Say Hello to Provo’s Newest Public Pathway and DIY Neighborhood Bikeway on 800 E

This project began with a thought in the middle of the night. The thought occurred after the BYU Campus Bicycle Committee discussed creating a back-streets bike route from Wymount student housing to campus through the Tree Streets as a safe(r) alternative route to 900 E, a narrow, 35 MPH fast but often faster, and dangerous four lane road with minimal shoulder space.

That got me thinking. What other student housing areas do not have safe way to campus? The area around 450 N just east of 900 E came to mind. The area, which includes such mega-apartment complexes as King Henry, Belmont, and Centennial is one of the most densely populated areas in Provo. Shouldn’t bicycling and walking to campus, which is less than a mile away, be an viable option for students and others who live there? But just like, actually even much more than for students who live at Wymount, 900 E acts as a barrier to bicycling and walking to campus for students there. At least from Wymount, there is now a new multi-use trail on the west side of the street that students and others can use. Nothing like that exists on 900 E to the southeast.

We knew from the Provo Bicycle Master Plan that 800 E, a quiet street that runs from Center Street up to 820 N and BYU, had been designated to become a Neighborhood Bikeway (like 200 E) as an alternative to 900 E as well as to narrow, busy 700 E. But how could we get students from that housing area over to 800 without subjecting them to treacherous 900 E?

One night, I woke up and had an epiphany, though admittedly a naive one. Perhaps some property owners would allow us to build a path between their lots to bridge the gap between 900 and 800 E. I decided to jog over there on my morning run and check things out. What I discovered was a dream come true. A pathway already existed. It connected the southwest corner of the bioplasma donation center on 900 E to 800 E. (For those that remember Provo in the 70s, the plasma center was once the Star Palace.) Further research revealed that it was an official city alleyway and therefore public right-of-way. It was once a path that grade school students and others regularly used to get to the Joaquin Elementary School that once stood near 700 E. This path was the key to providing students living in that area with a safe route to campus by foot or bike and could act as an alternative to driving or taking the Ryde student shuttle. All students needed to do was cross 900 at the signalized intersection at 450 N and walk through the block to 800 E and they would be on a quiet street that led them up to campus. Here is a map of the alleyway that was part of the Menlove Plat B Subdivision in 1943.

But this would not be a route unless we made it more appealing and safe and publicized its existence, so active transportation proponents took things into their own hands–literally. In late 2017, volunteers from bikeprovo worked with residents of the Joaquin Neighborhood (who all happened to be part of the bicycling community) to apply for a $5000 neighborhood grant from the city council and secured another $3000 from UTA to make a series of improvements, most of which have now been implemented. Thanks to Wayne Leavitt and others in the Joaquin Neighborhood for all their support. Here are the routes to campus we aimed to create.

This fall, volunteers led by bicycling advocate extraordinaire Marlo Jensen and Colony resident and urban planning major Miles Miller cleared vegetation that had overgrown the pathway and another one that continued westward connecting 800 to the Colony and 700 E as well as 500 N. Here are before and after photos of the latter pathway (looking from opposite directions) between 800 and the Colony.

 

 

 

 

 

Also group of residents of the Maeser Neighborhood, through which the 800 E Neighborhood Bikeway will extend via 850 E, supported the project by organizing a goathead weed elimination clean-up along 850 E by the Vista Ridge Apartments on the first Saturday of October. Not only did the project rid the area of thousands of tire-puncturing thorns, it also generated hours to help match the grant received by their neighbors in Joaquin. And it was a lot of fun.

The grant we received was used to pay for surveying work and excavation on the pathway between 900 and 800, which was narrow, asphalt, and in poor condition. Then over two weekends in late October, dozens of volunteers from the bicycling community, the Joaquin and Rivergrove Neighborhoods, and BYU, with invaluable help from the Parks Department (in the form of lending us concrete forms and tools), poured and finished 15 yards of concrete to create a beautiful public pathway. Project organizers thank Western Paving for their donation worth $430 and especially Geneva Rock for its donation of 9 yards of concrete worth around $1350. We are particularly appreciate concrete wizards Terry Smith, Bob Coleman and Zac Whitmore, who directed our efforts.

Meanwhile, the Public Works Department, drawing on the funds we received from UTA, painted bike markings on 800 E from Center Street to 700 N. Thanks to Jared Penrod of Public Works and the Streets Department for being great partners on this project.

