Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Parking in Provo

Last night I got a parking ticket south of BYU campus in Provo. Let me first say that I was clearly parked in a red zone and I deserved the ticket. I was dropping a girl off at her apartment and there was no parking within a half a mile that I could park legally, so I parked in a red zone and during the course of us saying our goodbyes I got a ticket. My frustration is not with the police officer, nor with the laws--there are red zones for a reason (of course at 3 am I didn't think I was a traffic hazard). My real concern is with the lack of parking altogether.

When you go to park in Provo you really have three forces that you need to watch out for: BYU parking enforcement, Provo Police, and all the booting/towing companies. It is well known that when you go into a hostile territory you need to evaluate your threats. I have been parking in Provo for a long time and so I will give my threat assesment.

Most dangerous: booting and towing companies. If you park in a parking lot of an apartment or a business that enforces its parking then there is a 98% chance that you will be booted if you are parked for over an hour past midnight. The fee for this is about $60, of course they are raising it all the time, so it may be higher now. As a general rule if I am visiting someone at their apartment I try and park on the street. That has worked well for me thus far.

Second most dangerous: BYU Parking Eforcement. When you are parked on BYU Campus don't think that you will get away with parking in an 'A' lot for a few minutes, because you won't. Also when the sign says 30 minute parking it doesn't mean 50 minute parking--don't think it doesn't get checked, because it does. The bright side is that the ticket is only $20 and if you appeal it then BYU will often wave it or cut the fee in half.

Third most dangerous: Provo Police. If you have a choice between a 'No Parking Zone' on a city street and an eforced parking lot after midnight--go with the city street. While there is a parking eforcement guy that patrols south of campus all day, at night it is just the regular cops. So during the day park in a parking lot, but at night the street is your best bet. The ticket for parking in a red zone is $25. I don't think I stand a chance of fighting it, so I will just pay it. I don't think I will change my parking habits either. Sometimes I drive around for 10 minutes to find a place and then walk 5 minutes to get to where I am going. Other times I take a chance that while I am dropping a girl off or picking her up I will be safe. I get a parking ticket in Provo every couple years. I figure that $12 dollars a year is well worth being able to park on random city streets at night. My one caution is that just because Provo Police is the third most dangerous for parking does not mean that they are not dangerous, as I found out last night.

I hope this guide helps people park in Provo. I have been parking in Provo for 5 years now and I have paid over $150 in parking fines. I have learned some lessons the hard way, but I feel I have gotten much better at navigating the jungle. I realize that sometimes there is just no place to park anywhere near the place that I am going. Sometimes I just walk, and sometimes, well, you know...

1 comment:

Jeff said...

You forgot to list the 4th group which is random kids who shoot your car with a shotgun. They are clearly less dangerous than the others, but their territory is the same as cops. So, if you park in a no parking zone you have to be aware that your car could be shot by a shotgun. Although, in your case that turned out to be a profitable venture.