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The Provo Bicycle Community Welcomes Mayor Michelle Kaufusi

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!

Welcome, Mayor Kaufusi!

Dear Mayor Curtis: We Remember

Dear Mayor Curtis,

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.

Sincerely,

So many families, students, children, seniors, and people who enjoy Provo’s streets.

Help Downtown Neighbors Advocate for Safer 500 West Intersections

We need your help this week. Please come to the 500 W Public Hearing. Wednesday, October 11th. 5-7pm at Provo High School.

UDOT is currently planning a redesign for 500 West. We’re delighted about the new bicycle lanes that will go from Center St. to Bulldog Blvd. as well as the historic lighting, and the ten foot pedestrian path. *Happy Dance*

The concerning feature of this design is the new wider, rounded corners at intersections.

Neighbors are worried because the rounded intersections create longer, less reliable crossings for pedestrians. They also encourage cars to speed through right turns. This plan makes school crossings to Timp Elementary even more dangerous for students that will no longer have a pedestrian crossing tunnel.

If the hospital staff needs an entire ped overpass on this street, our kids should at least have ground-level intersections designed for safety.

What is the Neighbors’ Preferred Design?

A group of neighbors would like to see 500 West intersections designed with bulb-outs or pork chops, two features that would protect children walking to Timp and families crossing the street elsewhere.

 

The benefits of these design features include shorter intersection distances for people walking, pushing strollers, etc. Crossings are more obvious and right turns are taken at a less-accelerated speed. This is a more reasonable compromise for Timp students that will be losing the pedestrian crossing tunnel to their school.

Please Help Us This Week

There are two big ways you can encourage UDOT to create safer intersections as a part of the street redesign:

– Come to the 500 W Public Hearing. Wednesday, October 11th. 5-7pm. Provo High School (1125 N University Ave.) Be sure to leave a written comment about your pedestrian safety and intersection preferences. You can come for just a few minute to leave a comment; you do not need to stay the entire time. It is an informal walk-through open house.

– Send your comments to UDOT. Email provo500w@utah.gov and also share your comments with bikeprovo@gmail.com.

This is a chance to make a big difference and everyone’s voice counts. The more people that speak up, the better our opportunity to create a safer street.

Thank you for your support and willingness to show up when we need it most!

Community Applauds New Lanes on 500 West

People who bicycle are praising the new bike lanes on 500 West, which were installed early this month. The lanes run from 300 South to the new Lakeview Parkway (road and more importantly, trail), a distance of 1.6 miles. They provide folks in the southwest neighborhoods a safe route into central Provo (though not quite to downtown) for the first time.

Going the other direction, they give recreational riders, including families out for a spin, access to the trail that opens up stunning views of the mountain, lake, marsh and farmland as heads west to the airport. They also connect bicyclists to East Bay workplaces via the trail in the opposite (easterly) direction and the bridge over 1-15. In short, the 500 West lanes are a significant step toward the creation of a robust network of bikeways in Provo and a boost to quality of life.

The lanes at their southern edge at the Lakeview Parkway. The trail runs on the south side.

Becky Hunt, a resident of Lakewood Neighborhood who uses 500 West to get her job at city hall, said “I love the new bike lanes. My commute to work is much safer.” Curtis Thacker, who commutes from south Provo to BYU and uses it for recreational rides to get to Provo Canyon, commented, “The new bike lanes on south 500 West are great. Before this change there were no lines on the road. Adding bike lanes makes the road much safer for cyclists. These new lines on the road effectively narrow the road through a school zone, naturally slowing traffic through that area. 500 West also provides great access to Lakeside Parkway which is great for cyclists. The changes are an all around great thing. I only wish the bike lane went further north on 500 West.” Another resident of the neighborhood and fellow city employee, Phil Uhl, upon hearing the news that the lanes would be installed exclaimed on Facebook, “My commute (4x per day on this segment) just got safer.” He must go home for lunch.

The lanes looking running north from the 1-15 underpass.

Bike commuters headed to work in the opposite direction at companies in East Bay are happy about the lanes too. A resident of the Dixon Neighborhood who had just started a new job in that area and was unfamiliar with 500 West without bike lanes said that he was sure glad they had been installed. He could not imagine riding safely on the road without them. Brandon Taylor, who lives in Grandview North Neighborhood and works in the old Novell building, said “the new lanes are pretty cool. They are very obvious as opposed to most bike lanes that can easily be looked over.” Perhaps it is the newly painted lines on a road that was completely devoid of any lines before.