To further beautify the pathway, volunteers led by the Provo Bicycle Collective’s Kira Johnson, drawing on a $250 grant from the Mayor’s Office, painted a mural inspired by street artist Leuven’s iconic “Bike Provo” design on a shed next to the pathway. It looks awesome.

The project is not yet quite complete. The city still needs to post “Neighborhood Bikeway” and “BIKES may take the lane” signs and add some more bike markers on the route, and do a curb cut on 820 N to ease bicycle access to the multi-use trail behind J-Dawgs that will take bicyclists and pedestrians up to the scramble intersection at 900 N and East Campus Drive (which is much safer than the 700 E/900 N/South Campus Drive intersection). Also, pedestrian access from 450 N to the intersection at 900 E is less than ideal. On the north side of the street along VASA Fitness, there is not a sidewalk and pedestrians must walk around parked cars. On the south side, there is not a sidewalk and usually space to walk along the parking lot but pedestrians have to deal with a trip hazards especially next to the Yoga studio (which was once a Mad Dog bike shop). It is sad that for decades such poor walking conditions have gone unaddressed, but we are hopeful that our efforts will lead to improvements being made there too.

To bring attention to this route, in the coming months we will post signs along this route (as well as along 200 E, another new Neighborhood Bikeway). We are thankful to the Utah County Health Department for a grant to pay for the signs.

We are confident that better bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure will keep residents (and in this case especially students) safe, encourage them to be more physically active, give them additional transportation options, and improve their quality of life. We are proud of this project, particularly the work of volunteers to construct a pathway for the public, but we urge the city to make improving walkability and bikeability a priority, particularly in areas around BYU, by allocating dedicated transportation funding to building sidewalks and bicycle infrastructure.  According to Census and Department of Transportation data, around 15% of Provo residents walk and bike to work and school, yet our city transportation budget and policies are almost entirely focused on encouraging and facilitating driving. Provo has achieved this 15% mode shares through circumstance (primarily by BYU requiring most of its single students to live within a 2 mile radius of campus) RATHER than city policies that fairly and wisely fund modes of transportation according to their actual current ratios and according to which ones are best for our quality of life and quality of air. We also urge the city and BYU to work collaboratively to reduce single-occupant auto commutes to campus and maximize those completed on transit, by bike, and on foot. Advocates of walking and bicycling are stepping up and acting. It is time for our elected leaders, city officials, and largest employers to do so as well.

 

 

Say Hello to Provo’s First Neighborhood Bikeway

One of the greatest boosts to Provo’s quality of life in 2018 began to take shape on 200 E, between 800 N and 600 S in the Joaquin and Maeser neighborhoods, in the form of a project that prioritizes active transportation–bicycling and walking–through the transformation of this street into Provo’s first Neighborhood Bikeway.

Sometimes called “bicycle boulevards,” “neighborhood greenways,” “neighborways,” “local-street bikeways,” “calm streets” or “quietways,” neighborhood bikeways “are streets with low motorized traffic volumes and speeds [moving no faster than 25 mph, with 20 mph preferred], designated and designed to give bicycle travel priority,” which makes them ideal for pedestrians too. They “use signs, pavement markings, and speed and volume management measures to discourage through trips by motor vehicles and create safe, convenient bicycle [and pedestrian] crossings of busy arterial streets.” Transforming 200 E into a neighborhood bikeway required redesigning it so that bicyclists of all ages and abilities feel comfortable sharing the travel lane with automobiles. Here are some photos of neighborhood bikeways across the country.

200 E is an ideal street for a neighborhood bikeway because it provides a 14-block connection from the Provo Frontrunner Station via 600 S to the downtown area and the ramp that leads up to the BYU campus at 800 N. (In the future, it will connect nicely to a route leading to the Canyon Road bikeway via 150 E.) 200 E can operate as a safe and pleasant route for residents of the Maeser and Joaquin neighborhoods on bike and foot to connect to 500 N and destinations such as the Library and the Rec Center.

