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Provo Awarded Silver Recognition from League of American Cyclists

by Aaron Skabelund, Provo Bicycle Committee Chair

This month, the League of American Bicyclists announced that Provo has improved its ranking as a Bicycle Friendly Community to silver up from bronze, which we achieved four years ago. Of the 103 communities recognized in this round, Provo was just one of four to move up in rank. Provo now ranks among around 100 communities ranked at the platinum (5), gold (25), and silver (about 70) level.

Notably the League highlighted the leadership of Mayor John Curtis and the advocacy of our committee in its press release:

“Several communities stood out for the on-bike examples of their mayors and for their recognition of how bicycling can bring people together. Provo, UT, moved from a Bronze to a Silver award. Mayor John Curtis has become an avid road cyclist and a regular bike commuter since he was elected mayor — committing to ride 100 days during the year. Through his commitment and the efforts of the Provo Bicycle Committee, there has been a sharp increase in political and community support of bicycling in Provo.”

In the coming weeks, I will share some of the feedback we received from the League about how we can continue to make Provo even more bicycle-friendly, but for now let’s celebrate this recognition and thank everyone who helped make Provo a better place to live, beginning with Mayor Curtis and the folks in Public Works, Community Development, Parks, and the Police Department, as well as you, the members of the Provo Bicycle Committee!

Provo Bicycle Committee Recognized with Local Advocacy Award

Congratulations to the Provo Bicycle Committee! This dedicated group was recently recognized for their tireless efforts with the 2016 Local Advocacy Award from Bike Utah.

A delegate from the committee received the award on behalf of the group, including current chair Aaron Skabelund and former chair Zac Whitmore.

If you’re a part of the committee, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back! Because of you, we’ve made some incredible progress. If you’d like to join in the fun, sign up to receive updates about committee meetings and projects. Everyone is invited to participate and give what they can.

Provo Applies to Renew Status as Bicycle-Friendly City (And This Time, We’re Going for the Gold!)

 

Provo Bicycle Committee Chair, Aaron Skabelund, recently submitted the Bicycle-Friendly Community application to the League of American Bicyclists. A BIG THANKS to the dozens of folks in the Committee who helped prepare the application during and outside of our monthly meetings since the beginning of the year, and a BIGGER THANKS to them and others for all you have done over the last several years to actually make Provo more bicycle-friendly.

Four years ago, the league recognized Provo as a bronze-status Bicycle-Friendly Community. This month was the deadline to renew that status and request to move up in rank. We are of course aiming for a gold but what really matters is how the application process actually helps us make Provo a more bicycle-friendly community. We certainly have made a lot of progress over the last four years thanks to everyone’s efforts and the forward-looking leadership of Mayor John Curtis, the city council, and city engineering, planning, parks and rec, police, and economic development officials who have worked closely with the Committee (and the Collective) to improve Provo’s quality of life for everyone.

We look forward to applying again in several years when a number of transformative projects, such as the Bulldog Blvd protected bike lanes, the 200 East Neighborhood Greenway, and BRT, are complete.

Another purpose of the application is to learn what we can do better. The league will provide provide Provo with detailed feedback when they notify of us their decision.

But the Bike Committee reviewed the application, a number of ways we can do better and make Provo more bicycle friendly became obvious:

– As called for the Bicycle Master Plan, the creation of a Bicycle (and Pedestrian) Coordinator position within the city.

Dedicated city funding for bicycle and pedestrian improvements

– Setting specific bike mode share goals (for 2020 and 2030, for example)

– Conducting official counts of the numbers of bicyclists in Provo

– Continued progress on creating a truly safe and convenient integrated network of bicycle lanes and trails throughout the city and connected to neighboring communities (the map below shows where things stand now)

Bicycle parking requirements for all new developments and active encouragement for existing developments

– An active Safe Routes to School coordinator in the Provo School District (every child living within a mile or so of school should be able to safely walk or bike to school!)

