RED LIGHT CAM CONTRACTOR CHOICE CLOSE. 10 INTERSECTIONS CONSIDERED—SAFETY CONCERN,NOT REVENUES;

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LONGER PARKING STAYS, ENFORCEMENT OF SPEEDING IN SCHOOL ZONES;MORE BIKE LANES. PARKING COMMISH SAYS WITHOUT PARKING DOLLARS TAXES WOULD BE HIGHER. “PAYING PARKING BY AP TRIPLES”

WPCNR CNA-GO ROUND. By John F. Bailey. June 16, 2016:

The Council of Neighborhood Associations featured Commissioner of Parking John Larson and Deputy Commissioner City Transportation Engineer, Tom Soyk Tuesday evening.

The audience of 30 persons learned that the city plan to install red light cameras to catch motor vehicle violations is moving ahead.

The city has narrowed a choice of a provider of the red light cameras and expects to make the choice of the contractor to install and maintain the cameras in the near future. Ten intersections are being considered for installation of cameras at this time based on accident reports.

WPCNR learned,speaking with Commissioner Soyk after the meeting, that there appeared to be no deployment  flaws in the Suffolk County red light deployment of such a system that was recently ended by Suffolk County due to complaints from the public according to Commissioner Soyk.

The representatives of CAN learned the city would get a share of revenues from the vendor installing the cameras, which would be used for adding bike lanes and pedestrian safety improvements, Soyk told the group.

Traffic and Accident Trends

Soyk distributed a report showing that city downtown traffic volume has declined every year since 2005 by a  grand total of  5.8 million vehicles in the last 8 years from 57 million vehicles in 2005, the height of the City Center development  to 51.2 million vehicles in 2015. From 2001 to 2015, traffic volume in the downtown area declined 4.3%.

From 2010 to 2015, the period of vigorous parking enforcement in White Plains, traffic volume in the downtown declined 4.8% from 53.8 million vehicles to 51.2 million.

Traffic accident injuries & fatalities increased to 351 in 2015, compared to 301 in 2014.

Motor vehicle accidents with injuries though went up in 2015, He reported that 2015 had total injuries of 351, compared to 301 in 2014. The last three years was the second lowest three year average injuries and fatalities, 343. Highest three year average was 792 in 1979.

Bicycle injuries in 2015 were at the lowest three year average of 7.7. The lowest number of bicycle injuries was 6.3 in  2014.

Last year, White Plains experienced the lowest 3 year average pedestrian injuries of 71. The lowest number of pedestrian accidents was 64 in 1995; the highest, 103 in 1978.

Pedestrian Improvements

Soyk noted that 77 crosswalks at 28 intersections had 154 Audible Signals to signal when to cross.

Countdown signals demonstrating how much time you had to cross before the light changed are now at 175 at 61 intersections.

Exclusive walk phases with no turning conflicts allowed are at 41 intersections and Advance Walk Phases allowing “conflict free advance” are at 57 cross walks at 25 intersections.

About 5 or 6 citizens engaged Mr. Soyk in discussion during the meeting and after about intersections they felt could be improved.

TRAIN STATION IMPROVEMENT ON PARKING, TRAFFIC FLOW

One resident complained bitterly about police enforcement of red light violations frequently violated by taxis exiting the train station across  Lexington Avenue. Another resident drew attention about the three year wait for commuter parking at the train station city garage there, saying that parking facilities at the Metro North Train Station had to be increased substantially in the future.

Other Suggestions:

One citizen suggested relaxing of parking hours and enforcement on weekends to promote more visiting without parking stress. Longer parking stays other than the current 1 hour and 2 hours were suggested.

AP Use up

The Parking Commissioner John Larson noted that without parking revenues, citizen taxes would be higher, and noted the revenues of the parking Department which account for $34 Million total.

Larson said that use of Smartphone Applications to pay for and extend parking times was up to 32,000 transactions  from 10,000, adding to convenience parking through Smartphones. He said 35% of parking is now paid by credit card.

The ap can be downloaded from the city website. He said the sharply increased Ap use saved the department money on meter collection and personnel deployment.

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