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The Northerner

UPDATED: Parking pass problems continue, lot closes indefinitely

Abby Anstead, Managing Editor

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While new systems have been installed in the parking garages, faulty barcodes on parking passes have caused further complications.

The masked barcodes will not properly scan, so permit holders must receive a new barcode- a sticker which will be placed on each parking pass.

Andy Meeks, director of business operations and auxiliary services, said the original barcodes were masked to prevent fraud.

Meeks said that while they were testing the barcodes, he noticed that the passes had to be scanned three to four times before the arm was lifted.

“That just was not going to be acceptable for a Tuesday/Thursday 8:30 a.m. parking rush,” Meeks said.

Parking services worked with their technology company and the IT department to create a new set of barcodes that can be easily scanned.

“We had to come up with a solution,” Meeks said. “We could not go with the solution that we did in the fall, that we were just going to leave the gates up and we were going to do the best we can. That’s okay for a bit, but you can’t just go on indefinitely like that.”

The barcodes were made into stickers, and they will be distributed to individuals with a parking permit at the entrances of every garage.

Sophomore Bridgette Gootee has received the new barcode, but she said that she prefers the way that the old permits were swiped.

“I like the sliding a lot better,” Gootee said. “I’ve been up here a couple of times with the pass, and for some reason it never likes to scan for me. I’ve found that a couple people have had the same problem. I don’t know if it’s just bugs in the system that need to get worked out or what.”

Despite the complications, Gootee said that she understands that glitches are simply a part of the new system.

Meeks said that there will be an attendant at each entrance from 7:00 a.m- 10:00 p.m., and they will continue this process until they feel like the majority of permit holders have received a barcode.

Junior Matthew Cantrill is one of these attendants. Bundled head to toe and armed with sheets of stickers, Cantrill waits near the entrance of the Kenton Drive Garage in a Parking Services vehicle.

“I just kind of chill in the car and if it looks like someone is frustrated or taking a long time I’ll get out to give them a sticker,” Cantrill said.

Cantrill began distributing stickers the week before class starts, and he said that the majority of people have been understanding.

Parking attendants were stationed at all three garages the week before school. Meeks hopes that this will allow the majority of faculty and staff to receive their barcode before class begins.

Meeks said that despite the barcode glitch, all three garages are equipped with the new parking systems, and that they are all functioning properly.

Despite the functioning systems in the garages, some students still struggle to find a parking spot.

Gootee arrived to campus nearly three hours before her first class on Monday. The visual communication design major said she typically struggles to find a place to park.

“I have class at 5, and it’s 2:30,” Gootee said. “That’s how early I come to fight for a spot.”

Gootee said she was surprised that she found a spot easily in the Kenton Drive Garage.

Meeks said that he thought that the barcodes would more simply solve the incompatibility issues.

“We just had to make this one alteration for the spring,” Meeks said. “We felt that that [the stickers] was the simpler of our options. We could have ordered all new hangtags, but I thought that would be more difficult than just issuing the new barcodes for the spring semester.”

Those who do not receive a new barcode within the first weeks of the semester can obtain one at anytime through parking services.

Meeks also said that Lot C, located between the Science Building and Griffin Hall. is now closed indefinitely. The lot is blocked off by a fence, and construction crews are starting to move in.

Lot C consisted of approximately 175 parking spaces which are reserved for faculty and staff, according to Meeks.

***Correction: This article originally stated that Lot F is closing indefinitely. It has been updated to state that Lot C will be closed indefinitely.

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UPDATED: Parking pass problems continue, lot closes indefinitely