Long Island Index is unveiling designs for revolutionary parking structures in Patchogue, Ronkonkoma, and several other towns as part of their ParkingPLUS Design Challenge.
The unveiling, held at Adelphi University Thursday morning, was part of a national contest for architects and designers to create parking structures that would work to revitalize downtown areas of Long Island communities.
"We're doing something very new for suburbs on Long Island. We're using our downtowns for growth," said Bruce Ratner, Executive Chairman of Forest City Ratner Companies. "We need to use and design our parking structures so they interact with our downtowns."
In Patchogue, designers proposed a parking structure they believe would work with an already thriving downtown area.
"You can reduce the amount of parking you have to build by 30 percent if you include parking management infrastructure," said Michael Piper of dub Studios, which led the Patchogue design. Because of this, designers created one proposal for a 300-car deck and one for a 210-car deck, saving $2,700,000 in the project that could instead be budgeted for signage, landscaping, and infrastructure.
"The idea is that the parking structure and the investment in parking can do more than just provide the parking, but it also can benefit the village in a broader way," said Piper.
A 21st century touch was added to the proposal with parking management systems, Piper said. Cars and parking could be logged by a parking management system that could project available parking notices and even link to a smartphone app that would cut down the amount of time it takes to find a spot.
The design also took into account failed parking systems in Patchogue's past. Piper said that a complaint about a now-defunct parking deck was that it was too dark. Designers opened up the architecture of the newer deck making it feel safer and easier to find parking.
Nearby Ronkonkoma LIRR was also a subject of one of the design winners' unique projects.
To "transfer the intensity of New York City" to Ronkonkoma, Roger Sherman Architecture and Urban Design created a "super scaled, family focused, all season recreational park" that would transform the area from a pitstop into a destination. The 1.75 million-square-foot design resembling the Empire State Building "at rest" on its side, the 4,411-spot parking structure would be capable of housing airport shuttles, farmers markets, indoor amphitheaters, and auto rallies, among other possibilities.