Bike Utah meets with the New Executive Director of UDOT

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By Scott Lyttle — Bike Utah Executive Director, Scott Lyttle, Board President Brad Woods and new Board Member Mark Kindred had a great opportunity to sit down and meet with the new executive director of UDOT, Carlos Braceras and discuss how to make Utah a more bicycle friendly state.

Utah Governor Gary Hebert named Carlos Braceras as the new Executive Director of UDOT on May 6, 2013 replacing John Njord. Carlos recently said at the Road Respect press conference before he joined the Road Respect core riders on a 60 mile ride in Provo, “people don’t realize that Utah as a whole is one of the top 15 states in the country for cyclists. We’re number one for skiing, now we need to work toward becoming number one for cycling.”

Bike Utah had three main agenda items for the meeting with UDOT;

  1. Conducting an economic impact study on bicycling in Utah. This study would help quantify the economic impact cycling has on the states economy. New Jersey recently completed a similar yearlong study and found an eight to one ROI on dollars invested in bicycling in the state. UDOT was open to exploring the possibility of conducting a similar study and with Bike Utah’s will work to find potential partners to fund the study.
  2. MAP-21 Funding – MAP-21 is the new transportation bill, within MAP-21 bicycle project funding can come from the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) which is divided into a couple different pools of money, $2.4m of which isn’t controlled by UDOT and distributed by Utah’s local MPO’s. UDOT assured Bike Utah that the Safe Routes to School funding and the Recreational Trails funds would stay at the same funding level as long as MAP-21 is in effect.
  3. The League of American Bicyclists – Bicycle Friendly State Ranking. Utah’s ranking fell from 13th to 14th. UDOT is enthusiastic to work with the bicycle community to increase Utah’s state ranking, this includes having open communications with local and state cycling groups and a willingness to work with local communities to build local bicycle master plans.

Bike Utah is very hopefully for the future of bicycling in Utah and looks forward to further partner with UDOT.

 

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