Starting in mid-July, public parking lots at George Washington University’s Foggy Bottom campus will be outfitted with new technologies to enhance security and protect university students, faculty and staff, and assistants from vulnerabilities. contractors and other paying customers who use the garages.
A new scanning system will make each entrance accessible only with a GWorld card or the barcode or access code of the tickets received at the garage entrance. High-speed doors that move up and down quickly have also been installed, as have Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) cameras that will trigger the garage door to open only when a vehicle approaches the door. gate – it would not register or read an individual person.
These measures are all taken to prevent unauthorized pedestrians from entering the garages on foot, which follows an assault which took place last October in the garage on G Street. In this incident, the suspect walked down the ramp which was accessible “at any time and in any way he wanted”, GW Police Chief James Tate said.
“The big key here was to prevent anyone who isn’t affiliated at all from being able to access our garages so easily,” Tate said. “What the university is trying to do here is mitigate the risk to our community by more effectively controlling access to these garages.”
Pedestrian entrances accessible from the street or the sidewalk of these car parks have also been transformed into exit doors only. These public garages will mirror the current security features of the Elliott School Garage, which underwent similar updates last August.
While new technology makes it possible in difficult situations – lockdowns or immediate security threats – to make garages accessible only to GW students, faculty and staff, non-academic and contract staff will still have access to GW’s public garages, making is important to note given the university’s proximity to places such as GW Hospital, the Department of State, and even the Kennedy Center and the National Mall.
“We want to try to be good neighbors and we don’t want to close our doors completely,” said parking services general manager Ben Cave. “We are creating additional barriers for security reasons, but we are not restricting anyone who would normally have access.”
While these are preventative measures, new technology and cameras will also make it easier for investigative purposes to trace license plate numbers or investigate nefarious activity. Tate stressed that these tools will only be used for law enforcement purposes.
An abundance of signage will be placed around the garages after the new technologies are activated to remind public garage customers of the changes.