Film Series, county and city team up for ‘Bikes vs. Cars’
Transportation is a huge issue in Park City, so much so that the Park City Follies did a whole musical about it a couple of weeks ago.
On Wednesday, May 11, another nonprofit — the Park City Film Series — will also address the concern by partnering with Summit County and Park City Municipal to present a free screening of Fredrik Gertten’s documentary, "Bikes vs. Cars," at the Jim Santy Auditorium.
The screening will begin at 7 p.m., but prior to that, the city and county will host an Active Transportation Fair at 6 p.m., according to Caroline Ferris, Summit County’s regional transportation planning director.
Active transportation includes biking, walking and carpooling, Ferris told The Park Record.
"Summit County is operating under the paradigm with multiple modes and active transportation and how we are trying to get away from people driving alone," she said.
After Park City Film Series Executive Director Katharine Wang contacted Ferris and Park City’s Transportation Planning Manager Alfred Knotts, the three, along with the county’s Special Events Manager Travis English, brainstormed ways to introduce residents to the concept of active transportation.
"We want to lower the barriers of entry to [that idea] and let people know there are different ways to get around town," Ferris said.
That’s when they came up with the fair.
"We’ve contacted most of the local bike shops to come out and talk with people about their stores and sponsor giveaways including patch kits, safety equipment, and bike tune-ups," Ferris said. "Also, Pedego Park City will come out and let people try out their electric bikes."
The fair and screening comes just days before National Bike to Work Week.
"We want to get people excited about biking to work, or to maybe offer a gift of a free bike tune up," Ferris said.
In addition, the county has plans for a bike-share program.
"We have interviewed the proposers for the [electronic] bike share and we are negotiating the costs and trying to get someone under contract so we can go ahead with this," Ferris said. "We had hoped to start it this summer, but we are going to do a feasibility study for a month or so, to give people a feel of what it would be like."
The study will also help the county know if it is wisely investing in the program.
"We’ll spend the rest of the year honing in on what we want to do, so come May next year, all the kinks would be ironed out and we will be ready to launch it for everyone," Ferris said. "Again, it’s breaking down the barriers to entry."
Katharine Wang, executive director of the Park City Film Series, said the whole idea of a screening and fair snowballed from a conversation she had with Nan Chalat Noaker, Park Record editor-in-chief.
"Nan had seen other movies by Fredrik Gertten at The Sundance Film Festival and really liked his work," Wang said. "She saw ‘Bikes vs. Cars’ and thought this would be a great film for our community and be relevant to our conversations around transportation, including alternative means of transportation."
Although this film focuses on efforts in Los Angeles and Sao Paulo, which are very large cities compared to Park City, its heart is citizen action against seemingly impossible odds, according to Wang.
"It’s about how these bike activists were able to make inroads and get mayors and city leaders to think about transportation in a different way and not so car-centric," she said.
The film brings to light Los Angeles’ bike culture.
"The city used to have a bicycle freeway," Wang said. "The easement still stands, and you still see the boardwalks that go through the center of L.A. And while car companies have kind of taken that over, people are trying to take it back."
Wang believes it’s not impossible for cars and bikes to coexist.
"You can always say no to new ideas surrounding bicycles and our climate, but the film kind of gives you that spark of inspiration that says, ‘If we have will, we can make anything happen,’" she said. "We just need to spark that conversation in our community."
Ferris is grateful for the Park City Film Series for a variety of reasons.
"The arts, of course are a big part of any community, but what I love about the Film Series is that the films they bring in tackle important and current issues," she said. "These issues aren’t just important to our community but to the global community, and it really keeps our citizens involved and keeps the conversations going."
Park City Film Series, Park City Municipal and Summit County Transportation will present a free screening of Fredrik Gertten’s "Bikes vs. Cars," not rated, at the Park City Library’s Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave., on Wednesday, May 11, at 7 p.m. A pre-film Active Transportation Fair will begin at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.parkcityfilmseries.com.
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