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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!

Big Improvements Coming to the Provo River Trail

Thanks to the passing of the RAP (recreation, arts, and parks) tax, Provo will soon be seeing some much-needed improvements to the southern portion of the Provo River Trail (headed towards Utah Lake).

Those of us who ride the trail regularly are likely to have a long list of trail wishes – improving safety, increasing visibility, reducing blind corners…

What would you like to see? Start thinking now so you can weigh in with the city when the time is right.

If you’re not sure, hop on your bicycle and ride the Provo River Parkway down to Utah Lake. It’s a GORGEOUS ride right now, with tunnels of shimmering golden leaves and even jack-o’-lanterns shining from the shore near the ropes course.

Image: Mariott

Introducing Provo’s New Bikeway: The Lakeview Parkway Trail

A short photo essay by Joli Hunt, who regularly bikes to school and work along 500 West and hopes the day it will be striped with bike lanes is not too far away.

Have you had a chance yet to bike on Provo newest trail? It’s all the rave for us who live near south 500 West and anyone else living in southwest Provo. It can be enjoyed, however, by those far and near. The 3.7 mile-long Lakeview Parkway and Trail that runs parallel to the road on its south side stretches from I-15 to the Provo Municipal Airport and has access points at 1860 South (via the walkway that crosses at I-15 from the East Bay Technology Park), 500 West, 1100 West, and 3110 West near the airport.

Exciting, right? The trail makes possible riding on the edge of southwest Provo and opens up some wonderful vistas of the surrounding fields, and as the name indicates, views of the lake, and mountains in the distance. On both sides you can see fields and pastures where ranchers and livestock, farmer and their crops have been contributing to Utah’s food supply for many generations.

Thanks to Mayor Curtis and other city officials who insisted that this separated multi-use trail be built as part of the road project. The trail is a wonderful amenity and helps to improve the quality of life of all Provo residents, especially those who live nearby in southwest Provo. I hope access to the trail is made safer with the creation of bike lanes on 500 West.

Looking west along the trail near 500 West. Notice the parking lot on the right side where you drive and then bike from if you live too far way to bicycle from. Parking is found in multiple places along the road where you can park your car and the bike or walk along the multi-use path.  Read more

Volunteer to Construct Slate Canyon Mountain Bike Skills Course

Hurrah! The new Slate Canyon Mountain Bike Course is starting to take shape.

And, your help is needed.

Be a part of Provo mountain biking history by volunteering to haul, dig, and help create the course. Email your name, phone number, and email address to jamielittlefield at gmail, and I’ll pass your info on to the organizers.

Big thanks to Parks & Rec and all the willing volunteers.

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.

Massive Ride-the-Parkway Provo Celebration

Grab your bikes, trikes, boards, skates, and scooters and ride on down to the grand opening of Provo’s Lakeview Parkway! The new westside connector is about to open and to celebrate we’re hosting a non-motorized All-Wheels Festival! This is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the open road and take advantage of the brand new corridor. Pedal on over to 1100 West and 1560 South on Wednesday, October 12 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm for a once-in-a-lifetime event!

  • Grant opening celebration with giant inflatable arch, candy cannon shooting off delicious treats, countdown from the crowd, and an official ribbon cutting.
  • Decorate your ride contest with prizes forthe most creative, craziest, cutest, and best decorated forms of transportation.
  • Free hot chocolate for the first 200 riders.
  • Food truck round-up… so come hungry!
  • Bounce house madness with a Challenge Obstacle Course, 25-foot Dual Lane Mega Slide, and Castle Bounce House.
  • Free bike tune-ups and registration. Everest Bike Repair, Provo’s newest bike repair shop will be offering free bike tune-ups to anyone who brings their bicycle to the event. Provo City will be offering free bicycle licensing (to help track down your bicycle should it get lost or stolen).
  • Lots more!

Whatever you ride, you won’t want to miss this massive Provo celebration. Find out more details on the Mayor’s blog and on the official Facebook event.

Provo Bicycle Survey: 3 Minutes to Help the League of American Cyclists Review Provo

The Provo Bicycle Committee has applied to renew Provo’s status as a Bicycle-Friendly City. Now, the League of American Cyclists wants to hear from YOU!

Please take 3 minutes to complete this quick online survey. Your responses will help provide context as the League is making its award-level decision and will also provide data that will be used to make Provo even more bicycle friendly.

Don’t forget to share the link with your Provo friends and neighbors.

Even a quick action like this can make a difference; thanks for helping out!

Imagine Riding the Provo River Trail to Deer Creek and Beyond: Imagine No Longer. This Will Soon be a Reality!

Besides funding for a pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the Union Pacific tracks at the Provo Frontrunner Station, the other major project related to Provo that the $20M Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant will help make possible is a 2.75 mile extension of Provo River Trail from Vivian Park to the Deer Creek Reservoir Trail. At the reservoir, the extension will connect to the Provo-Jordan River Parkway Trail that stretches around the west side of Deer Creek. Four million dollars (one-fifth of the total) of the grant is to be allocated to this project. The estimated cost of the trail is $4.6M. The expected completion date has not yet been determined.

This is what part of that area between Vivian Park and Deer Creek looks like now. From above, you can see the road, the railroad track, and the Provo River. Some roadies brave riding on the shoulder of US-189, but for less risk-adverse, more casual recreational bicyclists (and pedestrians), there is no safe route up Provo Canyon after Vivian Park.

This is what part of that area between Vivian Park and Deer Creek looks like now. From above, you can see the road, the railroad track, and the Provo River. Some roadies brave riding on the shoulder of US-189, but for less risk-adverse, more casual recreational bicyclists (and pedestrians), there is no safe route up Provo Canyon after Vivian Park.

This is what the area looks like from the ground.

This is the view that most folks, including people on bicyclists, are most acquainted. It is the end the line. Here the immensely popular Provo River Trail, a 15-mile multi-use pathway starting at Utah Lake, dead ends at the start of the Heber Valley Historical Railway at Vivian Park.

Here is a map of the new trail as it will extend from Vivian Park to Deer Creek along “Heber Creeper” railway line. This project is made possible thanks to railway company opening up its right-of-way for the trail.

Here is an example of a rock and landscape separation between a trail and railroad.

And once you get to Deer Creek, bicyclists will be able to continue around the west side of the reservoir to Stringtown Road in Heber City, not far from Soldier Hollow.

Happy riding ahead! Please keep watching for updates as this project moves forward.

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).