Looking south at the lane just north of the train tracks.

In the near future, the new lanes on 500 West will connect to the wider network of lanes that is emerging in Provo. UDOT has indicated that next year they will be installing bike lanes on the part of 500 West that they control: State Street. Although they have not revealed their final plans, those lanes will likely run north from 300 South to Bulldog Boulevard, which will be endowed with protected bike lanes next year. Those two projects will connect people on bikes to the lanes on 500 North (going in this year); those going east and west on 800/820 North; the bike lanes on University Avenue, both those installed by UDOT north of 700 North to the mouth of the Canyon last fall and those that will be installed south of 700 North to 500 South as a part of the BRT project; to the Provo River Trail and College Connector Trail; and so on. The goal is an interconnected web of bikeways (absent of any gaps!) that people of all ages can navigate safely and conveniently making bicycling not an alternative form of transformation, but at least for short trips around town, a safe, convenient, and preferable mode of getting to work, to school, and to run errands. That will greatly improve resident’s quality of life.

A bike marker moments after it was painted in the lane on July 6th.

Thanks to Mayor Curtis and his Public Works team for understanding that and for their dogged efforts to ensure that bike lanes were installed on 500 West, despite the legitimate demand for on-street parking on the road. It’s now time to officially install bike lanes on another important north-south corridor, one with negligible on-street parking: Canyon Road.

Headed north on the new lanes from the Lakeview Parkway Trail.

by Aaron Skabelund

Complete Street Celebration: Sneak Peek

What do raised intersections, painted crosswalks, buffered bicycle lanes, signage, and bulb outs have to do with creating a safer street?

Find out for yourself by taking a look at the temporary 500 North Pilot Project, organized by neighborhood volunteers. The project will be up for a couple weeks (although the paint is freshest now!) until the city is ready to re-pave the street and will give the public a chance to try out potential new road features.

Come to the Complete Street Celebration and BBQ on Saturday, July 29th from 7-8:30 in front of the Rec Center. Also, stop by any time with your family and friends to take a look, snap some photos, and give the street a try.

Here’s a quick glimpse and what you’ll find:

Thanks to Christopher Wiltsie for snapping these early morning shots!

What were Provo Police, Neighbors, the Bicycle Committee, and People From All Over Provo Doing with Dozens of Cans of Paint at 2 a.m. on Friday?

You may have noticed something unusual on 500 North this Friday night.

Neighbors, police officers, city employees, the Provo Bicycle Committee, and people from all over the city joined together to paint the town. Literally.

What’s the deal with all the fresh paint (and bales of hay)? We’re running a pilot project to make 500 North a safer street for neighbors and residents headed to the Rec Center and North Park.

Come to the family-friendly 500 North Celebration (7pm on 500 N by the Rec Center) tomorrow (July 29th) for free KirbyQ BBQ and the chance to see the pilot and share your own ideas.

In the mean time, here’s a tiny sneak-peak of the fun we had in the middle of the night:

Photo credit: the good ones were taken by Christopher Wiltsie and I took the not-so-great ones.

Help Us Re-Imagine 500 N!

500 N will look different on the morning of Saturday, July 29th. That transformation will be the result of a neighborhood experiment, funded by a state grant and supported by the city, to model a street safer for people to get to the Recreation Center, North Park, Timpanogos Elementary School, the Library, and other destinations. This means making the street friendly and safe for neighborhood residents, pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers (for EVERYONE!) who would like to use 500 N.

Please join us this Friday night (July 28th) as we make temporary changes to 500 N to make it safer for people who walk and bike. After a quick BBQ at 10:00 pm (prepared by the North Park Neighborhood chair), we will begin our work at 10:30 pm. We will be simulating a raised tabletop intersection at 300 W and and raised crosswalk at 400 W with paint. We will be installing buffered bike lanes between 200 and 500 W.

The City’s Street Division has already started the poject by painting in two parallel buffered bike lanes on both sides for the Street from 200 to 500 W. On Friday, one group will paint in the cross-hatching between these lines and bike markers on the right side of them.

Provo Police will be closing down the road from 200 W to 400 W so that we can safely implement the pilot. (Please wear bright clothing.) We will work in the cover of night but with the blessing of the city. This pilot is funded primarily by a $1,000 grant from the Utah Department of Health, sponsored by Bike Utah and supported by the Utah County Health Department. Please come prepared to have fun and make a difference.

