Provo City Council to discuss permit-based parking system

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The Provo City Council will discuss a proposal to create a permit-based parking system in Provo.

On-street parking has become one of the city’s most valuable and overused resources. The parking management plan aims to fix that very problem.

In neighborhoods south of BYU campus, students are concerned about the results of the city council meeting. Without sufficient parking space, many rely on free on-street parking when their building lots are full.

“My first apartment complex I lived in actually had parking but it wasn’t guaranteed so they would oversell, and if you got home past 9:00 you had to find somewhere on the street,” BYU student Josh Nicoll said.

Nicoll is living in Joaquin, one of Provo’s most densely populated neighborhoods. Nicoll’s experience is not unique among people in Provo.

“The consensus is that there’s a problem, and the problem needs to be dealt with,” Provo City Councilman David Harding said.

The proposal before the council tonight would create a framework to implement pay-to-park regulations in certain areas. The goal is to decrease demand in crowded areas by having drivers pay by the hour with the option to purchase a longer-term permit.

“Those benefits break down when there’s so much demand for on street parking that there’s nothing available and so we really want on street parking to work for the people who live there,” Harding said.

The solution is highly contended as students, landlords and Provo natives bristle at the idea at losing free on-street parking. Harding feels that the general misunderstanding about the parking plan is keeping citizens from understanding the benefits.

“If they’re wandering around for half an hour just to find a parking spot that’s not convenient, that’s not good quality of life,” Harding said.

The city has taken ideas from several cities across the country with successful on-street parking management plans. The overall goal is to make parking more readily available for all and improve the quality of living citywide.

The city council meeting will be tonight at 5:30 p.m. People are encouraged to attend and share their thoughts.

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