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CONNECT ISSUE 15

Keeping Provo Safe & Sound

The existing Provo City complex was built in 1972 and houses three aspects of public safety: police headquarters, fire headquarters and emergency dispatch.

 

When it was originally constructed, Provo had a population of 45,000 residents—today it has more than tripled. Faced with serving and protecting a growing population, upgrading our current facilities was not an option due to its condition:

 

  • Unable to withstand a moderate earthquake

  • Too small for operational needs of Provo’s population

  • Did not match the level of performance expected by Provo’s residents

  • Required a significant, costly investment to further occupy

We are grateful to Provo residents for understanding the importance of public safety and supporting the need to build a new Provo City Hall and Public Safety Headquarters.

The new Provo City Hall is designed for an enhanced resident experience:

  • Accessible

    •  Elevate public use and engagement

  • Collaborative

    • Create dynamic staff interaction for better service and efficiency

  • Secure

    • Secure and productive spaces to resist technological and physical influences

  • Safe

    • Responsive to the immediate emergency needs of our community

  • Innovative

    • Architecturally creating the next-level of government performance

  • Right-Sized

    • Innovative design adaptability creates efficiency now and is flexible to meet future needs

  • Sustainable

    • Cooperatively designed work spaces generate concepts for productivity enhancement

  • Healthy

    • A vastly improved working environment for staff and a Net Zero building showing respect for the environment we all share

  • Long-Lasting

    • Purposeful in its design to meet resident needs while standing as a beautiful, stately public gateway entrance to Downtown Provo

Experience your new city hall in person this summer or enjoy our virtual tour now

SHARED SOLAR

It’s a win-win scenario for Provo residential electric utility customers! SharedSolar offers customers the option to lease solar panels from Provo’s community solar farm instead of installing rooftop solar on their homes. Provo is excited to offer this optional renewable alternative for those who want to generate renewable energy on the electrical grid without expensive up-front capital or financing costs.

Learn more at renewchoice.com
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Enjoy a night at the Covey Center!

The Covey Center puts on a variety of shows every year ranging from intimate Black Box productions to energizing live concerts on the Main Stage. View a full list of summer shows at the Covey Center here!

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Image by Michael Fousert

Provo Parking Manager

INTERVIEW WITH PROVO CITY PARKING MANAGER TOM THORPE

 

Why does Provo need a Parking Manager?

Provo has a goal of being a safe and livable city. Part of livability is to navigate an increasingly crowded and congested city. Nothing frustrates us more than trying to find a place to park when we get home from work or when we’re out running errands. My job is to effectively manage street parking and micro mobility (bicycles, scooters, etc.) as the first mile and last mile of mass transit. What that means is I work to help decongest our neighborhood streets and provide options for you to get where you want to be and find a place to put your car while you enjoy all that Provo has to offer.

What does the Parking Manager do?

My job is to provide leadership for our hard-working and efficient parking enforcement division, ensuring that best practices are followed and ultimately that citizens are treated fairly, that parking areas are clearly understood and consistent with city policies. My goal is to provide principled and excellent customer service to Provo.

 

Secondly, I work with city departments, partners, and other stakeholders to improve traffic flow in neighborhoods; to develop zoning that better meets the needs of the developers and the citizens’ best interests.

 

Third, I work to administer and direct an integrated city-wide bicycle, scooter program that benefits our visitors, our student population, and residents in the city.

 

What are the biggest parking challenges facing Provo right now?

The biggest challenge facing Provo right now is growth. Although a high growth rate includes impacts we all feel, it’s actually a good thing for Provo. Downtown has become ever more vibrant and exciting to experience. We have great restaurants and fantastic shops, but the main complaint is finding a place to park. In our neighborhoods, we have commuter parking around BYU, which often brings complaints for safety and congestion reasons. This adds stress to the neighborhoods and impacts the quality of life of those residents.

 

As Provo grows, we are landlocked. That means that our growth must go up. As more apartments are built, it brings challenges of high-density living next to traditional neighborhoods. One of the biggest points of conflict is overflow parking from these developments onto city streets. We need to grow, but we need to be proactive enough to be able to support our downtown businesses, our neighborhoods, and the University in a way that encourages people to live in and spend time in Provo.

What experience do you bring to Provo?

I fell into parking management to afford graduate school. It became a career for me and I have continually learned and grown in my 17 years in the parking industry. I’ve worked at the largest University in the country, helping to manage NCAA sporting events, Broadway shows and a Presidential Debate. In Southern California, I worked in one of the largest counties in the country, providing secure parking for federal agencies and courts, state and county courts. I attended the sheriff’s academy there and learned a lot that made me a better leader, focusing much more on the rights of the citizens.

 

In Bozeman, Montana, I worked hand-in-hand with the police to improve relations between enforcement and police services. I also aided the police in tackling problems with the homeless and vulnerable populations. I’m proudest that I was able to bring the division into the black - budget wise.

 

Most recently, I’ve come from the City of Phoenix, where I learned to work with traffic engineers, learning how important traffic flow is to parking. I also learned how important parking is to businesses and neighborhoods in transition. How changes such as residential towers replacing single family homes and the needs of a growing university.

 

My peers within the parking world voted me to be a member of the Southwest Parking & Transit Association (SWPTA) Board in 2020, and I have served there and as a consultant for industry projects and municipalities.

 

 

How are you hoping to transform parking in Provo?

Parking enforcement in Provo is great. Most of our citations are safety related: such as blocking a crosswalk or parking against traffic. I would like to bring more full-time officers on duty and improve the way we patrol.

 

I would like to bring a new e-bike and scooter program to the city that provides a safe and effective way to get about Provo. We should have a new contract for services within the next month or two.

 

I would like to build a Park Provo App that shows where parking can be found off-street, in the garages downtown as well as on-street. I envision the App linking to a map of our bike trails and key locations so that visitors to Provo will be able to navigate the city and enjoy all of its amenities.

 

As more electric vehicles are coming to our streets, I would like to work with our city’s power department and fire department to provide safe fast-charging stations that will benefit drivers as well as recoup costs for the city and ultimately give our citizens a safe place to charge their vehicles without the risks of fires in their homes.

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Learn about upcoming Park Projects Here:

Image by Jason Yuen

Are Your Windows Too Small?

Free Windows?

A lot of Provo homes were built at a time when a bedroom only needed a window of any size. Now code requires each bedroom to have an opening big enough to climb through (at least 5 square feet called an egress window) in case of a fire or other emergency. Provo City has an Egress Window Program to help low to moderate-income, owner-occupied, single-family residents install bigger bedroom windows in their homes. The bigger windows allow for better air circulation, more natural light, increase the number of legal bedrooms and most importantly saves lives.

For more information call Development Services at 801-852-6160, or go to provo.org/egresswindow or apply at neighborly.provo.org and click on the Rehabilitation Program.

Meet Gene Nelson

Gene Nelson has been “at the library stuff” for 44 years, with residents quickly recognizing him as the much loved Provo City Library Director.

 

His best advice? Always have a book with you to read at stoplights.

 

Read more at about Gene Nelson in

his feature on Utah Valley 360

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THE PROVO ADVANTAGE

The new Provo Airport Terminal has so much to offer Provo residents and visitors. These renovations have been a long time coming and we are beyond excited to share them with you.

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