Nearly 300 bicyclists, civic leaders, complete street advocates, and state planners gathered at the Provo City Library this year for the 2015 Utah Bike Summit. This year’s summit was created around the vision of “making Utah the most bicycle friendly state in the nation.” While past summits have traditionally been held in Salt Lake, Provo was honored to have been selected as the venue this year.
Attendees received this special welcome (and a bit of an introduction on what makes Provo unique):
Attendance at the summit nearly doubled this year, with over a third of participants bringing their bikes on the FrontRunner and cycling to the library.
In case you missed it, here are a few highlights from the event:
- Bicycle design legend Gary Fisher spoke to the crowd and asked them to imagine: “What would real investment in urban biking be able to create?”
- Panelists reviewed how Provo continues to move forward on our Bicycle Master Plan and how BYU is now relying on the plan to create connections between campus and Provo City bikeways. BYU has added 21 bicycle sharrows (shared-use markings), four DERO bicycle fix-it stations, and now has 51 bike parking pads with room for 4,000 bikes to park.
- Bike Utah director Phil Sarnoff explained how the organization is helping cities, universities, and businesses become more bicycle-friendly. They began a study to measure the economic benefits of active transportation, are conducting planned active transportation tours (including one in Provo on May 20), and are implementing a bicycle education curriculum for elementary schools. They also helped pass HB 362, offering cities the choice to raise funding for transportation through a local, optional sales tax.
- UTA discussed what they are doing to help connect transportation projects (like the Provo FrontRunner station) to the final destinations transit users are seeking. They are working to make it easier and safer for people to bike or walk to public transportation. In many cases, UTA is willing to partner with cities to install signage, paint bike lanes, and increase accessibility. “We can get these projects done fast if the cities are willing to work with us,” explained the UTA rep.
Of course, all guests were treated to some Provo hospitality with tasty breakfast kolaches from Hruska’s, a mouth-watering lunch from Marvelous Catering, bike safety checks from Mad Dog cycles, and an after party at The Underground in downtown Provo.
Many cyclists commented that Provo wasn’t quite how they remembered it. A quick ride around downtown gave them a glimpse of some of the exciting things happening as well as the city’s dedication to streets that increase the quality of life for everyone.