ArticleCity.comArticle Categories The Best Parking Barrier Gates: How Do They Work?

The Best Parking Barrier Gates: How Do They Work?

Photo from Parking Boxx

Originally Posted On:


There are many places that require parking solutions. From city governments to office buildings, smooth parking is important. But are you doing enough for your parking lot or garage?


What parking solutions could help your parking situation? Do you need barrier gates or pay stations? How do barrier gates even work?

Barrier gates can work in a lot of different ways. This will depend on your parking area’s needs and payment processes.


Read on to learn the different ways that barrier gates can work in your parking lot or garage.


How Do Smart Parking Systems Work?


Smart Parking Systems are anything that helps the traffic flow and security of a parking lot or garage. This can mean anything from counting the number of spaces that are still available to payment collection. If it helps you find a space, make payment, or prevents some people from entering the parking lot, then it’s part of a parking solution.


There are a lot of ways that this can happen. A city might use an app to keep track of capacity, for example. Some places might have pay stations placed in convenient locations for people to pay for their parking or add more time.


Some buildings might even use barrier gates to ensure safety and payment. These prevent people from going in or out without proper identification, payment, or both.


How Do Barrier Gates Work?


Barrier gates, or parking gates, are a very common parking solution. These ensure that every person that goes in or out of the parking lot will need to pay either when they enter or when they leave. They can even help keep count of how many spaces are still available.

There are several ways that barrier gates can work.


Ticket System


The most common use of a barrier gate is a ticket system. These help keep track of how much to charge everyone and who still hasn’t paid. This usually happens when you first enter the parking lot or garage.


When you first approach the parking lot or garage, you have to approach the barrier. By pressing a button, the barrier control will print a ticket for you. Once you take the ticket, the barrier opens.


Access Control


This system is generally for apartment buildings, offices, or even hotels. However, cities can also use them to offer frequent visitors special rates on parking.  In these cases, you’re given an authorized credential such as the room key from a hotel. This gives you access to enter a specified parking lot. This system doesn’t usually require payment.


This system can apply to gated communities or apartment complexes to let residents in or out without issue. It can also be applied to office buildings for employees. Some cities may even have a pass system that gives users free or reduced parking fees during certain times.


You can even give temporary access control to service workers who need to enter regularly. This gives them a window that they can enter the parking lot during.


Call Button


If your barrier gates have an access control system, then there should also be a way for visitors to enter too. This allows residents or employees to receive guests and services such as plumbers or pest control.


A common solution to this problem is a call button. Upon arrival, guests have the system call their host to let them inside the gate. This helps prevent any uninvited guests from entering the complex.


Remote Control


Another way to control a barrier gate is with remote control. This works like a garage door opener.  You’re given a small remote with a button on it. As you approach the gate, you press the button to lift the barrier. These can be distributed to residents or employees. However, they are also useful for service workers that need to come in and out a lot.


This gives the city or landowner control over who is coming in and out of their parking areas. It keeps their property and their residents safe inside the property.


Payment or Validation


Cities will generally want to charge visitors for parking. This can be difficult to accomplish when there are not many ways to enforce this policy. Barrier gates are a great way to do this.  Some cities may want to charge a flat rate for parking. The barrier gate can charge this either as the car enters or exits.  Others may want to charge by the hour. In this case, most barriers will use a ticket system. When you’re about to leave, you either go to a pay station or scan your ticket at the barrier gate. If you haven’t already paid, then this is the time to do that. Otherwise, the gate should open to let you leave.


Some places even offer validation for free parking. This is usually a separate bar code that lets the system know that you don’t need to pay.


Emergency Vehicle Sirens

Gated communities and parking lots still need to provide access to emergency vehicles. If first responders need to get somewhere inside the parking area, then they need to be able to do this quickly. They don’t have time to get a ticket from a barrier gate.


The good news is that there is a solution to this. When an emergency vehicle is on its way to an emergency, it will always have lights and sirens on. This lets other drivers and pedestrians know to let the vehicle pass so they can get there quickly.

Barrier gates can register these sirens to open for first responders without identification or a ticket.


Free In or Out


Some areas that offer a flat rate for parking may offer a free entrance or exit. These are ways in and out of the parking area that will not charge for parking.


This is usually controlled by a sensor under asphalt, cement, or gravel loop. When it senses a car approaching, the gate opens automatically without asking for payment.


These are usually only in places that charge a flat rate upon entry. Otherwise, this system is completely unnecessary. This can even be used for the exit to keep track of how many available spaces there still are.


Safety Features on Barrier Gates


You might be wondering what stops people from running into the barrier. What protective measures are there to prevent damage to the barrier? What about protecting visiting cars from potential damage?  The good news is that there are three notable protective measures that are available in barrier gates.



The first notable protective measure is to protect cars from damage. The control system for the barrier has lights on it to indicate when to go or not.  If the light is red, then the gate is either closed or is about to close. This means that it’s not safe to pull forward. You have to wait until the barrier has lifted again.


If the light is green, then the car can move forward. The barrier is lifted completely and won’t close until the car has gone through. Then it closes behind it for the next car.


Obstruction Sensors


Vehicle detection sensors determine when a vehicle is present or no longer present. To be effective, barrier gate arms must close quickly to prevent tailgating, which means a second vehicle “sneaking out” by travelling close to the first vehicle. If there’s an object in the way of the barrier, then the arm should auto-rebound. If the barrier arm hits something as it’s going down, then it immediately lifts back up again. This can minimize damage or injuries – however the original contact with the arm may cause some damage or injury.


For vehicle damage, if a vehicle is attempting to not pay or otherwise avoid the proper use of the barrier gate, then the vehicle driver is at fault. Parking lot operators may wish to upgraded to add foam edging on the bottom of the gate to minimize the damage upon contact.


Regarding pedestrian injuries, first, people should not be walking anywhere near the gate close areas. Despite separate walkways, signage, lights and audible warnings, people sometimes still manage to meander into these danger areas. Where this is likely to happen, human presence detectors may also be desired. However those devices give pedestrians a way to hold open the barrier gate arm – whether intentionally or inadvertently, which isn’t a desirable consequence to the parking lot owners.



Break Away Bolts


Usually, when a car runs right into a barrier, it’s because they couldn’t stop in time. These are often low-speed accidents, but they still cause damage to your barrier gates.


The solution to this is a break-away bolt. This bolt secures the arm to the barrier and allows it to move up and down. By making this the first piece to go when the arm gets hit, you can save the control mechanism as well as the arm in most cases.

All you need to do is replace the bolt and buff out the arm, but the arm itself should still be usable.

Get Barrier Gates for Your Parking Lots Today


Whether you’re a city government looking to earn some income from parking fees or the manager of an apartment complex, your parking lots need barrier gates. These help ensure that everyone pays their fees when they’re asked to and keep everyone safe. They can even keep count of how many available spaces are still left.


About Parking BOXX: The best place to get your barrier gates is right here at Parking BOXX. We’re a parking technology company that believes in providing premium products at a great value.  We offer many parking products, from apps to barrier gates.  Contact us today to see how we can help you find the perfect parking solutions.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.