By MADELEINE BROWN
New art-style bicycle racks may soon become part of downtown Provo experience in an effort to draw more students into the area and encourage biking as a means of transportation.
Zac Whitmore, chairman of the Provo Bicycle Committee, said the bike racks will help make Provo a biking community.
“I see bicycles as both a literal and a figurative vehicle for change in Provo,” Whitmore said.
The Provo Bicycle Committee, was founded three years ago with the goal of improving bicycle parking downtown.
The Provo City Mayor’s Office of Economic Development asked the committee to look into putting new bike racks around downtown. After polling 15 businesses the committee received positive feedback about adding more bike racks on Center Street and University Avenue. The committee presented its findings to the city and showed options for art-style racks shaped like high-wheeler or road bikes.
Whitmore said students aren’t as willing to bike downtown because there are no places to lock their bikes up. He said bike racks would draw an important demographic to downtown Provo.
“The city and the downtown businesses have been putting in a lot of effort to find out how to get more students downtown,” Whitmore said. “Something simple like bike racks could do that.”
Ethan Busby, a political science major from Springville, said he worries about parking his bike when he rides downtown.
“I always wonder if it will be gone or impounded,” Busby said.
Ben Wear, from Santaquin, studying landscape management, said he sees many pros to biking.
“It’s physically exerting, so I keep more active,” Wear said. “It helps you save on gas and helps with pollution.”
However, he is still hesitant to ride downtown because of the vehicle traffic and the scarcity of bike racks.
The Provo Bicycle Committee is doing more research on the project. Whitmore said the city seemed interested in splitting the cost with businesses, and the committee will get volunteers to install the racks for free.
For more information, see bikeprovo.org.