Bicycle education being offered at schools beyond Provo Peaks (which will start this fall thanks to the Collective

– Provo City Corporation and local businesses and organizations becoming Bicycle-Friendly Businesses

In short, we have made a lot of progress and have a lot to do. If you would like to join us making Provo an even better place, please join us! You can sign up for newsletters on the right-hand column of this webpage.

Check Out These Rad New Provo Bike Lanes (and More to Come!)

By Aaron Skabelund, Provo Bicycle Committee Chair

Every summer and fall, when Provo City Public Works performs work on roads, city engineers seek to implement recommendations for bicycle lanes called for by the Bicycle Master Plan, adopted by the city council in 2014. Although the bicycling community would like change to happen even faster and more dramatically, we are thankful to Engineering for the progress that the city is making in creating a truly integrated network of lanes and trails that residents can use for both bicycling—both recreation and utilitarian (riding to school, work, and to run errands).

At this month’s committee meeting, city traffic engineers officially—and compared to past years—belatedly announced this summer’s bike lane improvements. But it was worth the wait. Here are some of this year’s projects (some of which are well underway now):

– Bike lanes on 500 West from 300 South to the new Westside Connector at about 2000 South. (This one is huge! Finally residents of southwest Provo will have a safe option to ride into the city center.)

– Lanes on Indian Hills Drive/2780 North.

– Lanes on 900 West between Center Street and 500 North (another really important stretch).

In addition, Matt Parker, UDOT’s Region Three’s bicycle coordinator announced at the meeting that UDOT would be installing bike lanes on University Avenue from near the mouth of Provo Canyon all the way down to 700 North this fall.

We would also like to publicly—and yes, belatedly—thank Public Works for the improvements that were completed last year, in 2015. They included:

The addition of bike lanes on 2300 North and 1450 East near Rock Canyon

Looking east on 2300 North

Headed west on 2300 North (the Provo Temple is on the left)

At the intersection of 2300 North/1450 East and the road to the Rock Canyon parking lot

Facing the other direction near the intersection of 2300 North/1450 East and road to the Rock Canyon parking lot

Climbing south on 1450 East

Again, the view to the north on 1450 East

The extension of the lanes on 3700 North to the intersection at University Avenue (where Will’s Pit Stop is).

Looking toward 50 West and University Avenue on 3700 North (on an inversion day when more people besides the photographer need be bicycling)

The extension of the lanes on 620 North to Geneva Road eliminating a one to two block gap

Heading west on 620 North approaching Geneva Road

620 North and Geneva Road

A reconfiguration of the bike lanes (through the elimination of the center median and restoration of on-street parking) on Independence Avenue from Center Street to 820 West.

Independence Avenue headed south close to Center Street

Independence Avenue near 500 North

Independence Avenue near Freedom Prep Academy just south of 820 North

Again, a huge thank you to everyone in Provo who is working on making our streets safer for all road users. Get out and ride the new lanes (and check out the roads where we’ll be seeing even more lanes soon).

Huge News: Funding for the Frontrunner Ped / Bike Overpass Secured

Happy dance time. The much-needed ped / bike overpass to the Frontrunner station has received funding!

As explained by Mayor Curtis, the overpass was selected for funding as a part of the competitive TIGER grant process.

More than 30 communities worked together with regional transportation planning offices, UDOT, UTA local leaders to be chosen out of 585 other applications.

The exact plans aren’t finalized, but take a look at this awesome rendering of a Provo ped / bike bridge from the imaginations of Urban Design Associates working with the Giv Group.

No more climbing between freight trains to get to the Frontrunner station (dangerous!) or missing your commute. You guys showed up at UTA community meetings, talked to MAG reps at bicycle committee meetings, and sent a clear message with survey responses and emails. Thanks for speaking up, everyone!

