Here’s something that should put a smile on your face: the Bulldog Boulevard project will be going through. The Regional Planning Committee just voted tonight to fund the project.
One of the most exciting aspects of the project is the protected bicycle lanes – the first in Provo! These lanes should help reduce the high number of bicycle / car collisions that are frequent through this corridor.
Funding is officially slated for 2019. However, it is possible that the project may begin sooner. Big thanks to the Regional Planning Committee, county commissioners, mayors, and (especially) our local engineering and planning professionals for their dedication on this visionary project.
Bring your bikes (and your kids trikes) to Memorial Park on May 28th for a celebration of cycling! We will be learning about bike safety, chalking up the street, bouncing in bounce houses, and giving away a Madsen bucket bike!
“Now that we’re back in Provo, I’ve begun using a Madsen cargo bike or ‘bucket bike’ to get our groceries. I’ve absolutely loved it. I think that if someone is going from a car to a bucket bike they might not be quite so impressed, but going from a stroller to a Madsen has been amazing. 🙂 I’ve even taken it up to Costco a few times. (The ride back along University Parkway has an amazing view of the valley, too!)”
Meet new family friends who share your love of cycling and start your weekend off with a celebration.
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.
On April 5th, a half dozen Provo residents joined hundreds of other Utahns— everyday riders, bicycle and trail advocates, representatives from Utah’s bicycle industry, planners, engineers, representatives from Utah’s tourism industry and health fields, and local and state government officials—at the annual Utah Bike Summit held at Salt Palace. This year’s theme was Shifting into High Gear and focused on how to make Utah even more bicycle friendly. Here are the ideas that a few of them found the most interesting:
Austin Taylor, Joaquin Neighborhood
My biggest takeaway from the bike summit was the need to make cycling culture inclusive. Bicycle enthusiasts should not self-identify as “cyclists.” We’re normal people just like everyone else, we just happen to use cycling as our form of transport because it makes sense. If we reach out and make it easier to do what we do, more people will cycle with us.
Hugh Van Wagenen, Joaquin Neighborhood
Healthy Communities Through Active Transportation
Jordan Mathis of the Tri County Health Department gave a very insightful presentation about the correlation between people’s health and their modes of transportation. He began by pointing out what factors determine health status among individuals: medical care, human biology, environment, and lastly lifestyle. Lifestyle accounts for 50% of a person’s health status, which is the largest influencer of someone’s health. This is where active transportation, i.e. walking and biking, can play a major role in improving individual health in the United States. Walking and biking for daily transportation trips create an exercise routine that people don’t have to think about. But in order to increase active transportation trips, proper infrastructure must be built to protect vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians. “Remember, you are not only investing in infrastructure,” Mathis reminded the audience, “you are investing in human capital.”
Utah Department of Transportation
Shane Marshall of UDOT spoke about the culture change within the state’s transportation department. The DOT is now trying to actually be a department of transportation rather than a department of roads. Every project at UDOT is now considering active transportation improvements. Carolos Braceras, Director of UDOT, is really leading out on this change. UDOT, however, is a mighty large ship and it will take some time to fully bring her about. Mr. Marshall held a lengthy Q&A session where he was very open about UDOT’s policies. Personally, I think it is important to stay involved and influence UDOT as much as possible as they control major corridors through our communities. At the same time, our local jurisdictions probably have way more corridor miles that cyclists and pedestrians will be using. Influencing our local elected officials to make active transportation a priority will probably due far more to advance the cause than banging constantly on UDOT’s door.
Salt Lake City Projects
Staff members from Salt Lake City’s transportation department discussed several projects that have been recently implemented in the City. Among the most notable were the 300 South protected bike lanes, 200 West protected bike lanes, and protected intersection at 200 West 300 South. Salt Lake has done a ton of public outreach on these projects and collected a lot of data before and after construction. I had the chance to ride small sections of these projects and they rock. Hopefully, all the strides SLC has been making in the active transportation arena won’t come to a shrieking halt with the new administration. If you haven’t ridden these protected routes, jump on Frontrunner with your bike and check ‘em out.
