Parking was a hot topic in local politics during 2017. Some citizens feel they can never park their cars close enough to their destination. Frustrated residents of dense neighborhoods feel they don’t have enough on-street space to park their cars. Small business owners feel that they need more parking to attract clients. Provo has taken a step in the right direction by hiring Matthew Taylor as the city’s parking administrator to help solve these issues.
Instead of debating these points, we’d like to point out that bicycle parking costs much less than car parking.
By choosing to ride, we decrease the need for more car parking spaces. This means businesses and governments can spend less on parking. What does this mean for you? Lower prices at the grocery store, lower tuition cost, lower taxes; etc.
As demand for bike parking increases, organizations will have to invest in quality bike parking. What makes ideal bike parking?
Along with a trusted lock, good bike parking keeps your bike safe.
A good bike racks will have the following characteristics:
Let’s all resolve to do the following to advocate for good bike parking throughout Provo:
Ask for bike parking where you shop.
Ask for bike parking where you work.
Ask for bike parking where you live.
Draw attention to businesses with attractive bike parking.
At the Committee’s first meeting of 2018 on January 4, we reorganized the structure and elected and appointed new leadership. The most impressive ingredient of the meeting was the energy and enthusiasm. We may have had a record turn-out with no fewer than 27 attendees.
Based on the charter we adopted late last year, we elected Chris Wiltsie as the new chair and Christina Catron as secretary with Rachel Whipple as assistant secretary. Equally as important, over twenty members of the committee agreed to act as coordinators for three different kinds of projects: bikeways, events and special, and other initiatives.
Here is a list of project coordinator appointments. If you would like to know more about or help out with a particular project, please contact the coordinator. If you are interested in serving in some capacity, please let us know.
Bulldog/1230 North (protected bike lanes): Aaron Skabelund
BRT-related lanes and College Connector Trail: Chris Blinzinger
(North) 500 West: David Harding, Shannon Bingham, Kirby Snideman, Aaron
(South) 500 W (bike lanes south of I-15): Becky Hunt
500 N (pedestrian issues, extension to University in 2018): Shannon Bingham
Canyon Road (bike lanes in Edgemont): Stuart Withers
200 E (neighborhood bikeway): Josh Cordon, Celeste Kennard, Hugh Van Wagenen
Here is the charter the committee adopted in late 2017 that went into effect beginning in 2018.
Provo Bicycle Committee
We are group of volunteers seeking to make bicycling an everyday part of people’s lives in our community. Recognized as the Mayor’s Provo Bicycle Committee, we work closely with representatives of city departments to accomplish this objective.
The purpose of the Provo Bicycle Committee is to advance the creation of infrastructure, programs, events, and performance evaluation across Provo that enable and encourage residents of all ages and abilities to get around safely using active transportation modes (primarily bicycling and walking), as well as mass transit.
This purpose will be pursued through the development and implementation of action-oriented projects that encourage local governments to increase and improve conditions for active transportation. Projects are primarily driven by needs identified by group members and may include working with resident stakeholders and reaching out to partner organizations, meetings with officials, and other coalition building exercises. The group will also monitor upcoming opportunities within Provo such as city, state, and UTA initiatives. Projects that lead to widespread citizen engagement and use tactical urbanism as a tool for effecting change are encouraged.
Regular monthly meetings will be held the first Thursday of the month from 5-6 pm. (Currently we meet in the Community Development second floor conference room at 330 W. 100 S.)
At each meeting, we will have a brief handout on active projects so new participants can fit their energy into existing efforts. If members would like information about their project included, they need to send a one-paragraph update by the Monday prior to the meeting. Include a brief overview of the project, its current status, and where support is needed.
Each officer shall
Serve a two- to three-year term or until their successors are elected
Be elected by majority vote via ballot by those present
Not serve more than two consecutive terms in the same office
Chair/Co-Chairs – Responsible for facilitating meetings and keeping the group on task
Secretary – Responsible for taking meeting minutes
Project Coordinators – Responsible for supporting campaigns, including posting petitions and updating information on the website and/or BikeProvo.org
In order to ensure this group is making positive steps forward, we have set some basic rules for how the group and meetings will operate:
Be inclusive – We want more people in Provo to be able to bike and walk safely, and to use mass transit. The more people and partners working to make this a reality, the more quickly and effectively this future can be realized.
No complaining – This group is action- and solution-oriented. You probably came to the Provo Bicycle Committee regarding a lack of infrastructure, a safety concern, or some other issue related to bicycling and/or walking. Let’s determine what the problem is, identify a solution, create a plan, and get to work.
No acronyms – In order to be inclusive, we strive to use language that supports mutual understanding between all group members and those who attend meetings.
You are responsible for the fate of your project – If you are the lead on a project, your own effort will largely dictate its success or failure. People in the group are willing to support you with expertise, connections, and strategy, but you must take ownership of your campaign.
Make a plan – A goal without a plan is just a wish. Developing a plan will allow more people to rally around your cause and increase the likelihood of your campaign’s success. A sample plan can be found in the Transportation Alternatives Activist Guide on pages 22 and 23.
Work gets done between meetings – Most of what will get accomplished will take place outside of the scheduled meetings. Time in the meetings is reserved for short updates, requests for support/guidance, and presentation of new projects. Always leave meetings with a strategy or next steps for moving your project forward.
Healthy Tension – We strive for a healthy tension with all of our projects and our work in general. This type of approach ensures that we push local communities to improve active transportation while maintaining positive relationships and fostering mutual benefit. We practice persistence and patience.
Cycling is one of the safest ways to get from A to B. Not only do you reduce your environmental footprint, but it’s also a great form of exercise. Unfortunately, even the safest cyclist could be involved in a crash. There’s no way to prevent a careless motorist, but there are some techniques you can utilize to reduce your chances of getting involved in a crash.
