Provo seeks public feedback on south campus parking proposal

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The City of Provo has proposed implementing a new, dynamic, pay-by-hour parking system to address the problem of overcrowded street parking in the Joaquin neighborhood south of BYU. This is the newest development in a previous story published by The Daily Universe in 2020.

Here is drone footage of the Joaquin neighborhood referenced in a 2019 Provo City Council survey. The survey found that 85% of respondents felt there was a parking problem in Joaquin, with 60% of respondents experiencing trouble finding parking. (Decker Westenburg)

A 2019 survey found that 85% of respondents felt there was a parking problem in Joaquin, with 60% of respondents experiencing trouble finding parking. A proposal drafted in 2020 suggested selling parking permits to landlords as a potential solution, with landlords renting these permits to their tenants or other complexes that lacked parking while non-permitted visitors would pay by the hour.

This proposal was met with opposition from students, causing the Provo Parking Committee to search for other solutions.

The newest proposal released does not include the previously proposed permit system. Under the new plan, all drivers would pay for on-street parking as they use it. The exact rate individuals pay would vary based on location and time of day.

The first half hour would be free-of-charge to accommodate short visits such as drop-offs and pick-ups, while the cost per hour for longer visits “could potentially be as low as a few cents.” The charges could be paid via an app, a website or by phone. The system would be adjustable in order to address parking issues on a block-by-block basis over time.

The goal of this new proposal is to provide an adaptable system that can be used in select areas to improve the safety and quality of life of Joaquin residents. According to respondents to a recent survey, over-parking decreases visibility for pedestrians in seeing oncoming vehicle traffic (and vice versa), blocks residents’ driveways and reduces accessibility to fire hydrants.

Several similar proposals over the past several decades have proven unsuccessful. In May 2007, the city drafted and released a proposal for a Joaquin Neighborhood Permit Parking Program which involved selling parking permits to residents for $25, but this plan faced numerous delays and significant neighborhood opposition before being postponed indefinitely in 2011. Earlier plans dating as far back as 1968 also proved unsuccessful.

The Provo City Council discussed the past parking problems and solutions in the Joaquin neighborhood on Feb. 2 (Provo City Council)

During a City Council meeting, Councilman David Harding referenced an article written in 1968 about the plan proposed by the city that later proved to be unsuccessful. “It’s amazing how much things have not changed in the more than 50 years since this article was published,” Harding said.

The City of Provo created an online public survey to gather feedback from residents about the new proposal. The survey will remain open until May 31. Those interested in giving feedback can do so on the Open Town Hall website.

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