LSU Parking and Transportation Services is upgrading the campus-wide gate access system, but students have differing opinions on whether drivers should be allowed to cross through campus, since gates will remain open during renovation.

The University notified students, faculty and staff via email that, weather permitting, the upgrades will take place from Jan. 28 to April 30, 2020.

Although several campus gates will remain in the upright position during the renovation, normal parking regulations will still apply, and the University will tow any vehicles parked on campus without a proper permit, according to the email. 

Executive Director of Facility and Property Oversight Tammy Millican said the company that created the current gates went out of business shortly after the gates’ installation.

“We could no longer get parts for the gates,” Millican said. “We had to leave them in the upright position. This project is to replace all of those gates with new gates.”

Updated gates across campus will be installed because the current gates have parts that are discontinued and cannot be replaced. One of these irreplaceable parts includes the reader that senses “wands” on cars and lifts the gates.

New access cards with be issued for all B and C Zone Permit Holders. Drivers with special parking permits will be issued a new access card, but should use their old wand until the gate they enter is upgraded. Drivers entering Edward Gay Apartments or the Union Square Garage with a valid permit and wand will receive a new access card before those gates are replaced. They should also continue to use their old wands until the new gates are installed.

Parking and Transportation Services is holding access distribution services from Feb. 10-Feb. 21:

  • Monday, Feb. 10: Royal Cotillion Ballroom, 250 Student Union (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, Feb. 11: Middleton Library, 1st Floor Lobby (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, Feb. 12: Royal Cotillion Ballroom, 250 Student Union (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.)
  • Thursday, Feb. 13: Business Education Complex, Rotunda Commons (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.)
  • Friday, Feb. 14: Castilian Room, 304 Student Union (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.)
  • Monday, Feb. 17: Patrick F. Taylor, Capstone Atrium (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.)
  • Tuesday, Feb. 18: Atchafalaya Room, 339 Student Union (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.)
  • Wednesday, Feb. 19: Magnolia Room, 301 Student Union (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.)
  • Thursday, Feb. 20: Magnolia Room, 301 Student Union (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.)
  • Friday, Feb. 21: Middleton Library, 1st Floor Lobby (10 a.m. - 3 p.m.)

Collection bins will be placed across campus to recycle the old wands. Locations will be posted on the Parking & Transportation Services web page.

Journalism sophomore Brevin Williams said he personally took advantage of the open gates but also agreed with the University’s choice to maintain a closed campus.

“I don’t think driving through campus should be encouraged because that will affect everyone walking to class,” Williams said. 

Public relations sophomore Lucy Frankfort disagreed and thought students should be able to drive through campus.

“I definitely think we should be able to drive through campus,” Frankfort said. “Having to go around is such a hassle for everyone, and it creates traffic.”

She also said the gates are being replaced at an inconvenient time in the year.

“I think it’s so unnecessary to [replace the gates] during the semester,” Frankfort said. “It could very easily be done over the summer.”

The new access gates will offer University officials the opportunity to close all gates with a push of a button in the event of an emergency on campus or open all gates in the event of a campus-wide evacuation.

The project will be completed in phases beginning with the replacement of campus entry gates and then the gates for each parking lot.

Director of Parking and Transportation Services Mike Harris said that if all goes well, the 80 gates on campus will all be replaced by the end of April.

To ensure the safety of all pedestrians on campus, guards will be placed at each gate that is under construction.

“LSU is a pedestrian campus,” Millican said. “It’s a safety issue for our students, faculty and staff on campus when we have so many vehicles that are cutting through the campus or coming in to park when they shouldn’t be.”

Millican also noted that students who have been following parking rules should not have any trouble during the gate installations.

Click here for more information on Parking and Transportation Services' gate upgrade project.

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