Two Livingston Robotics Club Teams Present Transportation Proposals to Livingston Town Council on November 23, 2009

by: Robert Allen Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Two teams from the Livingston Robotics Club presented a transportation proposal to the Livingston Town Council during their conference meeting on November 23,  2009. The teams also provided the same presentation to the Vision 20/20 Committee earlier in the month.DSCF0047 (2)

Team SciBoTech, made up of members , Michael Cheng, Aaron Morales, Michael Pepper, Brett Weis-Schlessinger, Ben Wasserman and Ben Weiss, proposed the development of an Intermodal Transportation Facility to be located at the Livingston Mall. The team, with help from the Simon Mall Management and NJ Transit, researched, designed and planned this facility.

Currently there are 5 bus routes that come to the Mall which carry 2,200 people each day. The proposed facility would comprise 3 bus shelters, to be built and paid for by the Mall and NJ Transit.  The shelters would be located at the edge of the Macy’s parking lot and near the current DOT Park and Ride,  located in the tear drop portion of the Mall. All bus routes would come through this facility, eliminating 4 bus stops that are located haphazardly around the Mall.

In addition, the Robotics team proposed a pedestrian crosswalk to be built between the Mall and the Saint Barnabas Ambulatory Care Center  located across South Orange Ave. The team, working with the Essex County engineers, has planned this crosswalk. They are also working with personnel from the Bloustein Management School  of Rutgers University to get a grant for funding this crosswalk project. The crosswalk would allow patients and staff to utilize the transportation center and would also allow easy access to the Mall.

The final piece of the project is a proposed shuttle to the train station in South Orange from the transportation center at the Mall. Proposed times of operation would be from 6 to 10 a.m.  and 4 to 10 p.m. Two round trips per hour could be done comfortably. Schedules are being prepared as well as pricing. This service will be formally proposed to the Town Council by the Vision 20/20 Committee which has been working with the SciBoTechs on these projects.

The second team to make a proposal was Team Landria, whose members, Ivana Chu, an eighth grader, and sixth graders Danielle Lee, Rebecca Lin and Karina Yeh, 6th & 8th graders, proposed “Got Bike” to the Council. “Got Bike” is a project to promote safe biking to school and to turn Livingston into a biking community. Based upon their study, the team has determined that the conditions are not safe to bike ride to Livingston High School and the middle schools. Team Landria conducted surveys and studied the current street conditions and cycling accessibility in Livingston. The team, based upon their studies, made recommendations to the Town Council on traffic management and traffic calming concepts that have been successfully implemented in neighboring communities.

Recommendations made to the Town Council include shoulder striping, “street diet”, designated parallel bike routes, shared sidewalks, and an upgrade to provide additional bike racks and a “Tour De Livingston Day” to raise awareness of this program.

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The Livingston Robotics Club teams are now in the middle of the First Lego League Competition. This competition is graded on the building of the robots, the programming of the robots, teamwork, a science project, and the overall best in competition. The teams’ research project this year is transportation, hence the above proposals to the Town Council.

For further information please contact

Alan Karpas   973-994-0486

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