By Scott Lyttle
Bike Utah began 2012 with re-vamped goals and objectives to better serve Utah and renewed focus on its mission to preserve and promote safe cycling which includes four primary areas.
Government Relations – As an advocacy organization Bike Utah’s primary goal is to organize cyclists to strategically address cyclist’s interests on a local and federal level. To positively affect change, Bike Utah’s first goal is to develop an informative relationship with policy-makers in the Utah State legislative body, executive branch, Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), State Transportation Commission, and U.S. Congress.
Education/Encouragement – Bike Utah is working on improving two of the Five E’s the League of American Bicyclists (see http://www.bikeleague.org) use to award their Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum Bike Friendly Community awards. Within education Bike Utah will work with UDOT to promote the Road Respect campaign and Safe Routes to School program. Bike Utah also intends to develop relationships with the Utah Department of Health to encourage individuals to get out and ride. The 2012 Benchmark Report from the Alliance for Biking and Walking found that bicycling and walking levels fell 66% between 1960 and 2009, while obesity levels increased by 156%. Bike Utah aims to promote a healthier lifestyle and community through biking.
Infrastructure – Bike Utah will take the lead on developing a statewide infrastructure tracking system that will eventually map all trails, bike lanes, and bike paths in the state. In 2012, Bike Utah intends to identify existing and planned state bike infrastructure by surveying the four metropolitan planning organizations (Cache, Dixie, Mountainland Association of Governments, and Wasatch Front Regional Council) and working with communities within the state and publish an end of year report.
Building Statewide Advocacy Groups – Cycling advocacy is a grassroots effort that starts at the local level. As the statewide umbrella advocacy organization, Bike Utah’s goal is to identify and help develop new groups throughout the state. Bike Utah will develop and make available on its website a “how to” template for organizing a community bicycle advisory group.
These goals and objectives won’t be possible without the help of YOU, the cycling enthusiast. Please support Bike Utah’s efforts by either becoming a member at www.BikeUtah.org, volunteering with Bike Utah, or purchasing a “Share the Road” license plate at your local DMV.
Thank you and safe cycling!