*More Pictures are in the responds section of this thread.
Area for observation
2 W.13th Street and the corner of 13th Street and 5th Avenue
What did you observe in the physical space?
During the time spent in front of 2 W.13th Street building, I saw several problems that can be solve through design or through education. In the front of building there was a huge trash container full with garbage. On the corner of 5th Ave and 13th Street, there were cars double parallel parked, which blocked one of the traffic lanes.
What did you observe in the social space/ interactions?
The first thing I noticed when I walk out of the entrance was how many people stood in line waiting to get through the electronic gate by wiping student ID cards. Outside of the door, many cigarette butts were on the floor while smoker scatter around the entrance. The little food store across the street had a long waiting line out side of the store on to side walk. Also at the store front, a customer was sitting on a chair on the sidewalk talking to others.
Did you observe any issues/problems in physical and social space?
The huge trash container that was full with garbage was not separated into recycle or regular section but stuck all together. There were also card boards on the ground either duo to careless dumping or excess of garbage. The dumpster also becomes a large obstacle when cyclists want to pass through the space between dumpsters and large truck.
The double parallel parking on 5th Ave happened often for loading and sending packages which cause traffic to slow down. It could also be very dangerous for cyclists who have to go around the car or track by swing out to car lanes.
Social Space/Interaction The new electronic gate for school entrance often slow people down because often it is not sensitive enough and the respond time takes like 2 second. Some of the students did not have their card out and were stood in front of the machine searching for them. This cause people behind them clogged up and lost precious time. The doors to the entrance are also pretty heavy so I saw many people did not open the door with handle but holding on to the glass door itself. Overtime, the glass might get dirty and the meaning of door handle is gone. The small food store across the building often has a long waiting line on the sidewalk which interrupted sidewalk traffic. Customers who sat on chair outside of the store but on the sidewalk also act as an obstacle for pedestrians.
How can design address those issues/problems?
Physical Space The dumpster should be moving out as soon as it is full. The garbage should be re-designed and separated into recyclable and non-recyclable. People working on the waste should also be a bit more careful on putting the waste away. This might has to do with education or just the laziness. Double Parallel Parking is dangerous and discourage even though some of them are inevitable. I suggest that there should have no parking during the day but only loading zone. The loading zone is only available for twenty minute per each delivery so other delivery trucks can use the space. When a double parallel parking occur on the side with bike lanes, the driver should definitely not park on the bicycle lane according to the law. This part can undergo through education from media, programs, and pamphlets.
Social/Interaction I think the gate has to be more sensitive with faster respond time to get people through quicker. The area between entrance door and gate should be larger as a buffer/waiting zone for people who do not have their card out. Or the card has hole for straps to hang on necks or hands so people do not have to put it in bags or wallets. The Door problem can be solved with lighter door weight or smoother hinges so people can open it more easily. The Small food store across street should have sign to directing customers to line up along the store to free up most of the sidewalk space. The people sitting on the chair in front of the store that block the sidewalk should have know better he/she is blocking the sidewalk. Some education is needed here. Through design, a better bench can replace or add on the location for more seating areas that will not block the sidewalk.