Campus Safety: Why overflow parking causes concern

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One parking lot feels a little too far for comfort for some BYU students.

BYU is notorious for bad parking, but for some living in Heritage Halls, the walk from the overflow parking to their apartment at night isn’t just annoying, it’s scary.

There are three ‘B Lots’ where residents at Heritage Halls can park. First, the lot around the apartments, then the lot near the BYU Health Center and then overflow parking at LaVell Edwards Stadium. Each increasingly further than the last.

The walk from the first lot?

“It’s a five minute walk but you only get parking about 3% of the time,” Heritage Halls resident Catherine Palmer said.

The second?

“It’s about a 10 minute to 15 minute walk,” Palmer said.

And the third at the stadium is about a 20 minute walk home, she said.

The first two lots fill up fast. So at night, when there’s no parking nearby, girls living in Heritage Halls have to walk a mile to get to their apartments. For a young college girl, it can be scary.

“I really don’t like walking in dark,” Heritage Halls resident Kelly Miles said.

According to the Daily Universe Police Beat, since January there have been 43 cases of sexual assault or rape reported in Provo, as reported on Nov. 3. That is about one reported a week.

More than half of the cases, 28 to be exact, happened on or within a mile of BYU campus.

BYU has resources to make students feel safer, one being the SafeWalk app. When a session is started, BYU police tracks your location until you get to your destination.

The features include a red emergency button that calls the police when pushed. If a user stays in one location long enough, BYU police will text or call to check if you’re okay.

Young women know the dangers, they walk in groups, carry pepper spray, get rides and even park in other parking lots and wake up early to move their car. But it doesn’t eliminate the fear.

“I’m a 5’2″ girl walking alone at night, like yeah I have pepper spray but that’s not going to protect me from everything,” Heritage Halls resident Mya Davis said.

The consensus is clear: students want more parking close by. Not just for convenience, but for safety.

In part two of this campus safety series, the SafeWalk app will be tested to find out how well it really works. 

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