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Utah Valley Hospital Encourages its Employees to Embrace Two Wheels

by Michelle Best, Regional Manager, Health Promotion & Wellness, Utah Valley Hospital

 

With a mission of “helping people live the healthiest lives possible,” Utah Valley Hospital has plenty of reasons to encourage caregivers (hospital employees) to embrace two wheels instead of four. During the summer of 2016, the hospital was designated as a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Business by the League of American Bicyclists in recognition for its work to get more caregivers on bicycles. Here are some of the ways the hospital is promoting cycling:

Participating in Provo’s Bike to Work Day

The hospital hosted a breakfast station on 800 North as part of Provo’s Bike to Work Day in May 2017, and more than 55 cyclists from around the community showed up. The secret? Breakfast burritos! The hospital plans to host a breakfast station next year, and Intermountain Healthcare will be promoting National Bike to Work Month in May 2018.

Sponsoring a Cycling Club

In 2014, Utah Valley Hospital, in partnership with Intermountain Cancer Centers and the American Fork Canyon Run Against Cancer, started sponsoring veloLOVE Cycling Club. The club’s purpose is to promote physical activity through cycling by getting as many people on bikes as possible. Through the sponsorship, the club provides highly discounted kits, organizes weekly club rides for cyclists of all abilities, and participates in cycling events. In 2017, club members rode in events like LOTOJA (Logan to Jackson), the Cache Gran Fondo, FrontRunner Century, Leadville Trail 100 MTB, and Crusher in the Tushar. To join veloLOVE, you can sign up for the club’s email list at www.velolove.club.

Cycling Clinics

For the past two years, American Fork Hospital has hosted a free cycling clinic every spring. The clinic provides information about sports nutrition, bicycle maintenance, injury prevention, training, and bike fits.

Utah Valley Hospital Campus Plan & Bicycle Parking

When Utah Valley’s hospital replacement project is complete in 2019, there will be a bike path running east to west from the hospital’s main entrance to 940 North. This will provide convenient front door access to the facility. The hospital recently purchased 15 Cycle Docks and 12 double bike lockers to place near key hospital access points for caregivers, volunteers, and hospital visitors. By making bike parking more convenient than parking a car and by putting it in highly visible locations, the hospital hopes that more caregivers will begin commuting by bicycle to work. The hospital will also provide a repair station and bicycle pump on the north and south end of campus.

Spin Classes

To help caregivers stay active, particularly during the winter months, the new LiVe Well Center at Utah Valley Hospital (opening 2018) will feature free spin classes. The American Fork Hospital Wellness Center also provides free winter spin classes for caregivers and has started supporting off-season youth mountain bike training.

Incentives for Biking to Work

Intermountain Healthcare’s LiVe Well incentive program allows caregivers to earn $50 per quarter by completing a wellness activity of their choice and watching two online wellness modules. Caregivers can bike to work for their wellness activity.

Utah Valley Hospital hopes to continue finding ways to encourage caregivers and visitors to ride their bikes to the hospital. With bicycle lanes coming in 2018 to Bulldog Boulevard (protected), 500 West (buffered), which both border the hospital campus, UVH will have bike lanes on all four sides of the campus (with the lanes on 800 North and University Avenue), making cycling safer and more convenient.

What Can Provo Learn from Minneapolis?

In early September, Provo City traffic engineer Jared Penrod participated in Bike Utah’s second annual Mobile Active Transportation Tour of a bicycle-friendly community out of state. Last year, Provo city councilwoman Kim Santiago and city planner Bill Peperone joined a group that visited Fort Collins and Boulder. This year, Bike Utah about two dozen city and regional officials to Minneapolis, which has over 129 miles of on-street bikeways and 97 miles of off-street bikeways and has been awarded with the Gold Level Bicycle Friendly Community Award from the League of American Bicyclists. Minneapolis is also the home of the University of Minnesota, which has been recognized as a Platinum Level Bicycle-Friendly Community by the League. Check out these two videos, one serious and one wildly entertaining, but both enlightening.

On a lovely late summer day, the group rode about 13 miles around Minneapolis, including on campus. At last month’s (October’s) meeting, Jared talked about what he learned during the tour and showed us some photos that highlight those things. Two lessons stood out:

  • If there is the will, there is a way. Minneapolis’ mayor and city council have made bicycling as a mode of transportation a priority because they recognize it makes an important contribution to boosting quality of life.
  • Bicycling can thrive in cities with cold, snowy winters (and one that is much colder and snowier than Provo.) Minneapolis allocates funding to maintain a fleet of snow-removal vehicles that are dedicated to the removal of snow on the city’s vast network of bike lanes and trails.

Here are some photos that Jared took on the ride. Think about what Provo could learn from these visual examples.

A new barrier-protected bike lane above the curb in the downtown area.

An intersection crossing along the new protected bike lane.

A mini-round-about on a neighborhood bikeway. Provo City is planning on installing such a mini-round-about on 200 East, our community’s first neighborhood bikeway.

Another photo of the neighborhood bikeway. Notice on-street parking is maintained and bicyclists are comfortable taking the lane.

A lane leading to campus.

Bike lanes on one side and pedestrian path on the other on the UM campus. BYU is considering striping a path that flows through the Heritage Halls housing area from 900 E to campus like this.

