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May 17, 2010

How the ESDC quietly increased the amount of (lingering temporary) parking on Block 1129, and why that's an argument for more oversight

Atlantic Yards Report

When the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) posted an updated version of the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments (aka Memorandum of Mitigation Commitments), signed in December, the amount of parking on the southeast block of the site was apparently increased.

Block 1129, bounded by Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues and Dean and Pacific Streets, was as of 2006 supposed to hold a 944-space parking lot. Last June, when the project began re-approval, the parking lot grew to 1044 spaces. Only after the process was there any notice that the parking lot would hold 1100 spaces.

I tried to figure out why--and didn't get a full answer.

Surface parking and the need for oversight

Another 650 or so surface parking spaces would be made available on Block 1120, bounded by Sixth and Carlton avenues and Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street, which contains both ground-level land and below-grade tracks.

BrooklynSpeaks pointed out in March that Atlantic Avenue was the borough's most dangerous road and that parking at the site should be reduced.

That hasn't happened, and Gib Veconi of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council (PHNDC) and BrooklynSpeaks suggested that the ongoing issue of traffic and parking demanded greater oversight:

Since its inception, the sponsors of the BrooklynSpeaks initiative have called attention to the traffic and transportation issues raised by the Atlantic Yards project. It is one of our key prinicples underlying an Atlantic Yards that works for Brooklyn. We have specifically attempted to engage the ESDC on the plan to allow nearly 1,700 “interim” surface parking spaces on the Phase II site prior to construction. Unfortunately, the agency’s May 2007 promises to have a substantive and ongoing discussion of this and other traffic issues affecting public safety and quality of life in a “transportation working group” have so far been unfulfilled. We hope that the recent attention on Atlantic Yards’ lack of public accountability will motivate the State to reform its stewardship of the largest development in Brooklyn’s history.


NoLandGrab: Nothing alleviates "blight" like acres and acres of surface parking lots!

Posted by eric at May 17, 2010 11:27 AM