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How the UNF Arena Parking Garage sign works

Does "FULL" really mean full in the Arena Parking Garage?

Colin McCann

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Photo by Colin McCann.

You may notice, as you pass the garage, that the electronic sign will display the words “OPEN” or “FULL.” This sign, which has been in place for about four years, refers to the 712 blue spaces in the garage.

However, Director of Parking Services George Androuin said this system is set to claim full when around 695 spaces are taken.

“This is because there are people in the garage looking for spaces,” said Androuin.

Parking Services Director George Androuin. Photo by Colin McCann.

He explained that he wouldn’t want people going into the garage thinking there are spaces when the people already in there are taking the last spots.

But you may be wondering how this system knows if the spaces are taken. According to Androuin, there are floor sensors that add or subtract when a car drives over them.

The number of passes sold is based on lot counts, which occur towards the beginning of the Fall and Spring semesters.

During a lot count, Parking Services looks at how many spaces are open during certain times. The ratio of parking passes sold per space is based on these counts. If the count shows that there are numerous spaces left open during the day, it means more passes can be sold per space.

“The idea is that the space isn’t taken all day,” said Androuin.

The arena garage may not always be packed, but is it definitely filled more often than other garages and lots.

Picking a random day, Androuin said, “I only saw about seven blue spaces available in the garage that day, and probably when we did those counts there were seven cars in there looking for those spaces. Whereas if I looked at parking garage 44A, there were 40 spaces available.”

So yes, the sign does work, and now you know how. However, “FULL” may not actually mean full. There could still be spaces available. Whether you choose to check is up to you.

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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How the UNF Arena Parking Garage sign works