A bicycle counter standing along a trail. When the group passed that morning, 430 people had already ridden by on bikes that day.

Minneapolis’ skyline in the distance and below one of the city’s trails alongside the railway tracks. This view is from the cable-suspension Martin Olav Sabo pedestrian and bike bridge, built in 2007, that spans the rail line and a freeway and provides a vital link between the university and the city.

A close up of a trail. Trails are used for both commuting and recreation.

A bike lane, buffered on both sides from moving cars on the left and car doors on the right.

An interesting design: bike lanes of a sort, no center line and not a lot of width for cars going opposite direction. Now that will lead to traffic calming.

Thanks to Jared for participating in the MATT and for sharing with us how Provo can become even more bicycle friendly.

 

Utah County Health Department Named a Bicycle-Friendly Business

By Melissa Porter, Health Promotions Division, Utah County Health Department

The League of American Bicyclists has designated the Utah County Health Department as a Bronze-level  Bicycle Friendly Business. The application is very well put together and easy to fill out. The employees at the League of American Bicyclist were very helpful. Per my request they sent me an example of another county health office application from a previous year. The application example was helpful when filling out the  application. The League employees are more than willing to answer my questions.

When we were named a BFB, the League provided us with feedback that is very detailed and specific to our organization. The Health Department is proud to be Provo’s second BFB, and our goal is become a Silver-level BFB within the next four years.

Being a bicycle friendly business means that we are working toward a more welcoming atmosphere for bicycling employees, customers and other residents of Provo. It also means helping our communities be safer, happier, healthier and more sustainable through bicycling. For more information please visit the League of American Bicyclist website: http://bikeleague.org/business

Residents Love Provo’s First Bicycle-Friendly Intersection

As the final touches of landscaping and paint our applied along 300 South the past few weeks, Provo’s first bicycle-friendly intersection at 200 East/300 South is getting rave reviews. Here is one from from Tony Dittmer of the Maeser Neighborhood, who lives just north of 300 South:

“I work up in Lehi and take the FrontRunner when I bike to work. In the past crossing 300 South has been such a pain. Recently UDOT installed a new bicycle signal at 300 South and 200 East. I love this intersection. I have often looked for paths that were less busy for biking. I prefer not to ride close to heavy traffic. In the past I would have to ride on the shoulder or University Avenue until I passed 300 South, but now thanks to this signal I have a very mellow commute home.

Photos courtesy of Karen Tapahe

200 East has very light traffic and there are signs when you get to the intersection to take the lane. When approaching the intersection you pull into two curbs in the middle of the intersection where there is a friendly sensor and bicycle traffic signal and you don’t have to wait long before it changes and let’s you go right through and across 300 South. Crossing 300 South used to so dangerous, but not now thanks to this signal. The new bike lanes along around 300 South are also very welcome. I love Provo and the steps we are taking to make it better.”

Utah County Health Department Adds New Covered Bike Racks

The Utah County Health Department now has covered bike racks!! The bike racks were donated by Utah Transit Authority (UTA). They are being used by department employees and visitors to the county offices.

When Melissa Porter, a department health educator and member of the Provo Bicycle Committee, noticed the current bike racks were only available outside, with nothing protecting them from rain, snow and ice, she began her quest to install bike racks in the parking garage located east of the Health Department building.

Melissa worked with Brady Christensen, Building and Grounds Division Manager, to identify a location and to install the bike racks. She also designed wayfinding signs. Melissa said, “Signs are key to letting people know you have bike racks available. We hope this will encourage employees to bike to work.”

The bike racks are being promoted through the employee email system, the county newsletter, and through their Facebook page.

On February 23 , 2017, Melissa and her co-workers had a ribbon cutting ceremony to open the racks for use. “It was a lot of fun using the big scissors,” Melissa exclaimed.


Great work, Melissa!

Golden Spoke Winter Bicycle Commuter Award (Courtesy of Canyon Bicycles)

Austin Taylor
Provo Bicycle Committee

For the past six years, Provo Bicycle Committee has been recognizing outstanding bicycle commuters for their contributions 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.

Two years ago, we began recognizing winter bicycle commuters with the help of Canyon Bicycles, the sponsor of the winter award.

After a nomination and unanimous approval from the Provo Bicycle Committee, Josh Gubler has been chosen as the winner of the 2017 Golden Spoke Winter Bicycle Commuter Award.

Josh and his two daughters ready to embark to work and school, respectively. December 2016

One afternoon in January, while riding around town, I spotted Josh riding his bike home from work. It was probably the coldest day of the year and Josh was decked out in a full ski mask and lobster mitt gloves. Not even the snow and freezing temperatures stopped him from biking!

Since December 3, 2015, Josh has commuted by bicycle to work, often dropping his kids off at school, also on their bikes. In his nearly 15 months of bicycle commuting, Josh has saved over 1.5 tons of C02 emissions that he would have created by driving and likely burned over 90,000 calories.

After I presented the award to Josh during a city council meeting in February 2017, he told the council he started biking to save money but has found that it offers him time to relax and see the city. He encouraged citizens to help make the city a friendlier place by choosing to bike instead of drive. Doing so, he said, would reduce pollution and increase a sense of community within our neighborhoods.

The Provo Bicycle Committee would like to congratulate Josh on winning this award and showing all of us that it’s still possible –and fun–to bicycle commute during winter.