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  • Writer's pictureMichelle

Making Center Street Safer for Pedestrians

I'm thrilled to share with you some significant updates to our beloved Center Street. Our City's continuous efforts to prioritize pedestrian safety, particularly in the heart of Provo, have led us to this crucial project. Starting on Sunday, August 20, we are introducing significant safety improvements on Center Street.

Why the Upgrade?

Center Street, as many of you may know, is termed an ‘Enhanced Pedestrian Connection’ but still permits vehicular traffic. Unfortunately, the average speed has been recorded at a whopping 35 mph, way above the posted 15 mph. Such speeds are not just dangerous for our pedestrians, but also pose challenges for cars backing out of parking stalls.

Gordon Haight, our City Engineer, highlighted the collective efforts of the City Council and our administration to bring cost-effective upgrades, ensuring the street matches its intended use while ensuring pedestrian safety.

What's Changing?

  1. Resurfacing: We'll be focusing on the roadway stretch between Freedom Blvd and University Ave, addressing the deterioration and potholes.

  2. Raised Crosswalks: An innovative safety measure, these will be set up at mid-block crossings at 50 West and 450 West. Not only will these crosswalks calm traffic, but they also increase pedestrian visibility. Plus, they offer a clear indication to drivers that they're entering a pedestrian-friendly zone.

  3. Enhanced Lighting: This feature will greatly benefit both businesses and pedestrians alike, especially during night hours.

  4. Shared Lane Markings: Commonly known as sharrows, these markings will be freshly painted to indicate shared lanes for bicycles, scooters, and vehicles.

  5. Outdoor Dining: We're carving out special areas for outdoor dining at the northeast corner of 200 W and 100 W intersections to uplift the downtown experience.

Construction & Closure Timelines

  • Sunday Aug 20 – Full Closure – Utility Lowering

  • Sunday Aug 27 – Full Closure – Mill Travel Lanes

  • Mon–Tues Aug 28-29 – One Lane Open – Mill Parking

  • Sunday Sept 10 – Eastbound Open – Pave North Side

  • Monday Sept 11 – Westbound Open – Pave South Side

  • Sunday Sept 17 – Full Closure – Raise Utilities

Raised Crosswalk Timelines

  • August 21 – September 1 – Full Closure – 450 W Crosswalk

  • September 25 – October 9 – Full Closure – 50 W Crosswalk

All construction is expected to wrap up by October 9, 2023, depending on weather conditions and unforeseen events. Don't worry - all lanes and parking will remain accessible outside construction hours.

Support Local Businesses

While these improvements are immensely exciting, I acknowledge the challenges they present during the construction phase. Keith Morey, Provo City Economic Director, urges everyone to support local businesses during this transition period. As a token of our support, free parking will be made available at the former Provo City Hall site at 351 W. Center Street (but no overnight parking, please).

With these upgrades, we're not just ensuring a safer environment but also enriching our city's vibrant tapestry. Let's embrace these changes together, supporting our local businesses, and looking forward to an even more beautiful Provo.

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