Understanding parking habits at CERN

The SMB department is setting up a monitoring system in certain CERN car parks in order to evaluate their occupancy rates and subsequently make them easier to use. 


Vehicle registration plate readers (red triangles) are now installed at the entrances and exits of the Le Cèdres car park (in orange) and of the Building 4 and 5 one (in blue). The 2 other car parks (Building 40 in violet and “high-voltage” in green) will be equipped at a later stage.

Vehicle registration plate readers are now installed at the entrances and exits of the Les Cèdres car park and of the Building 4 and 5 car park, both on the Meyrin site. The information collected by these readers will allow the occupancy levels of these car parks to be analysed throughout the day, establishing periods of peak usage and the pattern of vehicle movements.

“We have been experiencing parking problems at CERN for several years now and have decided to gather concrete data in order to study these issues in more detail,” explains Didier Constant, head of the security service. “The vehicle registration plate readers will allow us to find out more about parking habits in this very busy area and to identify solutions to make it easier to use these car parks.” To this end, a web portal will be introduced at a later stage, on which drivers will be able to see the occupancy levels of the car parks in real time thanks to a colour-coded system: green for low occupancy, orange for medium occupancy and red when the car park is full.

The registration plate readers will also allow the study of the impact of “limpet cars”, i.e. vehicles that are parked on the CERN site for long periods, which is prohibited under Operational Circular No. 2: “Conditions of access to the fenced parts of the CERN site”. “We have created long-term car parks on the Meyrin and Prévessin sites precisely to avoid these ‘limpet cars’ taking up parking spaces in critical areas,” explains Didier Constant. To submit a request for long-term parking, go to the CERN Service Portal and create a ticket.

The registration plate readers will be operational from the start of the summer. At a later stage, two other car parks (next to Building 40 and the so-called “high-voltage” car park, see map) will also be equipped with registration plate readers.

by Anaïs Schaeffer