Wednesday, March 10, 2010

More Roosevelt Island Parking Problems With SouthTown's Riverwalk Area Losing Several Spaces - Should Car Usage Be Discouraged On RI?

Public Safety Officers Ticketing Cars Parked In Front of Riverwalk's 425 Main Street

Due to the limited size of Roosevelt Island, street parking is a constant bone of contention with some residents wishing for more and others less. There is a 1900 space car parking garage at the Motorgate though advocates for more street parking say that the Motorgate garage is just too far from their homes to be convenient.

Southtown's Riverwalk car owners are the furthest from Motorgate - a 15 minute walk or 5 minute Red Bus ride away. As a reader of this post commented:
The distance to Motorgate is a HUGE drawback to living in Southtown. Look at Octagon, Queens West, Jersey City - every modern residential complex built today outside of Manhattan (and face it, folks - we're outside of Manhattan) includes parking. The first few above-ground levels of the unbuilt Southtown ought to contain parking.
Other readers responded:
I agree with anonymous saying that "The distance to Motorgate is HUGE" but it is the same distance as it has been from the beginning.

Conversely R.Island was planned to be virtually car free on Main Street. The second "anonymous" dream was once reality.
Owning a car is a privilege and not a right. If RI wants to make it hard to own a car I am all for it. There are way too many of those on this island where none are actually essential. We have cheap and decent public transit on this island. It is the perfect place to - gasp - walk.

The less parking opportunities on RI the better. Period. That's my opinion.
Reacting to the loss of several Southtown parking spots a reader and Riverwalk resident asks:
Now that the red bus stops on East Drive, Southtown drivers have lost at least two scarce parking spots. When will RIOC persuade Goldwater to permit weekend parking on their East Drive?
Roosevelt Island Red Bus At Riverwalk Stop

I inquired of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. (RIOC) President Steve Shane:
Now that the Red Bus, Q102 Bus and trucks are using the south bound East Channel Road in Southtown on a temporary basis during the Tram outage, is there any possibility of also experimenting with allowing parking on the West Channel road in Southtown? During the RIRA meeting when Fernando Martinez presented this idea, he mentioned that there might be some additional parking spots available on the West Channel if the Red Bus Route was changed to the East Channel.

Also, is there any update on discussions with Goldwater Hospital to allow weekend parking on the Queens side of their facility - either in the empty street or empty parking lots without the danger of being ticketed.

Empty Weekend Street On Queens Side of Goldwater Hospital
West Channel Road Site For Future Parking?

Mr. Shane replied:
I will inquire about parking on West Channel, but suspect that the existing congestion at the subway makes it unlikely. We have engaged a traffic engineer who will be able to make recommendations.

We are checking back with the hospital about weekends on the east side and will advise.
In the meantime, be careful where you park or you will be ticketed by Public Safety Department as these car owners were last Monday.

Public Safety Officers Ticketing Cars Parked In Front of Riverwalk's 425 Main Street


Trevre said...

How can I resist commenting on this one...

Despite all the public transit in NYC, most residents still use/rely on automobiles. Mass transit is expensive and not an end all be all solution. Parking is important for residents and visitors. Part of the reason storefronts aren't very profitable is the lack of parking.

Allowing additional parking on the street and creating parking is a win/win for everyone. More residents will want to live here, more people will visit, and more money will be spent. There is lots of space on the island that is not utilized for parking that could be (including wasted space in motorgate due to their pricing).

Motorgate has serious issues based on my current understanding.

1) To expensive (120 a month for a motorcycle!!!). They can fit about 8 motorcycles in the same space one car is parked ($180/8 ~$25, not $120). As previously noted this is not manhattan, and prices shouldn't be manhattan either. Motorgate (i.e., RIOC) has a virtual monopoly on parking, allowing them to set outragous prices for things like motorcycles and scooters and short term parking. Also it is rarely at capicity, probably because the prices are so high. If you want to relieve street congenstion lower the prices at motorgate.

2) No credit cards, cash only.

3) The place is just depressing, check out the entry way sometime.