Please RSVP so we can get an idea of how much food to prepare for the BBQ and how many worker bees we will have to execute the pilot from 10:30 pm. We hope to be finished by midnight.

Complete the Street Celebration

The following evening, Saturday, July 29th, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm we will host a public event to introduce the project to elected officials and the general public. Please join us on 500 N between 200 W and 500 W to re-imagine what our streets can be. The project will demonstrate possible changes to the street (that might be implemented soon or in the future) and start a conversation about our public streets. Most importantly, the pilot project requires… A GOOD IMAGINATION! Keep in mind that what you’re seeing is just a mockup of how permanent street changes might look. See beyond temporary items like chalk and cones to imagine how the street could look in the future.

Bring your neighbors, friends and family and come celebrate a completed street! There will be food trucks, information booths, activities, and lots of people. Hope to see you there!

For more information visit the Facebook Event Page.

The Provo Bicycle Police (Now with Dramatic Explosions)

Did you know that Provo has its own bicycle patrol?

Not only can bike patrols help keep us safe in public spaces like the Provo River Trail, they’re also a great way for officers to better get to know the community and observe problems.

Plus, our officers have some pretty sweet moves…


According to the Provo Police Department’s Facebook page: “…We send them to a police bike school where they learn not to flinch when large explosions occur.”

Provo Bike Month 2017

Celebrate the Many Reasons We Ride

May 2017 is going to be the best Bike Month yet! Check out some of the incredible events planned by Provo City, the Provo Bicycle Collective, the Provo Bicycle Committee, and other organizations.

Plus, keep watching the blog (and this page) for Bike Month updates.

Provo Bike Challenge

Monday, May 1 – Wednesday, May 31

Anyone who lives, works, or goes to school in Provo is eligible to participate in the Provo Bike Challenge. This event is an easy way to challenge yourself, colleagues, and the Provo community to ride more. Participants are asked to record their daily/weekly miles ridden (using the Strava app) and points will be awarded throughout the challenge.

Participate for a chance to win weekly prizes and giveaways. Those who finished at the top of their category (Organization, Female & Male) will be awarded at the end of the challenge and honored during Provo City’s Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 20th. To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.

Monday Night Ride

Every Monday in May | 9:00 pm
Joaquin Park (400 E 400 N)

Meet new friends during this leisurely, low-pressure evening ride! Meet at Joaquin Park (400 E 400 N) each Monday night in May for a casual ride through the streets of Provo. We’ll be meeting at the same time and place for a similar ride. Come to as many as you can! This event is family friendly and all ages are welcome. Please bring lights for your bike! To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.

Bike to Work Day

Tuesday, May 2 | 7:30-9:00 am
Breakfast Stations hosted by employers, large & small, across the city

Provo businesses will host stations located throughout the city and hand out free breakfast, drinks, and other treats to people who arrive by bike from 7:30 – 9:00 am. (Provo City’s breakfast station will be open at 6:30 am for early bird riders.) Pick up some breakfast and coffee, get to know your fellow commuters, have your bike looked at by a pro mechanic, and connect with the Provo Bike Committee and other community volunteers. To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.

Bike-In Movie

Wednesday, May 3, 10, 17 & 24 | 8:00 pm
Provo Bicycle Collective (397 E 200 N)

Each Wednesday in May at 8pm the Provo Bicycle Collective will be hosting a movie night. Every week will be a different bike-themed movie. They will all be family friendly and a little over an hour in length. Make sure to bring your bike and a blanket as well as your favorite movie snack. For more information, follow the Bike Collective Facebook Group.

Bike Theft Prevention Clinic

Friday, May 5 | 6 – 7 pm
Provo Bicycle Collective (397 E 200 N)

In an effort to decrease the amount of bike theft in Provo, we’re hosting a free informational clinic to show you how to keep your bike safe from thieves. Join us at 6:00 pm for a presentation from an officer from the Provo Police Department and a representative from the Provo Bicycle Collective. To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.

Tune-up clinic

Tuesday, May 9 | 7:00 pm
Provo Library at Academy Square (550 N University Ave)

Provo Library is hosting a bike tune-up class to help you know how to get your bike in top shape for Bike Month. The class is totally free and open to the public. This is your chance to ask a bicycle mechanic for techniques on tuning your bike. To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.

