The High Cost of Free Parking

Yesterday Donald Shoup (aka Shoup Dogg) came to the Salt Lake Valley to speak about our current parking issues and how we can solve them.

Shoup suggests two main things:

  1. Abolish minimum parking requirements
  2. Charge the right price for parking
He argues that if cities can do these two things, there will be enough parking where people need it; not too little where they want it and too much where it’s not needed.
See this wonderful video to learn more! If you want to get really nerdy, buy his book with the same title.

Report on 2013 Utah Bike Summit, University of Utah (April 26, 2013)

bike summit 2013by Aaron Skabelund, Provo Bicycle Committee Co-Chair

After coming away with several ideas from last year’s bike summit that are now becoming a reality, including the creation of a bike skills park in Provo, I was excited to participate in this year’s summit. I was not disappointed. It is a great time to be a bicyclist, and an advocate for bicycling in Utah. A tailwind of change is pushing our efforts forward, and real government support to make our communities more bicycle-friendly is growing. These positive developments were evident at the summit in at least three ways:

  • Because there is serious support from top state politicians and officials. This year program participants included no less than the state senate president, Wayne Neiderhauser, a fellow senator, Todd Weiler, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, Ogden City Mayor Mike Caldwell, and then several top administrators of UDOT, UTA, WFRC (Wasatch Front Regional Council representing the Salt Lake-Davis counties), and MAG (Mountainland Association of Governments representing Utah County).  All the politicians were avid cyclists of one sort or another and the bureaucrats were uniformly enthusiastic about bicycling. As a result, positive developments are accelerating. For example, Weiler, who began commuting from Woods Cross to downtown SLC by bike four years ago and has survived four accidents with automobiles (one of which should have probably killed him), successfully shepherded State Bill 104 through the legislature. Caldwell, a hard-core roadie, had just returned from a trade mission to Taipei to court Taiwanese companies to set up shop in Ogden and add to the over 2000 jobs outdoors-related jobs in the city. In short, it makes a difference for bicycling that top leaders like to bike.
  • Because of the emergence of a new paradigm. “Active Transportation” was a term that I did not hear once at last year’s gathering but was touted again and again at this year’s summit.  Active transportation is forms of commuting like bicycling that provide people the opportunity to move their bodies rather than just sit. Top UTA official Michael Allegra bragged that its buses and trains had carried over 1 million bicycles last year, and that its buses will soon carry 3 rather than just 2 bicycles on the front of buses. SLC representatives rejoiced that in 2013, what Mayor Ralph Becker dubbed the “Year of the Bike,” bicycle mode share has reached 4.6%, seen a 30% increase over the last 2 years, bicycle corrals are spreading thanks to requests from businesses, and its bike-share program is off to a superb start.
  • Because Tim Blumenthal said so. Blumental, a longtime bike advocate and the president of Bikes Belong, delivered an upbeat but thoughtful keynote address. He discussed the current strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for bicyclists. The strengths of bicycling now are: it is popular (about 50 million or 1/5 of adults ride bicycles), it is a part of the solution to lots of problems (including foul air), it is supported by almost every big-city mayor, it is growing (especially for short trips in big cities), and it boosts business. The most serious weakness is that riders usually face sub-par bicycling conditions. In Blumenthal’s estimation, about 60% of people are what he calls “interested but concerned.” They are not like the small minority who will ride regardless of the conditions. Because they do not see bicycling as safe, they are not willing to ride. These are the people who should be our focus. Other weaknesses include tight transportation budgets, distracted drivers, and bike riders who often unpredictable. Getting the “interested but concerned” to ride is one of Blumenthal’s top priorities and to do that he advocated what he calls “green lanes” and what SLC calls “cycle tracks,” bicycle lanes that are separated and protected.  He also encourage us to slow down neighborhood traffic (to 25 mph), encourage more kids to ride, argue that bicycling is a cost-effective infrastructure investment, and quantify the benefits of bicycling.

We are taking advantage of these positive developments in Provo and our success was mentioned several times by summit participants. Utah County’s expanding valley trail system and bicycle lane, with Provo at is core, is becoming a model for the state and beyond. The Provo Bicycle Committee’s record of making advocacy successful and fun was hailed as a success story. And next year, the summit will be here in our Bronze-Status Bicycle-Friendly Community of Provo. This is indeed a good time to be a bicyclist, and an advocate for bicycling in Utah, especially in Provo. So keep riding and if you are not already please get involved in some way to make our community even more bicycle friendly.

BikeUtah Looking for Volunteers

BikeUtah is starting up a Pit Stop Station program which will get more advocates on the ground all around Utah. If you are interested contact the email below.

