Provo City Council discusses parking permits, Google Fiber, regional sports park

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Provo City Council discussed the option of instituting a residential parking permit in certain areas of Provo to prohibit students from parking in areas where permanent residents live.

The Provo City Council gathered virtually on Tuesday to discuss various issues and developments for the city of Provo.

One of the agenda items was a resolution to create a parking permit area on portions of 1625 North, 300 West and 380 West, all in the area of the Carterville neighborhood. The proposal is primarily meant to prevent students from parking in residential areas where non-students live.

“The applicant’s proposal was to create a parking permit program for their neighborhood,” city planner Javin Weaver said. “The program would function similarly to existing parking permit programs within the city. On-street parking would be restricted to permit holders between the hours of 11 p.m. to 6 a.m., Monday to Saturday. Other hours would be unrestricted. The cost of the permit would be between $50 to $100. Each dwelling would be eligible for two permits.” 

Many student apartment complexes charge residents to park their cars in designated parking garages, and some complexes have strict rules about parking on the road. Weaver said this leaves many students to find loopholes for parking in Provo, including parking outside permanent residences.

“Some of the goals from the applicant are to preserve on-street parking for those within the neighborhood that reside there and to prevent abandoned vehicles from remaining stationary on the street to promote livability within the neighborhood,” Weaver said. 

The council also discussed approving an amended license with Google Fiber as Provo’s main internet provider, with a few changes in the contract to cut out video service like cable networks from the license. Instead, Google Fiber is offering a new license that will better accommodate streaming services that are used in the area.

“One of the things that the industry is experiencing and seeing is that viewers are moving away from these subscription packages of TV channels and moving towards streaming services. A common term for that is ‘cord cutting,’ and Google is experiencing the same impact with customers, essentially ‘cutting the cord’ and moving to streaming services,” said administrative services director Dan Follett. 

In response, Google Fiber has decided to discontinue offering video services in Provo but has committed to working with affected residents to find alternatives that will work for them, Follett said.

Council members also approved an agreement with Utah County regarding funding for a regional sports park in Provo to accommodate the growing need for sports fields and playgrounds in the area. 

The Provo Parks and Recreation department noted that “especially after this COVID experience, people have recognized what they’ve lost,” and many have turned to the great outdoors as consolation. 

“We’re noticing expansive growth in our soccer, football, lacrosse, rugby, Ultimate Frisbee, (and other) emerging sports,” said Parks and Recreation assistant director Doug Robins. “In order to cope with that, we’ve noticed that a lot of our neighborhood parks had to convert some of the open space over to athletic fields. That’s really not a sustainable approach to sports field use.”

With new funding underway, Utah County and Provo City will work together to build a regional park with 22 athletic fields that should be completed and operational by 2024.

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