By Phil Sarnoff
In spite of the unseasonably warm temperatures, this is usually the time of year when we look back at what has been accomplished over the previous 10 months and begin setting the stage for the upcoming year.
We had a great year at Bike Utah. Here are some of our accomplishments from 2015:
• Partially through our efforts, The League of American Bicyclists now recognizes Utah as the #5 most bicycle friendly state in the country.
• Bike Utah raised more than $110,000 to commission a study quantifying the economic, environmental, and health benefits that bicycling and walking brings to the state of Utah. The study will be completed by December 2016 and the results will be useful in justifying further investment in active transportation infrastructure and programs.
• We worked with UDOT to designate Utah’s first two segments (Routes 70 and 79) of the US Bicycle Route System, which spans 782 miles from Nevada to Colorado.
• In conjunction with our partners, Bike Utah took more than 200 advocates, planners, engineers, and elected officials on our Mobile Active Transportation Tours (MATTs). Participants were able to experience first-hand bicycle and pedestrian projects and learn how to implement similar projects in their own communities. This year’s tours were held in St. George, Provo, Moab, Park City, Draper, and Riverdale.
• For the 7th year we produced the Utah Bike Summit, which brought together riders, advocates, planners, and elected officials in order to learn how to make biking better in Utah. The 2015 Utah Bike Summit had 285 attendees.
• Bike Utah, for the 7th straight year, led a group to Washington D.C. for the National Bike Summit. The Utah delegation met with staff from all five of our federal legislative offices in order to advance active transportation efforts.
• For the 5th year, Bike Utah partnered on the Road Respect Tour. The Road Respect Tour promotes safety and mutual respect between motorists and cyclists.
• Over the past year we have worked with bicycle advocates and advocacy groups in 12 of Utah’s 29 counties to help advance their efforts. Communities all over Utah are starting to realize the numerous benefits that come from encouraging more people to ride bicycles.
We are pushing into 2016 with some major initiatives that will get more people riding:
• Youth Bicycle Education and Safety Training (BEST) Program: We are in the process of raising $125,000 to launch a school-based bicycle education program. We want Utah’s youth to get more physical activity by riding bicycles and, at the same time, we want to ensure that they are properly taught how to stay safe. Bike Utah has developed a bicycle education curriculum that we hope to implement across the state.
• Coordination with UDOT project planning: We are currently working with UDOT region 2 to develop a bicycle committee that will work with their planners to review upcoming projects. This committee will collaborate to find solutions that work to improve safety for all roadways users.
• US Bicycle Route System: Now that Utah has its first two segments in southern Utah. We need to get them signed and start designating a northern route and a north-south route.
Just because the weather is getting cooler doesn’t mean that our work is done. Bike Utah works year round to ensure that all of Utah continues on the path towards being more bicycle friendly. All of the work we do is not possible without the generosity of our members and donors. Please consider an end of the year, tax-deductible contribution to Bike Utah by becoming a member or making a donation at http://www.BikeUtah.org.
Become a member of Bike Utah: We greatly appreciate the support from all of our members and donors. We would not be able to advance any of these efforts without their support. Please consider becoming a member of Bike Utah or making a donation here: www.bikeutah.org/membership