather at the Court House at 6:30 and participate in another ride—a Ride of Silence in memory of Andrew.

In many ways, Andrew represented what the Provo Bicycle Committee is all about—respect for all road users, a healthy environment and active lifestyle, family and friends, quality of life, safety, and most of all community.

The Provo Bicycle Plan is a document that can transform our community by making our streets truly public roads and complete streets—welcoming and safe for users of all modes of transportation—drivers, bus riders, pedestrians, runners, and yes bicyclists. The plan is the product of many years of work and collaboration.

The city’s Engineering Department deserves immense credit. Years ago working with an earlier iteration of the Provo Bicycle Committee, Engineering had the foresight to create a number of bike lanes throughout the city. Such forward thinking provides Provo with a solid foundation to do something great.

We are blessed in Provo to have the 15-mile long Provo River Trail, the most popular amenity in our wonderful park system.  It is a community treasure that connects residents with the river, mountains, parks, workplaces, schools, and our history. I commend those who allocated the funds necessary to build the Parkway, and the Parks Department which does an excellent job maintaining this bike/ped path.

I’d like to thank Mayor Curtis who has been immensely supportive since Zac and I met with him in early 2010 and he immediately recognized our committee as the Mayor’s Provo Bicycle Committee.  He leads by example and it has been wonderful to see his commitment to ride to work 100 days both last year and again this year. I am pleased that he will give the closing keynote speech with Mayor Caldwell of Ogden at the Utah Bike Summit next month in Salt Lake. The Engineering Department and the Bike Committee will also be presenting about our progress in making Provo more bicycle friendly. I’d like to invite the entire council to join us at the summit on April 25th. Bike Utah has indicated they will likely hold the summit in Provo next year.

The Bicycle Master Plan was made possible in part thanks to Mountainland Association of Governments. A Stakeholder committee composed of representatives from MAG, UDOT, UTA, BYU, the City Council, several city departments, and one representative from the Bike Committee met for over a year to hammer out the plan. The final technical document was prepared by one of the premier bicycle planning agencies Alta Planning and Design, whose lead consultant Travis Jensen is a graduate of BYU’s traffic engineering program and chair of the earlier Provo Bicycle Committee.  Several public meetings were held and according to Casey Serr public involvement and input were extraordinarily high.

So too was the involvement and support of the council. During the formulation of the plan, the council and some members of the administration traveled to Boulder, Colorado, for a first-hand look at a world-class bicycle and pedestrian network of over 100 miles of multiuse pathways. We appreciate the council’s support of our efforts to make our community more liveable, family-friendly, and our roads safe for all users. Recent tragic accidents involving bicyclists and pedestrians remind us that there is much work to do. As we as a community create an interconnected network of bikeways and a culture that make it safer to bicycle, people—young and old—will ride Provo will be a healthier, happier, and more livable community. Thank you.

City Council to Hold (Hopefully Final) Vote on Provo Bicycle Plan

provoWe’ve been waiting and working since 2010…and now it’s finally happening.

The city council will be voting on whether or not to adopt the Provo Bicycle Master Plan (and a summary of the plan as a chapter of the Transportation Master Plan) during their March 18th city council meeting.

Many of you have been involved with giving feedback and helping to create the plan through open houses and workshops.

Bike Committee Chair Aaron Skabelund and I (Jamie) met with Council Chair Miller last week and the council chair expressed his own support for the plan. He is also recommending that the council consider the plan when making city budget and CIP (capital improvement projects) decisions.

The plan is a way to be more forward-thinking when it comes to creating streets that are safe for all road users – pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers. Cities that have implemented similar plans have seen a significant increase in students that choose to attend college without a car. The plan will make our streets safer (particularly important after the recent accidents we’ve been having) and improve our air. Passing the plan will also help Provo’s reputation as a healthy, family-friendly community.

Although nothing can be certain, we believe that the council will choose to adopt the plan. Both TMAC and the Planning Commission gave their full support for the plan. Council member questions seemed to be answered to satisfaction during the council work discussion and there was a unanimous vote to move the item forward for formal consideration at the council meeting.

If you would like to attend the council meeting, everyone is welcome:

When: Tuesday, March 18, 2014. 5:30 p.m. (It appears that this will be the first item discussed.)

