Want a Happy Ending if your Bike is Stolen?

By Norman Thurston, Utah State House District 64 Representative and bikeprovo Board Member

A year ago, I decided to stop using my car to get to work. It’s about 2 miles from my house to the FrontRunner station in Provo, then another 2 from Salt Lake Central to work. I saved up my money and invested in a nice commuter bike (Specialized Crosstrail) and added some features thanks to some suggestions from a friend in the Provo bicycling community. I registered it with Provo City at the BIke Collective. It was also registered on bikeindex.org

Here I am on Bike to Work Day, along with Lucy Ordaz, another bikeprovo board member, at UTA’s breakfast station.

At work, we have a covered bike rack right outside the front door which made it easy to lock up and get in the building.

On Sept 19, when I came out out the building to ride home, there was no bike, and the cut lock was laying on the ground. I called 911 and a patrol officer from SLC PD responded surprisingly quickly and took the report. Fortunately, the bike rack is covered by our security video system, so they were able to provide SLCPD with a close up of the person that stole it as well as video of the whole sequence of events.

Here is the video (the suspect appears at about 44 seconds):

The woman who stole it had actually come into the building, talked with the security desk to ask about using the restroom, then left the building. A minute later she was seen coming back straight to the bike rack with some kind of tool that she used to cut the lock and calmly ride away.

With the video evidence, SLCPD was able to identify the thief (Oct 17) and get the prosecutor to file charges in a few weeks. (At the moment, they are still looking for her, but are confident that she will show up sooner rather than later.)

About 2 months after it was stolen, I got a call from the detective that the bike had been located at a pawn shop in South Salt Lake. They found it there during a routine check of serial numbers in the pawn database.

The detective was very helpful in getting through the process to seize the bike and get it returned. It took about 3 weeks from the time they found it until I got it back.
It is in suprisingly good shape – someone added a kcikstand and a water bottle holder – but it does need a tune-up now.

Lessons learned:
1. Make sure you keep the receipt showing the serial number and the value. (That was very helpful to the police.)
2. Register the bike with local PD and on bikeindex
3. Get a really good lock (I had a cable lock, now I have a U-lock)
4. Don’t park in the same place every day.
5. Keep the bike inside a building if you can.

2018 Pedestrian Summit

At the Pedestrian Summit on November 29th, Provo was well-represented by  attendees (at least five) and presenters. Chad Thomas, from Economic Development, and Mary Wade from the PTA board at Timpanogos Elementary, participating in a panel discussion that followed the keynote speech of Jon Larsen, Salt Lake City’s Transportation Director.
Here are the highlights of that talk and the panel:
Jon Larsen: “It is our job to “design for stupid” because we’re all a little stupid sometimes. I hope to someday see pedestrian fatality as a thing of the past as we now view polio. The best way to make real strides toward our zero fatalities goal is this: we need to differentiate between the design for highways and the design for streets.”
Juliette Ruzzio, keynote speaker and Miss Wheelchair America 2005: “Transportation is an equalizer for people with disabilities. When we design for the most vulnerable, the transportation system works for us all.”

Chad Thomas: It’s important to be willing to say no to developers until they agree to standards we have set to keep our cities attractive and walkable. Chad also stressed the importance of leaders truly walking the talk and moving toward active transportation and transit.

Mary Wade: Nearly 100 families responded to the PTA’s survey to find out how they feel about walking or biking to Timpanogos, a walking-designated elementary school here in Provo. Regularly seeking out and responding to their voices is essential if we want to get our Safe Routes to School plans right for education, engineering, enforcement, encouragement, and evaluation. We can work toward healthier cultural norms as we positively frame our messaging for what’s possible in our neighborhoods.

Tactical Urbanism in Orem

A giant doughnut could be the key to slowing down cars in front of the Orem Fitness Center.

Painted by a group of volunteers who took to the roads by the Orem Fitness Center on Friday evening with paint and a vision to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists, the temporary traffic calming fixtures like the pink doughnut could be used to make Orem roads safer.

Read more from the Daily Herald.

BikeProvo Instagram Update

It’s time to put our money where our mouths are. If you believe increased bike-ability will improve Provo, we need your help. We’re raising $500 to affiliate as a 501c3 nonprofit organization. This will allow us to more easily raise money to fund tactical urbanism projects and hire urbanist speakers to train city employees.
We only need $75 more dollars. Will you give for a bike-friendly Provo?

Donate today! Link in bio.

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Docuseries by Provo filmmaker highlights lifelong biker

Created by Brad Barber, a longtime bike rider and university professor in Provo, UT.

What is it that ties us to the state where we currently live and adopt it as the one we’re “from”? How does living in our states define us? States of America is a series of short documentaries–one from each of our 50 states–that ask these questions by featuring everyday people as diverse as the landscape in the places they call home. This is a story of Rhode Island.

Jack is a native of Rhode Island and has called the Ocean State his home for all 82 years of his life. He is a volunteer meal deliverer for Meals on Wheels and a tour guide with the Providence Preservation Society. Jack believes that the people you spend your life with have the greatest potential to inspire you.

*States of America is created and produced by Brad Barber
*Rhode Island is directed and shot by Brad Barber, edited by Kelton Davis, with music by Micah Dahl Anderson. Title design by Brian Turley and Mark T. Lewis.

 

BYU makes steps to become more bike-friendly

Recently, BYU launched bike.byu.edu, a website that informs students, faculty, and staff of  how to stay safe and have fun while riding your bike to, from, and on campus.

The site lists suggested routes to and from campus, ways to keep your bike in good shape, and even ways to get involved in bike advocacy.

Check out the website right now!

BYU has taken a very promising step forward and we hope that it will continue to do so!