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).

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Share Your Transportation Ideas at TransPlan40

Utah County is inviting residents to come out, see what projects are planned for the future, and share their thoughts on transportation priorities. The gatherings will happen at several Transportation and Planning Community Fairs around the valley. The one closest to us will be held in Orem (93 N. 400 E.) on October 22nd, from 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.

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Prior to the meetings, check out the Mountainland Association of Governments website to take an educational quiz on how transportation projects work and share your comments with the government.

What kind of bicycle infrastructure to you want Provo to have in the next 40 years? This is your opportunity to help make your transportation hopes a reality.

Slate Canyon Trailhead Development Begins

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Good news for recreational cyclists – development has now begun on the Slate Canyon Trailhead. According to the Mayor’s blog, the first phase of trailhead construction is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

Eventually, Slate Canyon will include a full bike skills park to rival those in Park City and Eagle Mountain. Check out this post from Aaron Skabelund to see what we kind of bicycle facilities we can hope for in the future.

bike skills park - features

Free Valet Bicycle Parking for Friday’s Downtown Celebration

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Headed to downtown Provo on Friday night for the 5th annual Rooftop Concert featuring the Neon Trees, the opening of 5 new businesses, the art displays, or the street food? Your best bet is to ride your bicycle.

Traffic will be busy down there. But, Canyon Cycles and the Provo Bicycle Collective are happy to watch your bicycle for you at the free bike valet service in front of Canyon Cycles (187 W. Center St.) just West of to the on-street concert.

Downtown Provo is the place to be on Friday. See you there.