Where: City Council Chambers, Provo City Center 351 W. Center St.

If you would like to contact the city council (and perhaps express your thanks for their consideration and / or explain how a bicycle-friendly city is important to your family), you can also do so:

Gary Winterton | winterton.gary@gmail.com  | Phone: 801-372-6633

Stephen Hales | shales@provo.org | Phone: 385-204-6368

Hal Miller | halmillerprovo3@gmail.com | Phone: 801-691-5737

Kay Van Buren | kay.provocouncil@gmail.com | Phone: 801-420-0743

Kim Santiago| ksantiago@provo.org | Phone: 801-836-3008

Dave Sewell | dsewell@provo.org | Phone: 801-380-5103

Gary Garrett | garygarrett88@gmail.com | Phone: 801-471-9191

Thank you for your support and patience during this extensive public process. Without city leaders and dedicated cyclists coming together to help create a vision of what could be, we wouldn’t have had such a forward-thinking plan.

We are hoping to throw a community-wide celebration during Provo Bike Week. Keep checking the blog (and your bicycle newsletter) for an update.

Tragic Bicycle Accident in Lehi: Please Consider Donating to the Memorial Funds

Our hearts go out to the victims and loved ones affected by the tragic bicycle accident on Redwood Road. The accident took the lives of two experienced cyclists headed to work Bryan Byrge, 39, and John Coons, 35.

Please consider donating to the Paypal memorial funds to help with funeral expenses and supporting the victims’ families: John Coons Fund and Bryan Byrge Fund. Beginning tomorrow, you should be able to donate by walking into any Utah Wells Fargo location and requesting to contribute.

Whether you drive, ride, or walk, please be careful out there.

Important: Provo Council Voting to Move Bike Plan Forward on 3/4/14 Meeting

IMG_1877

Tomorrow (3/4/14) at the Provo City Council’s work session, the council will be discussing whether or not to move the Provo Bicycle Plan forward for consideration during the next council meeting.

The Provo Bicycle Committee has been involved with providing feedback for the plan since meetings began in 2010. Provo has been fortunate to have a plan drafted over so many years by major stakeholders: Provo City Engineering, UDOT, UTA, BYU, MAG, Parks and Rec, the Provo Bicycle Committee, TMAC, the Planning Commission, numerous public meetings, and Alta Planning and Design – one of the top firms in the nation.

As the plan was originally expected to be completed in 2012, many people are now feeling anxious about its future.

Passing the bicycle plan will be a major win for everyone and something that the whole city can celebrate.

We strongly encourage the council to:

  1. Pass the plan and share your support of streets that are friendly to bicyclists and pedestrians.
  2. Designate implementation of phase one as a high priority of the council.
  3. Choose to fund phase one as a council priority.

The plan is a way to be more forward-thinking when it comes to creating streets that are safe for all road users – pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers. Cities that have implemented similar plans have seen a significant increase in students that choose to attend college without a car. The plan will make our streets safer (particularly important after the recent accidents we’ve been having) and improve our air. Passing the plan will also help Provo’s reputation as a healthy, family-friendly community.

I’m including some articles documenting what has happened with the plan recently in case you’d like to review them.

It has been a long road for complete street supporters in Provo, but we’re hopeful that the council will work together to push the plan forward and ultimately pass it later this month.

 

Recent Bike Plan Articles

Provo’s Bike Plan Would Add Trails, Connect Cities (Herald 7-14-11…just wanted to show when things started)

Provo Planning More, Safer Bike Lanes (Herald 1-27-13)

Proposed Plans for Provo Bike Lanes Near Approval  (Deseret News 2-16-13)

Provo Council Gets Bike Master Plan Draft (Herald 6-6-13)

Bike Lovers Propose to Decrease Accidents, Increase Business (Herald 7-28-13)

Provo Council Set to Adopt Bike Master Plan (Herald 8-19-13)

Bike Lovers Press Provo for “Revolution” (Herald 8-20-13)

FAQs About the Provo Bike Plan (BikeProvo.org 11-16-13)

Save the Provo Bike Plan (ProvoBuzz 11-19-13)

Bike Plan Delayed in Paperwork (Herald 12-1-13)

Cyclists Rally for Provo Bike Plan (Herald 11-20-13)