Scott Shea, Franklin Neighborhood
The Utah Bike Summit really opened my eyes. I attended the breakout session, “Leveraging Bicycle Tourism in Utah.” The presentations sparked two realizations:
1) As a cyclist I realized the opportunity to take a cycle-cation, using my bike to travel around Utah and see some of the remote areas typically forgotten when using the freeways at 75 mph. These scenic locations are small towns with great personalities and lots to see and do. Cycle-cations can fit into any budget, either the shoe-string economy budget where you camp out in a local park with Top Ramen, to the credit card budget that includes a hotel room, hot shower, and going out to eat. I love to find little gems around Utah and biking through them would be an even bigger plus!
2) Provo has the potential to cater to touring bicyclists. We have all the amenities for all kinds of cyclists, including hotel rooms, camp grounds, restaurants, attractions, and a cycling culture. Provo can also be used as a hub for daily rides on a cycle-cation where visitorscan circle Utah Lake, climb Provo Canyon, or enjoy the Provo River Trail. We should work with the city and surrounding businesses to encourage cyclists to come visit Provo. We can utilize our Frontrunner station and invite everyone to come to the end of the line and go exploring!
Cycle-cations and increasing cycle tourism can also benefit Provo residents. We can benefit all cyclists by promoting the Bicycle Benefits program (http://www.bicyclebenefits.com/#/home). Local
business can offer discounts when you show up on your bike! Residents buy the $5 program helmet sticker at any of the participating businesses and then by showing your helmet at the business you get some determined discount. Salt Lake is actively participating in the
program, with grocery stores offering 10% off, restaurants offering free drinks, bicycle and other shops offering discounted services. We can capitalize on the bargain hunting nature of Utah County by promoting this program in our city which will encourage more bike riding in Provo. I know I would certainly ride my bike if it meant I got a discount!
Aaron Skabelund, Rivergrove Neighborhood
I appreciated the historical perspective that public health care expert Mathis took in his presentation. He argued that the United States puts far too much money into medical care rather than encouraging health lifestyles that would help prevent lifestyle diseases, like diabetes and heart disease. In 1900, the top three killers were communicable disease; now the top killers are chronic diseases that can be prevented through changes in lifestyle. Land use policies matter. Cities used form based zoning to separate residential areas from industrial areas. That was good in 1900, but is not good now. There is no reason for offices, stores to be entirely separated from residential areas. One of the legacies of such policies is that it has contributed to sprawl. Utah ranks second in the country in its rate of urban sprawl in the last ten years.
It is much for effective to address these challenges by creating organic opportunities that are built in people’s lives, like walking and bicycling to work, for people to be physically active rather than engineered exercise like a gym membership that people have to plan for and schedule into their lives. Utility cycling—using a bicycle to get to work and school and to run errands—Mathis concluded, can make a significant contribution to increased levels of physical activity and improving health.
During the QforA with UDOT’s Marshall, I asked him how we might persuade UDOT to narrow lane width to 10’ from 12’ and mentioned that on University and 300 South we were able to get them down to 11’. He said he was impressed that we were able to get UDOT regional officials to agree to 11’ and see that as a significant accomplishment.
The keynote speaker was urban designer and urban-mobility expert Mikeal Colville-Andersen, the founder and CEO of Copenhagenize Design Co. Team, which consults with cities on bicycle planning issues. He gave an extended and localized version of his fabulous TED talk, drawing on his experiences growing up in Calgary, living now in Copenhagen, and his observations of Utah. Here is a link to his TED talk and an interview with him the next day on KUER’s RadioWest. Definitely worth a listen!
The Provo Bicycle Collective is aiming to teach bicycle mechanics and maintenance to as many people in our County as possible. Their efforts have expanded in the last year and now include three main education programs.