Transforming 200 E into a neighborhood bikeway has taken many years and been a collaborative effort between the city, neighborhood and bicycling advocates, UDOT, and UTA. After the Provo Bicycle Master Plan (2013) called for 200 East to become a route for bicyclists, activists from the Joaquin and Maeser neighborhood and the wider bicycle community built support for the speedy implementation of this designation. First, under the cover of night (though with the city’s tacit approval–this is Provo, after all!), they painted shared-lane markers on the street from Center Street to 800 N in May 2015. A few weeks later, they went further and in an act of (again sanctioned) tactical urbanism transformed three blocks–from 500 to 800 N–temporarily transformed that part of the street to make it safe(r) for bicyclists and pedestrians, and then hosted a community party to introduce the implemented concepts to the wider public. The process was aided by plan developed by Alta Planning + Design, part of which can be seen below.

The first major improvement to 200 East was the construction of Provo’s first (and Utah’s second) bicycle-friendly signal at 300 South, to create a “convenient bicycle crossing of a busy arterial street,” as part of UDOT’s rebuild of State Street in 2016-17. Here is what the intersection looks like. Bicyclists cross the intersection in the middle and have their own signal. Pedestrian crossings were also improved at this intersection and elsewhere along 300 S as a result of this project, ending years of the Maeser Neighborhood being sliced into two parts by a fast road that was not safe to cross for seven blocks from University Avenue to 700 E.

This summer, as part of UTA’s construction of the UVX BRT line, Provo’s second (and Utah’s third) bicycle-friendly signal at 700 North was constructed bridging another busy arterial street. This is what the intersection looks like now. The signal has been operational since July, but as you can see it still needs paint on the road like on 300 S, as well as some tweaks to the signage and bollards. The UVX contractor will get to it soon.

These two bicycle-friendly intersections also serve another important function: they eliminate all left-hand turns on and off of 200 E and all through automobile traffic at these two intersections, which helps to reduce the traffic volume on the street.

Also this summer, Public Works constructed curb-extensions at five intersections at 600, 500, 400, 300, and 200 N, which narrowed the width of 200 E at these corners and all the cross-streets except 500 N. In addition, the city built Provo’s first mini round-about at 200 N. Curb-extensions, which are also called “bulb-outs” and “curb-outs,” narrow the width of the street for pedestrians, and they and the mini round-about both help to reduce traffic speeds. In this photo of 200 N,  you can see both the curb extensions and the mini round-about.

Finally, in recent weeks crews have posted signs telling bicyclists and drivers that “BIKES may use full lane” and painted in shared-lane markers on the street.

More work needs to be done. Way-finding signage needs to be installed. More “BIKES may use the full lane” signs need to go up. The posted speed limit needs to be lowered to 20 MPH from 25 MPH, although these design changes are more important and already encouraging traffic calming and speeds appropriate for a residential street. The bike lane on the east side of the street between 800 and 500 N needs to be removed and on-street parking restored because bicyclists may now use the full lane. The intersection at 800 N needs to be addressed. Here is how Alta imagined it might look like. Isn’t this design, which prioritizes pedestrians and bicyclists going north and south, and vehicles going east and west, a lot better than the mess it is now?

And more sharrow markers need to be painted and “BIKES may use the full lane” signs need to be installed south of Center Street. (The work the city has completed so far has focused on the Joaquin Neighborhood north of Center but in the coming years we can expect to see curb-extensions and these other improvements be implemented south of Center to 600 S in the Maeser Neighborhood.) 

Thanks to collaboration between neighborhoods and the bicycling community and the city’s Public Works Department, UDOT, and UTA, people on bicycle and foot now have a safe(r), pleasant, and convenient way to move along this corridor from the Frontrunner Station, downtown, and BYU. The route connects (or will connect) with other bikeways forming a network that provides people with more choices to move around Provo. In short, these improvements are about giving people transportation choices and improving the quality of life for everyone in our community.

Want a Happy Ending if your Bike is Stolen?

By Norman Thurston, Utah State House District 64 Representative and bikeprovo Board Member

A year ago, I decided to stop using my car to get to work. It’s about 2 miles from my house to the FrontRunner station in Provo, then another 2 from Salt Lake Central to work. I saved up my money and invested in a nice commuter bike (Specialized Crosstrail) and added some features thanks to some suggestions from a friend in the Provo bicycling community. I registered it with Provo City at the BIke Collective. It was also registered on bikeindex.org

Here I am on Bike to Work Day, along with Lucy Ordaz, another bikeprovo board member, at UTA’s breakfast station.

At work, we have a covered bike rack right outside the front door which made it easy to lock up and get in the building.

