Wednesday, July 29, 2009

NY Department of Transportation Speaks

Many thanks to Adam Levine, public affairs officer at the NYDoT, for answering these questions about the $400,000 being spent to 'plan and design' the additional spots before taking off for vacation.

He actually pulled a 24-hour turn around which is pretty amazing considering I'm an unpaid citizen activist blogger.

1.) How many people were involved in planning and designing this lot and over what period of time? What would be the estimated number of hours spent to bill $400k?

Including NYSDOT and consulting engineering staff, 8-9 people worked on the project over a 16-month period, spending a total of about 3000 hours designing the expansion.

As with the cost estimate, I will be glad to share with you the fruits of their labor, in the form of the project plans, once the project has been awarded.

2) Were any outside design/planning firms hired? Who were they?
The consulting firms that assisted us in preparing the design were a joint venture among Bechtel Corp., WSP Sells and URS Corporation. As they are working under the direction of the department, I ask that you direct your questions to me and I will get your answers. One person's muzzling is another person's taking responsibility and standing up for our actions and decisions.

3) What needs to be done to plan and design 160 open-air parking spots?
As each site is unique, we can say that in this case, traffic and environmental issues needed to be analyzed and a design report needed to be prepared summarizing the project analysis. After these were completed, design of the park-and-ride details could be performed.

4) What were some of the obstacles to getting this project through? (You'd mentioned a bird reserve nearby)
I don't recall mentioning birds, but there are wetlands near the project, both existing and recently developed. We also wanted to make sure we stayed within an envelope that would not preclude other uses of nearby land along the Korean War Veterans Parkway, and we also had to make provisions for the temporary retention of storm water on the site, while the existing drainage system was being worked on as part of the expansion.

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