New LIRR Parking Garage Designed to Boost Economic Growth
By Eileen Gee
The recently opened Wyandanch Parking Garage in the Town of Babylon, NY, was designed to encourage visitors to the town’s business district, provide easier access to public transportation, promote pedestrian traffic, and boost economic growth.
The new facility is on the right track toward meeting its goal, and was recently honored as the 2015 Transit Project of the Year by the American Society of Civil Engineers, Long Island (NY) Branch.
WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, working with subconsultant Walker Parking, served as the prime design and construction manager and inspection consultant for MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) and the Town of Babylon. Design work began in early 2011, and construction in May 2014. The garage opened In August 2015.
The new parking facility is an important part of “Wyandanch Rising,” an economic initiative dedicated to advancing urban revitalization by creating residential and mixed-use development in the hamlet, located within Long Island’s Town of Babylon.
The $500 million program centers on the idea of transit-oriented development, which provides the opportunity to increase transportation choices and access, enhances mobility for all community members, and creates a compact mixed-use neighborhood.
The first phase of development includes two mixed-use buildings (one is four stories and the other is five stories) that will feature apartments in the upper stories and retail space below, as well as a public park between the two residential buildings, which can host concerts in the summer and an ice rink in the winter.
With more than 900 parking spaces, the Wyandanch garage nearly triples the current parking capacity and addresses future ridership projections of commuters and residents by presenting a visibly safe, multi-use environment. It offers 24-hour staffed operations with surveillance cameras, which helps increase security for pedestrians and their personal vehicles.
Proximity of the facility to new and planned local amenities is expected to encourage visitors, increase foot traffic and promote economic growth. With all the new development in the vicinity, the garage is expected to operate as a steady source of revenue for the town all year round.
The garage was designed to be functional as well as a visually appealing centerpiece of the Wyandanch Rising project. It features cascading stairs with stainless steel perforated guardrail panels and decorative art glass commissioned by MTA Arts for Transit.
The decorative art glass, by artist Moe Brooker of Philadelphia, highlights the façade to create a unique public space within the main stairs and the elevator tower. Adding music and art was seen as a way to enhance the overall urban transformation now under way.
New York State of the Art
The five-level, 251,175-square-foot garage was constructed of precast concrete using materials selected for ease of maintenance, economy and durability. Sustainability was addressed by using a concrete mix that includes recycled materials.
The site features a storm water retention basin system that replenishes natural aquifers and reduces runoff to adjacent storm sewers. Energy-efficient LED light fixtures throughout the facility provide high levels of illumination, yet require minimum maintenance.
The site was designed with future expansion in mind. As customer usage and demand continue to grow in Wyandanch, capacity can eventually be expanded to 1,500 spaces.
By attending to present and future parking needs, WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff said, the community will have quick and convenient access to shops and services. Further, the project will prove to be a key piece of a much larger scheme of urban revitalization in Wyandanch for years to come.
Eileen Gee, Project Manager for WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, New York, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She teamed with Scott Ashley, Lead Engineer for subconsultant Walker, on the Wyandanch Parking Garage project.