Spring 2016 Golden Spoke Award Winner: Susan Krueger-Barber

The Provo Bicycle Committee is pleased to announce the recipient of its fifth annual spring/summer Golden Spoke Award. The award is presented to someone who demonstrates a commitment to bicycling by doing something very logical—using a bicycle as an everyday tool to get around—to work, to school, to run errands, and perhaps for recreation. The award may also be presented to someone who has made a significant contribution to bicycling becoming more of a safe, pleasant, and common sense way to get around. It is called the Golden Spoke Award because each bicyclist and each bicycle advocate is like a spoke in a wheel that helps make Provo a more bicycle-friendly community and improves our collective quality of life. Each of us can advocate for bikes, more bike-friendly complete streets, bike lanes and trails, and most importantly each of us can bike wherever and whenever possible. Many of us take many trips that are about a mile or so, which can easily and pleasantly be completed on a bicycle.

This year’s recipient of the Golden Spoke Award is Susan Krueger-Barber of Joaquin Neighborhood, and by extension the members of the Complete the Street group from Joaquin and Maeser that organized a fantastic street party last June as a way to help people reimagine 200 East as a Neighborhood Greenway, a public space that accommodates and is safe for people on foot and on bike, and not just for those in cars. The 200 East Neighborhood Greenway will run from 600 South, north past the downtown, and end at 800 North at BYU. It will serve as safe and pleasant route for people to move between these neighborhoods, the Frontrunner Station, the downtown area, and BYU.

For example, there are many BYU employees who live north of Provo in northern Utah County and Salt Lake and regularly take Frontrunner to Provo but currently do not have a safe route to bicycle from the station to campus. For them, this Neighborhood Greenway is a dream come true. It will provide a safe route for them and others by discouraging through auto- traffic on 200 East, and give priority to bicyclists and pedestrian through traffic calming devices like bulb-outs, sharrows, and safe intersections, such as the one being built as part of the 300 South project. And on cold, wet days, these colleagues and other colleagues who are less enthusiastic about riding a bike look forward to having a frequent and quick transit option to get to and from campus with BRT in 2018.

Susan and her Joaquin neighbors understood this vision and working closely with Community Development and Public Works made some temporary changes to the street to help folks imagine how much better it could be.

Perhaps the best way of explaining what they did is to show you a video about the event:

Isn’t Susan’s enthusiasm infectious? She was the energy behind this project, and ably supported by Celeste Kennard, Sage Pearson, Chris Wiltsie, and dozens of others. Thanks to Mayor Curtis and members of the city council, including Chair Santiago for attending the party. We are planning to stage another act of city-sanctioned tactical urbanism on 500 North from Joaquin to Dixon in conjunction with Bike to School Week in September. We look forward to your support.

Provo Bicycle Committee Presents to Provo City Council

On January 19, the Provo Bicycle Committee presented to the city council during its work session.

In case you didn’t catch it, the highlights were:

– We thanked the council and administration for their support to make Provo more bicycle friendly.

– We offered to periodically have the committee report to the council and/or to TMAC.

– We emphasized that our efforts to make Provo bicycle friendly are fundamentally about improving the Provo’s quality of life.

– We noted the specific quality of life benefits of being bicycle friendly: reducing air pollution; reducing congestion and parking pressures; calming traffic; boosting economic vibrancy and making it easier for employers to recruit and retain highly educated, tech savvy employees, especially millennials, by providing residents with transportation options; and encouraging active lifestyles that improve the health and happiness of the community.

– We provided an overview of the accomplishments of the bicycle community last year, and encouraged Provo to send a delegation to Fort Collins, a platinum-level bicycle-friendly city that Provo could learn a lot from not just in terms of bicycling, but also in terms of parking, transit (BRT), and other quality of life issues.

– We also encouraged the city to support more tactical urbanist events like the one held in the Joaquin Neighborhood last June.

– Finally, we urged the council to do three specific things to more aggressively implement the Bicycle Master Plan and improve Provo’s quality of life.

1. Adopt complete streets as an official policy in the form of a intent statement.

2. Support the creation of a city bicycle coordinator position. (Fort Collins has had one since 1995, and Salt Lake and Ogden do as well.)

