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May 4, 2012

Residents Worry Whether Prospect Heights Can Accommodate Barclays Arena's Traffic

NY1
by Jeanine Ramirez

With the Barclays Center going up in the background in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, Peter Krashes measures the widths of the sidewalks that lead into and out of the arena. He and other members of the Dean Street Block Association worry about the crowds the 18,000-seat arena will attract.

"Our sidewalks, our streets don't have the capacity to accommodate all of those people," said resident Christine Schmidt.

"It's very, very close to our residences, the operation of it, the loading dock, the parking lot. They're all interwoven with our homes and our businesses and our churches," said Krashes.

The developer and the community both say they hope event-goers will use mass transit. But across from this stretch of the Prospect Heights Historic District, a parking lot will open for about 500 cars.

It is not likely to be enough for all those who decide to drive.

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Related coverage...

Atlantic Yards Report, Unresolved questions ventilated by NY1: sidewalks near arena have been measured as narrower than publicly announced, but Forest City says they've been approved

The response? NY1 reports:

As for sidewalk congestion, Forest City says there will be workers to guide pedestrians through main thoroughfares to and from the arena and that both state and city officials have approved the sidewalk capacity for the crowds.

That doesn't actually resolve the question. There still should be well over 1000 people using narrow Dean Street from the surface parking lot alone. It isn't a main thoroughfare.

And just because the city and state have approved the sidewalk capacity--I thought it was just the city--doesn't mean they've measured it correctly. That was the point of a whole, detailed effort by Atlantic Yards Watch.

Gothamist, Barclays Center To Initially Have Half The Parking It Promised

While Brooklyn Heights is now freaking out over potentially 2,500 people filling its streets when a new Fieldhouse comes to Brooklyn Bridge Park, residents around the Atlantic Yards have been freaking for ages now about the 18,000 people expected to flood the area when the Nets start playing the Barclays Center this fall. And for them, there is good news today! The arena will initially have less parking than originally planned.

Park Slope Patch, State Reduces Parking at Barclays Center Lot from 1,100 to 550

Councilwoman Letitia James, D-Prospect Heights, called the change of heart “good news for the community.”

“I had asked some time ago about the issue of stacking and I’m glad they’ve finally seen the error of their ways,” she said.

But Dean Street Block Association President Peter Krashes criticized the ESDC for shortchanging the community by not requiring developer Forest City Ratner to comply with city standards for surface lots, which he said would require a 7-foot fence around the lot and about 65 trees inside.

Posted by eric at May 4, 2012 11:17 AM