A new access control system is being installed in the Centennial Parking Garage in downtown Bend, and the city’s Parking Services Division says it will add safety and simplicity to your parking experience. It’s actually a new mechanical arm that will go up and down to control the entrance and exit of vehicles, so only paying customers will be allowed in. The number of cars allowed in will have a cap, and the current three hour free parking in the garage is being replaced with a merchant validation program. The new access control system is expected to be in by Monday, and will help track the number of spaces being used at any given time. Parking officials say it’ll provide a safer and more efficient parking experience, while encouraging shopping at local vendors who can validate. If you prefer to register online to avoid Covid exposure when you park in the garage, you can do that on the Pango mobile app.