On Sept 19, when I came out out the building to ride home, there was no bike, and the cut lock was laying on the ground. I called 911 and a patrol officer from SLC PD responded surprisingly quickly and took the report. Fortunately, the bike rack is covered by our security video system, so they were able to provide SLCPD with a close up of the person that stole it as well as video of the whole sequence of events.

Here is the video (the suspect appears at about 44 seconds):

The woman who stole it had actually come into the building, talked with the security desk to ask about using the restroom, then left the building. A minute later she was seen coming back straight to the bike rack with some kind of tool that she used to cut the lock and calmly ride away.

With the video evidence, SLCPD was able to identify the thief (Oct 17) and get the prosecutor to file charges in a few weeks. (At the moment, they are still looking for her, but are confident that she will show up sooner rather than later.)

About 2 months after it was stolen, I got a call from the detective that the bike had been located at a pawn shop in South Salt Lake. They found it there during a routine check of serial numbers in the pawn database.

The detective was very helpful in getting through the process to seize the bike and get it returned. It took about 3 weeks from the time they found it until I got it back.
It is in suprisingly good shape – someone added a kcikstand and a water bottle holder – but it does need a tune-up now.

Lessons learned:
1. Make sure you keep the receipt showing the serial number and the value. (That was very helpful to the police.)
2. Register the bike with local PD and on bikeindex
3. Get a really good lock (I had a cable lock, now I have a U-lock)
4. Don’t park in the same place every day.
5. Keep the bike inside a building if you can.

2018 National Bike Summit

This is report on the 2018 National Bike Summit by Elias Flores, who participating in the gathering in early March. My apologies for the delay in posting his report. -Aaron Skabelund

“The National Bike Summit sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists was fascinating. The summit took place in Washington D.C., which is surprisingly bicycle and pedestrian friendly. The capital’s investments in bike-share, bike lanes, and a trail system are paying off. Not only does the district have the second-highest percentage of bike commuters among major U.S. cities, it was awarded gold status as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country. The summit featured presentations and workshops about how to make communities more bicycle friendly. I had the opportunity to participate in a mobile workshop on how a large regional university–the University of Maryland in College Park–partnered with city and county partners to establish a bike share system that is open to everyone and is connected to all major destinations. Establishing such a system was not easy. Multiple agencies and organizations wanted their voices to be heard. From this case study, I learned how a travel demand management tool can be implemented in a regional area that spans several different jurisdictions. About 2,500 trips a day are now completed at the university and in the city of College Park. Provo is an ideal place for bike share to be implemented. Doing so will improve our community’s quality of life.”

Bike Racks Make it Convenient to Ride Daily

It’s about 8 am. I walk outside and hop on my bike to head to work. There’s a few kids on bikes headed toward school along with a few adults going to school too. There’s a few others that are on their way to work, like me. Refreshed from my commute to and from work, I roll in to the condominium complex around 5:15 pm. I see some other people coming back from work or school and tons of kids out on bikes. What I don’t see are bike racks. Instead bikes are being locked to trees, stairwells, and light posts or they sit on the grass. You find them on balconies and in stairwells, which makes it inconvenience and difficult to use them daily. We need bike racks!

After working with the HOA board and the management company, we were able to have two bike racks installed at my complex. Don’t let their emptiness fool you. You see, everyone’s out cycling, but by dark the racks don’t seem so lonely.

-Ben McMurry

Impressions of the 2018 Utah Bike Summit

Provo was represented at annual Utah Bike Summit by nearly twenty people who live and/or work in Provo. The contingent rivaled the number of attendees even when the summit was held at the Provo Library back in 2015. Provo attendees included neighborhood chairs, city officials, public health experts, BYU representatives and BYU students, and local tourism officials.

This year’s summit was held at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley City on Tuesday, March 13. Many of the Provo participants took Frontrunner to the Murray Station and then enjoyed a lovely ride on the Jordan River Pathway to the venue.

The conference featured keynote speaker, Guillermo Penalosa, the former Commissioner of Parks, Sports and Recreation in Bogotá and chair of 8 80 Cities that is dedicated to simple but powerful philosophy; if you create a great city for an 8 year old and an 80 year old, you will create a successful city for all people. In addition, officials from regional UDOT offices presented and took questions, and panels explored advocacy, planning & engineering, and health in three sessions of simultaneous presentations. In one of those, committee member and Timp Neighborhood Chair Shannon Bingham and Provo City traffic engineers Jared Penrod and Shane Winters presented on the 500 North active transportation project.