3. Support the allocation of dedicated funding for the construction of bicycling and pedestrian infrastructural improvements. This will help engineering go beyond making small incremental

New Provo Bicycle Lanes This Summer

“If we build them, people will come … and bicycle”

At the last monthly Provo Bicycle Committee meeting, the city engineering informed us what roads would be blessed with bicycle facility improvements this summer. Most are the result of road repaving projects and correspond to what is called for by the city’s newly adopted Bicycle Master Plan. Here is the list:

– Bike lanes have already been painted in on 600 South (from 1600 W to 1100 W) and on 1100 W (from 600 S to 1560 S)

– Bike lanes are likely to be painted in on 1150 South (from 1600 W and 1100 W) pending a decision about removing some on-street parking

– Bike lanes on Canyon Rd (from Foothill to University Ave)

– Marked road shareway on 2320 North (from 2200 N to Timpview Dr) and 2230 North (from University Ave to Canyon Rd)

– Bike lanes on 2230 North (from Canyon to 2320 N)

– Bike lanes on 2200 North (from N Temple to 2300 N)

– Even though road work is taking place on 900 East, bicycle improvements will wait until BRT construction begins

– Roadwork will occur on Freedom Boulevard this summer (from 200 N to Bulldog) but there is no room for lanes. The Committee has proposed putting lanes in on 100 West (from 800 N to Center) where there is plenty of width so on-street parking would not be impacted.

That’s it. Enjoy the ride–it will be safer and more pleasant thanks to Engineering and the efforts of the Committee.

Post by Aaron Skabelund, Chair of the Provo Bicycle Committee. Thanks to Joli for the new lane photography.

Bicycle Volunteers Needed on June 26, 27, & 29

If you’re interested in lending a hand for the cycling community, we need volunteers for a couple of events next week.

Helpers are needed for the Timpanogos Gran Fondo on June 29th, and we’re looking for some additional volunteers to help out at aid stations and along the course on race-day. If you’re interested, the organizers are happy to give all the volunteers one of their race shirts, a guaranteed spot in next year’s race, and a $10 discount for next year’s event. We know it’s last minute, but please sign up by this weekend and let them know that you’re with the BikeProvo.org when you sign up (it will appear as an option).

Bike Rodeo volunteers are needed throughout the summer to help guide obstacle courses, fix flat tires, etc. At the moment, volunteers are needed for the evenings of June 26th and June 27th. Email bikeprovo (at) gmail (dot) com to volunteer and get more info.

Thanks for your willingness to help our city become more bike friendly!

Provo City Bike Week (May 13th-19th 2013)

Please join us for a week of fun rides, new friends, and healthy exercise in our warming Provo weather. Everyone is invited to join us for the activities below. Over the past few years our Bike Weeks have been wildly successful and they are a wonderful chance for you to get involved in Provo’s bicycle community, whether you are work commuter, a riding family, a local student, or a potential volunteer.

Take a look at the Facebook events and upcoming blog posts for additional information about each event.

Monday 13th–   9pm Monday Night, Night Ride at Joaquin Park

Tuesday 14th –  7:30am Mayor’s Bike-to-Work Ride at Utah County Courthouse in Provo

6pm FREE Bike Tune-up Clinic at Joaquin Park

Wednesday 15th– 7pm Ride of Silence at Dixon Middle  School

Thursday 16th– 6:30pm Cycling Shorts (Bike Movies) at the Provo Bicycle Collective 49 N 1100 W

Friday 17th–   7:30pm Volunteer Open House at the Provo  Bicycle Collective

Saturday 18th– All day Murdock Trail Opening 1200 N 800 E Orem.

Sunday 19th-   6:30pm Sunday Best Ride at the  Provo Bicycle Collective (49N 1100W)

Brought to you by: BikeProvo.org, Provo Bicycle Collective, Provo City and the Provo Bicycle Committee.