Cycling Utah Calls for 10,000 Wheels Initiative for Affordable Transportation in Utah

Bruce Ewert commuting in downtown Salt Lake City. Photo by Dave Iltis
Bruce Ewert commuting in downtown Salt Lake City. Photo by Dave Iltis

By Dave Iltis

March 2, 2015 – Cycling Utah is proposing the 10,000 Wheels Initiative for Affordable Transportation for the Wasatch Front and Utah. Affordable transportation is crucial for Utah and in particular, Wasatch Front residents in order to get to jobs, the grocery store, appointments, school, and cultural events, and to participate in life in our modern world.

The 10,000 Wheels Initiative for Affordable Transportation is a comprehensive transportation program that would be comprised of Affordable Bicycle Transportation, Affordable UTA Transit Passes, Greenbike Memberships, Affordable Vehicle Repair, a Bikes and Transit for Clunkers Program, and Walkable Communities Assistance. 10,000 Wheels would be designed to benefit low and moderate income residents of the Wasatch Front and the rest of Utah. The component programs could also be made available to all residents.

Cycling Utah would like to call on Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, City Council Chair Luke Garrott and the Salt Lake City Council, the Wasatch Front Active Transportation Committee, Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, and other local and state politicians to put in place a task force to study and possibly implement this proposal.

10,000 Wheels Initiative Draft Proposal:

Vision: Affordable Transportation (bicycles, transit, walking, and affordable vehicle repair) will be readily available to residents in need on the Wasatch Front and in Utah.

  1. Affordable Bicycle Transportation. This could include through subsidies or partnerships:
    1. Inexpensive and potentially subsidized commuter bicycles for low wage earners through:

i.     Local Bike Shops through a partner program.

ii.     Bicycle Collective (http://bicyclecollective.org ) (Salt Lake City Ogden, Provo)

  1. Assistance with repairs for those low wage earners who already own bicycles through:

i.     Local Bike Shops http://www.cyclingutah.com/bike-shop-directory/

ii.     Bicycle Collective (Salt Lake City, Ogden, Provo)

iii.     High School shop programs

    1. GreenBike Bike Share (http://greenbikeslc.com ) memberships for low income workers through a referral or reference program. GreenBike Bike Share is a valuable and affordable transportation option in the downtown area, but is not readily accessible to those without credit cards or bank accounts.
    2. Create a Commuter Program – Assistance with other necessary equipment and training for bicycle commuting. And, a potential return of the SmartTrips Program (Salt Lake City).

i.     Helmets, locks, reflectors, lights

ii.     Rack and panniers or appropriate backpack

iii.     Safe cycling education

iv.     Trip planning and commuting maps

v.     Bike licensing and theft prevention education

vi.     Bike and Transit Use Education

vii.     Basic Mechanical Training such as flat repair, seat adjustment, and wheel removal.

  1. Affordable Transit – UTA (http://rideuta.com ) Transit vouchers and passes for low and moderate wage earners.
    1. Expansion of the ‘free fare’ zone to increase mobility in the Central City District
    2. Return of the Hive Pass
  2. Affordable Vehicle Repair – assistance for those in need in order to improve gas mileage and air quality. This is an existing program through Salt Lake County (http://slco.org/mayor/issues/improving-air-quality/ ).
  3. Bikes and Transit for Clunkers Program as part of the Affordable Vehicle Repair Program. Trade your car for a commuter bike and a transit pass if a pledge is made to not purchase another car for 1 year or more. Since the average yearly cost of owning a car is $8876 (http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/national_transportation_statistics/html/table_03_17.html ), this may improve finances for those that choose to participate.
  4. Walkable Communities Assistance – route planning, housing choices, transit choices, and appropriate equipment for walking as transportation.

Potential partner organizations and programs for 10000 Wheels include:

  1. Salt Lake City www.slcgov.com
  2. Salt Lake County www.slco.org
  3. Ogden City www.ogdencity.com
  4. Wasatch Front Regional Council Active Transportation Committee http://wfrc.org/new_wfrc/index.php/committees/active-transportation-committee
  5. Mountainland Association of Governments https://mountainland.org/site/
  6. 5000 Doors Initiative (http://slc5000doors.com )
  7. Housing agencies
  8. UTA (Utah Transit Authority) www.rideuta.com
  9. Greenbike Bike Share www.greenbikeslc.com
  10. Cycling Utah www.cyclingutah.com
  11. Salt Lake City and Ogden Bicycle Collective www.bicyclecollective.org
  12. Karma Bike Shop – Magna, UT, http://www.karmabikeshop.com/
  13. Bike Utah – www.bikeutah.org
  14. Salt Lake County Bicycle Ambassadors Program http://slco.org/public-works/activetransportation/html/ambassador01.html
  15. Local Utah Area Bike Shops http://www.cyclingutah.com/bike-shop-directory/
  16. Department of Workforce Services http://jobs.utah.gov/
  17. Clean Air Challenge http://cleartheairchallenge.org/
  18. Sustainable Communities – http://slco.org/crd/communityDev/Sustainability.html
  19. Department of Environmental Quality and Air Quality http://www.deq.utah.gov/
  20. UCAIR – http://www.ucair.org/
  21. Utah Transportation Coalition http://utahtransportation.org/
  22. Various Goodwill Organizations such as:
    1. Catholic Community Services http://www.ccsutah.org/
    2. Crossroads Urban Center https://www.crossroadsurbancenter.org/
    3. Deseret Industries http://deseretindustries.org/
    4. Coalition of Religious Communities https://www.crossroadsurbancenter.org/advocacy/corc
    5. The Road Home http://www.theroadhome.org/
    6. International Rescue Committee http://www.rescue.org/us-program/us-salt-lake-city-ut
  23. Community Block Development Program: http://www.slcgov.com/hand/federal-grant-programs

For more information, please contact:

Dave Iltis
Cycling Utah
[email protected]

Cycling Utah will be contacting local transportation officials, government officials, and advocates to present this proposal. We will report on the progress.

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