Provo Bicycle Committee Presents Bike-Friendly Ideas to Provo City Council

This Tuesday the Provo Bicycle Committee (www.provobc.com) was invited to present their progress and ideas at the city council study meeting. Committee chairman Zac Whitmore did an excellent job of giving an update on the many Committee projects and getting the council members excited about the need for a bicycle and pedestrian map in the general plan.

Zac showed a photo presentation of many of the Committee’s best events including bike tune-ups at the Farrer Elementary bicycle safety rodeo, Provelo bicycle picnic series, the Committee’s table at the Bike-to-Work-Day breakfast, and family / community bicycle rides.

He also expressed to the council just how urgent a bicycle plan is for our city. Other cities including Salt Lake and Park City have comprehensive plans. Orem’s plan is almost complete. Now is the time for Provo to act. As Zac explained, a focus on bicycle and pedestrian transportation will reduce traffic congestion, ease parking problems, improve our (sometimes dangerous) air quality, strengthen our neighborhoods, and improve our downtown.

The council seemed quite supportive of the ideas expressed. Council Chair Johnson explained that she had taken the Mayor’s bicycle challenge and was surprised at how difficult it is to ride in some parts of the city. Councilwoman Dayton expressed interest in helping Provo recieve some of the funds available to help cities study their transportation plans and find ways to make roads safer for bicycles.

The Bicycle Committee was appreciative of the opportunity to share thier ideas and is looking forward to the inclusion of the bicycle map when the city council votes on the general plan.

To see a video of the Bicycle Committee presentation, take a look at Provo Channel 15 – Item 5a.

A Happy, Rainy Bike-to-Work Day

Despite the rain, the Provo Bike-to-Work Day morning event was a huge success. Cyclists of all ages came out to ride with Mayor Curtis and join in the fun.

Helen Anderson from the Mayor’s Office and Stacey Adamson from UTA did a wonderful job of organizing and running the show.

Many riders lined up for free bike-tune ups, compliments of Bingham Cyclery.

There was also a bunch of free, donated swag including bike-promoting water bottles, pens, lights, mints, and helmets. Jamba Juice gave away free Smoothies while Einsteins was handing out free bagels.

Mayor Curtis read a great statement about the importance of cycling in a healthy community.

Then he lead the group on a just-for-fun, 3-mile ride around town. Officers on motorcycles prepared the way.

At the get together, the Bike Committee collected over 50 surveys from people interested in local cycling. Many people stopped by our booth to learn more and take a flier (we’re looking forward to seeing you at the meetings!).

Overall, the Bike-to-Work Day event was a great kick-off to a fun-filled week. A big thanks to Mayor Curtis, UTA, and everyone who came out to support cycling in Provo.

P.S. Did you notice that both Mayor Curtis and Sterling Beck ended up riding their wives’ bikes? Turns out Spring is also flat tire season.

Reporting from the Bike Rodeo

Yesterday the Provo Bicycle Committee had a rip roarin’ good time volunteering at the Farrer Elementary Bike Rodeo. Families came from all over the neighborhood to register their bikes, learn about sharing the road, and ride like mad.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • $500 worth of helmets, donated from the Utah County Health Department, were given to kids that needed them.
  • Committee members Zac and Krista Whitmore provided hours of free professional tune-ups and basic repairs to kids riding broken or dangerous bikes. Dozens of bikes arrived at the rodeo with serious problems. Fortunately, our repair team biked in a stand and tons of tools. They did a truly amazing job of helping neighborhood kids get their bikes in working order for the spring.
  • Officer Hunter helped families register their bicycles at no cost, making it easier for bikes to be recovered if they are stolen or lost.
  • Councilman Sterling Beck helped the Webelos Scouts learn about basic bicycle maintenance and pass off several of their requirements. He looked very cute pumping up those tires. (Hey, we’re married. I can say that.)
  • Two BYU basketball stars showed up to greet the kids and sign their helmets. The kids were so excited and are already treasuring those celebrity-signed helmets. I wish I caught their names because they certainly should get some credit!
  • Most importantly, the kids had a wonderful time riding and learning about bicycles.

A big thanks to Sariah Hillam who put the whole shindig together and let the Bicycle Committee take part. Hopefully, the Bike Rodeo can be an annual neighborhood tradition. As we were leaving, one of the last little girls in the parking lot yelled out: “Wait! When will the next one be?”

What Can Provo Learn from Fort Collins?

A couple years ago my husband and I made a trip out to Fort Collins, Colorado where we discovered that a city very similar to Provo has created a truly amazing bicycle culture. Students, families, seniors, and avid-cyclers were riding everywhere we looked. The cycling culture brought business to their bike-lined downtown, generated a very real sense of community, and gave the city some extremely favorable media attention (they were awarded the #2 spot in Money Magazine’s top 10 Places to Live 2008).

It can be a bit difficult when cycling advocates try to take on the same types of projects that Portland does – Provo and Portland are very different. However, Provo and Fort Collins are extremely similar in the ways that count. Both are medium-sized cities with generally flat roads, a historic downtown, a major university, and a snowy winter. If something can work for them, it can probably work for us.

Here are some of ways that Fort Collins has made cycling work in their city Continue reading

Ride with the Mayor: Provo Bike-to-Work Day

LA Tweed Ride
Mark your calendars for a May ride with Provo Mayor John Curtis. This year’s Provo City / UTA Bike-to-Work Day is excpected to be the best yet.

What: Enjoy free food and complimentary bike tune-ups, and a bike ride with Mayor John Curtis at 8 a.m. UTA will give away free bicycle helmets to the first 50 participants, and Provo City will offer free bike registration to residents. The event is free and open to the public. Children must be at least eight years old to ride and must be accompanied by an adult.

When: May 18, 7:30-9:00 a.m.

Where: Historic County Courthouse at 51 S. University Avenue

Check out the Provo Bike-to-Work-Day event on Facebook to learn more and show your support.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Bike by the Sea