Utah State University has finished phase one of road improvements on 700 North, or Aggie Bull-evard, on the main Logan campus. The improvements begin at 800 East and go to 950 East.
The project improves safety and mobility of all users, enhances active transportation and sustainable design and creates vibrant and attractive connecting outdoor spaces fitting of a campus environment. The design incorporates new bike lanes, reconfiguration of sidewalks and crosswalks, enhanced pedestrian lighting, reconfigured bus stops, a new bus shelter and sustainable storm water features. There is also new landscaping throughout, the addition of small plazas and seating, an artistic barrier to prevent jaywalking and a new welcome sign.
“One of the biggest changes on the street is the reconfigured crosswalks,” said Meg McCarthy, sustainable transportation manager at USU.
The western-most midblock crossing was eliminated because it caused traffic congestion and unsafe pedestrian conditions, and the one at the main pedestrian mall has been widened, McCarthy stated.
Other improvements include a traffic/pedestrian signal installed at the main mall crossing to reduce bus delays. Cache Valley Transit District and Aggie Shuttle are able to activate the signal as they approach the crossing. Also, the crosswalk at 800 East and 700 North features a large USU logo graphic, to add distinctive USU branding to the street and a feeling of arrival to campus.
Another innovation is Cache County’s first bike box. Bike boxes are advanced stop lanes at the head of traffic that provide cyclists with a safer and more visible way to get ahead of queuing traffic during red lights. People driving cars queue outside of the box. Groups of cyclists can clear the intersection minimizing the impediment to traffic. Bike boxes also decrease the chances of right hook crashes because cyclists are at the front of traffic instead of to the side.
“Students, employees and visitors should notice a much improved campus experience while moving through and across Aggie Boulevard,” said Jordy Guth, university planner.
USU has plans to improve the remainder of the street where it crosses campus over the next few years.