Riverside Roundup – 04/26/2008

Luke tops MacKay
Back in February, the City of Riverside asked which downtown parking meters you preferred — Luke or MacKay? To our delight, 54% of those who voted preferred Luke (the decidedly smarter, full-featured meter).



Site of Tequesquite Park

The results of the poll, which were publicized a few weeks back, have been forwarded to the city’s Downtown Parking Committee for further review. The new meters are expected to replace those installed in 2006 as part of the city’s SmartPark program, which we’ve previously posted about.

The city had already selected Luke to replace older, existing meters within the downtown Justice Center. These new meters are currently being installed near the County Courthouse and Hall of Justice.

Real-time bus info
The Riverside Transit Agency recently added satellite-fed electronic reader boards to a few local bus stops, offering passengers real-time information on arrivals. Passengers waiting at the stops no longer need to guess whether the bus is running late (or whether they may have already missed it).

Thus far, 5 “SmartStop” locations in Riverside — including the downtown bus terminal — are equipped with the GPS monitors, with a dozen more to follow this summer in Moreno Valley. RTA officials say up to 70 stops within its service area — which stretches to the Banning, Hemet, Temecula and Corona areas — will get the “SmartStop” reader boards.

The GPS program is part of a $4.3 million effort at improving overall transit service, including an Internet-based “BusWatch” service.

Riverside Transit Agency began service in 1977 as a joint-powers authority providing transit services for western Riverside County. The agency covers approximately 2,500 square miles and services 7 million passengers annually.

Planning for city park moves forward
Earlier this week, the City Council approved $550,000 to begin design and environmental planning for the long-promised Tequesquite Park near downtown Riverside. Beginning of the master plan follows recommendations outlined by a 15-member task force created specifically to help design the 43-acre park. Their objectives include converting the vacant land into a mixture* of open space and recreational facilities, including two lighted ball fields:

Last summer, the task force recommended the park include two lit baseball fields, a walking trail, large grass area, trailhead connecting to the Santa Ana River Trail, a pavilion entrance with a Chinese garden, playground, preserved natural areas, basketball courts, parking areas and a stream.

Riverside Press-Enterprise – April 23, 2008

Riverside-based landscape architect Ian Davidson (of the downtown pedestrian mall rehab) has been selected to draw up the plans, which will then be reviewed by the task force before heading to the city’s Parks & Recreation Commission and City Council for final approval.

The city says it has $6.5 million of the estimated $15 million needed for the park, which is now part of the Riverside Renaissance capital improvement plan. Completion of the park is tentatively set for 2010.

* City of Riverside

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One Comment

  1. The one thing I would say in favor of the MacKay ones is that you could see how much time a space has left and save your money. They have them at the Old Santa Ana Courthouse and sometimes I can get away with not paying anything just by finding spaces with enough time on them. The way it works now in Rvsd you have to bump into someone who is leaving their space and will offer you their receipt or tell you how much time is left.

    Then again, I never have coins, which is why I go through the trouble of looking for spaces at the courthouse. The ease of paying by card is, in my opinion for the current parking rates, worth the lack of transparency for time on spaces. Too bad we can’t have both in this case. I wonder how much more money is collected from forcing people to pay for spaces for which there is still time? I guess this scheme gets people cooperating face-to-face at least and gives people the opportunity to do a painless good deed by giving incoming parkers the time left on their space.

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