Thursday, October 28, 2010

Will it Create Parking Spaces out of Thin Air ?

A snippet of the new release about the new parking system. We all know we have a limited amount of parking spaces on the streets of Roosevelt Island and we all know the same cars seem to hog the spaces day to day. Will this make the situation better? I am not wholly sure how this works yet or how it creates more parking spaces but it appears to be another step by RIOC Board Member Jonathan Kalkin to be innovative and bring RIOC and Roosevelt Island into the next century through the use of technology.

"Innovative Sensor-Based Solution Creates New Parking Spaces Near
RooseveltIsland Subway and Historic Tramway

PR Newswire


SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Streetline Inc. today announced that the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) will deploy Streetline's sensor-based smart parking solutions on New York's Roosevelt Island, part of the borough of Manhattan. Roosevelt Island is creating new "smart" parking spaces next to Roosevelt Island's subway and historic tramway. The innovative program, which marks Streetline's entry into the East Coast market, aims to help Roosevelt Island better assess its parking management policies, give citizens and visitors a better parking experience, and address traffic congestion.

The new "smart" parking spaces will be outfitted with Streetline's patented parking system which includes ultra-low power sensors that communicate with one another to deliver valuable real-time information, such as how long a caris parked and when a car enters and leaves a parking space. The initialsystem also lays the foundation for smart parking meters allowing for easierpayments and better pricing."

We shall see how the public takes to this as the new system goes into use. THe entire news release can be read here.

When asked about the system Mr. Kalkin responded with the following information:

Roosevelt Island presently has a number of parking issues. Parking in Motorgate is too expensive for short term parking, parking on Main Street is supposed to be for dropping off and picking up items and therefore it is limited to a maximum of forty five minutes. Some areas of the Island like Southtown are limited to two hours. However, if you walk the street you will see many cars parked there for more than twice that period or all day. Some of them have placards that are suspect, and many just feed the meter indefinitely.

As a result, if a person wants to drop off items at their place or just wants to have a friend in for a cup of coffee, parking becomes impossible. In addition, that person has to either drive around the island to look for a space which leads to additional pollution and traffic congestion, or drives all the way down to Motorgate and pays a hefty fee to park for that short period. All of these factors are a strain on Main Street and our
residents and visitors.

We want to encourage parking for it intended purpose, want to make sure that parking period of time is reasonable, and we want to relay that information to the resident or visitor. We also want to utilize more spaces by the hospital on the weekends and evenings (when they are usually empty) and in front of Southtown, but want these to be used efficiently. The information that parking is available ahead can be shown with signage on the street, on the internet, and on mobile devices. We can lower the price of short term parking at Motorgate to encourage the use of the facility for that purpose. Public Safety officers can flag vehicles electronically that use illegal placards and most importantly a vehicle in violation will be shown on their
mobile devices so they can spend their time more efficiently serving the
community or directing traffic on the street.

The sensors themselves will be embedded below ground so you won't see them. This is a trial that will eventually be integrated with our parking meters as well. This test phase is the start of several transportation and operations projects that we will be examining over the year like electric car charging stations powered by solar and east river tidal energy , bike sharing, LED energy efficient lighting, tap cards and mobile payments for the red bus and parking, arrival time clocks and information signs at the bus shelters and Tram stations, a SeeClickFix Island 311 system, a Solar
Hybrid Ferry, Island Park WIFI Internet, and a new Director of Transportation to make it all come together.

As the new Chair of the Operations Committee, I am excited to work with our dedicated team at RIOC and our tireless board members who help make this all possible. Roosevelt Island will lead the city and now the country with innovative solutions to our daily problems, making this place an even better place to live and work.

A video of the system in use can be found on You Tube HERE.

Monday, October 25, 2010

New Tram: Swinging Singles or Stable Studebakers ?

Like many Roosevelt Island residents we have been watching POMA and RIOC test out the new Tram cabins back and forth across the East River.

They are being touted as more stable and certainly the double hangar system on each tram would appear to support the concept of greater stability.

But from what I have been seeing they seem to be swinging a lot more than the old cabins from front to back as they make the platform. Perhaps this is operator controlled and will settle down with the weight of 110 passengers but it has been interesting to watch.