This morning four members of the Hobble Creek Bicycle Association left the Springville Civic Center at just after 7:30am and embarked on a 40+-mile ride through Mapleton, Spanish Fork, Salem, Payson, Benjamin, and back to Springville. It was a beautiful clear morning with generally light traffic on the road.
A few interesting observations and lessons:
No flat tires and only one thrown chain means we were able to keep riding pretty well.
Lots of other people out riding too, which creates a good sense of community (as long as they wave–people, wave at other cyclists!)
We met a guy from Spanish Fork who was riding his bike to Sandy and back to deliver some sourdough bread as part of a charity project. He had a long ways to go when we saw him!
I noticed some cool birds (Mountain Bluebird, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Western Meadowlark, etc.) along the way. Biking brings you closer to nature.
Only one jerk yelled at us the whole time. She must have been having a bad morning since we didn’t even slow her down as she passed us in her truck.
For rides of more than 30 miles bring food. Trust me.
Grease your chain before you go.
Riding in a paceline rocks. This is why you shoud ride with friends.
We have been asked to help out some fellow Springvillains with some goathead removal. There is a nice multiuse trail that starts at 950 West 1325 South and winds through a newish neighborhood before joinining the 1200 West trail, but unfortunately there are goathead weeds growing on both sides resulting in multiple popped tubes. So come join us with your trowels, weed tools, shovels, buckets, garbage bags, gloves this Saturday (the 8th) at 9:00am! We’ll meet up with some local residents and fight back against those nasty thorns! Hope to see you there!
Tonight, July 27th, will be the fourth weekly repair clinic and slow roll. They’ve been a success so far, with dozens of people participating over the last three weeks. Griffin has taught some valuable skills about how to get our shifting to where it should be and the rides have been really pleasant. It’s great to have a large group of cyclists to create a sense of community and to make vehicles more aware of our presence on the roads. We’ll be holding these at Jolly Circle for at least the rest of the summer!
I’ve been wanting to do a goathead removal service project ever since we started this association back in 2018 so was thrilled when Michael Wood recently proposed a specific section of 800 South that needed some love. My wife and kids actually had a bad experience with that area a few years ago–all their tubes got popped, basically. So on Wednesday, July 8, we met at 7 with our weed tools and shovels and started digging them up by their roots. This section of road is about 3 blocks long and has unkept fields on both sides of the road, which means lots of goatheads! The propert owners of one section actually stopped by in their UTV with Snickers ice cream bars to thank us. They were quite nice and told us that most of the area will soon be sold by other family members to developers. That will certainly be good for us cyclists if houses do go into that area! In all we filled a couple of buckets quite full and look forward now to riding there this summer without worrying about flat tires!
This summer, every Monday night, we will be meeting at Jolly Circle Bicycle Repair to have a short repair clinic and then do a “Slow Roll” ride around Springville. The clinics will be taught by Griffin Park, local bike racer and owner of Jolly Circle.
The idea of the Slow Roll came about in Detroit with the basic idea of bringing community members together every Monday evening to ride through town. Each week follows a different route, showing off the city to a diverse group of people, and giving people confidence by riding in large groups. This basic format has been copied in many other cities and we are now bringing it to Springville. So spread the word and I hope to see growing numbers of people out riding together every Monday evening!
The League of American Bicyclists recently completed their evaluation of our application for Bicycle Friendly Community and awarded Springville an Honorable Mention. The scorecard suggests that Springville is close to a Bronze designation and provides a number of things that can be done to reach that level. Here are a few that I think can be accomplished over the next couple of years, at which point we can apply again.
Adopt a Complete Streets policy. This basically means that whenever a street is developed or redone, planners have to properly account for all users, not just vehicles. Also adopt a NACTO design manual to help accomplish this. These things would need city council support.
Expand and improve the trail and bike lane network, including by creating more grade-separated facilities. This is being done, with the addition of bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, and the elimination of some on-street parking on Center Street, Main Street south of 400S, and 1700E since the beginning of this year (and since we submitted our application).
Install wayfairing signs. Wayfairing signs have recently gone up on the Mapleton Lateral Canal Trail, and Springville could definitely use some on the Hobble Creek Trail as well as on Center St. and Main St.
Increase bicycle parking around the community. We have already created a parking map. Now we need to fill in the gaps like how Provo has recently installed a bunch of racks downtown and at parks.
Improve bicycle education in schools and through events like Bike to Work Week and Bike to School Day. This is definitely something we need to do better on–hopefully Covid-19 doesn’t interfere with these plans next year!
Improve relations with law enforcement and encourage the creation of bike patrols. I have talked with Chief Martinez about this and he would like to puchase bike and do this. Follow up is needed.
