By Phil Sarnoff
It is one thing to read an article about a new bicycle lane or to listen to a presentation about a multi-use path. It is a completely different thing to experience these firsthand while hearing from the planners and engineers who implemented the project.
Mobile Active Transportation Tours (MATTs) are community rides that facilitate learning and networking among individuals interested in advancing active transportation (bicycling and walking) across Utah. Over the course of the MATT, planners, engineers, and officials from the host community will discuss the active transportation projects and programs they have implemented in their community. This includes how and why they planned it they way they did, how it was funded, and feedback from the public. These tours are typically two hours long and are at a casual pace. MATTs are meant to be accessible for all people and they are open to the general public.
MATTs are modeled after a program through the organization People for Bikes. People for Bikes takes community leaders to international destinations, such as Copenhagen and Amsterdam, so they can see what a fully functioning, well developed active transportation network looks like. Through the MATTs, the aim is to show some of these facets that exist within Utah and to educate community leaders as to how they can be implemented in their own communities.
In 2014, MATTs took place in Salt Lake City, on the Murdock Canal Trail, Ogden, and Farmington. The first MATT in Salt Lake City saw more than 60 riders.
The 2015 MATT Schedule
April 3 – St. George
May 20 – Provo
June 1-2 – Moab
August 14 – Park City
September 10 – Draper
October 7 – Riverdale
Advanced registration is required for the MATTs. More information about each tour can be found at www.bikeutah.org/matt