Here are some impressions of some of the Provo attendees:

“Hearing Gil Penalosa speak about healthy, vibrant, and sustainable communities for everyone regardless of age, gender, or social status [was great]. His focus on the design and use of parks and streets as great public places, as well as sustainable mobility: walking, riding bicycles, taking public transit, and new uses of cars was the highlight of the summit for me.”

-Shannon Bingham, Timp Neighborhood Chair

“I went to the bike summit expecting to hear about many of the small details of cycling in Utah. I was so pleasantly surprised when most speakers focused on the broad social impacts that increased cycling can have in Utah. You did not have to be an engineer or planner to understand just how important all of this is.”

-Hayden Andersen, BYU Engineering Student

​”How would you feel walking your city’s streets as an 8 year-old? My biggest takeaway was the 8/80 Rule; the idea that a city should feel as comfortable as an 8 or 80 year-old as it does for a 30 year-old. We must ensure our cities are designed with these groups in mind.​”

-Austin Taylor, Director, Provo Bicycle Collective

“I attended the Bike Summit as a member of the Provo Bike Committee and also as a City Planner with Orem City. It was great opportunity to sit down with bike advocates from across the state and hear about the latest progress on multi-modal infrastructure. In addition, I was particularly inspired by the perspective and energy of Gil Penalosa. He emphasized that roughly 1/3 of our population in the US does not drive, and that when we design cities for the vehicle we in affect design to greatly exclude these members of our society–the young, the old, and the poor.”

-Kirby Snideman, North Park Neighborhood Chair

“I was more pleased and impressed with the process of attending the Bike Summit. The sessions and speakers were very informative and there are great things happening to facilitate active transportation across Utah. However, the experience of commuting from Provo to West Valley City on bike via surface streets, Front Runner, taking the Jordan River Parkway Trail, and the bike valet service at event really opened my eyes to the kinds of routes and amenities that make bicycling accessible, practical and convenient. Taking a bike instead of a car gave added perspective to the topics and appreciation for the presentations. For [many of my fellow Provo participants] it was no big deal to take your bike, but as a new convert, it helped me understand the reality and importance of a different way of being mobile.”

-John Kau, Chair, BYU Campus Bicycle Committee

“I loved the concept of building cities for 8 year olds and 80 year olds. A community safe and comfortable for people of those ages would be radically different environments, positively so, for all inhabitants. Imagine not having to worry about  your daughter or grandmother making their way across the city. Brilliant vision!”

-Hugh Van Wagenen, Joaquin resident and Lindon City Planner

“Once again, learning from people all across the state, the country, and the world about how make Provo an even better place to live by better accommodating and making safe all modes of transportation was invigorating. And it was great not only to think about these principles but to act on them as many of us rode through the streets of Provo, took Frontrunner, and the Jordan River Trail to get to the summit. Thanks to Bike Utah for hosting another great summit.”

-Aaron Skabelund, Rivergrove Neighborhood Co-chair

 

 

 

2018’s Golden Spoke Winter Bicycle Commuter Award Goes to …

At the City Council on January 23rd, Committee member Rachel Whipple presented Colby Sanford with this year’s Winter Commuter Award.

Here is Rachel’s recognition of Colby.

“For the past seven years, the Provo Bicycle Committee has been recognizing outstanding
bicycle commuters for their contribution to Provo by awarding the Golden Spoke Award.

We believe in cycling as an effective and sustainable form of transportation that can help create
a cleaner, healthier, and safer society. It has the advantage of being fun, too.

Several years ago, I received the Golden Spoke for giving up our family car during Lent and
blogging about my experiences cycling and walking. So I am happy to be able to pass this
award on to another person who bicycles.

Three years ago, we began recognizing winter bicycle commuters with the help of Canyon–now
Hangar 15–Bicycles, which generously sponsors the winter award.

In an action unanimously approved by the Committee, I am pleased to award Colby Sanford
as the recipient of the 2018 Golden Spoke Winter Bicycle Commuter Award.

This winter, Colby has been documenting his bicycle commute, taking pictures of his bike, and sending them to his friend, Chris Wiltsie, the newly elected chair of the bike committee. Colby’s bicycle commute from his home in the Maeser Neighborhood to BYU started out of necessity, but has became intrinsically valuable for him. Although this story began as private exchange of photos and encouragement between these two that strengthened their friendship, the consistency and example of Colby cycling, in all sorts of weather and the documentation of it, are making an important contribution to bicycling in Provo. 
Colby is a university student, like many Provo residents, and an artist. In the latter capacity, he
is very active in the Provo art scene and contributes to the eclectic vibrance of our community.
The Provo Bicycle Committee would like to thank Colby for showing all of us that it is possible to bicycle commute in winter, even when it snows.”

