By Turner Bitton — Last year when the Ogden City Council approved the city’s Bicycle Master Plan, it was met with much enthusiasm by local cyclists. Commuters and recreational cyclists alike had many things to celebrate. Tucked in the nearly $8 million budget for Phase One of the plan were projects ranging from cycling boulevards to smaller infrastructure designed to promote cycling in the city’s various neighborhoods, especially the resurgent downtown core.
Drawing on the strength of neighborhoods and existing facilities such as schools, parks, and Weber State University, Ogden devised an ambitious agenda to connect the city with a system of cycling infrastructure. In order to ensure success and establish realistic timelines, the city developed a phased infrastructure improvement timeline to coincide with the city’s other development priorities, ensuring that improvements made sense in both economic and cycling-friendly ways.
Now, a year later, Phase One of the plan is under full implementation and projects across the city are underway and being completed. Current projects underway range from Shared Lane Markings to the expansion of the Grant Avenue Bicycle Promenade. These projects will increase Ogden’s bicycle infrastructure significantly – a welcome sign for all cyclists in the city. This piece is part one of a three-piece series where I will detail the progress being made in different parts of Ogden City. This piece focuses exclusively on my neck of the woods, the Northern part of the city.
Here are a few of the highlights of what is in progress or completed to-date in Northern Ogden City proper.
Harrison Boulevard Shared Lane Markings
One of the most welcome projects is the creation of bike lanes on Harrison Boulevard between 12th Street and the North Ogden-Ogden City boundary. This stretch of roadway boasts one of the most residential areas in the city and is in close proximity to the 9th Street bicycle park. Harrison Boulevard is the gateway to Ogden City for many commuters living North of 12th Street and the new bike lanes, which include two-stage left turns, will be a welcome source of safety for commuter and recreational cyclists alike.
These bike lanes connect with another piece of important infrastructure being developed, the 2nd Street route, which will run from Depot Drive within the Business Depot of Ogden (BDO) and Harrison Boulevard. With plans in process to build a Frontrunner station in BDO and the large residential population of the area, this route is likely to see significantly increased cycling travel when the upgrades are finished.
2nd Street and Washington Boulevard Improvements
The busiest gateway to Ogden City is Washington Boulevard, which is also in line for a significant upgrade. The project of painting bike lanes along Washington Boulevard from 2nd Street to 12th Street will add safety and security to the countless cyclists who commute from North Ogden into Ogden.
As mentioned above, the Harrison Boulevard project links with the new 2nd Street bicycle boulevard that will soon be constructed in conjunction with the construction of a new school at the corner of Harrison and 2nd Street. The newly designed traffic light and 2nd Street corridor will create a continuous loop for cyclists traveling in the Northern part of the city. The high number of commuters who travel from East to West in the city along 2nd Street should expect a safer and easier ride come this time next year.
North Street and Monroe Boulevard
Currently Monroe Boulevard ends just North of North Street and is not a through street. The end of Monroe Boulevard is the furthest North you can go without switching to either Washington or Harrison Boulevard. The city is currently exploring options to expand Monroe Boulevard into North Ogden thus creating one more thoroughfare for traffic of all types to enter the city. Phase One of the Bicycle Master Plan calls for the construction of buffered bike lanes to span the length of Monroe from the Northernmost part of the city to 20th Street in the heart of the city. This 2.3 mile stretch of road links the residential areas of the North Central part of the city with the downtown core. With buffered bike lanes running the length commuters will have serious options for a safer, smarter commute downtown.
North Street is quite a different story because it is an East-West road that marks the near Northern-most part of Ogden City proper and has long been the joke of cyclists because of the rough and thorny nature of this stretch of road. Most of the street does not have sidewalks and yet serves as a very important corridor between the Northeastern Bench of the city and the shopping centers in Northern Ogden City, the Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College, and the shopping centers in Harrisville. Cyclists and commuters will be well-served by the new sidewalks, shared lane markings, and repaved road that is currently under construction.
While Phase One is still in progress, the changes recommended by the Bicycle Master Plan are nothing short of great news for cyclists of all kind in Ogden. Those wishing to learn more about projects being constructed by Ogden City should see https://www.utah.gov/pmn/files/196203.pdf