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New arm part of ‘access control system’ at Bend parking garage

The City of Bend will install an arm at the entrance of the downtown parking garage as part of a new “access control system” it says will improve safety and simplify payment options for customers.

It will also keep hooligans from drag racing their cars through the garage like a scene from an action flick.

“Mainly, a lot of teenage drivers that feel they are in another sequel of ‘The Fast and the Furious’ and doing donuts and racing on the rooftop and on the third floor,” said Parking Services Division Manager Tobi Marx.

Installation is expected to be completed on Monday.

The moving arm that raises and lowers to restrict vehicles from entering or exiting will limit entry into the parking garage to paying parking customers, according to the city.

“Three hours free is going away,” Marx said Wednesday. “And, simultaneously, we’re rolling out a validation program.”

According to the City, the program will be for businesses that want to continue to provide free parking for their customers.

“Delivering these next steps of the Downtown Parking Strategic Management Plan will help us to continue to offer an easy and convenient parking experience,” said Marx. “Building a customer-oriented parking system will help us to support our amazing small business community.”

Officials say the new system will improve parking space inventory management by tracking the exact number of vehicles in the garage at any given time.

Customers will benefit from that information through a digital display informing drivers about available spaces as they enter the garage.

To help track the number of spaces being used in the parking garage, The Oxford Hotel will relocate valet parking spaces from the rooftop of the garage to the ground floor.

Alley access to the parking garage is now limited to The Oxford Hotel and residents of Putnam Pointe.

Members of the public wishing to park in the downtown parking garage should only access the parking garage from NW Lava Road and use the access control system.

Customers can register on the Pango mobile app with their license plate number to have a contactless experience if desired.

The access system can recognize the license plate numbers of registered parking customers and parking permit holders and will automatically raise the access control arm at entry and exit.

A QR code can also be used, instead of a license plate number.

Customers who prefer not to use the contactless option are able to gain access to the parking garage by taking a ticket at entry.

The ticket must be paid at the pay station in the parking garage or with the Pango mobile app before using it to exit the garage. Instructions to pay for parking via the mobile app or paper ticket will be posted in the parking garage.

Adding access control to the Centennial Parking Garage is one of the strategies included in the City’s Downtown Strategic Parking Management Plan.

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