Park City prepares for Bike to School and Work Day
City takes extra precautions to ensure cyclists’ safety
The forecast this week is calling for rain, and potential snow in certain parts of Park City, but locals say the weather, rain or shine, won’t stop them from riding their bikes to work on Friday.
May is National Bike Month and this week is Bike to Work Week, which means locals in the community plan to leave their cars at home this coming Friday, opting to ride their bikes to school and work for the annual Bike to School and Work Day.
Despite the forecast looking gloomy, Mountain Trails Executive Director Charlie Sturgis fully expects cyclists to come out in bunches to participate.
“We will be doing it no matter what,” Sturgis said. “If the storm comes early, we should be good on Friday morning, albeit cold maybe.”
The event will first start with a kickoff, of sorts, at Squatter’s on Park Avenue, where a bike support station will be near the Olympic Welcome Plaza from 7:30 – 10:30 a.m. Additionally, Mayor Jack Thomas, who has a retrofitted e-bike, will be giving a welcome speech, as well as leading a ride out of Squatter’s.
“That’ll be a Bike to Work opportunity,” Park City’s Senior Transportation Planner Julia Collins said. “There could be some concerns about a large group of people crossing the street. We’ll do a safety speech, but my guess is we’ll take the most direct pass to the rail trail and some folks will go on to work and downtown.”
The next location the city has set up for Bike to Work Day is the Park City Library. Though it won’t have a bike support station, there will be e-bike demos, a bike mechanic, some vendors and an opportunity for a community drawing, which features donations from the local bike shops.
“Hopefully [the library will] get more of the Old Town folk and everyone over there, as well,” Sturgis said. “Some people bike or just walk out of their neighborhood. You don’t have to ride [a bike]. As long as you’re not in your car, we’re okay with it.”
Another aspect the city is focusing on during Bike to School and Work Day is ensuring students at McPolin Elementary School all reach their destination safely. Like the adults biking to work, kids in the area are encouraged ride their bikes to school on Friday. Most already know the safest routes to take by now, including those by Sidewinder Drive and the Aspen Villa apartments, but a little extra help doesn’t hurt, Collins said.
The Park City Police Department will have two to three officers at specific locations near the school, but Collins doesn’t anticipate any sort of impact on the local traffic.
“There’s never been any complaints with impact in traffic or the logistics with that,” Collins said. “People are more likely to stop and cheer the kids on than they are to run them over.”
The city also has strategically placed signs and electronic messaging throughout town to ensure everyone understands the road is to be shared. The city council has also fronted $2,000, in conjunction with White Pine Touring, to purchase 85 helmets for students. At least one council member, Nann Worel, will be handing them out at the PC MARC on Friday.
“It’s really exciting that they’re taking the step forward and they’re actually going to be at the PC MARC,” Collins said.
The Bike to School and Work Day welcome at Squatter’s is scheduled to start at 7:30 a.m.
In what’s traditionally been a male dominated sport, Coach Stoughton has been able to retain these riders due to the welcoming, fun-loving environment of the team. He touched upon the value of these riders, especially the women who he said “are actually going to carry the team, which has always been the case.”
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