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A new parking security gate is being built between East Campus and Building 66. The gate’s construction sparked controversy among East Campus residents, who feared that the new gate would infringe upon residents’ ability to drive up to the dorm.

Larry R. Brutti, Operations Manager of MIT Parking and Transportation, and Nathan A. Pallo ’11, President of East Campus met to discuss the issue Friday, June 26. The gate is expected to be completed by the end of September 2009.

EC residents feared that the construction of the gate would eliminate an important loading and unloading area for the dorm. As a result of the meeting, Pallo and Brutti agreed to include an unloading zone for EC residents by the EC courtyard between Buildings 62 and 64 in the security gate plan.

Pallo wrote an e-mail to East Campus residents following the meeting. The e-mail detailed the security gate plan, assuring residents that their needs and concerns had been taken into consideration in planning the gate project.

Pallo said that the new gate will be similar to others on campus. “It will have a 12-foot aluminum arm, a card reader, and a telephone (with a connection to the parking office and one to the MIT police),” said Pallo.

Concerns about pedestrian safety and vehicular traffic prompted the gate’s construction, Brutti said. The gate was proposed not by MIT Parking and Transportation but rather by several community members who were concerned about the traffic flow in McDermott and Eastman Courts.

According to Brutti, there will be a pedestrian walkway next to the gate and Building 66. The pedestrian walkway will be lined with planters so there is enough space for people to enter and exit but not enough space for vehicles to get through. Entrance to the gate can be acquired with an MIT parking permit. EC desk will also be equipped with a button to open the gate for residents.

EC residents can gain access by contacting East Campus House Manager Joseph F. Graham. Pallo noted that the gate will open automatically for exiting vehicles. “During situations such as move-in/-out, [Graham] can coordinate with the parking office to ensure that the gates are open during the times they need to be,” said Pallo.

In case of emergencies, the Cambridge Fire and MIT EMS will have clickers that open the gates. The gate will also be configured to open when fire alarms are tripped in the area.

Construction of a security gate had been in consideration for years. Brutti reports that construction was delayed until this summer due to construction at the Physics infill building.

After the June meeting between Brutti and East Campus, initial gate construction was planned from mid-July to August. Even though Brutti now reports the date for gate completion to be set at late September, Pallo noted, “It’s possible that once the gate is installed, it won’t be operational for some time after the construction is complete since it needs to be connected to the parking system to operate. If this is the case, the gate will remain open until it is connected to the system.”

Pallo said that any EC resident with a valid MIT Parking Permit should be able to gain access to the gate by e-mailing the parking office.