Action AlertsComplete Streets

What Happened to 200 East: Your Guide to This Weekend’s Tactical Urbanism Experiment

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[EDIT: The party is being postponed until Monday. Please check the event for updates. From the event page: “The rain is letting up but it’s not clear enough for the sound equipment. We’re postponing to Monday and keeping our fingers crossed for good weather, but anyone can head over and see our parklets and the traffic calming measures that have been set up already. We apologize for any confusion!” They worked like crazy to set it up and it’s definitely worth checking out what is already there, even if the weather doesn’t allow for a party tonight.]

You might notice that 200 E. looks a little different on Saturday, June 6th. This is a part of a neighborhood project to model a complete street – a shared community space for everyone. That means making the street friendly and safe for neighborhood residents, pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers, and anyone else that might be using the streets.

Making these temporary changes to a street is called Tactical Urbanism. Tactical Urbanism can be any small, inexpensive, short-term action designed to start a conversation and engage neighbors in thinking about what they want their street to look like. Most importantly…

Tactical Urbanism Requires a Good Imagination!

Keep in mind that what you’re seeing is just a mock-up of how permanent street changes might look. See beyond temporary items like chalk lines and cones to imagine how the space could look in the future.

Here are a few things to look for as you tour the street during Saturday night’s Neighborhood Greenway Party:

Neighborhood Greenways

Neighborhood Greenways, also known as Complete Streets, are designed to enable safe access for everyone, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Neighborhood Greenways make it easy to cross the street; walk to campus; and bicycle to downtown, the new temple, and the Frontrunner Station.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 11.17.35 PMBulbouts

Curb extensions, sometimes referred to as bulbouts, increase the overall visibility of pedestrians by aligning them with the parking lane and reducing crossing distances. They also serve as a visual cue to drivers that they are entering a neighborhood street or area.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 11.17.45 PMParklets

Parklets are converted curbside parking spaces that create vibrant community spaces. Parklets incorporate seating, greenery, and accommodate unmet demand for usable public space.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 11.17.52 PMSharrows

Shared Lane Markings or “sharrows” are markings used to indicate a shared lane environment for bicycles and automobiles. Among other benefits, shared lane markings reinforce the legitimacy of bicycle traffic on the street and recommend proper bicyclist street positioning.

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 11.18.01 PMBring your imagination to the Neighborhood Greenway Party and imagine the future of safer, more people-friendly Provo streets. There will be live entertainment, food trucks, a scavenger hunt, and a chance to win lots of awesome prizes (including pieces from local artists and Disneyland tickets)! See you there!

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  1. LOVE it! Of course I don’t think I would like it on every city street, but a select few is an AWESOME idea.

  2. I think that most residents of 200 East, me included, don’t feel there is an “unmet demand for usable public space.” There is, however, a very real demand for parking spaces on the street. Especially with BYU requiring students to buy parking permits to park on-campus this upcoming fall, the residents of the area do not want to lose parking spaces for “public space.”

    Also, I cannot envision a safe “neighborhood greenway.” If a “neighborhood greenway” is patterned after what Portland has been working on, then I can only imagine newer students being confused by the concept that is so foreign to our country’s roads. Already many drivers do not understand or follow Utah’s law that gives right of way to pedestrians crossing streets. A greenway might just become a false sense of security that leads to accidents.

    If the street is going to be improved, the sidewalks should be redone. A lot of them are too narrow and unsafe because they have buckled. Also, the deep canal style storm drains ought to be covered. I have seen cars that have gotten stuck in them, and in the winter they get covered in snow and thus are a hazard to anyone who doesn’t know exactly where they are. Also, they often get clogged with leaves and water backs up making them a breeding ground for mosquitoes and bad smells.

    Finally, if bicyclists feel unsafe, that may be problem. I am all for signs reminding cars to share the road as long as it doesn’t make anyone reckless because of a false sense of security. Streets (including neighborhood streets like 200 E) are dangerous places, and we shouldn’t hide that fact.

  3. This is going to cause some serious traffic issues, and make it nearly impossible for me to get out of my apartment garage in the mornings to head to work. Not a good idea. Not a good idea at all.

  4. I am a resident of Provo and live on 200E. I don’t understand why Provo would decide to make changes to the street that would make it more congested and hard to navigate. Why solve a problem that doesn’t exist? Provo does not have an “unmet demand for public space” nor are bikers complaining about 200 E in any way. This would create more problems.

    The “tactical urbanization” was extremely inconvenient to those who drive. If it is a preview of things to come, then I am very opposed. Anybody else who is resistant to these changes should attend the city council meeting on June 16.

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