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Nov. 3, 2003

U-M parking structures to automate

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The implementation of a gate-controlled parking management system at the University of Michigan continues this month with the conversion of the first U-M-owned parking structure. The change will require many employees to obtain a new type of parking device.

Automatic vehicle identification (AVI) will be activated in the North Entrance (Cancer and Geriatric Center) parking structure as of Nov. 17. Seven additional structures are scheduled to be converted in subsequent months.

Access to the controlled areas for faculty and staff is obtained through pre-programmed devices, commonly called tags, that are placed in vehicle windshields. These devices, about the size of a thick credit card, make access control efficient because communication between the tags and the gates at the structure is automatic.

"The AVI technology will be a significant tool for our faculty and staff as we continue to manage our parking challenge," says David Miller, interim director of Parking and Transportation Services. "The automated system will help keep our main parking areas accessible for authorized users. The technology has proven highly efficient in highway and parking systems across the country and enhances our various initiatives to provide parking and transportation services for our campus community."

AVI has been operating successfully in U-M gated, gold parking areas as well as the jointly owned city of Ann Arbor-University Forest Avenue parking structure for many months. It provides several benefits:
· It controls access to an area, allowing only legal parking in the area;
· The devices can be disabled easily if stolen, unlike a permit;
· Tags can be programmed for any time period of use and do not require batteries. Tag holders can continue to use the devices as long as they are affiliated with the University, and the tags can be turned off when no longer in use. The system ultimately may allow for multi-year, perpetual permits and eliminate the costly annual renewal process;
· AVI will "count" the vehicles entering a structure and inform parking patrons when their structure is "FULL," eliminating the frustrating process of search for a parking space in a full structure.

"Faculty, staff and retirees who plan to park in a U-M parking structure will need to exchange their existing permits for AVI devices," Miller says. "Exchanges can be made weekdays at our office at 508 Thompson. We also will provide exchange opportunities at a temporary location near a converting structure three days prior to activation."

A $20 refundable deposit is required to obtain a device, though this can be paid through a one-time payroll deduction. In anticipation of the North Entrance activation, permit exchanges will be conducted at the University Hospital cashiers' office from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 13, 14 and 17. Permit holders should bring their permits to the exchange location.
Students with after-hours access who park at structures should email to request access. Access will be programmed on to their MCard identification cards that may be used in card-reader/display panels in the blue entry and exit lanes.

Staff and faculty using business vehicle (UMBV) parking permits will need to exchange their permits for UMBV access cards. Installation of devices for U-M fleet vehicles will be scheduled with department managers.

The gate-arms at converted parking structures will be active during enforcement hours, which mostly will be unchanged. Parking structures on the Medical Campus, including CGC, will be enforced from 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, except the Simpson Circle Drive structure (Mott) which will continue to be enforced 24 hours, seven days per week. Enforcement hours on Central Campus remain 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, except Fletcher and Thayer structures which are extended to 10 p.m., and Hill, which ends at 5 p.m.

People parking in a structure during off-hours must remove their vehicle from the structure prior to 6 a.m. or be subject to a parking ticket and in need of assistance to exit the structure. Signs will be posted at all structure exits with instructions for obtaining assistance.

Details about activation of the AVI system and how it works, instructions for parkers and location maps can be viewed at For further information, call the Parking Services office at (734) 764-8291.


Contact: Diane Brown
(734) 936-2323