By Marcus Kaller — As a cyclist, I ride for two reasons. First, for the pure enjoyment, and second, it’s a healthy alternative way to get around places without using public transit or carpools. It took on more meaning when, years ago, I rode on my bike as part of my job. Usually, I’m working in an office, but a project opened an opportunity to where I can bike as part of it. I rode throughout Salt Lake City, doing a survey of city-owned assets to collect GIS data for my company’s database, by using the established bike routes there and I was impressed. In comparison, living in Midvale, which has no bike lanes to speak of, I wanted to see active transportation set up where I live. I grew up in both West Valley City and Taylorsville, riding in neighborhoods, to school, to work, for much of my life. It was something I wanted to share with my community.
From there, I learned about the Salt Lake County Bicycle Advisory Committee (SLCBAC) and the Bicycle Ambassadors program that the county operated. I applied for both, and a month later joined the ranks of SLCBAC. Since joining, I have talked to leaders in my community about implementing active transportation, talked to people across the county about biking, and even provide safety features for children to put on their bikes. It’s been difficult at times, especially with everything else going on in life. Strides have been made, but still much work remains at hand. Working with the people at SLCBAC gave me both insight and support in improving the bicycle environment in Sat Lake County.
So if you are an active cyclist, like myself, who want to make a difference and improve the quality of life in your community, I encourage you to visit your city council meetings and address your leaders about bicycling issues. Another thing is to find people who share your concerns and passion about cycling. One great place is the SLCBAC meetings we hold every month at the County Government Center, the second Wednesday of every month. And we are looking for people to join our committee who are concerned about the state of cycling in the county, especially those the live in the south and west areas of Salt Lake County, such as Draper, Riverton, Sandy, and Herriman. You can get more information at slco.org/bicycle.
If you live in Salt Lake City, there is the Salt Lake City Bicycle Advisory Committee. You can find more at www.slcgov.com/bc/boards-and-commissions-bicycle-advisory-committee. In addition, our friends from Bike Utah recently organized the Salt Lake Action Group. They are working on campaigns in advancing infrastructure, programs, and events throughout Salt Lake County. You can check them out at bikeutah.org/saltlakeactiongroup/. And finally, if you are want to encourage people to ride bikes and and teach safety practices, you can become a Bicycle Ambassador. More information can be found at slco.org/active-transportation/bicycle-ambassador-program/.
By working together, we can foster an environment that encourages people to get on their bicycles and ride for great opportunities.