Friday, December 2, 2011

Straight Or Angled Parking Stripes For Roosevelt Island's Motorgate Parking Garage - Which Is The Better Layout?

Image of Confusing Angled/Straight Motorgate Garage Parking Stripes

Riradu, a reader of this recent post on new straight parking stripes replacing previous angled parking stripes on the third floor of the Motorgate Garage comments:
My main concern is still the re-re-re-striping of the garage, or the study which led to the new layout, and I am specifically seeking an intelligent answer if and how it was real-life tested with the real-life variety of cars found now in the garage.

Perhaps not too may people understand what may be coming to their cars. Simply speaking, I see an issue in safely getting in and out of a parking space if one has a larger car or is adjacent to larger cars - or there are longer/larger cars parked in the opposite parking spaces, even if they are all parked correctly.

A car must enter/exit a parking space pretty parallel to its edges, and that - since the spaces will be perpendicular to the curb - means that one will need more space in the isle to position correctly for entry. If the isle width is limited by large SUV's or vans, then you can figure out the physical consequences to your and your neighbor's vehicled. This is my main concern. I don't want to be part of the problem, I want to be part of the solution, this is why I try to raise this issue before it costs too much to fix.

Of course, every layout has its own engineering challenges, but that's why good engineers exist. I salute the initiative of repairing and renovating the garage, I see them testing new LED lighting fixtures, and may also be great things that I dind't see yet. I am concerned about the striping issue and I wish I am wrong... I only need someone to come up with real, rational arguments (other than immeasurable talk) that my worries are not warranted.
Riradu adds:
... I surveyed several parking garages and concluded that Motorgate is about 6' short of the minimum space needed to implement safe parking slots perpendicular to the curb in most areas.

There is also supporting engineering documentation on the Web, with clear design standards, quite different than what is proposed at Motorgate. I attached an example to this post.

Every project must be approved and signed by at least a PE licensed in NY State, so I am really curious who  risked his/her reputation signing that layout.
During the November 28 Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Operations Committee meeting, the issue of straight or angled parking spaces was discussed by RIOC Vice President Of Operations Fernando Martinez and RIOC Directors. Mr. Martinez reported to the RIOC Directors that making the spaces more uniform and straight with a width, for the most part, of 8 1/2 feet was done with the consultation of Central Parking and the contractor. Mr. Martinez said that he feels straight parking lines was the right decision to make.

Below is video of the Operations Committee Meeting Motorgate Parking stripes discussion as well as a discussion on the state of the Garage/Warehouse employee work area.

An audio webcast of the entire November 28 Operations Committee meeting is here.


residential said...

While straight in parking may be appropriate for the reserved spaces, on levels 4 through 7 I think that angled parking makes more sense, particularly because of some of the hot rodders who speed and could broadside cars trying to park. Further, the signage must be improved. "Small cars only" is meaningless because some people who may have traded their cars from a large SUV to a sedan may now think the sedan is a "small car". Better, use the MFR or DMV classifications and have signs in those spots which read "Compact or subcompact cars only. No SUVs, VANS or trucks". Also, make the columns at the ends of aisles the delimiter for the first and last parking spaces on aisles.

Most of all, communicate clearly with the car owners. Publish the rules for parking in Motorgate, both as periodic enclosures with the monthly invoices, as well as in the Main Street Wire, RIOC advisories and/or website, and posted signs. Finally, enable the garage manager to call PSD to issue tickets for people who do not obey the rules.

riradu said...

I appreciate the answer to my concern, especially the links to the video and audio files. I learned about many thing that are going on and the many obstacles that need to be overcome before  results can be seen. Motorgate is one example, striping is another challenge.
I took the time to watch the video clip but, most importantly, I listened to the audio webcast. All interesting questions/answers are left out of the video clip, but at minute 98 and on, one can hear pertinent questions and concerns about stripes, standards, isles, easiness of getting in and out of one's spot. Mr Martinez answered evasively with "Yes, we have those standards" and "we consulted with Central Parking and the contractor". Then, he mentioned that, in the future, a wide turn might not be enough, and we might "HAVE TO MANEUVER in order to get in".  Did anybody really think about the implications? Will Central Parking and the contractor approve and sign the drawings for overriding the national/NYS/NYC standards, OR will RIOC be responsible for this? 
I want to respectfully remind RIOC that Motorgate is a SELF-PARKING GARAGE and that, at the end of the day, it is way cheaper to prevent than to repair. Seriously.
Or, RIOC should make Motorgate a valet parking and nobody would care anymore about any stripes.In the light of what was said in the 11/28 meeting, somebody please explain what is the real meaning of the following sentence published in today's Wire (December 10, 2011), in the RIOC Column, on page 26:"Once the floors were sealed, we decided to repaint straight parking lines (instead of the crisscrossing diagonal lines)TO FACILITATE PARKING AND TO MAKE MORE ROOM FOR CARS".

