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July 13, 2009

Jane Jacobs Atlantic Yards Report Card #s 18, 19 & 20

Noticing New York

Michael D.D. White continues his series asking "what would Jane Jacobs do?" in the case of Atlantic Yards.

Jane Jacobs Atlantic Yards Report Card #18: Improved Mass Transit Bus Service by Avoidance of One-Way Streets? MAYBE NOT

Jane Jacobs pointed out technical reasons why two-way streets favor and assist the mass transit use of buses. The City’s Department of Mass Transportation has been unable to envision how the city transportation systems will be able to handle the extra loads associated with a project the size of Atlantic Yards. It will be a problem in terms of vehicular transit on the street and also because DOT has reported that the subway lines serving Atlantic Yards are already at maximum capacity and will not be able to be suitably upgraded in the foreseeable future applicable to the project’s construction. Without a good solution available, DOT flailed at the problem by proposing to accommodate Atlantic Yards by turning Brooklyn’s Sixth and Seventh Avenues into one-way streets. (Fifth Avenue is proposed to be partly shut down by the Atlantic Yards project.) If this were done it would be despite the particular technical problems for buses that Jane Jacobs pointed out, notwithstanding that mass transit buses might be the main hope available to deal with the sudden huge population Atlantic Yards would dump into this area of Brooklyn.

Jane Jacobs Atlantic Yards Report Card #19: Avoidance of Harmful Large and Heavy Trucking Depots? MAYBE NOT?

Jane Jacobs views trucking depots in the wrong areas as adverse to neighborhoods. Atlantic Yards is not proposing that trucking depots will be built within its final design. But there will likely be many years where construction trucks fill the neighborhood.

Jane Jacobs Atlantic Yards Report Card #20: Avoidance of Harmful Gas Stations? MAYBE YES/MAYBE NO

Jane Jacobs suggested that gas stations in the wrong areas would deaden neighborhoods. Those looking for a positive accomplishment in the Atlantic Yards Development can point out that a gas station will be one of the condemned businesses. On the other hand, the gas station which sits on an island on busy Flatbush Avenue might be in about as good a place as it might ever be in terms of not disturbing an adjoining neighborhood. Arguably, on the other side, when it goes out of business at this location it is possible the demand for an unfilled service may result in a new gas station springing up in a less desirable location.

The Mobil station in question, at the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Dean Street, has since been demolished by Forest City Ratner.

Posted by eric at July 13, 2009 9:16 AM