500 N is getting new crosswalks
I’m pleased to announce some important safety upgrades at two crosswalks near the entrance of the Provo Recreation Center. You may be aware of the tragic loss of life not long ago that occurred at one of those crosswalks, when Caleb Lane was struck by a vehicle. We have all been saddened by that loss.
We heard from Caleb’s father and other concerned citizens earlier this week, and the next day I met with our great Public Works staff and asked them to move forward with a robust plan to bolster the safety at these crosswalks, each of which is an access point to the Recreation Center.
The first is called a rectangular rapid flashing beacon, which is essentially a sign with lights that flash when a pedestrian activates them by pressing a button. The second is a concrete median, which is also sometimes called a refuge median.
These features will be employed at the crosswalks located 300 West and 400 West along 500 North. We have a lot of people who want to walk to the Recreation Center and now it will be easier—and more importantly safer—to do so.
I need to credit our team here at Public Works. Even before the tragedy occurred, they were engaged in a comprehensive review of 500 North, looking carefully at traffic patterns, neighborhood concerns, federal guidelines, and, of course, safety for pedestrians and bicyclists. The tragedy only caused them to focus harder on getting things right. I appreciate their efforts in helping me put in place features that should really make a difference going forward.
I want to deeply thank the City Council, who, without me even asking, stepped forward to provide $10,000 towards this project out of funds they had in their budget. This signals how strong of a priority this is for them. They care about your safety, like I do. They are a wonderful council and I think we all should applaud their decision to support this project.
Here's what Council Chair Gary Winterton said: "I appreciate the compassion of the Timp and North Park Neighborhoods that has been shown for Caleb Lane's family. I see us all as a family here in Provo and am encouraged by how each neighborhood lets us know when there are issues that need to be addressed. The Council is grateful to the Mayor for her commitment to improve the safety of this area of Provo. The park, museum, pioneer village, and recreation center are popular destinations and we fully support the placement of new pedestrian safety equipment on 500 North. Because of the support of the surrounding neighborhoods, the Council is offering the remaining uncommitted Neighborhood Program matching grant funds from this fiscal year in order to offset the costs of the installation."
We are in the process of getting bids on the project. It is estimated to cost between $20,000 to $25,000 per crosswalk. We anticipate the features will be installed within 90 days.