City council denies parking permit extension

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Hannah Miner
Cars lined up along Provo street south of BYU campus. The Provo City Council voted against an extension of the parking permit program in the University Gardens/Foothill neighborhood. (Hannah Miner)

The Provo City Council voted against a proposal to extend the current parking permit program in the University Garden/North Foothills area. 

The purpose of expanding the permit program to portions of 820 North from 1025 East to 900 East would be “to preserve on-street parking for those who live within the neighborhood and to prevent abandoned vehicles from remaining stationary on the street,” said city planner Javin Weaver.

Current parking permits in the area are meant to make sure residents of those streets have sufficient parking, rather than having their parking spots taken by students. Residents of the area pay $15 per parking permit. 

“It’s a fairly large permit area that’s already in place there. We’re talking about a very small, incremental growth, and I’m not sure why it was not included when the program was originally set up. This would extend it just a very small amount,” Councilman David Harding said in favor of the extension.

The blue highlighted area shows the streets that are currently allotted to the University Gardens/North Foothill permit area. The red line marks the section of street in question for this proposal.

The proposed expansion would have provided 40 new parking spaces for residents with permits on 820 North, but the city planner’s office noted that vehicles are only occupying the street on a 72% average, leaving enough spaces open for the residents of the area. The city planner’s office also estimated that this extension of the permit area could add 116 permits to the affected area and possibly bring more cars into the area instead of less.

The city planner’s office expressed their concerns for the expansion, stating “the $15 cost of the proposed permit does not cover the cost to administer and enforce. If the council wants to add additional parking permit areas and expansions, additional staff will be needed to manage and enforce efficiently.”

Members of the City Council addressed this concern from the city planner’s office following the proposal presentation.

“I’m wondering if that’s not the right fee,” said Councilman George Handley. “Maybe not for this particular project because I don’t think (we’ve) found a compelling reason to have (the permit expansion) here, but if there were a desirable location for a permit program and the $15 isn’t covering it, and staff is at capacity, maybe it’s time we think about a higher fee.”

“I fully understand that our enforcement is kind of at the limit, but you know, this is just finishing driving down the street. I am very supportive (in general) as we move forward of charging fees that cover the cost of administering the program,” Harding said.

The council voted unanimously on Feb. 2 to deny this parking permit program extension. 

The city planner’s office recommends continuing to enforce the 72-hour parking restriction in the area and monitoring the parking situation because “there is still plenty of on street parking available within the corridor,” Weaver said.

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