Bicycle Friendly Community Scorecard

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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!

New Bike Lanes!!

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 East from about 50 East.

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!

One of several No Parking signs newly installed on 1700 East.

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.

Looking south at the intersection with 400 E (the cemetery road).
Looking south at the intersection with 1600 N.

May Meeting

May Meeting
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.

Bicycle Friendly Community

The League of American Bicyclists is a bicycle advocacy and education organization that dates back (with a few interruptions) to 1880.

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 .

Thanks!!

Proposed Mountain Bike Skills Park

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.

Looking north from 400 South at around 1900 East
Looking north from 400 South at around 1950 East. Note the water tanks on the right.
Looking south from 250 South at around 1900 East–this show the flat section of the property quite nicely
There is already a wide trail on this bench area that runs along the northeast side of the property below the steep hill. Unfortunately it ends up running into private property that will soon be houses, but this part will be usable.
A view of the park from the top of the steep dirt bike trail that is visible on the left side of the last picture and on Google Maps (it ends on the Forest Service road). From here you can get a sense of how steep the grade is, but I think there are possibilities of creating a few switchbacking trails–one for uphill riding and one for downhill.

For some ideas of the kinds of features we might want to include in the mountain bike park, here are links to a couple of local parks that are popular: the Draper Bike Park, and the Mountain Ranch Bike Park in Eagle Mountain. So check them out, come to our meeting, and let us know what you want to see here in Springville!

Announcement: Bicycle Maintenance and Repair Clinic

On Saturday, 21 September 2019, the Hobble Creek Bicycle Association will host a maintenance and repair clinic led by our bike repair specialist, Griffin Park. The event will be held from 11:00 to 12:00 at the Civic Center Park (east of the splash pad). Come learn about how to keep your bike clean, lubed, and ready to ride as we head into the Fall season!

Maintain your bike

Bicycle-Friendly Communities and plans for our September Meeting

At our August meeting we listened to a presentation by Aaron Skabelund, one of the pioneers of bicycle advocacy in Provo, who talked about Bicycle-Friendly Communities. This is a designation awarded by the League of American Bicyclists, the country’s oldest and best-known bicycle advocacy organization, to communities who are making concerted efforts to improve cycling. The award has several levels, from honorable mention to platinum, and a few cities in our county have recently been recognized. Provo earned Silver status on their second application after four years at the Bronze level, Orem is now at the Bronze level, and Vineyard received an honorable mention. You can learn more about this award at their website.

We decided at the August meeting to complete the application for Springville, working toward a deadline of February 5, 2020. There are five parts to the application and we have divided the different sections up among those who were in attendance at the meeting to perform an initial assessment and see what types of data we will need to gather from the city and what we can do as an association between now and February to improve our chances of receiving Bronze status (which is probably the highest level we can hope for at this point). Our next meeting to talk about this will be SEPTEMBER 12 at 7:00 at the Snelson PhotoColor Lab. We will also at that meeting be talking about plans to expand the activities of the Hobble Creek Bicycle Association. We hope to see many of you there!

July Meeting and Other Thoughts

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer and finding time to ride. The weather has been beautiful and I’ve noticed lots of people in Springville and Mapleton riding around town on a wide assortment of bikes–e-bikes, road bikes, mountain bikes, kids’ bikes, bikes with trailers, etc. The more of us there are, the safer we will all be, so keep riding!

This month’s meeting is going to be held on July 30 at 6:30pm. We will meet as a group at the Hobble Creek Trail trailhead park at the intersection of 1700E and Canyon Road. This is a small green space with parking for both cars and bikes, picnic tables, and a bicycle maintenance station. We will then be taken on a guided tour by one of our members, Kurtt Boucher, who a few days ago gave the Springville city council a presentation of his plan to connect the eastside Hobble Creek Trail (which ends at the trailhead where we are meeting) to the westside Hobble Creek Trail. We’ll have a chance to ride his proposed route and provide feedback on how it might be improved. Don’t miss this chance to meet new people and ride through the city as a group!

Next, I’d like to give a big shout out to Springville resident and hopefully soon-to-be member of the Hobble Creek Bicycle Association, Griffin Park. Griffin is the owner/operator of Jolly Circle, a mobile bicycle-repair company. He is an expert bike mechanic who can fix your bikes at his place or yours, and he charges very reasonable rates. Yesterday and today he fixed up two of my bikes–a cruiser and a mountain bike–and I’m very satisfied with the whole experience.

Griffin Park at work on my 1996 Schwinn MTB

Last thought of the day: I just read a nice summary of arguments made by people who oppose bicycle infrastructure and rebuttals to those arguments. The immediate context for the article is the UK, but I think the principles are universal. Check it out and see what you think!

Bike Parking!

The past week or so (minus a few days floating down the Green River) I’ve been working on a bike map for Springville, which you can now find on this website. It’s still preliminary because I know there are a number of bike racks that I have missed, but I wanted to share a few initial impressions from riding around town.

Continue reading “Bike Parking!”