Transportation, Pedestrian Safety, and Parking

How can the city promote alternative mobility, improve pedestrian safety, and adapt to rapidly changing automobile habits?

APP: JOSH GAFNI

2017 CASE STUDY: PICKUP REAL-TIME ARRIVAL APP

The City of West Hollywood’s PickUp is targeted and marketed to our young, hip, nighttime entertainment clientele who are typically public transportation adverse. Residents and visitors coming to West Hollywood on weekends can take this free, fun shuttle that comes equipped with a DJ and photographer inside, its own social media accounts, and a perks card for discounts to popular nightlife businesses.

While real time arrival information is available on transportation arrival apps, they lack the branding and strong identity that characterize the PickUp; this is a reason why the City has welcomed a third-party application, created by Josh Gafni, a West Hollywood resident and employee of local technology company, Tinder. Gafni created the WeHo PickUp app for people to locate the PickUp trolley on a subway-esque map. Users can view the nearest stop to their location and estimated time of arrival of the next trolley using GPS technology. This project has given Gafni the opportunity to contribute to his local community through the use of his technology skills.

The City is currently working with Gafni to enhance his app to include city branding and legal disclosures before launching it publicly in winter 2018. This successful citizen-led partnership was embraced by the City and sets a good example for future public-driven data projects.

PHOTO: JON VISCOTT

2016 CASE STUDY: AUTOMATED PARKING GARAGE

In June 2016, the City opened the Automated Parking Garage to solve the challenge of creating additional parking in a parking-deficient area of the City. The 200 space garage requires a smaller physical footprint than a conventional parking structure with similar capacity. The garage provides customers with a valet-like experience that is fast, safe, and convenient. The garage utilizes computer-controlled motorized lifts, conveyors and shuttles to transport cars from the arrival level to a parking space and vice versa, without human assistance. West Hollywood’s is the first operational automated parking system on the West Coast.

Beyond providing much needed parking, the garage adds considerable benefits to the City. Each bay features a hand-painted mural by artists including Art of Chase, MONCHO1929, Bronwyn Lundberg, and Kim West. The space savings nets more than 7,000 square feet for a Community Plaza, which holds a large-scale triptych art-banner installation, a collaboration of artist MONCHO1929 and former City Poet Steven Reigns. The garage features a large glass pane where people can watch as mechanical shuttles carry vehicles in and out of bays. The window includes a fixed-art installation by renowned public artist Ned Kahn, with a grid of large clear marbles that reflect moving parts inside the garage. The structure contains roof-mounted photovoltaic solar panels, features the use of a sustainable material made from recycled grocery bags, and uses drought-tolerant landscaping. Staff is able to track solar energy production and savings in real-time from an online dashboard.