Overnight Bike Trip

Friday, May 12 | Meet @ 6pm
Provo Bicycle Collective (397 E 200 N)

Meet at Provo Bicycle Collective at 6pm and leave shortly thereafter. Our 10-mile route takes bike lanes on University Avenue and the Provo River Trail the whole way. We’ll set up camp at Nunns Park and get a fire going. Smores will be provided.

To accurately predict how many campsites we need, please select “going” on the Facebook Event Page if you are planning to go and comment how many children you’ll be bringing. We’ll need one site per ten people. Please bring food for the night and morning, a tent or something to sleep in, and warmer clothes as it’s often colder in the canyon than in the city. There will be a bike trailer to help you carry your stuff; up to 100lbs of supplies. Please bring $2/person or be able to pay with Paypal/Venmo to split the campsite cost. RSVP on the Facebook Event Page to claim your spot.

Cyclofemme Ride

Saturday, May 13 | 2:00 pm
Historic County Courthouse Lawn (Center Street & University Ave)

This is a women’s only ride to empower women in the world and on bikes. Come make new friends and enjoy a slow paced 5 mile ride around Provo. We encourage all ages and skill levels. The ride will end at Joaquin Park (400 E 400 N) where the Provo Bicycle Collective will provide snacks.

Worldwide Ride of Silence

Wednesday, May 17 | Meet @ 6:30 pm, Ride starts @ 7:00 pm
Dixon Middle School (750 W 200 N)

Join the Provo chapter of the Worldwide Ride of Silence on May 17th to ride to honor people who were killed or injured while biking this last year and last several years. We will begin at Dixon Middle School and go for a short, slow, silent ride with brief stops at the ghost bike memorials for Doug Crow and Mark Robinson, and return to Dixon Middle School where we will have light refreshments.

Provo Bike Picnic

Saturday, May 20 | Meet @ 4:00 pm, Ride starts at 4:30 pm
Meet at Utah Lake State Park (4400 Center St, Provo) | Picnic @ Lakeview Park (2825 W 1390 N)

There’s no sweeter way to spend your Saturday afternoon than a bike picnic. Meet us at 4pm at Utah Lake State Park for a fun, causal bike ride. We will pedal on over to Lakeview Park to enjoy a homemade picnic. Be sure to pack your own food and blankets.

Fun Fun Underground Forrest Race and BBQ!

Saturday, May 27th | 7:00 pm
Paul Ream Wilderness Park (1600 500 N)

The FUFFR is back! This event is more of a bike-themed party than a race. The course weaves through trees and streams in Paul Ream Wilderness Park. You’ll get dirty, wet, and likely crash. Last time, we completely shredded a single speed cog on an old beach cruiser. We’ll send 4 people at a time through the course on beach cruisers provided by Provo Bicycle Collective. Winners of each group will race in a final run and the winners will be crowned as the champions of the FFUFR 2017. Hot dogs will be provided; please bring a picnic-style side to share! To stay up to date on event details, RSVP to the Facebook Event Page.

Get-Yourself-A-Bike Sale

May 2nd – 6th | 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Provo Bicycle Collective (397 E 200 N)

Want to celebrate bike month but need a bike first? Provo Bicycle Collective is offering 10% off everything in store, even with our already low prices. We’ve got an ever-changing selection of refurbished bikes, locks, lights, racks, helmets, panniers, etc. Everything you need to make biking your primary mode of transportation. We’ll also be selling beach cruisers in need of repair for $20 each for you to fix up and ride for the FUFFR race later this month. Come to the shop and see what’s in store!

May is Provo Bike Month 2017

May is National Bike Month and Provo is celebrating the many benefits of bicycling!

Whether you bike to work or school, ride to save money or time, pump those pedals to preserve your health or the environment, or simply to explore your community – you’re going to love the events and activities we’ve got planned. The city has put together a month full of events and activities to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride! We look forward to seeing you at:

  • Bike-to-Work Day
  • The Monday Night Ride
  • Bike-In Movie
  • The Tune-Up Clinic at the Library
  • Cyclofemme Ride
  • Overnight Ride
  • Worldwide Ride of Silence
  • Provo Bicycle Picnic
  • Fun Fun Underground Forrest Race & BBQ
  • Get-Yourself-a-Bike Sale at the Collective
  • And More!

Check out the full list of events and details on the Mayor’s blog.