Citizens and businesses react to new median on Cougar Blvd.

Cars heading east on Cougar Blvd are unable to access small businesses like Crumbl or Don Joaquin Street Tacos due to a newly constructed median. (Scott Baylon)

Provo citizens are finding it difficult to navigate around the newly constructed median on the west side of Cougar Blvd. in Provo, but employees of businesses in the area say business hasn’t been adversely affected.

The median was built to create a safer bike line for people commuting to BYU. However, according to employees and customers of the businesses affected by the median, the median is an annoyance.

The problem people have with the median is that it restricts access to the restaurants for guests traveling east. Someone wanting to access the businesses would have to turn left on University Ave. and then take an immediate left into the CVS parking lot.

Grayland Martin, a senior studying finance at BYU, said that getting in and out of the Don Joaquin Street Tacos parking lot is a hassle for him.

“Honestly, it’s the worst,” Martin said. “I have to plan out in my head my exit strategy of how I’m going to get where I need to after I visit Don Joaquin.”

Martin said he felt bad for the other restaurants surrounding Don Joaquin.

“I feel like they got the short end of the stick on this deal because it restricts how people can get in and out of the businesses,” he said.

Provo resident William Sansom said he finds the median difficult to deal with when accessing businesses along Cougar Blvd.

“I realize it has made the street much safer and that is a good thing,” he said. “I think now most people will just have to plan things out a bit better when wishing to go to one of the businesses along the route.”

Like Martin, Sansom is worried that the median could cause customers to go elsewhere.

“It seems like fast food businesses rely on such last-moment spontaneity a great deal,” Sansom said. “Rather than going around the block and coming back to gain access, a person may just choose something else.”

Business employees and managers, however, agreed that while the construction of the median was hard on their businesses, the completed median hasn’t had any adverse effects on their ability to serve the community.

Don Joaquin Street Tacos Manager Sandra Torres said the median has caused customers to complain but not stop coming into the store.

“About 80% of people complain about having to come in through either Taco Bell or the CVS pharmacy,” Torres said. “It was really difficult and slow here the first month the median went up, but now we have people coming in.”

Crumbl employee Natalie Fardos reported a similar flow of customers.

“It was really difficult to get into work when they were building it,” Fardos said, “It definitely affected customers during the construction, but business has improved since it’s finished.”

Other businesses have utilized alternative methods of getting in and out of the parking lot adjacent to their businesses. Domino’s Pizza General Manager Sindy Miller said that employees haven’t had any trouble getting in and out of the area.

“We have entrances in the back on the left and right by Taco Bell and Papa John’s respectively,” Miller said. “When we use these entrances, deliveries aren’t a problem.”

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