Parking/Visitor Policy

Purpose of Policy

It is essential that we maintain adequate parking for the convenience of our employees and authorized visitors. We need to limit the construction of parking facilities to conserve our natural and financial resources. Parking on campus must be maintained in a considerate and safe manner, providing access to buildings for emergency services and deliveries.  


Access to Lamont

Access to Lamont is controlled by both a gate and a Security Guard. Employees driving personal vehicles to work must obtain an LDEO Parking decal and gate access tag from the LDEO Security Office, Administration building, Room 101.  If you do not have a gate access tag and there is no decal you will be stopped by the guard and asked to identify yourself and your purpose on campus. 


RFID Tags and Decals

Every vehicle used by an Employee to access the Lamont Campus must be registered with the Security office.  Every registered vehicle will require a LDEO Parking Decal affixed to the front passenger side bumper.  This decal enables us to contact the vehicle owner in an emergency.  A radio frequency identification tag (RFID) will be issued for each employee, which opens the campus gate.  

Click here for illustration on placement of  LDEO Parking Decal and RFID.

To obtain a RFID tag and decal, proof of employment and ownership of the vehicle must be provided (copy of registration).  Any change in vehicle registration or ownership must be communicated to the Security office. To control cost, only one tag per Employee will be issued.  The RFID tag may be moved between registered vehciles owned by the Employee.

For clarity, an Employee is a full time Employee of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, including CIESIN, IRI and DEES faculty and students.  All other Employees of Columbia University may obtain a gate access tag and decal for a Direct Payroll Deduction of $100 per month, provided they have an approved Business Purpose to do so.  Affiliates of the University who are not on the payroll may not obtain parking permission, as there is no mechanism to arrange for payroll deduction.  There is a Wait List for University Employees who desire to commute to Columbia on the Shuttle Service.  The number of parking spaces available is limited, so click here for more information.  



During ordinary business hours, Monday to Friday, 9AM to 5PM, visitors to the Lamont Campus will be admitted provided their host has requested their name be added to the Visitor List in advance, or is present to receive the guest.  After hours (including weekend) visitors will not be admitted if their visit has not been approved in advance.  The host must email and state the visitor name, business purpose, date, time and duration of visit, and to which building they should be directed.  If you are having a visitor on the weekend you must send your email by noon on Friday.


Daily Parking

Parking on campus is for the convenience of Lamont employees and authorized visitors. When parking on campus, only clearly delineated parking spaces must be used. Fire hydrants and Fire Lanes adjacent to buildings must be kept clear, and all roads must be kept accessible for other motorists, delivery vehicles (which include tractor trailers), and emergency apparatus. Parking spaces may not be used for storage of vehicles or other items. Any such unauthorized vehicles will be towed at the owner's expense.It should be noted that Rockland County law prohibits idling vehicles for over 3 minutes.


Parking Registration Form

Please complete the application for each vehicle to be registered, and bring the form to the Security Office (Administration 101) along with a copy of the vehicle registration.  Lost or damaged tags may be replaced for a fee of $50.00.  Lost or Damaged tags will be deactivated when replaced.



Overnight / Long Term Parking

A number of spaces have been identified for overnight and long term parking. These spaces are clearly marked by a sign post. Overnight / Long Term spaces are located in the Geochemistry Parking Lot (35)Geoscience Parking Lot (27), and at  Lamont Hall (9) .  Click here for a location map.

To park in the overnight spaces  you must have a Lamont parking sticker displayed and email the Security office at  of your intention to leave your car on campus and the dates. Only Lamont Employees may leave a car parked on campus overnight.




Security is authorized to tow cars as necessary to enforce this policy. The owner of the vehicle will be required to pay for the towing charges and any storage fees to have the car returned. In the case of an abandoned vehicle (no plates and missing or lapsed registration), following appropriate notification of the owner (if identifiable), the vehicle will be removed for scrap.