Provo is creating plans for each neighborhood and Joaquin is first up. (Disclosure: I live in Joaquin)
In order to help people follow along, the city has created a neighborhood plan page that includes updates on the process. The page itself is a credit to the city and the people involved, as many other cities lack both sufficient community involvement or transparency.
But even better is the actual content on this page. Among other things, the page includes the minutes from steering committee meetings — or meetings involving a group of Joaquin residents and officials — that lay out goals for the neighborhood.
And what are those goals? Here are the highlights:
- Prioritize pedestrian and bicycle travel
- Enhance infrastructure for biking / protected bike lanes
- Find ways to mitigate driving
- Sprinkle small commercial spots in south Joaquin
- Find areas for pocket neighborhoods / shared open space
- Balance preservation with development
- form and function are important aspects of growth
- Neighborhood does not need more parking
I kid you not, that list nearly brought a tear to my eye it’s so good. The point is that both residents and city officials apparently believe it’s time to make more vibrant neighborhoods for people.
The page also includes some rather alarming data about parking. Apparently Joaquin has a total of 12,744 parking spaces for a total 2010 population of 14,742. As noted, it’s a colossal amount of space:
This would be 1 parking stall for every 1.16 persons. Thinking about it spacially, 12,744 parking spaces, using a conservative estimate of 300 square feet per stall (this is an average including all the circulation are in a parking lot), equates to 3,823,200 square feet, which is 87.77 acres, 66.38 football fields or 19.4 Walmart SuperCenters.
When I read those numbers I was startled. Apparently the steering committee was as well:
This was a wow moment for us. All of us here would propose that there is probably enough parking to go around. Remember, we haven’t even counted all the on-street parking yet. Take a moment to think about the impact on the neighborhood of all this space we use to store our cars. One last piece of data, parking area is equal to roughly 23% of the land area of the Joaquin Neighborhood. 23%
I’ve been complaining about how much parking there is in Provo neighborhoods from the beginning of this blog, but even I didn’t fathom how much space parking was using up. I look forward to discovering how much street parking adds; will there be more parking spots than people? I wouldn’t be surprised.
As the goals state, there is no need for more parking. I’ll go even further: there is a pressing need for less.
In any case the website for the Joaquin plan is fascinating and worth a look. It offers a view into what is happening in Joaquin, and presumably later in other neighborhoods, and provides an optimistic view of the future.
Note: the title of this post is a reference to everyone’s favorite neighbor, Mr. Rogers. Here’s an uplifting, heartwarming and all around awesome remix video from his show.