Making the Provo River Trail a Safer Place for Cyclists and Pedestrians

Looking south at sunset from the bed of the Arroyo Seco

After the devastating sexual assault on the Provo River Trail last month, a lot of dedicated people have come together to help make the trail a safer place to walk or ride a bike.

At a recent Bicycle Committee Meeting Officer Crosby made it very clear that the blame for rape is 100% with the perpetrator and that women should feel safe using the trail.

At the same time, there’s a lot that the community can do to encourage use of the trail and make it a safer place for everyone. The Provo River Trail is such an amazing resource in our community (what other city has a scenic, car-free trail that can take people all over the city – from the Lake, to the airport, up into the canyon). We think the trail is worth fighting for. 

Here’s what has already been done to keep the Provo River Trail safe:

  • The Bike Committee worked with Provo Parks and Rec to have way finding signs posted so that trail users can know where they are and emergency responders can get to a scene faster.
  • Parks and Rec added lights to the tunnel for night-time safety
  • The Provo Police Department has started a “Take 10” program asking every officer to patrol the trail on foot for ten minutes of every shift.
  • Many groups have worked to raise awareness: the Mayor blogged about the trail, the Police Department distributed trail safety fliers to nearby residents, and the Provo Bicycle Collective hosted a Safety Awareness Ride.

Here’s what is going to be done to keep the Provo River Trail safe:

  • Provo City is forming citizen patrol to watch over the trail by bicycle.
  • The Provo Police Department is selecting officers for a bike-only patrol.
  • New “See something? Say something” signs are being posted throughout the trail urging people to report suspicious behavior to a non-emergency number.
  • A Take Back the Night march and vigil is being planned for early April.
  • The Provo Bicycle Committee is working to encourage greater trail use. The more of us that use the trail, the safer it will be for all of us.

Here’s what you can do to keep the Provo River Trail Safe:

  • Sign up to volunteer as a member of the citizen patrol. The training is only a couple of hours and you can patrol at times that fit your schedule. Many bike patrol participants will only be patrolling once a month or so. For more information see the training event on the Fans of the Provo River Path Facebook Page or contact Officer Bascom: kbascom@provo.utah.gov or (801) 852-7288.
  • Come to the Take Back the Night march in April (details will be posted on the blog soon).
  • Use the Provo River Trail as much as possible. Encourage your friends to get out and enjoy the trail.
  • Know of a friend or family member that plans to ride alone? Be a buddy and join them on the trail.
  • Get involved in making Provo a safer place to ride a bike by following us on Facebook and coming to the Provo Bicycle Committee meetings (the second and fourth Tuesday of every month, 5 pm, 351 W. Center Street in the council offices upstairs).

Creative Commons License photo credit: ubrayj02

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