Where not to drive during Provo temple open house

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Blessing and burden

Nothing will derail your trip to the Provo City Center temple open house like a fender bender.

The Provo City Center Temple open house will bring 20,000 visitors‘ business and cars to Provo, making parking and traffic in Downtown Provo even more troublesome for students and residents.

After a 2010 fire gutted the Provo Tabernacle overnight, the tabernacle-turned-temple rose from the ashes and made its debut to the world with media tours on Monday.

And what a reveal it was. 

Now BYU students and Provo residents alike will have to face the reality that Provo is about to become a lot more popular once the Provo temple open house takes public admittance, starting Jan. 15 and ending March 5.

While the increased tourism is likely to bring a windfall of additional customers for local restaurants and boutiques, problem areas prone to traffic jams and collisions will likely magnify.

There’s a map… 

The Automated Geographic Reference Center and the Utah Department of Transportation created a map of the state plotting reportable traffic accident police reports from Jan. 1, 2012 to Nov. 30, 2015. A reportable accident is one that includes an injury, death or over $15,000 of damage.

The map can filter out collisions based on factors like timeframe, weather, fatality and injury or county.

What about Provo?

Below is a map highlighting some of the locations that have seen a higher volume of collisions over the last four years or so.

Assuming traffic patterns hold true this year, there are a few places that you will want to avoid or take particular caution: the I-15 & Center Street on- and off-ramps,  the I-15 & University Avenue on- and off-ramps, University Avenue & 300 S., University Avenue & Center Street, University Avenue & 800 N. University Avenue & Bulldog Boulevard, State Street & Bulldog Avenue and University Avenue & University Parkway.

Center Street is already notoriously difficult to traverse because of the downtown speed limits, in-street parking, no turn lanes at traffic lights and high pedestrian traffic and will likely be inundated with both vehicle and foot traffic since it is the closest thoroughfare with parking to the temple.

The Center Street on- and off-ramps provides the most direct route to the temple. It is also a busy thoroughfare for normal morning and evening commuters.

Highlights of collision areas in Provo: 1/1/2012 through 11/30/2015

Data: http://crashmapping.utah.gov/

The map states that in most police reports for Utah County, 51 percent detailed no contributing factors in collisions. The next two top contributing factors are following too closely and failure to yield right-of-way at 14 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

The overwhelming majority, 69 percent, of collisions in Utah County occurred in clear weather. Only about 15 percent of collisions happened in rain, snow, fog, sleet or hail, or severe cross winds. Seventeen percent occurred in cloudy weather.

Most notably, the Utah County data purports that 96 percent of collisions involved no major distraction.

Collisions appear to peak during the 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. hours. Collisions occurred substantially less before or after these hours. About 68 percent less collisions occurred during the 8 p.m. hour than during the 5 p.m hour.

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