By Philip Sarnoff
August was another busy month in the world of bicycling in Utah. One of the biggest challenges we face at Bike Utah is keeping up with everything that is occurring. Here are a few areas in which we took part last month:
The big announcement for this month's update is that the 7th annual Utah Bike Summit will be held in Provo on April 10, 2015. Some great things are happening in Utah County and we plan to highlight their efforts and accomplishments as well as to provide a program full of ways in which we can keep bicycling in Utah moving forward. Mark your calendars and more details will follow in the coming months.
Bike Utah recently met with all four of UDOT's Region Directors and their Planning Director. As part of this meeting we discussed how bicycle users can get involved earlier in the planning process so that bicycle infrastructure is not an afterthought. We also discussed the best ways for bicycle users to get feedback to UDOT in order to improve road conditions and maintenance.
Last month, Bike Utah helped to organize another Mobile Active Transportation Tour in Farmington City. Farmington Mayor Jim Talbot, Davis County Commissioner Louenda Downs, and 45 other attendees joined us on this tour that took in all of the trails that cross throughout their community. The next MATT will take place on September 17th in Ogden. All are welcome to attend. Details following soon.
Bike Utah worked with Salt Lake City's Downtown Farmer's Market to produce Pedal to the Market. We recruited our partners at UDOT, UTA, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, and GREENbike to educate attendees about how to incorporate riding into their everyday lives.
At the beginning of August, we did outreach at the Tour of Utah stages in Kamas and Park City in order to educate people about the rules of the road and statewide bicycle issues as well as how we can help in their areas.
5 Things You Can do to Make Utah a Better Place to Ride, Right Now!
At Bike Utah, we are often asked by individuals what they can do to make Utah a better place to ride. There are many ways that you can help to make Utah a more bicycle friendly place. Here are five simple things you can do:
1. Ride to work – The main way that the number of bicyclists in a community are counted is through the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. Unfortunately, the questions in this survey only ask about where you work and how you got there, rather than about any recreational riding or riding for errands. By riding to work, you can help to increase the transportation mode share of bicycling, which justifies more funding for bicycle programs and projects.
2. Reach out to businesses you frequent – If they have great bicycle parking, let them know that you appreciate their efforts because you ride there frequently. If they need to improve their parking, tell them and then tell them again. Let them know that you and people you know would ride there more often if the bicycle parking were better.
3. Attend local meetings and open houses – “Showing up is 80 percent of life.” Give your opinions to planners and engineers about bicycle projects. Let them know when they are doing a good job and when they need to improve upon their projects.
4. Contact candidates and elected officials – There is an upcoming election in Utah. Take a few minutes to tell them that you are one of their constituents, you support bicycling, and you hope that they will as well.
5. Get more people riding – Take a friend or family member out on a ride. Explain the rules of the road so that they can ride more often. Teach your kids how to ride a bike and then how to ride safely on the streets. The more people riding bicycles, the more people we will have who support programs and projects to get even more people riding.
For up to date information please visit www.BikeUtah.org