Provo looks at Bulldog Blvd redo

Rendering shows Bulldog Boulevard at University Avenue. Construction is set to  begin early spring of 2019. 

Provo residents suffering from construction fatigue should gird up their loins, by spring Bulldog Boulevard should be in a construction redesign through the first half of 2019.

“This project was started quite some time ago, five to six years,” said David Graves, city engineer, during a recent overview for the Municipal Council.

According to Graves, the goal of the project is twofold — to provide safer travel for all entities (vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians) and to improve the aesthetic value to the road and minimize side effects.

The design takes Bulldog Boulevard and adds wider sidewalks, designated bike lanes with raised medians, mid-street medians and two travel lanes in each direction for vehicles.

“Complete street issues were a part of the construction from the beginning,” Graves said, during the June 5 work session.

Graves noted the area of Bulldog Boulevard from University Avenue to 500 West has a crash rate that is 7.5 times higher than the state average for similar roads.

“It’s unsafe for all modes of transportation,” Graves added. Right now, 27,000 cars a day drive the construction area. That is expected to rise to 31,000 by 2040.

Graves also noted that data is based on Provo High School still being located there.

Council members have requested an update from Graves because many of them have received a large quantity of emails on the project.

Part of the project plans for a new traffic light at 400 West as well as a significant addition in landscaping.

Residents have become more vocal on how they feel about the construction project. In the early stages, about two-thirds of those speaking up were in favor. It appears that has leveled out to almost 50-50, according to Karen Tapahe, community relations coordinator, as they observe numbers coming in on the survey.

The city has set up a survey on the Bulldog Boulevard construction project through a link to “Open City Hall” on the city website http://provo.org. Residents are able to share their opinions and ask questions about the project.

Residents have until 7 a.m. Monday, June 18 to complete the survey.

As the city goes through a major construction project with bus rapid transit and a future of broken-up streets and orange cones on 500 West and along Freedom Boulevard, preparing for yet another project has some in the city feeling weary of construction altogether.

“The need for dedicated active transportation facilities along Bulldog Boulevard may not seem evident at this time, but the desire is there,” Graves said. “The simple fact is that your average cyclist/pedestrian doesn’t feel safe. As the level of safety for lower skill levels increases, we believe we will witness a significant increase in the active transportation use of the Bulldog Boulevard corridor.”

Daily Herald reporter Genelle Pugmire can be contacted at gpugmire@heraldextra.com, (801) 344-2910, Twitter @gpugmire

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