#bikewalkprovostories Grace Gigena 👟 You may have seen her from time to time walking along one of our many beautiful Provo streets, because Grace Gigena has been walking almost daily in Provo since April of 1998.  Walking one or more hours a day for two to three miles, and in earlier years walking even further from Orem to East Bay near McDonalds, I guesstimate that Grace has walked well over 20,000 miles in the last 23 years in central Provo.  I asked Grace why she does it!  Her answer in the beginning sounded vaguely familiar, “it helps relieve stress, the fresh air,” but then she went on to add how she enjoys the natural surroundings that she encounters along Provo’s tree-lined streets and, of course, the view of the omnipresent Wasatch, close and in sight nearly wherever you find yourself in the Utah Valley. One of the many locations Grace Gigena regularly walks to is Pioneer Park.  She recounts in our interview that on Sundays there’s a man at Pioneer Park that cooks and serves meals, and Grace often helps this man with the kitchen duties.  Along the way Grace says she may happen to meet an acquaintance in need of conversation and/or who may appreciate some of her time, so Grace will invite people to walk along with her and give them an opportunity to chat about their day.  “[I happen to be] in the right place at the right time,” she explains to me, “[you] never know when that person is [in need], that they may need to talk.” Some of the problems Grace has experienced while walking in Provo, although she tells me has had few, are drivers not paying attention.  “Almost got run over [once], if I wasn’t paying attention,” she remembers that the driver “was on a cellphone” as she was crossing the street at a crosswalk.  I ask her about traffic lights, if she has had any difficulties with them: “500w 500n [crossing north to south],” she says she needs to run to get across in time, and feels the wait for traffic lights to change to cross east to west on our busier corridors (i.e. University Avenue) is way too long. “Less people walking these days, [it’s] more difficult to get around.” (Continued in comments)

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