Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Council hears proposal for Strategic Parking and Management Study


No Such Thing as a Free Lunch? Parking Strategy

Council Members recently heard a presentation proposing a Strategic Parking Management analysis study to assess parking comprehensively in Provo.

“In the past, parking issues in Provo have been handled in an ad-hoc sort of way, case-by case,” Community Development Director Gary McGinn told the Council. “The city would benefit from a long-term, holistic approach to parking, one that would weigh the competing interests and needs of students, residents, renters, businesses and educational institutions,” he said.

McGinn indicated that Brigham Young University and the Utah Transit Authority are supportive of Provo’s efforts at strategic parking management, and that they would tailor and augment their policy to align it with the city’s.

As part of the process, Provo’s Community Development Department has put out a request for competitive bids for firms to perform the study, and received four offers which have been ranked by a committee representing different interests in the city. McGinn said the next step after approval from the Council would be to discuss which of the firms to include in the project.

McGinn said Community Development wanted to do the project correctly, but in a way which would be cost conscious. To ensure the best possible use of funds, McGinn said Community Development would hold discussions to determine to what degree city staff and interns from BYU’s planning and transportation planning programs could contribute to the project.

Provo Mayor Curtis offered some thoughts about the proposal, saying he thought taking a comprehensive, strategic approach to parking was a good idea, as it would allow the city to discuss potential future issues including downtown parking, traffic circulation and congestion, and consider the impact parking meters and parking garages could have on downtown parking, among other issues.

McGinn said the study would provide information and recommendations for best practices for Provo based on an analysis of cities with similar demographics, institutions and traffic patterns.

The majority of funds for this study have already been appropriated.