Unmanned gate, parking hot topics for Yongsan roundtable
Stars and Stripes March 27, 2008
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Unmanned entry gates and crowded post parking topped the discussion at Yongsan Garrison’s monthly community forum on Tuesday.
U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan residents can expect to see the first unmanned pedestrian entrance at Gate 19, near the 121st Combat Support Hospital, as early as the first week of May, said Jim North, USAGY Directorate of Emergency Services.
The gate, a Department of the Army initiative meant to save money on contracted security, will feature a two-step entry process requiring users to scan their identification cards and have their fingerprints checked on a biometric reader.
Pedestrians must register their ID cards in the Defense Biometric Identification System to use the gate.
North said the gate will allow only one person at a time to enter, but guards will monitor the gate through closed-circuit television and be able to override the system if someone entered with small children.
Garrison commander Col. Dave Hall said if the gate works out, residents could expect to see as many as seven more installed through 2008 and 2009.
Vehicle parking on Yongsan also was a hot topic.
Hall received a round of applause from audience members when he promised to improve the parking situation by eliminating reserved parking spaces at the post exchange and commissary for all but general officers and volunteers within the next two weeks.
He also said the taxi stand at the PX would soon be moved and taxis would be banned from congregating in that lot.
“Right now congestion because of taxi cabs is ridiculous,” he said.
Overflow parking at the PX also will increase, as the used car “lemon lot” on the hill adjacent to the main store will be moved to the commissary lot.
Other issues discussed at the forum:
Screens for mosquito and mold mitigation, and the installation of emergency lighting at the Hannam Village low rises.The ongoing work of installing a water filtration system at Hannam Village.The March 19 completion of a five-bedroom housing unit on Yongsan’s South Post. Another is slated for completion Saturday.An upcoming $686,000 renovation of the South Post Chapel, slated to begin in July.Also, Seoul American Elementary School vice principal Joyce Diggs warned parents to reregister their children for school before August, saying an influx of new families will create a “bottleneck” at the school.