Volunteer Training with Bike Utah

Pit Stop Stations: Taking Cycling Advocacy to the Streets – At Bike Utah we are dedicated to promoting safe cycling and we can’t think of a better way to create awareness for our cause than to engage the community. This spring we were thrilled to kick-start our new Pit Stop Stations program. A “Pit Stop” is a community-based movement to unite cyclists and encourage safe cycling, better legislation, and building a powerful cycling voice in Utah.

If you are interested in getting more involved with grassroots cycling advocacy this is your chance. Volunteers will have the opportunity to run Pit Stop Stations throughout the year in any community in Utah.

JOIN US on July 11 from 5:30 to 6:30 at the Utah Non-Profit Association offices (231 East 400 South, Ste 345) for Pit Stop Station volunteer training!

Please RSVP to Scott Lyttle at 435-901-4191 or slyttle@BikeUtah.org – Space is limited!


2012 Road Respect Tour Kicks Off

The Road Respect Tour is up and riding for the second year in a row. “What is the Road Respect Tour,” you ask? The Tour is a joint effort between UDOT, Zero Fatalities, BikeUtah, a ton of sponsors, and drivers/riders around the state. The purpose of the Tour is to educate all road users on how to safety interact with each other. On their website they have a Ride With Respect/Drive With Respect section that outlines each road users rights, and obligations. For the last year they have been running ads, and billboards all over the state, and now they are out on their bikes spreading the good word in communities as far south as St. George, and as far north as Logan. Last year the Tour started up north and worked its way down. They even stopped in Provo, and were greeted by the Mayor as well as a bunch of riders who came out to show support (check our coverage here).

This year the Tour has started down south, which unfortunately has not saved them from the nasty wind we are experiencing right now. Here is a Facebook post from one of the riders;

Road Respect day #1 was a tough day from Beaver, Ut to St. George. We had 30 mph headwinds all day with gusts to 55. We were drafting the Mad Dog trailer at 10mph and struggling to stay with them. Wow! what a day. We head north tomorrow and hope the winds don’t change direction too soon. 

You know these riders are dedicated if they are riding in 55mph gusts. I also heard that one of the riders, who must be as strong as Lance Armstrong, snapped his rear derailleur off mid pedal stroke. All of this and they have only been out one day. Fortunately the derailleur was repaired, unfortunately the riders are still fighting the wind. Even in the wind they are working their way up north though and will be in Utah Valley soon enough. When are they coming to Provo you might ask? Sadly due to some miscommunication Provo will not get the Tour this year. However, Evelyn Tuddenham (who is the head of UDOT’s Bike and Ped Department), promised that the Tour would come visit Provo in the Fall sometime perhaps to ring in the new bicycle master plan which should be done by then.

Until then you can find a stop near by to go and see the riders as they roll through.  You can also make sure to be aware of the right way to ride wether you are behind the wheel or on them. Ride safe and make sure to spread the good word.

New App from BikeUtah

Ever been riding your bike and wondered if you could take the lane on a particular road, or if the car that just buzzed you could get in trouble for passing too closely? Well guess what there is an app for that. BikeUtah our state wide bicycle advocacy group has put together a great little app (iPhone and iPad for now), which ties you into all the cycling laws for Utah, different events happening around the state, as well as all of BikeUtah’s social/online communities.

I like the app for how simple it is, and how quickly you can access key information and social connections to riding around. It provides a great base for any rider to learn more and get more connected on the state level. It would be really neat to see the events section expand to all cycling events around the state, and to highlight events in the exact place that you find yourself. This could be done by a city selector, or by using the location service which the app already accesses. How awesome would it be to be in Moab and check out your handy BikeUtah app to connect with riders and rides there in Moab? I think it would be super awesome! Not only could we expand connections between cyclists in the state, but we could also get more people on the app more often which would keep more of us in the loop on national and state wide issues.

Overall this is a great app which I recommend everyone getting. You can download the app for free at the App Store.

Utah Bike Summit 2012 Tomorrow

Flying Pigeon LA feeder ride to CicLAvia on April 15, 2012Don’t forget that tomorrow is the 2012 Utah Bike Summit: Bike Elevated on May 4 – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Union Station (2501 Wall Avenue) in Ogden, UT (short walk from Frontrunner). The summit promises to be an inspiring and informative day bringing Utah’s bicycling community together to improve cycling across the state. Register now!

Registration hour with Continental Breakfast is 8-9am, registration includes UTA Frontrunner to and from Ogden, continental breakfast, lunch and snacks, there will be bike valet service at the Summit, compliments of Ogden’s Bike Collective.