A Brief History of the Provo Bicycle Committee

The reorganization of the committee (see post below) and the beginning of a new mayoral administration seem like a good time to pause and reflect on the past before we continue to accelerate our momentum in making Provo a more bicycle-friendly community, so as a historian (my day job) I decided to write up this brief history.

The committee was first established in the early 2000s and first led by Travis Jensen, a civil (traffic) engineering student at BYU. (Travis is now a bicycle infrastructure planner in SLC.) The committee worked with city engineers to make some important initial infrastructural improvements but after Travis graduated the committee entered a several-year hiatus. In late 2009, Zac Whitmore, Jamie Littlefield, and I revived the committee, and reached out to newly elected Mayor John Curtis, who recognized it, as he put it in our first meeting with him, as the “Mayor’s Provo Bicycle Committee.” That summer, Jamie had created this blog, bikeprovo.org, which along with social media became an important tool to spread word of our work. The blog also serves as an excellent record of our efforts and achievements. (If you would like to know more about some of the projects and initiatives mentioned below, please scroll down and back through time for more information.)

The committee, while not an official city body, enjoyed the support of the mayor and worked collaboratively with several city departments. This quasi-official status enabled us to collaborate city officials, both elected and non-elected, but take a more activist role at times. In 2009, we began to meet monthly, first in the offices of Economic Development, then in a Council conference room, for a while in the Community Oriented Policing Building, and since last year in the Community Development building.  We have been regularly joined by representatives from Public Works, Community Development, Police, Parks, and Economic Development, as well as the County Health department. We have hosted presenters from UDOT, UTA, MAG, Bike Utah, and many other organizations. Our average attendance during these last few years has ranged between 15 to 25 participants, but early on sometimes we only had only a few people show up. Although we would like Provo to undergo a bicycle revolution and become overnight a platinum-level bicycle friendly city, we have been pleased with the progress that Provo had made in becoming, physically and culturally, a great bike town.

In the last eight years, some of the accomplishments of the committee include:

  • Made tremendous progress, most importantly, toward the creation of a robust integrated network of bikeways throughout Provo. These include both major and minor improvements. Building support for a number of major and minor infrastructural improvements, including bike lanes and a multi-use pathway on 300 South and Utah’s second bike-signal at 200 East, the Lakeshore Drive multi-use trail, buffered bike lanes on North University Avenue, and bike lanes all across the city including on south 500 West.
  • Helped put several projects solidly in the pipeline that will happen in 2018 and 2019: protected bike lanes on Bulldog Blvd, a neighborhood bikeway on 200 East including Utah’s third bike-signal at 700 North as part of the BRT project, buffered bike lanes on 500 West between Center Street and Bulldog, another neighborhood bikeway on 800 East and 450 North linked by a cross-block path from 900 East to 800 East, and bike lanes on Canyon Road in the North Timpview and Edgemont Neighborhoods.
  • Achieved recognition for Provo from the League of American Bicyclists as a silver-level Bicycle Friendly Community. We had applied and been awarded bronze-level status in 2012. Gold and platinum are to come.
  • Established a sense of community among bicyclists by holding a variety of rides (including the ongoing Monday Night Night Rides) and events (such as periodic Provelo picnics that included bike jousting). The Provo Bicycle Committee FB group now boasts nearly 500 members.
  • Helped create the Provo Bicycle Collective. Zac and Krysta Whitmore and other committee members incubated the collective (which we are sometimes confused with), which after a few lean years became a thriving branch of the Salt Lake Bike Collective with an ideal location just south of the BYU campus at 200 North/400 East. It is now open five days a week, managed by Austin Taylor, and has helped thousands of people obtain refurbished bikes and learn to fix and maintain their bikes.
  • Organized three tactical urbanism projects—first in 2014 on University Avenue to call for pedestrian and bicycle improvements as part of the BRT project, then in 2015 on 200 East to build support for it becoming a neighborhood bikeway, and last year (2017) on 500 North in front of the Rec Center to pilot buffered bike lanes (which were implemented) and pedestrian improvements (which have yet to be realized).
  • Worked with UTA and then the city to organized Bike to Work Day in May, and transformed it from into Bike to Work Week, and for the last three years Bike Month, that has included among other events a Bike to Work Day where local business sponsor breakfast stations, a Ride of Silence, a Bike Prom, bike-in-movies, a Ghost Ride, a family bike event sponsored by Downtown Provo, and participation in the National Bike Challenge. The committee also recognizes both summer and winter dedicated bicycle commuters at a city council presentation.
  • Successfully encouraged the City Council to adopt the Provo Bicycle Master Plan in 2013.
  • Supported the city’s plans to improve the Provo River Trail in 2018 and 2019.
  • Supported the construction of a mountain bike skills park at Slate Canyon Park. One element—a downhill course—was completed in 2017. A pump-track is planned.
  • Hosted the Utah Bicycle Summit (and Gary Fisher) in Provo in 2016.
  • Represented the bicycling community on UTA BRT stakeholder committee to ensure that bicycling and pedestrian improvements are a part of the construction of this massive transit project. This had led to improvements of the College Connector Trail, the Provo River Trail tunnel under University Parkway, the aforementioned bike-signal at 700 W/200 E, and most importantly bike lanes on University Avenue from 700 North to 600 South along the BRT route (thanks to the efforts of then Mayor Curtis). (We have also provided support for the construction of a pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the tracks at the Provo Frontrunner Station.)
  • Organized since 2011 an annual Bike to School Week in the Provo School District, which involves almost all K-12 schools and local bike shops to encourage hundreds of students to ride.
  • Arranged for consulting for Provo High School and several elementary school to be rebuilt in a more bicycle friendly manner.
  • Supported BYU to become a Bicycle Friendly University (now at the bronze-level) through infrastructural improvements and programming.
  • In 2016, Bike Utah recognized the Provo Bicycle Committee with the 2016 Local Advocacy Award.

