The Utah Department of Transportation and Provo City propose this project to improve safety for all modes of traffic on Bulldog Boulevard between 625 West and Canyon Road. The project is needed because the Bulldog Boulevard corridor has a severe crash rate that is 7.5 times higher than the statewide average for similar roadways. There are also a significant number of bicycle crashes because of a lack of adequate bicycle facilities.
Provo City and UDOT are partnering to increase safety by adding raised medians and protected bicycle lanes. The project plans to convert one travel lane in each direction to bicycle lanes with physical or painted buffers to separate bicycles from vehicular traffic.
The concept of adding bicycle facilities on Bulldog Boulevard was generated during the 2013 Provo City Bicycle Master Plan [link] process, which was approved by City Council. Following the recommendation from the Bicycle Master Plan, Provo City commissioned a traffic study in 2014 to determine if and how those facilities might be incorporated on this critical east/west corridor. The initial study conducted traffic counts during the morning and evening commutes, when Brigham Young University was in session, then factored in growth projections for the year 2040. This study confirmed that conversion of the outside lanes to bicycle lanes would not significantly increase traffic wait times throughout the corridor.
An additional traffic study was completed in late 2017 to verify this and make recommendations to begin developing the project design plans. The 2017 study found that the planned project changes described below will increase the morning eastbound commute by approximately 4 seconds and the westbound evening commute by approximately 40 seconds (at 2040 traffic projections).
Based on the 2017 traffic study, the initial project design converts the outside travel lanes to protected bicycle lanes, adds dedicated left-turn lanes at the 500 West intersections with State Street and University Avenue, and adds a new signalized intersection at 400 West to maintain access to the Riverside Plaza complex on the northeast corner of Bulldog Boulevard and 500 West.
Driveways, intersection turning pockets and other areas where bicycles and vehicles must cross paths will be defined for increased awareness and safety. Motorists accessing businesses on the opposite side of Bulldog Boulevard will still be able to safely make left turns and U-turns at any of the existing intersections. Traffic signal timing will be adjusted to accommodate the additional u-turns and other traffic pattern changes.
Outside of the signalized intersections, the second largest cause of crashes on Bulldog Boulevard have been left-turns across multiple lanes of traffic. Raised medians will shift left-turn movements to signalized intersections where they are better controlled and drivers can anticipate them.
Landscaping will be added in the medians where space allows and will include rock, shrubs, and trees similar to those found on Center Street between 900 West and 600 West.