Update the bicycle master plan and secure dedicated funding for its implementation. The Active Transportation Ad Hoc Committee just had its first meeting and is working toward this update. Support from the city council will be needed to secure dedicated funding from the transportation budget.
Work on multiple ways of counting bicycle trips, including with automated bicycle counters. We will have to see if there is funding available for this at the city level. In the meantime, we can continue to do school counts and maybe do some trail counts in the summer as well.
So, lots of good things to work on over the next couple of years! And one of the biggest things, of course, is to ride more and encourage others to ride more. We have strength in numbers!
Summer is almost here, the riding weather has been beautiful, and it’s time to celebrate the creation of new bike lanes in Springville and Mapleton!
First, the Center Street construction project is just about wrapped up and today they placed markers for lane lines. The big news is that in addition to adding bike lanes between Main St and 100 East that our association successfully lobbied for, we now have buffered bike lanes from Main St to 400 East. And they even go all the way to Main St on the north side of the street, as you can kind of see in the second picture (pardon the glare).
Looking West from about 50 East.
The next project nearing completion is 1700 East in Springville, which our association also successfully lobbied for last year. The road is now repaved and the city has installed ‘No Parking’ signs along the entire west side of the road. This will allow for bike lanes on both sides of the street while maintaining vehicle parking on the east side of the road (where there are a few residences). Hopefully we’ll see those lanes painted soon!
Finally, the repaving of Hwy-89 from about 600 South in Springville (including the crazy flyover intersection) to 1200 North in Mapleton is done and there is now an official bike lane on both sides of the road. Not all the paint is down yet, but it is in a few places, including some nice sharrows in right-turn lanes. This should eventually be extended all the way through Mapleton.
This month we are going to meet on Thursday, May 28, at 7:00pm at Bartholomew Park. Ride on over and we’ll talk about biking in Springville and Mapleton. Tentative Agenda:
1. Observations about cycling while social distancing.
2. Springville – Provo corridor connections: routes and priorities.
3. Updates about the Springville bike park and active transportation committee and the Mapleton trails committee and land use plan.
4. Update about Bicycle-Friendly Community status for Springville.
5. Trail plans for Springville and Mapleton.
6. Farmer’s Market and other summer opportunities.
With revenue and expenditures of around $2 million, it is one of the most influential, if not the most influential organizations of its kind. What it has become best known for over the past decade or so is its Bicycle Friendly America program, which rates businesses, universities, and communities according to their level of bicycle-friendly engineering, education, encouragement, enforcement, and evaluation and planning (the 5 E’s).
There are five different levels for Bicycle Friendly Communities: bronze, silver, gold, platinum, and diamond. Here is what the scorecard looks like:
There are currently 488 recognized Bicycle Friendly Communities, with at least one in every state. In Utah, Park City is the only community that currently has gold status, and I think anyone who has spent time bicycling in Park City would agree with such a distinction! Salt Lake City, Moab, Logan, Grand County, and Provo all have silver status (Provo is optimistic that it will be granted gold status in the upcoming application round). And Ogden, Riverdale, St. George, and Orem have bronze status. In addition, there are 31 bicycle friendly businesses in the state and three bicycle friendly universities (including nearby BYU, which has silver status).
The Hobble Creek Bicycle Association, with assistance from Springville City, recently submitted an application for Springville to be recognized as a Bicycle Friendly Community. We are shooting for bronze status with this first application, with the hopes of being able to move up to silver status in four years (cities must re-apply every four years). The application was long and detailed and took a significant amount of input from city officials to get it done, but it was very eye-opening to the kinds of things that the city and our associations could be doing to make Springville more bicycle friendly. And that is precisely the point of the program: to honor communities, of course, but also to give them ideas on how to improve.
As part of the application process, the League of American Bicyclists has asked us to distribute a survey to everyone to bikes in Springville, regardless of whether they live there or not. THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN!! Please use the following link to access and complete the survey and tell the League what Springville is doing well and how it can improve: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/app_BFC_Sp2020 .
The Springville Buildings and Grounds department and Parks Committee have begun discussions about a potential mountain bike skills park at a piece of city property near the mouth of Spring Creek Canyon. Here are the approximate boundaries of the property in question:
As you can see it’s a pretty big piece of ground that until recently was slated to become a normal park with grass and a few trees and playground. We certainly agree that it would be much better as a mountain bike skills park, particularly with its proximity to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail!
What we would like to do as an Association is help to plan the park. We will be meeting on Saturday, December 14, at 10:00, at the property to scope it out and start putting pen to paper. Below you can see a few pictures of the property–as you can see most of it is pretty flat, but the hill leading up to 2080 E is quite steep.