Thank you.
-----------------------------------------As per Webster's Unabridged Dictionary:fa·cil·i·tate  (fà silÆi t€tÅ), v.t., -tat·ed, -tat·ing. 1. to make easier or less difficult; help forward (an action, a process, etc.): Careful planning facilitates any kind of work.2. to assist the progress of (a person).

CheshireKitty said...

This is an example of penny wise pound foolish. For the few additional spots that could be squeezed in (probably no more than 2-4 maximum per level) every parker will be risking a fender-bender in order to safely maneuver/park in a cramped space.  So for an additional marginal revenue enhancement (probably no more than 35 additional spots to be shoe-horned in) RIOC in effect "screws" all the parkers.  The perpendicular parking plan should be dropped.  

AshleyMcCormick said...

The Operations Committee consulted with the contractor and the parking garage?! Let's see which one of these two will NOT make money if the number of parking spaces increases. Oh, wait, they BOTH stand to make money! But why do we need more space when entire sections of Motorgate are still empty?
Dear Messrs Decision Makers: For once, think about the people who pay (Island residents), the people who find their cars dented and without tail lights (Island residents), the people who put up with teenage drivers (some stoned, some drunk, some high and most of them very, very loud) who have little idea how to drive or park (Island residents). And, at the meeting, invite someone who can actually explain while straight lines are better than diagonal, in terms not related to making some extra money.

Frank Farance said...

Within the lifetime of the stripes (3-5 years?), I don't believe RIOC will make any additional money because Motorgate will continue to be under-occupied and the few new spaces (as ChesireKitty points out) won't matter.

I agree that the perpendicular lines: (1) will cause more dents/dings, (2) will be harder to maneuver, (3) will be harder to enter/exit cars (because of tighter striping).

I, too, believe RIOC should continue with the angled parking because the perpendicular parking offers NO benefits and MANY drawbacks.

Frank Farance said...

Check it yourself, Motorgate Level 3B: New perpendicular parking lines produce FEWER spots (21) than old diagonal lines (23), REALLY!  At the beginning, why didn't RIOC reveal that their new perpendicular parking lines produced fewer spots?

Picture this: You're marking the lines on the left (west) side while you have the old lines on the right (east) side.  Literally, a side-by-side comparison, but no one said "Hey 21 spots for the new, 23 spots for the old, i.e., fewer spots, is that right?".  (A Six Sigma kinda question, not too different from the Church Plaza drainage re-do a couple months ago.)

I sent the E-mail below to RIOC staff of Ms. Torres, Mr. Martinez, Ms.
Przybyla, and the RIOC Board Operations Committee of Mr. Shinozaki, Mr.
Kraut, Ms. Smith.


Ms. Torres-

In your RIOC report:

you say:

        "Once the floors were sealed, we decided to repaint straight
parking lines (instead of the crisscrossing diagonal lines) to
facilitate parking and to make more room for cars."

This topic has been under discussion for the past month or so. 
While many residents agree that diagonal lines are preferable, it is has
been RIOC's position that the perpendicular lines were chosen (despite
all the negatives) because they "make more room for cars", as quoted in
your report.  That is an assumption, but THAT ASSUMPTION IS **NOT**

Last week, I spoke with Ms. Przybyla about this, but I did not get a
quantitative answer, only a response that some standards were being

Today I measured the lines in section 3B: perpendicular lines on the
west have 21 spots while diagonal lines on the east have 23 spots. 
Even if the crosswalk were a spot on the perpendicular side, still there

You might ask: How can this be so?  The answer is: Because the
perpendicular lines make for a narrower width aisle, so longer turning
room is needed.  Even though the lines might be wider, the parking can
still be tighter because of the limited maneuverability.  I've tried the
parking spots in 3B, the harder maneuver is *exiting* the spot -- you'll need to try it in a car to understand.

Diagonal Lines, advantages:

- Easier maneuverability.

- Fewer dents/dings.

- Quicker enter/exit.

- Wider aisle.

- More parking spots.

Perpendicular Lines, advantages:

- None.

In summary, the perpendicular lines should not be used, and the diagonal lines should be continued.

Frank Farance

RIRA Planning Committee Chair

riradu said...

If this can help, here's a relevant page (page 14) from NYC Department of City Planning - Design Standards for Commercial & Community Facility Parking Lots.