Category Archives: Road Maintenance

Park Clear of Highway

With the big storm coming in tomorrow, it’s a good time to remind everyone to park well off the highway. Snow plows will be coming through the canyon a lot tomorrow. As of this afternoon, several cars were parked along the highway which could be cited. If you park–or are parked–along the highway, make sure you are at least four feet away from the white line at the edge of the lane. Any closer and you will likely be seen as a hinderance to the plow drivers and may be ticketed.

Gate PINs Dead

Please don’t hate me. The gate software had a hidden secret the bit us this weekend. I’m still bleeding tears. Most of the PIN codes expired Saturday night (please at least read the red “good news” below).

I know, I reassured you this would not happen. I tested it multiple times using my own PIN code. I don’t know why the gate decided to do something different, but I do know how it did it. Before I dive into that—which most of you probably don’t care about, but I feel compelled to share—let me talk about where we go from here.

What now?

I am working with our gate installer—and potentially the software provider—to try to bring back the PIN codes. I spent five hours yesterday attempting three different solutions which all worked as tested them, but failed when I tried to implement them for everyone.

The good news: As of today (about 11:30 today, to be precise; due to mailings we put together on Saturday), all Association members have been mailed at least one key card. All key cards, fobs, and transmitters still work just fine. They were unaffected. We do have some PIN codes which still work (primarily our backup codes).

If you need to use a PIN in the next few weeks (this should be very few people), please contact Alicia, Angela, or Karl (see Contacts page) for a PIN code that still works. I will personally contact each person who has already contacted me (via email) with plans to use their PINs in the next few weeks. If you don’t hear from me via email by tomorrow, please reach out to me at beaverspringsranchassoc­@­gmail.com (please remember to type this address, not copy/paste).

How did this happen? (For the technically curious, and against advise at least one other person. If you’re not technically minded, I don’t recommend reading the rest of this post.)

I’m a software engineer of 13 years by trade. That means I know a lot more about software than the average Joe. It just so happens that the gate software is written in the same programming language and database software I use on the job.

When I first uploaded all the Association members to the gate software back in early October, I included a unique PIN number (the one sent to Association members by mail or email) along with the December 15, 2018, 10:00 PM, expiration date as per the decisions made by the Board. A few days later—after the October 6 letters were all sent—I noticed that the software had put the expiration date on the users. This meant all people were going to expire on December 15. Not good! I subsequently removed all the user expiration dates. Had I not, nobody except the admins would have been able to use the gate after the expiration date—PIN code or otherwise (on the bright side, I averted this disaster :->).

The gate software’s hidden secret was that it also put the December 15 expiration date on the PINs. Something it does not show in the software. When I removed the user expiration dates, it left the PIN expiration dates. The software provides no way to see this or change it.

When things went koo-koo yesterday, I dove into the software’s databases (something rarely recommended by software manufacturers) and found the hidden PIN expiration dates. Unfortunately, it was too late to change them. An earlier test which would be more supported by the manufacturer had shown I could remove all the PINs and then reset them in a two-step process. Step two, unfortunately, failed after I removed the expired PINs. Thus, I had no data left to simply change the expiration dates.

Overall, the gate simply refused and overrode my commands to re-set your original PIN numbers.

So, without going further into the details of my five-hour ordeal, the short of the matter is that we got hosed by the gate software. I did something the manufacturer obviously hasn’t thoroughly tested. I have a call in to our installer and may even be contacting the software manufacturer, myself. I have no idea if we’ll be able to restore all the old PIN codes.

New Gate Keys

We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work to send out the new gate keys. This task has proved monumental at the least. But then, why not!? Automating the gate is definitely a monumental moment in the history of BSR!

As most of you are aware, the letter sent out in October stated that PIN codes would expire December 15 at 10:00 PM. Many of you have not returned any old, metal keys, yet. Thus, you are entitled to the default, single key card for free. Only a small number of these defaults have been processed so far.

Rest assured, we will not deactivate your PIN code until at least two weeks after we send your physical key device(s) (key card, fob, and/or transmitter). As such, your PIN code will be deactivated December 15 OR two weeks after we send your physical devices, whichever is later.

The next batch of mailings will go into the USPS tomorrow. If you have ordered any paid cards, fobs, or transmitters, and haven’t received them by 12/7, please contact us (preferably by email).

Gate Upgrade Complete

The upgrade of the BSR gate is complete and ready for operation. On Saturday, November 10, we will activate the gate. As such, starting November 10, you will need a PIN, key card, fob, or transmitter to open the gate. If you have lost or not received your PIN (see sample letter) and need to get through the BSR gate in the next few weeks, please contact us (preferably by email).

Please allow the gate to fully open before driving through and stop your car clear of the gate on the other side after pulling through until it is fully closed. No tailgating! If you do, there’s a good chance the gate will bump into your car as you try to slip through.

To exit BSR, simply pull up to the sensor in the road just outside the gate’s reach and the gate will open for you. No key necessary to exit.

PINs can be entered on the keypad (shown in the photo above). Key cards and fobs (once distributed) should be swiped in front of the keypad.

We will be mailing key cards, fobs, and transmitters within the next few weeks.

Upcoming Winter Restrictions

Winter is fast approaching which means Winter Restrictions will go into effect soon–typically around Thanksgiving (plus or minus a week). We won’t know for sure when Winter Restrictions will begin until the snow stops melting, but we will give as much notice as possible.

What does “Winter Restrictions” mean? Winter road restrictions are in effect any time the winter restrictions sign is posted on the gate. This is done when the snow or ice accumulation is significant enough to make travel on BSR roads hazardous. During winter restrictions, only snow vehicles—such as snowmobiles, snow cats, and ATVs—are permitted past the BSR gate. Cars, trucks, and 4-wheel drive vehicles are not permitted until restrictions are lifted. Even if you see car tracks going past the gate, this does not mean it is okay for you to drive in. This is for everyone’s safety. We’ve had people in the past who disobey the restrictions and end up blocking the road at the bottom of the gated hill.

With our new electric gate, “Winter Restrictions” take on a slightly different implementation, but the same restrictions as discussed above still apply. In the past, only certain residents had a “winter key” which allowed them to open the large gate year-round. Other residents had to use the smaller “snowmobile gate.” A bullock will soon be installed just in front of the small gate and the gate will remain open to allow safe passage of pedestrians who otherwise would walk around the now treacherous north end of the gate. Thus, the small gate will no longer be used for snowmobile access. Instead, all Association members will be able to use their key card, fob, transmitter, or PIN to open the large gate year-round.

Each key card, fob, transmitter, and PIN is registered to a name. Access through the gate will be recorded for reference by the Board when there is an issue. In addition, a monitoring camera is being installed at our gate to support proper adherence to Winter Restrictions and give additional protection for the community as a whole.

We will send additional information and answers to a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) when we mail out key cards and any purchased fobs and/or transmitters in the next 2-3 weeks.

Gate Progress

The operator for the gate has been installed and is awaiting a power connection from Rocky Mountain Power. Thus, our new electric gate is nearly ready!

At this stage, the gate has been chained open as installation and programming are completed. It will be left open until it is ready to go live. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time.