Bicycle Mechanics 101 is an ongoing class on Tuesday nights at 7PM. Each class lasts 30 minutes and consists of a lecture and demonstration on a specific maintenance skill. Those attending are welcome to stay after to work on their bike or volunteer at the shop.
Earn-A-Bike is bike mechanics course offered for free to anyone ages 6-18. The classes are once a week for 10 weeks. Participants learn self-sufficiency skills including how to change a tire, to adjusting brakes, to taking apart a hub. Adam Khalilullah teaches 10-15 students each week and says, “I get to come here and work with kids after going to [BYU] all day. It’s the best part of my week.” Those who graduate, earn their own bike to take home with them and have skills they’ll keep forever.
At the Slate Canyon Detention Center, three staff members from the Collective teach a 12 week intensive bike mechanics course. The teens that participate receive a free bike voucher when they are released. Austin Taylor, the director of the Provo Collective, is often told that it’s a favorite class: “it’s a good outlet for them to be able to pick up tools and work out things with their hands.”
The prominent placement of this sign that I noticed for the first time on my daily ride to work, noting BYU’s designation by the League of American Bicyclists as a Bicycle-Friendly University, on the main entrance road into campus speaks volumes to the university’s increased valuation of bicycling as well as walking (this road no longer serves as a thoroughfare through what is a now much more pedestrian friendly campus) and transit (evidenced by an expanded shuttle system and the administration’s clear support for a robust mass transit system around BYU).
Yes, BYU can do more but it is headed in the right direction thanks strong, forward-thinking leadership and members of the campus community who are concerned about campus and the wider community and the air we all breath. Let’s celebrate these developments and bike, walk, and make sure we create the best transit system possible with the Provo-Orem Transportation Improvement Project.
Please take this survey (only about 15 mins) to help our local government know how passionately Provo feels about adequate bicycle and pedestrian access as roads are re-built.
The survey will ask you to rank concerns (including bike and ped safety) about several future road projects. You’ll also get to look at several renderings of how specific roads might be built in the future, including 800 North, 820 North, 620 North, and more.
Do you want to see more bike lanes? Should more pedestrian trails connect to the Provo River Trail? Should bike lanes be protected? Your answers to these questions actually have a pretty major impact on how our local roads get built.
If you see a design that could be improved (i.e. features painted bike lanes when there really should be protected bike lanes, you can also fill-in-the-blanks with your own suggestions. For example:
The Utah Bike Summit is the statewide bicycle conference. The summit brings together everyday riders, bicycle and trail advocates, representatives from Utah’s bicycle industry, planners, engineers, representatives from Utah’s tourism industry and health fields, and local and state government officials in order to make Utah more bicycle friendly. Regardless of your interest in bicycling (transportation, recreation, road, mountain, commuter), the Utah Bike Summit is for you and all are encouraged to attend.
This year’s summit will be held on April 5th at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City and we are bringing Copenhagen to Utah. This year’s keynote speaker is Danish bicycle transportation expert Mikael Colville-Andersen. Here is a link to one of Mikael’s TED Talks. We will also have a closing address from Andy Clarke who served as the president of the League of American Bicyclists for 12 years before stepping down last year. In addition, there will be an update from UDOT Deputy Director Shane Marshall. The remainder of the day will be filled with breakout sessions that cover a wide variety of subjects related to increasing and improving bicycling across Utah.
Register here by Friday March 19th before prices go up or seats run out.
A group from Provo will be headed up and you’re invited to join in the fun. Follow the Provo Bicycle Committee group to meet up with fellow Provoians. This is a fantastic way to start getting more involved, find out what’s planned for Utah, and learn how to become an advocate for bikes in our community.
Come make new friends and enjoy a slow paced 3 mile ride around Provo. Everyone is invited to participate – bring your kids, family and neighbors! The ride will end at Writ & Vision (274 Center St) just in time for the 7:00 pm Art Discussion.
You can choose to ride home from there or attend the Art Discussion featuring a roundtable panel commemorating the impact of women on the growth of Provo. Learn more about the Art Discussion here.