Technology enhances parking near Eye Center

May 17, 2010

This month, approximately 230 new parking spaces open in the new Research Drive Garage that will improve the visiting experience for Duke Eye Center patients and their families as well as for those traveling to nearby Duke research and office buildings.

The second level of the new parking garage at Erwin Road and Research Drive offers Duke’s first automated self pay stations. The automated system will allow patients, families and visitors to pay for their parking in the Duke Eye Center or adjacent to the elevators on the patient/visitor level of the garage; with a system similar to one in use at RDU airport. The goal is to expedite exiting by eliminating congestion or waiting in line to exit the garage.

The parking space was designed with eye patients in mind. The parking area boasts high ceilings, bright LED lighting, a welcoming color scheme and large-print signs. While there will be no ticket booth, an attendant will be on hand to help advise visitors.

“We’ve worked hard to improve parking amenities for patients, their families and visitors to the Eye Center and the research areas of the Duke Campus,” Melissa Harden, assistant director of Duke Parking & Traffic.“These spaces are convenient for those heading to Duke Eye Center and those visiting Hock Plaza and the medical science research buildings.”

Additionally, RFID controlled access has begun on the employee entrances to the Research Drive Garage to improve entry and exit for employees, Harden said. These new windshield mounted radio-frequency ID stickers will reduce delays because employees will swiftly enter the garage without having to search for ID badges or parking passes.

The opening of this expanded parking is part of the overall master plan as the current Eye Center surface parking lot is the planned site for the new clinical eye center.