Parking in Provo – Back to the trenches


Parking in Provo – Back to the trenches

Back to school and back to the trenches, students vs homeowners and you know who will win.  Homeowners want students to park elsewhere, anywhere. Students want to park near their apartments and classes. Is there no solution to this annual problem?  Read the article here. The author is eloquent but the solution is not forthcoming. Relaxing parking restrictions on a certain boulevard or street doesn’t solve the problem, it will most likely exacerbate it.

The solution is as old as learning itself. Charge for parking on the street and let the chips fall where they may. Make sure that the money from the permits goes right back into the neighborhoods (wider sidewalks, better streets , better lighting, more police patrols) and that parking restrictions are removed.

Neither homeowners nor students have a "right" to park on the streets. On street parking is a benefit like a park or playground that should be protected and nourished. I am amazed that homeowners can think that just because they can afford a house that they have free parking in front of it. Likewise, I am surprised that students in economics or business can’t understand that if you buy, insure, maintain and fill a car with gas, you also have a responsibility to pay for a place to park it.

If they charged market rated for on street parking in the area one of two things would happen. First, some would elect not to drive since the cost of parking would be better spent in other areas. Second, entrepreneurs would find that building and charging for parking was a profitable idea and since there would be a ready market for covered parking, the idea of building parking structures would certainly be beneficial to all.

The students would benefit as there would be more available parking, the residents would benefit as more money would flow back in to the neighborhoods, businesses would benefit as more on street parking would be available when new parking structures were built.

Politics will out, however. Provo is at parking war.


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John Van Horn

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