Situation #1: Getting Doored
This is one of the most dangerous situations for any cyclist, as there is very little time to react quickly enough to get out of the way of the motorist, and if you do swerve out of the way of a door, you may go into oncoming traffic. How can you avoid this?
You must ride at least 4’ away from any parked cars that you think may be opening their doors. If you can touch the car’s mirror, you’re too close. Obvious culprits include a line of parked cars and taxis, but you should also be cautious around any cars parked in the middle of the street with their hazards on. It’s likely they’re stopping to pick up or drop off a passenger.
Don’t be tempted to ring your bike’s bell when approaching cars. It does nothing. If a motorist hears it (they won’t), they still won’t realize that you’re behind the car in time. Fortunately, the law is on your site: In nearly every state, motorists have an obligation to check to make sure the coast is clear before opening their car doors. If you break a bone due to their carelessness, it’ll be paid for by their insurance.
Situation #2: Busses & Trucks
This isn’t a situation per se, but it’s something to look out for. So, what can you do to avoid an incident with a bus? Never ride to the right of busses. They often pull to the side and make stops, so it’s easy for you to be sideswiped or forced onto the sidewalk, if you’re lucky.
Trucks and busses also have the issue of blind spots: They won’t see you approaching from the side as a motorist would. Finally: It’s not like our odds are great against cars, but a mash-up between a cyclist and a truck is even worse. Give them their space and stay far behind them to stay out of their blind spot.
Situation #3: The Left Cross
This collision occurs when you’re riding straight and a car turns left at an intersection. A cyclist is significantly smaller than a car, so motorists may not be as apt to see you as they would another vehicle. There are a few ways you can make yourself more visible to motorists so they won’t turn into you:
Dress appropriately and have the required reflectors and headlights on your bicycle at the very least. You can also add reflective stickers and decals to your helmet, which you should wear at all times!
Don’t pass anyone on the right. If you’re to the right of a car, another vehicle turning left will have no hope of seeing you.
Situation #4: Pedestrians
Much like trucks or busses, this is not a “situation,” itself, but pedestrians can cause a lot of trouble, especially if you live in a busy city. My commute home from work involves passing around 5,000 people, all trying to get to the major train station in the city. Pedestrians will peek out around a parked car, see there’s no other cars approaching, and step directly in front of me.
You should ride in the center of your lane whenever you’re in an area with heavy foot traffic. This way, if they “peek out” in front of cars, you won’t crash into them. If you do see someone stroll in front of you: Bells are a solid idea, and investing in a loud bell (such as a SpurCycle) may help you get your point across.
Situation #5: Potholes and Loose Gravel
As dangerous as motorists are, many crashes are caused by poor terrain or simply falling off your bike. Be sure to take note of your environment as you ride, which includes the ground as well as the other cars. Only ride roads you know well at night if you can, as it’ll be much harder to navigate. Finally, and it seems obvious, but you should only ride at a speed that’s safe for your ability. It’s possible to stay loose and ride through a monster pothole, but only if you’re riding at a safe speed.
A wealth of information, tips, and videos related to Smart Cycling can be found on the Ride Smart page on the League of American Bicyclists’ website.
This article was provided by www.personalinjury-law.com, an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only. Be sure to review your local cycling ordinances to ensure you ride safe and legally.
We’re starting off the new year by welcoming Provo’s new mayor, Michelle Kaufusi.
Last month (despite being extraordinarily busy after taking office early) Mayor Kaufusi took the time to sit down with representatives of the Provo Bicycle Committee. We’re delighted to report that she invited us to continue our role as the mayor’s official committee.
Mayor Kaufusi was particularly interested in listening to our stories and finding ways that she could best help Provo become a safer, more welcoming place to ride a bicycle or walk.
A few weeks later, we were tickled when one of the new mayor’s first videos featured her taking the lane on two wheels…
When Mayor Curtis first took office eight years ago, bicycling was almost never mentioned. Now, it’s taken seriously in Provo and throughout the state as a way to encourage quality of life, improve our air, and create great neighborhoods for our families. Mayor Curtis took bicycling into the Provo mainstream, and we have high hopes that Mayor Kaufusi will be able to make Provo one of the best cities for cycling in the West!
Thank you for your (almost magical) advocacy for Provo residents who walk and ride bicycles in the city.
Eight years ago, a small group approached you and asked if they could work towards making Provo more bicycle-friendly. You invited us to become the mayor’s Provo Bicycle Committee.
Since then, you’ve worked in public and in private to make our streets safer for all road users, including kids headed to school, bicycle commuters, moms pushing strollers, and BYU students.
As you’re headed to Washington, we just wanted to let you know one thing. We remember.
Remember when you made it a priority to understand our concerns by riding your bicycle to work on Provo’s streets for 100 days in a year? We remember.
Remember when state agencies told us there was no way of getting bike lanes on University Ave? But, just before the project was finalized, the lanes showed up in the plan anyway? We remember.
Remember when you were willing to stand up (in spite of push-back) for trying new things? Like the city’s first bicycle-friendly intersection or the buffered bicycle lanes soon coming to Bulldog Boulevard? We remember.
Remember when your family rode a bicycle in the Independence Day Parade and invited community cyclists to join in the fun? We remember.
Remember when you hosted Bike-to-School Week, Clear-the-Air Challenges, and all of the Bike-to-Work Weeks. We remember.
Remember when you always heard us out, even when we weren’t the most patient? We remember.
Remember when you took a Taco Crawl throughout downtown on a tandem? We remember.
Remember all the little and big risks you took to make streets safer for all of us? We won’t forget.
Thank you, Mayor Curtis.
So many families, students, children, seniors, and people who enjoy Provo’s streets.