August 9, 2022

New technology to speed garage exit times after events in Reading

A blend of technological know-how and cooperation is supporting the Studying Parking Authority set report exit situations for parking garages through bought-out downtown occasions.

All those periods are possible to develop into more rapidly with the ongoing roll-out of a new gateless method this yr.

“I am not happy with ‘good plenty of,’” Nathan Matz, authority govt director, explained in a current cellphone interview. “We are partnering with distinct tech corporations to fix problems.”

In an effort to more make improvements to garage exit occasions immediately after events, these kinds of as hockey game titles and concert events, the authority put in new gateless technology this year at its Fourth and Cherry streets garage.

The Studying garage is the national beta tests web page for the technology, he explained.

“It’s a massive alter,” he stated.

There will be no obstacles at entrances and exits.

Patrons will have to pay out inside 15 minutes of parking by making use of a cellphone parking app or a credit card at a kiosk inside of the garage.

Time saver

The new program is envisioned to whittle exit times for each car or truck to 6.7 seconds, a 3.4-second reduction from the not long ago set file of 10.1 seconds per automobile.

The new system is an case in point of the way the authority is employing engineering to deal with issues, Matz stated.

Nathan L. Matz, Examining Parking Authority executive director

“Our objective is to have the new gateless system mounted in the party garages by the stop of 2022,” he mentioned.

April 2, with a marketed-out concert at the Santander Arena and Jazz Fest occasions at multiple venues, was the busiest night time in RPA record, he stated.

Next the events, it took 664 autos 11.2 2nd every single, for a whole time of 2 hours and 4 minutes, to exit from the DoubleTree by Hilton lodge garage in the 700 block of Penn Street.

The identical evening, 741 autos exited the South Penn garage in the 600 block of Franklin Avenue at 10.68 seconds for every auto for a complete time of 2 hours and 12 minutes.

The quicker time is just .67 seconds per automobile above the report exit time of 10.1 seconds for every motor vehicle established previous month, Matz stated.

“We are constantly really content when they boost on exit times,” reported P. Michael Ehlerman, chairman of the Convention Center Authority. “I believe Nathan is doing work the complications, and that’s excellent.”

Matz said 14 staff associates labored additional time April 2 to make absolutely sure individuals got out as quickly as achievable.

He noted exit occasions at the DoubleTree garage are generally slower than all those of the South Penn garage due to the layout.

‘Working together’

Craig Poole, president and typical manager of the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, 701 Penn St., reported he is happy by the cooperation between the hotel, the authority, Mayor Eddie Moran, town police section, arena administration and other downtown entities that are working to make browsing the town effortless and pleasurable.

“This is the very first time in 7 yrs that most people is working jointly,” he reported.

The garage, developed as a joint undertaking among the hotel developers and the parking authority, was the topic of a lengthy dispute between the earlier town administration and hotel proprietor Reading Hospitality LLC.

It ended in 2019 in the Berks County Courtroom when Decide Jeffrey K. Sprecher dominated that the DoubleTree operator is entitled to 350 free of charge parking areas in the garage for as long as the lodge stays in small business. The parking authority experienced argued that the legitimate version of the deal founded a price-sharing arrangement.

“It feels good to be doing the job jointly now,” Poole said. “We are all on the same page with the target of receiving people today out of the garage speedily.”

Matz credited the authority’s function staff members and their supervisor, Abril Ortiz, for implementing efficiencies.

Ortiz included far more team to immediate targeted traffic, which yielded terrific benefits, he said.

“We also further more accommodated patrons by providing portable restrooms at the garages,” Matz stated.

Ortiz and her crew set a document exit time of 10.1 seconds for every vehicle at the end a sold-out concert final month at the Santander Arena.

At that fee, it would get 1.8 several hours for 1,000 automobiles to exit a garage, Matz explained.

“That is a tremendous — 23% — reduction of time and inconvenience for people today who are leaving a downtown party,” he reported.

When the authority applied its cashless-gate system in its garages in 2019, the ordinary exit time per car or truck at the finish of a show was 24.3 seconds, he stated.

That meant it would just take roughly 6 hrs and 45 minutes for 1,000 vehicles to exit a garage crammed to capability.

“This was unacceptable,” Matz mentioned, “so we introduced in employees to assist persons at the exit by helping them scan their tickets and credit score cards.”

That adjust lowered the regular exit time to 13.2 seconds.

“This was a exceptional enhancement and a reduction of time by nearly 50%,” he claimed.

But it still meant it would just take a lot more than 3 1/2 hours for 1,000 motor vehicles to exit immediately after an occasion.

Ortiz and the party crew ended up able to lower that time, Matz explained, and the new gateless program will make exiting even a lot quicker.