New technology installed in WU parking garages

Rory Mather | Contributing Reporter

All Danforth and West campus parking garages began utilizing new gate-arm technology that requires radio frequency identification parking passes for entry Monday.

Today, the Danforth University Center garage, Millbrook, Snow Way and West Campus garages will all enforce the new gate-arm technology for entry. This system relies on radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, which uses radio waves to interact with the circuit embedded inside the parking pass placed on the car windshield. This will replace the old system of swiping ID cards to gain entrance to the garages.

Cars park in the Millbrook Parking Garage, located in the Village across the street from academic buildings. Parking gates were recently added to the lots located around the campus.Genevieve Hay | Student Life

Cars park in the Millbrook Parking Garage, located in the Village across the street from academic buildings. Parking gates were recently added to the lots located around the campus.

Current annual permit holders will be able to drive up to the gate at the entrance of each garage and have their parking passes scanned automatically. Parking and Transportation Services has stated that some vehicle windshields cannot be penetrated by the radio waves used for RFID and that the parking passes will have to be held out of their window to be scanned.

Undergraduate students are currently allowed to purchase a Zone 4 parking pass, which provides access to the South 40 parking garages, a Lofts parking pass, a West Campus parking pass and an evening parking pass that provides access to any yellow space after 3:30 p.m.

All Washington University garages with the new systems will be programmed to allow evening passes entry after 3:30 p.m. After 5 p.m. and on weekends, any of the four passes will allow entrt. While the gate will be in the down position at all times, the system is programmed not to charge between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends.

After Jan. 26, daily permit passes can no longer be used at the garages. Visitors without parking passes can still park in each of the garages by pulling a ticket at the entrance and paying on the way out. Visitors can also park on the fourth floor of the Wallace Garage on the South 40 and North Campus, and they can pay by the hour with the Passport Parking app.

Junior Guanlan Dong is excited that the new changes will provide students without a parking pass a way to park on campus and pay by the hour.

“Before, the only place I could park on weekdays was the DUC garage, which always charges a flat, daily fee no matter if you park for one hour or seven hours. Now, I can park in Wallace Garage whenever I need to make a quick trip to campus,” Dong said.

Director of Parking and Transportation Gwendolyn Bolden believes that these changes will provide the University with more statistics of how each of the parking garages are currently being used, especially after normal business hours.

Parking and Transportation services will also be holding town hall sessions on Feb. 8 from 12-1 p.m. and on Feb. 9 from 10-11 p.m. Each session will be livestreamed and a recording of the session available on the Parking and Transportation Services website at a later date.

“We want to ensure that we are getting information out in many outlets,” Bolden said. “The Town Halls give us a chance to hear the concerns of campus first hand and to make sure that we are sharing information effectively.”