Students express concerns about potential paid parking in Provo

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Residents of Provo met in the council chamber on Thursday, Nov. 18 to discuss the proposal to implement paid parking in the Joaquin neighborhood.

The meeting began with Councilman David Harding explaining the parking proposal. While all the details of the plan haven’t been finalized, the plan states that it would allow the city to implement paid street parking in the Joaquin area. This area extends from 800 North to Center Street, and from University Avenue to 900 East.

Harding said the paid system would only affect the streets in that area with a high demand, and the purpose of the plan would be to provide more parking by discouraging car use in the area.

Students hold up signs to protest the paid on-street parking proposal. The proposal would allow the city to implement paid parking on the streets of the Joaquin neighborhood area. (Kaelin Hagen)

Harding also said the City Council expects the paid parking to be a source of revenue for the city, that would then in turn be used to make the streets better.

Students packed the room and lined up to ask questions and express their feelings on the proposal. Harding said at the beginning of the meeting that 80% of the people who answered a survey about the program stated they were opposed to the parking program, and many students at the event shared the same sentiment.

Students and residents of Provo line up to ask questions or express their approval or disapproval of the paid on-street parking plan. Many students expressed how they didn’t believe the plan would be effective. (Kaelin Hagen)

For almost two hours, many students shared their worries that the parking program would affect them negatively.  A main concern of the students was that they would end up needing to pay to park on the street every night because of the limited parking in their complexes. Others shared their feelings that there just is not enough parking in Provo in general, and so the plan wouldn’t help them find parking easier.

During the meeting Councilman Travis Hoban said the council is going to be very careful with the proposal, and that they won’t charge for something unless it makes it better. Councilwoman Shannon Ellsworth talked about the future of the plan and how the proposal won’t be voted on anytime soon.

“This is not going to be implemented tomorrow; this is not going to be on the agenda tomorrow,” Ellsworth said. “This will come after further deliberation, after you send us many good ideas, and after we have talked about this ad nauseum.”  

The City Council encouraged anyone who wants to comment about the proposal to submit their comments through the open town hall website or by emailing members of the council.

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