The Parking “Issue”

In a recent post, we mentioned that Utah recommends that its middle schools be sited on at least 20 acres. Much of that land is used for parking that is only used during big school events. The rest of the time, it’s money and land spent on something unnecessary.

We went to Dixon and Centennial on Tuesday, March 26 to count how much of the provided parking is used on an average day. Here’s what we found:

  • At 1:15pm at Dixon Middle, 53/68 parking spaces were full (78%)
  • At 1:35pm at Centennial Middle, 84/152 parking spaces were full (55%)

This means that both schools have more than enough parking needed for average daily use. Dixon also doesn’t need as much as Centennial because of its location in a dense, walkable area of the city.

Event “Overflow” Parking

There are several times per month when Dixon could use additional parking. I’ll refer to this as overflow parking. Here are some options:

  1. Overflow parking could be back-in angled parking on the street. If wrapped around the entire Dixon campus, this would provide about 90 parking spaces, 25% more than parallel parking.

2. Overflow parking could be green space. This would allow it to be used for other things when not car parking.

3. Overflow parking could be located off-site. Timpanogos Elementary has a large parking lot and is only two blocks away from Dixon. There is a church to the east of Dixon that–with negotiation–could possibly serve as overflow parking, also. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints allows UTA to use some of their lots in Salt Lake County for park and ride. The Church also shares one of its parking lots with The University of Utah.

Our point is that there are creative solutions to provide overflow parking without paving over space that could be used better for other things 300 days of the year.

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