Andrew Jensen says his commute to work in downtown Provo is more convenient because he hops on a bike instead of driving a car.
“Provo is a great place to bike,” Jensen said. “It’s way faster than trying to park a car, and I get to save the gas money.” Jensen is a software developer for Quicker Ventures, a local marketing firm located in historic downtown Provo.
Like Jensen, others who bike to work in Provo have helped rank the city among the Top 10 highest mid-sized cities for biking to work, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report released in early May.
Provo residents are five times more likely to bike to work than the average American is. This report comes amidst a growing trend for Utah cities to become more bike friendly. Initiatives include expanding streets, installing bike lanes and creating incentive programs for residents to bike to work.
Other Utah cities that made the list include Salt Lake City at No. 11 for mid-sized cities and Logan at 29 among small cities. All three cities house major universities, according to the Census Bureau report.
The report outlines commuting trends in the U.S. over the past 10 years and beyond. The report estimates that 3.1 percent of Provo workers bike to work, compared to the national average of .06 percent.
Provo currently has long-term plans to improve bicycle safety and connect streets that have bicycle lanes. Provo Mayor John Curtis expressed pride in Provo’s ranking.
“I’m very pleased,” Curtis said. “We have set the course to be better and passed a plan to make the streets more bicycle friendly.”
Provo already has a tradition of promoting biking. On May 14 the city and UTA celebrated “bike to work day,” an event that allowed residents and bike enthusiasts alike to come together and celebrate Provo’s biking culture. The event included food, free bike tune-ups and a ride with Curtis. Curtis is one of many in Provo who choose to bike to work over driving and other faster means.
“My goal is to ride to work 100 days out of the year,” Curtis said. “It’s huge for quality of life and impacts the air quality.”