10 Tips for Building Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School is a national program that seeks to promote children’s mobility to get to and from school. It is essential for children’s health and safety, and improves student success and attendance. But because funding and accountability in the US is limited, it’s easy for programs to be overlooked or insufficient. Here are tips for Building or strengthening the program at your school here in Provo (and elsewhere)!

#1: Join your School Community Council: This council is tasked with submitting the annual Safe Routes plan each spring, as well as to allocate or apply for any funds. It is critical that you join this council as a parent or teacher to make headway in Safe Routes!

#2: Remember that a program differs from the annual plan: Each spring, the school community council is supposed to submit a Safe Routes plan, as well as an updated map, to the city. This plan can include any requests for your school’s infrastructure or enforcement (esp crossing guards and infrastructure).

The plan is important, but if it’s the only part of the school’s Safe Routes efforts, it will not be enough. The plan should be submitted in the context of the school’s ongoing, consistent Safe Routes Program. See next.

#3: A Safe Routes to School Program should include all 6 E’s: Education, Encouragement, Engineering, Enforcement, Evaluation, and Equity. In order to be successful, all pieces are needed! See example program outline here.

#4: Look up specific strategies for each of the 6 E’s to suggest during school community council meetings to create your program. The National Partnership for Safe Routes to School has an excellent guide with examples of strategies for each. Discuss these early in the year…

#5: …and include input from the school community, including students themselves! Be persistent in distributing surveys and maps to get as much feedback as possible. Families best know the uneven sidewalks, the tricky intersections, and the particular needs you may have overlooked! See example survey from Timpanogos Elementary.

#6: Publish findings to school community. What are the benefits and obstacles that are most important for your school? How can people come together to address needs? Simple graphics made on Canva can be very effective.

#7: Bring Bike Utah’s free bike safety class for your 4th graders! They’ll bring the bikes, the helmets, and the instruction. Work this into the Education Strategies for your Safe Routes Program each year if possible! See more here.

#8: Conduct walking/biking counts by asking volunteers from PTA, neighborhood residents, and even local universities/high schools: Counting the number and location of students walking/biking is an important part of the Evaluation strategies in your program. See more on how to measure your program.

#9: Get inspired by other programs doing things right! Las Cruces School District in New Mexico, or the program in Seattle.

#10: Like/follow key organizations that advocate for safer mobility for children:

Bonus: Sign up for Bike Week each September & keep the momentum going all year with a strong Safe Routes to School program!

Provo Bicycle Collective Gives 90 Bikes for Bike to School Week

From Provo Bicycle Collective:

“When the school district asked us to participate in Bike to School Week this year, we went all in. Provo Bicycle Collective originally promised 75 bikes to local elementary schools, but the requests kept coming after that, until we reached 90 bikes.

Why did we promise this? Because every kid deserves a bike. Most of us remember our first bike as a child because it gave us freedom; freedom to explore at the speed of discovery. Every child deserves this feeling.

This week, most of those bikes were given out to children who didn’t already own a bike. To say they were thrilled is an understatement. I’ll let this photo do the talking from here.

If you’ve ever volunteered with us, know that you played a huge part in this. All giveaway bikes are refurbished by volunteers like you. We can’t thank you enough! See more photos of these kids here and don’t forget to share!

If you’d like to ensure all kids get a bike, regardless of family income, donate today!Just $50 gives a bike to a kid in need!”

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.

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.

5th Annual Provo Bike-to-School Week

Don’t miss the 2015 Bike-to-School Week, September 8-11th.

school

Check with your school to see how they are participating.

Through the Bike-to-School Challenge, students who bike to school will be entered to win daily prizes and a grand prize at the end of the week at each participating school. Prizes are generously donated by Provo’s bike shops – Krueg’s, Canyon Bicycles, Racers, Mad Dog, Taylors, Outdoors Unlimited, and the Provo Bicycle Collective.

Help your school win the Rad Riders Award! The School with the most bicycles during the week will win an awesome award.

Provo Bike-to-School Week 2014

A Week of Prizes, Bike-In Movies, Tune-Up Workshops, and More

For Provo students, school is in full swing. And now is the perfect time to get in the habit of riding as a family. Kids that ride their bike to school start the day with exercise, become more aware of their community, and are better able to concentrate on their studies.

During Provo Bike-to-School Week, our local elementary, middle, and  high schools will offer a variety of programs to help kids get in the habit of riding to school.

provo bike to school week 2014

Students who bicycle to school will have the opportunity to win daily prizes and a weekly grand prize from Mad Dog Cycles, Taylor’s Bike Shop, Racers Cycle Services, Canyon Bicycles, and Outdoors Unlimited. Several schools will offer bike safety checks and group “bike buses” of students riding together. You can also compete against other participating Provo Schools for the Rad Riders’ Award.

Come to the Provo Bicycle Collective (49 North 1100 West Unit 2) on Wednesday, September 10th from 6-8 p.m. for a free tune-up workshop where you can learn how to do basic maintenance on your own bicycle.

On Friday, September 12th, don’t miss the Bike-In Movie ET, sponsored by Provo Parks and Rec. This classic will begin showing at dark.

Check back here (and be on the lookout for updates from your school) to find out more about Bike-to-School Week. Happy riding!

Come Learn to Fix Your Bike!

broken-bicycle

The Provo Bicycle Collective is hosting their second Basic Bicycle Maintenance Class of the year! Now’s a perfect time to pull your bike out of the garage and make sure it’s running before spring hits!

The details:

Basic Bicycle Maintenance Class

Thursday February 20th, 6pm

Provo Bicycle Collective: 1100 W 49 N Unit 2, Provo UT 84601

5$ gets you into the class. 2$ patch kits will also be available and hot chocolate is free!

The class will cover some of the basics, such as:

– Changing a flat
– How to lubricate a chain
– Basic brake adjustment
– Correct tire inflation tips

Check out the event on facebook or just show up!  E-mail us at provobicyclecollective@gmail.com if you have questions.

Bring your friends and we’ll see you there!

Basic Maintenance Class at the Provo Bicycle Collective

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Bring your friends to the Provo Bicycle Collective to learn the basics of bicycle maintenance on Thursday January 30th at 7pm!

The class will cover:

-Fixing a flat

-Chain care and lubrication

-Brake adjustment

-Tips on proper tire inflation

The class costs 5$ and hot chocolate will be included!

You can RSVP to the event on facebook, or just show up at the Collective’s Bike Shop located at 1100 W, 49 N, Provo UT 84601

The Provo Bicycle Collective is a non-profit volunteer run bicycle shop where mechanics teach visitors how to fix their own bicycles.  The collective also sells used bicycles and parts and are always looking for volunteers to help them organize, run events, tear down/fix up bicycles or teach classes.  They also accept donations.  Drop by during their open hours to check them out, or send them an e-mail! provobicyclecollective@gmail.com

Thursdays 1pm-7pm

Fridays 2pm-6pm

Saturdays 10am-3pm

 

See you there!