I recently had the opportunity to meet with Brent Wilde, Provo’s assistant community development director.
Brent and I spent some time discussing downtown Provo, and I think we both agree that it’s an exciting time for the city. We specifically discussed transportation, density, walkability and the coming Intermodal Hub — which I often refer to somewhat inaccurately as the “train station.”
Here are a few highlights from our conversation:
• The city continues to plan for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), though all the funding needed to make this happen has not yet been secured. I don’t know if there is a specific timeline for this project yet, but Brent mentioned it will connect the train station to other parts of the valley. You can find routes and other information via the link.
• There is interest in turning 100 West into a pedestrian corridor between downtown and the train station. Brent mention that the area could benefit from infill. He also said the city would consider other other efforts to aid walkability, such as creating a median in the street, though no specifics have been agreed on.
• There is interest in building a pedestrian bridge over train tracks on Freedom Blvd and 600 South. Unfortunately, this bridge would be very expensive.
• The city is looking to add residential spaces to downtown.
All in all, it was a fascinating meeting and one that heightened my appreciation for the excellent work being done right now in the city. However, Brent also mentioned to me resident demand could lead to more single family homes in historic downtown neighborhoods. That could be a good thing, but it could also be disastrous. I’ll discuss that topic in more detail in my next post.