This year’s featured speakers:

  • Randy Neufeld, SRAM Cycling Fund Director & President of America Bikes
  • Michael Allegra, UTA General Manager
  • Gary Sjoquist, QBP Advocacy Director
  • Mike Caldwell, Ogden Mayor
  • Jeremy Peterson, Utah House Representative – House District 9
  • Lori Harward, Director of Utah ‘s NICA Chapter
  • Ryan Schutz, IMBA

Registration for the summit is only $20 for Bike Utah members, $35 for general attendance and $15 for students, government employees please email me for discount code. All registration prices include, free round-trip Frontrunner UTA transportation to Ogden from SLC, breakfast, lunch and snacks and a discount for the Ghost Town Century on May 5.

More information on: www.bikeutah.com.

Creative Commons License photo credit: ubrayj02

Do You Follow Bike Utah?

Here on BikeProvo we try to keep you informed of all the events and bike projects going on in the valley. But, don’t forget to stay apprised of state issues too. By following Bike Utah you can read about state-wide cycling.

Take a look at their website for news on their bicycle advocacy projects, subscribe to their newsletter, and follow them on Facebook. In addition to working with the Utah legislature to create bike-smart laws, they also hold an annual state-wide Bike Summit with outstanding guest speakers from around the country.

Thanks for all your hard work at the state level, Bike Utah!

Hey Provo Cyclists, Is That Air You’re Breathing Really Safe?

Aamusumussa 2.10.2011
As winter (sort of) gets underway, this is just a reminder about how important it is for valley cyclists to keep track of air quality.

Provo usually has pretty decent air. But, because of the inversion in the valley, on some days we have the worst air in the nation. On these days, residents are encouraged to avoid using their cars and further contributing to the problem. However, it is also unsafe to do laborious physical exercise outdoors. (I’m not exaggerating here. Schools keep kids inside. And, if you go for a wild bike ride, your lungs will be seriously displeased).

To check the Provo air quality forecast, you can always take a look at airquality.utah.gov.

The bad news is that you can’t ride on bad air quality days. The good news is that by riding a bike instead of driving on good air quality days, you can help eliminate the pollution problem in the valley and make the air cleaner for all of us to breathe. Thanks for riding!

Creative Commons License photo credit: Aken kuvia

Construction Update From UDOT

Share Lane With Bicyclists
Creative Commons License photo credit: richardmasoner

We recently received the following construction notices from our good friend, and head of all things bicycles at UDOT, Evelyn Tuddenham. Thank you for the heads up Evelyn.

Region 1 (801-620-1600), Vic Saunders, Public Involvement Coordinator
I-84; Rattlesnake to Howell, eastbound and westbound (Jace Mecham, Nathan Peterson)
Region 2 (801-975-4900), Adan Carrillo, Public Involvement Coordinator
SR 32, Kamas to Peoa (Tony Lau, Ritchie Taylor)
SR 248; High School to County line (Steve Poulsen, Tony Lau)
SR 248; County line to SR 32, Kamas Main Street (Steve Poulsen, Tony Lau)
Foothill Drive, Sunnyside to I-215 (Steve Poulsen, Travis Ackermann)
4100 South & Bangerter (Matt Zundel, Marwan Farah)
Region 3 (801-227-8000) Scott Thompson, Public Inovlvement Coordinator) 
 US 6; milepost 189 to 193 (Robert Westover, Brian Phillips)
SR 92; milepost 23 to 27 (Matt Parker, Brian Phillips)
US 40; Roosevelt L Intersection (John Clarkson)
2 locations at 6th Street in Lehi (Matt Parker, Brian Phillips)
Region 4  (800-387-3390 or 435-893-4799) Scott Thompson, Public Involvement Coordinator
US 89; SR 256 to Centerfield (Jared Dastrup, Clayton Wilson)
Kanab Creek Ranchos Bridge (Scott Goodwin)
I-70; milepost 138 to 141, 153 to 155 (Jared Dastrup, Rustin Anderson)
Please adjust your cycling routes as necessary

Road Respect Tour and a Local Shop Done Good

UDOT has just launched their new Road Respect Campaign. The campaign seeks to educate both drivers and cyclists on the rules of the road. In comment after comment the citizens of Provo have wanted to see some form of education take place, and (while not perfect) this is a great starting point. As part of the launch they will be doing a tour, on bicycles, across Utah. They will be stoping in key places including our very own wonderful city (more details to come). You will also start seeing billboards, commercials, radio spots, etc. We highly recommend liking them on Facebook and letting your cycling and non-cycling friends know about this campaign. The more who know the better and safer our roads can become.

MadDog Cycles is doing a ton of work with UTDOT on this project. They were on Channel 13 today with UDOT talking about the ride and about safety. They also got the anchors on some Big Wheels and had a race around the studio. A big thanks to MadDog for all they are doing for safe cycling in Provo. Enjoy.