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October 20, 2005

Aaron Naparstek (PSCC), Traffic & Parking/Transit & Pedestrians


This task is of critical importance to residents of Park Slope, and the EIS must devote high priority to the full disclosure of negative environmental impacts as well as full mitigation. The areas bordering the Atlantic Yards site are already suffering the consequences of severe traffic congestion.

  • Congestion Pricing. The EIS should analyze a London-style congestion-pricing as a way to reduce traffic in and around the project area. New York City’s current system of tolling is, in many ways, unfair and irrational. In London, a city similar to New York in many ways, congestion pricing has successfully reduced traffic in the city center by 30%, made it much faster and more convenient for motorists, and raised hundreds of millions of dollars for mass transit and public space improvements.

  • Traffic Control Agents. The EIS should study the mandatory use of traffic-control agents for all arena events and peak travel hours.

  • Traffic Demand Management. It’s critical that the EIS accurately determine the modal transportation split for arena events, permanent residents, commercial tenants and retail patrons. The EIS should analyze Brooklyn-specific venues in addition to Madison Square Garden in developing a transportation model.

  • Ticket and Transit Package Deals. Mass transit “pay-one-price” discounts, such as those offered by the MTA combining railroad fares and entry fees for venues like the New York Botanical Garden, should be analyzed.

  • Event Transportation Plan. The EIS should study the mitigation effects of the implementation of an event transportation plan, such as Gameday Management Group’s Venue Transportation Operations Plan (VTOP) http://www.gamedaymanagement.com/services/vtop.html.

  • Limited Parking.  The EIS should study the mitigation effects of limiting the number of parking spaces associated with the plan as a means of reducing and discouraging private vehicular use by those attending arena events.

  • Residential Parking Permits. The EIS should study the use of residential parking permits as a way of ensuring neighborhood streets are not flooded with special event traffic linked to the arena. Many such permit systems are used in cities all around the country. A permit system should still allow non-residents to park. Homeowners, tenants and their guests could be issued permits for parking on residential streets. Muni-meters geared to 1- or 2-hour durations could be implemented to allow adequate parking for shoppers and other transients.

  • Event Ticketing by Transportation Mode. The EIS should analyze programs that tie event ticketing to specific modes of transportation. Such programs would require event attendees who choose to drive to purchase parking space in advance, linked to a ticket to the event. The EIS should reference existing models such as Gameday Management Group’s ClickandPark.com http://www.gamedaymanagement.com/services/clickandpark.html. The NASCAR facility proposed for Staten Island may serve as a good model for innovative modal ticketing programs.

  • Park and Ride. The EIS should also study other Park and Ride options, including ferries, shuttle buses, jitneys and light-rail.

  • Integration with Bicycle Network. The EIS should analyze the effect that the project will have on existing bicycle lanes and routes, with an eye to ensuring that the new project creates connectivity with the existing bike network. Currently the Atlantic Yards area is a very difficult place for cyclists. Downtown Brooklyn has the largest number of bike commuters in all of New York City.

  • Bike Parking. The EIS should analyze the creation of a bicycle “park and ride” facility linked to the transit station at Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues. Facilities such as Chicago’s Millennium Park Bike Station http://www.chicagobikestation.com can serve as good model. Likewise, PacBell Park, the new stadium in San Francisco has a very successful valet bike parking facility built into the stadium. This allows hundreds of event attendees to travel to the stadium without using a motor vehicle or taking up a seat on mass transit.

  • Pedestrian Traffic. The intersections of Flatbush, Atlantic and Fourth Avenues already are challenging and dangerous to pedestrians. These conditions are likely to worsen if proposed street widenings are implemented. Extensive traffic-calming measures including, but not limited to bollards, raised cross-walks, leading pedestrian intervals, neckdowns, turn lanes, shorter crosswalks and safer crossing, must be studied and implemented in order to facilitate pedestrian circulation and safety.

Posted by lumi at October 20, 2005 09:59 PM