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Parking lot opened after November assault

SAUL LOEB/Arizona Daily Wildcat

Psychology senior Becky Weiss gets into her car yesterday afternoon in parking lot 3039. In response to an assault in the area, Parking and Transportation Services and UAPD are now keeping the lot open after 5 p.m. to anyone with a UA parking permit.

By James Kelley
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday Jan. 10, 2002

Lot near Speech and Hearing Sciences building now available to all UA permit holders after 5 p.m.

In response to a November assault, UA students and employees are now allowed to park in an assigned lot at night - even if they do not hold a permit for it.

Parking in the 3039 lot, located just north of the Speech and Hearing Sciences building, 1131 E. Second St., was previously restricted to 3039 permit holders. However, the change will now allow anyone with a valid university parking permit to park there after 5 p.m.

The change comes after an architecture student was followed and assaulted last November after leaving the area.

"We are hoping this will create a safer environment," said Patrick J. Kass, director of Parking and Transportation Services. "Many students study and have labs in that general area, and we were trying to make it possible for students to park right outside of their buildings at night," he said.

After the Nov. 26 assault, the most recent of last semester's outbreak of assaults, many members of the University of Arizona community are being more cautious at night.

"I think the change is a good idea because I use the computer lab at the Electrical and Computer Engineering building lots of times at night," said Kristina Dunham, a journalism sophomore who sometimes works until 11 p.m. "It's nice to have a place to park at night."

Since many people work late in the area of the 3039 lot, which is predominately empty at night, some students wondered why they had to park in the Park Avenue garage, which involved walking through the Olive Street underpass.

"I think the change is good because when I work late I have to come back to the Park Avenue garage," said sociology junior Nahid Rohani.

Since lot 3039 was the only parking lot to have had nighttime restrictions, the policy change reverses what was an exception rather than the rule, Kass said.

Kass and Chief Anthony Daykin of the University of Arizona Police Department also recommend that those walking or riding their bikes at night do so in groups and are aware of their surroundings. They also encourage people to use the Associated Students of the University of Arizona's SafeRide service.

"I always try to walk with friends, and I have some pepper spray," said Laura Oakes, a molecular and cellular biology freshman.

SafeRide operates Sunday to Thursday from 6:15 p.m. to 12:55 a.m. The phone number for SafeRide is 621-SAFE. When the service is not operating, UAPD can provide escorts if staffing permits.

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