Provo parking proposal under scrutiny from BYU students

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BYU students and other Provo residents are taking to social media to share their opinions on the parking permit proposal from the Provo City Council.

Most students commenting aren’t happy about the program, which would cover parking in the Joaquin neighborhood south of BYU.

On June 10 the Daily Universe published a story about the proposal that gained a lot of traction on social media, and the discussion prompted a response from City Council member Dave Harding, who was quoted in the original story.

The program would allow the city to sell landlords a certain number of parking permits for a designated area of the neighborhood. The landlords could then rent those permits out to tenants to supplement the apartment complex’s own parking areas.

Anyone without a parking permit could still park on the street, but they would pay by the hour through an app. Harding clarified in his online response that there is still much to figure out about the program, but it’s likely that the first half hour of parking would be free.

Most of the reactions on social media came from BYU students who don’t want the proposal to pass. Austin Humble, a BYU graduate who isn’t currently living in Provo but said he’s lived there for the past five years, tweeted a poll asking Provo residents what they think of the proposal.

The poll asked Provo residents to pick whether they thought the proposal was a good idea or a bad idea and also gave an option for non-Provo residents to see the results. Of the 78% of participants that claimed to be Provo residents, 68% said they thought the permit program is a bad idea. Over 450 users responded to the poll.

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“I think you’re just going to exacerbate the problem, and now there will be kids that don’t buy the spots, or the spots will run out, and you’ll have kids unable to park for miles and miles or having to pay hourly to park overnight,” Humble said in an interview with the Universe.

BYU junior Carter Madsen said he doesn’t think the program serves students because it takes away the option of free parking for those who can’t afford a permit. Madsen has been living in an apartment complex in the Joaquin neighborhood for two years, and he said he has always parked on the street instead of buying a permit to park at his complex.

Elias Morgan, a senior studying industrial design, said he’s concerned the city is allocating public land to private property owners.

“As a resident of Provo, I pay taxes to keep roads paved and shaped, but when those roads are being sold to private corporations, I’m in theory maintaining an apartment complex’s source of income with my tax money, which I have an issue with,” Morgan said.

BYU junior Amy Griffin said she thinks the program could work, but her biggest concern is that landlords will take advantage of the situation and charge students too much for the on-street permits. Griffin said she believes the program could be helpful for controlling parking but that she would prefer that the city put a price cap on how much landlords can charge tenants to rent the parking permits.

BYU advertising junior Ty Bingham said he is in favor of the program because his apartment has a waitlist for parking permits and he usually has to park a few blocks away. Bingham said it would be nice to be able to purchase a spot on the street near his apartment.

Harding said he hopes this proposal would encourage more efficient use of on-street parking and would level the playing field between apartment complexes so that those that don’t have enough parking are no longer being supplemented by the city.

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