New pedestrian plaza improves safety around campus for students, faculty, and general visitors.

The pedestrian plaza between the Wilkinson Center and the J. Reuben Clark Law school building

Heritage Halls is not the only part of campus to get a makeover. What once was East Campus Drive, a busy thoroughfare running between the J. Reuben Clark Law school building and the Wilkinson Student Center, is a now a pedestrian plaza. This dramatic change to east campus came during the first of three phases, which will eliminate all of Campus Drive by the fall of 2015.

Phase 1 of the Campus Drive redesign began May 4, 2013, and ended in August before the start of fall semester. The remodel replaced the section of East Campus Drive from the intersection of Heritage Drive to the intersection just south of the Wilkinson Center with sidewalks and a roundabout for convenient drop-offs.

The remodel also resulted in additional parking near the Wilkinson Center and Harris Fine Arts Center, along with improved pedestrian access from existing parking lots. Those returning to BYU for the first time since before May 4 may experience delays as they become accustomed to a detour using Heritage Drive and 900 East.

The university stresses that the purpose for these changes is to improve safety around campus for students, faculty, and general visitors. "Our goal is to create a safe, pedestrian-friendly environment on campus with ample green space," according to university spokeswoman Carri Jenkins.

Unfortunately there is not much greenery yet. But time remains for landscaping while the university prepares for Phase 2 and Phase 3.

Phase 2 will begin in May 2014 and extend into August of the same year,with the following changes:

  • An improved intersection at 450 East, which is located northeast of the Hinckley Center
  • A new pedestrian drop-off on the east side of the Hinckley Center
  • A new sidewalk along 1230 North

Phase 3, which will begin May 2015 and extend into August, will bring additional changes:

  • A new roundabout north of the Smoot Administration Building
  • Improved pedestrian access from Heritage Halls to the main part of campus
  • Additional parking east of the Museum of Art