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March 9, 2012

Arena traffic: study of pre-opening conditions coming; aim is to set baseline for potential changes; residents still worry about street closures and surface parking lot

Atlantic Yards Report

City officials and Forest City Ratner are taking steps to assess traffic in the area around the Barclays Center arena, and plans for both a pre-opening study, as well as a post-opening study, have drawn both constructive criticism and civic wariness.

The plans, which are aimed to spur helpful changes, were discussed last night at a meeting of a Transportation Focus Group, involving representatives of community groups and block associations in the arena's orbit, held at Brooklyn Borough Hall.

The 2006 environmental review for the project identified 25 intersections where there’d be significant adverse impacts, but the long delay since that time period necessitated a new baseline study, to be conducted over the next month or two.

That's necessary for comparison with the post-opening study of traffic and pedestrian conditions, to be conducted in the winter/spring of 2013, that was requested of the developer by the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT).

Recent changes

The DOT's Chris Hrones noted that DOT already implemented a “major round of mitigations” last summer, including barring left turns onto Flatbush Avenue from northbound Fourth Avenue. “Every time you make changes, there are going to be some adjustments,” he said. “We hope the benefits outweigh the impacts.”
...

Some skepticism

Sandy Balboza of the Atlantic Avenue Betterment Association, expressed skepticism: once analysis is conducted, she warned, “it sounds to me like you're going to make it more of a highway.”

“I don't think there's an adequate plan for getting people not to drive,” she said, alluding to the much-delayed Transportation Demand Management study, which is due in May after being promised for December. “I think we're in big trouble.”

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Posted by eric at March 9, 2012 2:47 PM