Motorists using one downtown Binghamton parking garage are getting a pass on the parking fees after a vehicle pulverized a fairly new gate mechanism February 21.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
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The entry gate to the State Street parking facility was severely damaged about midday Monday in what appears to be a freak accident.

The new gate mechanism on the aging parking structure was just installed in the summer of 2021 and has since been plagued by malfunctions and a few incidents of the gate arms being tampered with or a vehicle colliding with the mechanical structure.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News
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The damage February 21 is the most severe to the new gate system since it's installation and, to the casual observer, appears to be quite the feat considering the two concrete posts positioned on either side of the mechanism for the apparent purpose of preventing such crashes.

The old gate, consisting of a wooden arm, or, occasionally, a piece of aluminum pipe, routinely was the target of vandals and thieves who would steal the striped barrier.

It's not known how much repairs to the current damage will cost or how long it will take to get the new gate operational again.

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The State Street parking garage, along with the new facility on Hawley Street are being used in addition to on-street parking for shoppers at Boscov's as the Water Street parking garage adjacent to the downtown store is being torn down and replaced with a parking and housing structure.

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