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January 5, 2012

Bollard plans approved by DOT, but only after new technical memo saying sidewalk with effective width in one spot of just two feet would be OK

Atlantic Yards Report

So, what if the sidewalks around the Barclays Center will be smaller than analyzed in the 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), presenting potential bottlenecks?

It'll be fine, says the Department of Transportation (DOT)--but that required not one but two technical memoranda produced by a consultant to to the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) to say that a narrow sidewalk, with an effective width in one spot near the arena of just 2 feet, would be OK.

So that means installation of 206 security bollards--178 fixed, 28 removable, one foot in diameter--and other street furniture has gone on as planned.

And, I'd bet, we'll see arena-goers stepping into Atlantic Avenue lanes adjacent to the sidewalk.

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Atlantic Yards Watch, DOT approves plan for arena block bollards after yet another Technical Memo attempts to patch a flawed analysis

Although the plans submitted by FCRC in August showed both temporary and permanent departures from conditions analyzed in the project's Final Environmental Impact Statement, ESDC apparently did not ask its environmental consultant HDR to review the plans until after AYW's initial analysis was published.

What followed is a quintessential Atlantic Yards story. The deadline for public comment, initially scheduled for mid-August when Community Boards do not meet and residents are often away, was extended when it was discovered the incorrect Community Board had been provided the plans for review and approval. The deadline was extended a second time when it was discovered a security wall (the same wall producing the narrowest sidewalk on the arena block) had not been colored red (as new) in the plans. A Technical Memo written by HDR was released to the public less than 24 hours before the revocable consent hearing on October 5th, which acknowledged narrower widths but maintained that the level of service (LOS) of the sidewalks would remain within an acceptable range. Our review of the Technical Memo pointed out shortcomings in its analysis, stating the analysis did not take into account in full the obstructions and shy distances evident in the bollard plans, or changes to pedestrian walking routes on sidewalks.

Posted by eric at January 5, 2012 12:45 PM