Thanks to everyone who has supported the committee over the years. History is moving in our direction. Let’s move it forward even faster.

 

Provo Bicycle Committee Reorganized

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.

bikeway projects

  •      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
  •      800 E/450 N (neighborhood bikeway): Wayne Leavitt
  •      Tree Streets (bike route): Jamin Rowan
  •      Provo River Trail improvements: Eric Chase
  •      Dirt trails (Slate Canyon/Bonneville Shoreline Trail):
  •      Others:

events and special projects

  •      Representative to mayor’s budget review committee: Christina Catron
  •      Active Transportation Pilot: Heather Skabelund, Miles Miller
  •      Bikeway Tour (spring ride for city officials): Ted Lyon, Grant Skabelund
  •      Bike to School Week (September): Rachel Whipple
  •      Bike Month (working with Whitney Booth): Ben Mcmurry, Aaron, Austin Taylor
  •      Ride of Silence (May): Lucy Ordaz
  •      Bike map (working with City’s Phil Uhl): Sabrina Huyett, Stuart Withers
  •      Wayfinding (working with City’s Matt Taylor): Shauna Mecham, Kira Johnson, Daniel Jensen
  •      Bikeshare (working with City’s Chad Thomas): Naomi Lemoyne, Stuart Withers
  •     Golden Spoke (Winter and Summer) Bicycle Commuter Award:
  •     Freedom Festival parade:
  •     Provo Birthday Historic Homes Ride (March):
  •     Other events and special projects:

other Initiatives

  •   bikeprovo: Jamie Littlefield
  •   public relations: Austin Taylor, Kira Johnson
  •   committee traffic engineering consultant: Clancy Black
  •   committee planning consultant: Hugh Van Wagenen
  •   education: Elias Flores and Kai Cox
  •   walkability: Tinesha Zandemela, Susan Krueger-Barber
  •   bike parking: Mary Wade
  •   Bicycle Friendly Business outreach:
  •   Transportation & Mobility Advisory Committee: Grant Skabelund (will apply)
  •   Sustainability Committee: Sabrina Huyett
  •   Transit: Jacob Johnson
  •   Safe Routes to School
  •   Other initiatives:

We are confident that the committee’s new leadership and organization will help us accelerate the momentum we have to make Provo even more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.

Provo Bicycle Committee Charter

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.

PURPOSE

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.

PROJECTS

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.

MEETINGS

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.

OFFICERS

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

GROUP RULES

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.