4)Any money they do make just goes to pad the RIOC budget, not into parking improvements or reducing parking rates.

I don't own a car, but when friends/family want to come visit it cost them 20 bucks just to stay over night. Most places in Manhattan you can find street parking at for free overnight.

RI should let motorcycle park for free between cars just like in Manhattan. They don't take up much extra space and can be parked in unused space. Some/all parking should be free on the street like in manhattan, just with time limits. The number of permits given out on the island should be limited.

Mat said...

I'm guessing whomever left that last comment never priced Manhattan parking. Motorcycles prices are high, but cars are dirt cheap compared to Manhattan. Also, I believe the last count was almost 50% of NYCers don't own a car.

That being said he's right on for the other parts. The people who work there are generally rude, It seems no repairs are actually being done. One elevator doesn't work, the escalator is broken.. and they shut a stairwell down to PAINT?!

A huge complaint I have is there isn't any real spot enforcement, so people park in two space pretty regularly. The place could use some serious cleaning up, both in general technology/modernization and management. There are no cameras on the cars themselves, only the entry/exit.

If we fixed up the motorgate, and made some HUGE improvements to the redbus schedules, it would fix most complaints I think.

Anonymous said...

"most residents still use/rely on automobiles" - I would be interested to see data to back this up, either RI based or city-wide. Personally, I only know two people on the island who own cars, one of whom does not use it as their main source of transportation.

$89/mo for a metrocard is always infinitely less expensive than the cost of maintenance for an automobile plus parking charges.

Anonymous said...

I was the one who called Public Safety about the illegally parked cars in Riverwalk. About 5 cars were parked along the sidewalk with Bogus Placards that said Monadnock Construction, Authorized Parking. When I called PSD, they said no construction company had authorization to park on the street, and the placards were apparently fake.

Anonymous said...

It serves them right. Parking is at a premium here and they have the nerve to take up 5 spots on the street so they don't get blocked in inside their lot.

Anonymous said...

Southtown parking is a joke. Illegal use of parking placards - construction, NYPD, MTAPD, BOE, how about handwritten building concierge, menu's, construction vests, Union County NJ placards, and the list goes on. All of these are passed by Public Safety and not ticketed. Why?? Free food? Courtesy? Like it would be reciprocal, I doubt it. You complain and they tell it's none of your business, I'm just not sure what their business is.

Anonymous said...

The Old Town was intended to limit car traffic to the minimum. Hence the Red Busses.The developpers of Southtown should have provided parking spaces for their tenants.
They knew "the lay of the land".

Creating additional parking places on West Road by rerouting the busses totally disregards the effect that increased traffic has on Main Street (and its stores as well).

RIOC/PSD are turning a blind eye not only to cars parked without proper permits but to the built-in parking problem itself. I wonder whether they will exacerbate the problem with the remaining new buildings.

They way RI is being developped parking in Motorgate and buses should be free.Parking on the street should be strictly limited.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Southtown developers should have known to include on site parking. Look how great Octagon turned out. They have a small indoor parking lot for residents and decent outdoor lot for visitors. Southtown developers should include basement parking in their new buildings with entrance/exits along the east seawall. There is enough space back there for a one way roadway (loop) that would enter on the south and exit to the north. They should also include new commercial spots along Main St similar to Eastwood storefronts. We could use a bakery, a fried chicken spot, a grocery store, a spanish restaurant, a Subways, a McD Express, and maybe a Dunkin Donuts or an internet cafe.
Motorgate could also use some updating. First and foremost would be to restructure their fees, lowering the pricing for monthly and visitor parking. Elevators and escalators need to be fixed and security cameras added. One possibility would be a street level entrance/exit by the avac or bus garage. They definitely need to accept credit cards. Another idea would be expansion over the bus lot for another 4 levels or so if needed.

Anonymous said...

I think there is demand for a second Motorgate .
Ideally it should be in the area close to the ramp to minimize traffic on Main St.
If RIOC cannot negotiate a reduction in the parking fees it would be nice if they invited proposals by managers other than Central Parking to see what competition might do.