BYU Bike Share hopes to alleviate parking issues, reduce emissions in Provo

Published: Tuesday, April 9 2013 11:20 a.m. MDT

“A lot of students might really not want to bring a car, but when they buy a low-quality bike for a cheap price, they’re like, ‘Man, I hate this,’” Whitmore said. “It can ruin the experience if the bike isn’t very good or too small.”

This winter, Provo residents suffered through some of the nation’s worst air quality as a result of several strong inversions, topping the charts on several days in January.

Although some of the factors are geographical, Provo is looking to neutralize the problem by reducing vehicle traffic. City officials are seriously considering an extensive new network of bike lanes along some of the city’s busiest streets. Council members have indicated they may approve the new plan by as early as April. 

BYU Bike Share might go a long way to populate those new lanes in a city surrounded by trails but not necessarily known for its avid cycling community. Thomas said the school’s considerations go beyond pollution and aims to improve the campus’ sense of being connected.

“Not only is (cycling) inexpensive and good for the environment, but it also allows for more connection with (our) surroundings,” Thomas said. “More cycling means less driving, lessening our distance from one another as a community.”  

BYU also announced in January it would close 900 East this spring in favor of a walking plaza for students. The walking area will be located between freshmen housing at Heritage Halls and the Wilkinson Student Center. 

E-mail: blockhart@deseretnews.com, Twitter: benlockhart89

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