Skip to main content

The Dean Street Squeeze: widening the crosswalks won't help sidewalks never built for arena crowds

Call it the Dean Street squeeze.

The main path to the arena from the 1100-space interim surface parking lot in the Atlantic Yards site will be along residential Dean Street.

The parking lot will be located between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues. The arena will be located west of Sixth Avenue.

Between Carlton and Sixth avenues, however, the route would get very tight, given that the sidewalk narrows to less than six feet in places, as shown above and in the photos below.

That's not what the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) says; it describes the "effective width" as 10.5 feet.

The bottom line: people will be tramping in tree beds and walking in the street.

(Photo by Tracy Collins, part of a set taken 4/17/10 when the Dean Street Block Association put up tree guards as part of a beautification day. Slideshow here.)

The crosswalks fix

The parking lot will be located in the southeast block in red, bounded by Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues and Dean and Pacific streets. (Map also by Collins.) Pedestrians would walk west along the border of the parking lot, and then the portion of Dean Street not part of the project.

To accommodate the overburdened crosswalk at Carlton and Dean, the ESDC agreed in 2006 to expand the crosswalk. When the parking lot was expanded last year, the ESDC again expanded the crosswalk.

The parking lot has again been expanded, without any attendant crosswalk revision, but, either way, the exercise is ridiculous.

Like water squeezed in a bag, the flow has to emerge somewhere. And that somewhere is Dean Street.

Consider that the ESDC states that the sidewalk is "approximately 18 feet," with 10.5 feet of effective width on the block between Carlton and Sixth.

Not so.

(Click on all graphics to enlarge.)

New pedestrian trips

From Chapter 13 of the ESDC's Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), Transit and Pedestrians:
Also of note are the north crosswalks on 6th and Carlton Avenues at Dean Street... which would experience increases of up to 528 new trips in the peak 15 minutes during the Saturday 1-2 PM pre-game period when substantial numbers of pedestrians would be en route to the arena from a temporary 944-space parking facility that would be located on Block 1129.
Note that the parking facility now would have 1100 spaces, an increase of 156 spaces, or 16.5 %. To extrapolate, an increase of 16.5% would increase the number of trips from 528 to 615 in the peak 15 minutes. Maybe that's overstated, because according to the ESDC, an increase of 100 spaces would result in only 32 to 36 pedestrians.

And in 2016 (or when the project's finished)?
Also of note are the north crosswalks on 6th and Carlton Avenues at Dean Street... which would experience increases of up to 745 trips in the peak 15 minutes, primarily during the weekday 7-8 PM and Saturday 1-2 PM pre-game periods when substantial numbers of pedestrians would be en route to the arena from the proposed 1,970-space [underground] parking garage that would be located on Block 1129.
Impact on crosswalks

The ESDC acknowledged significant impact, at least on the crosswalks, but only at project completion (at the time of FEIS, projected to be 2016), when the parking lot nearly doubles.

As for the completion of the arena and the first phase (originally projected to be 2010), the crosswalk condition was projected to be only Level of Service (LOS) D, which is acceptable.

By 2016, it would get worse:
As shown in Table 13-52, in the 2016 Build condition, two crosswalks would deteriorate to LOS E from LOS A in the 2016 No Build—the north crosswalk on Carlton Avenue at Dean Street (X21) in the weekday and Saturday pre-game peak hours, and the north crosswalk on 6th Avenue at Dean Street (X24) in the Saturday pre-game peak hour only.
These two crosswalks would therefore be significantly adversely impacted during these periods under CEQR criteria. Mitigation for these significant adverse impacts is discussed in Chapter 19, “Mitigation.”
Mitigation efforts: expand crosswalk
The solution is to increase the width of the crosswalks, so as to move from LOS E to LOS D. From Chapter 19, Mitigation:
NORTH CROSSWALK ON CARLTON AVENUE AT DEAN STREET
Pedestrian demand generated by the proposed project would significantly adversely impact the north crosswalk on Carlton Avenue at Dean Street in the weekday 7-8 PM pre-game and Saturday 1-2 PM pre-game peak periods in 2016. Much of this new pedestrian demand would be en route between the arena and parking that would be provided on Block 1129. In 2016, the level of service would deteriorate to LOS E in both the weekday pre-game and Saturday pre-game periods compared to LOS A during both periods in the 2016 No Build. To address these impacts, it is proposed to widen the crosswalk to 20 feet in width from 16 feet in width in the 2016 Build condition. As shown in Table 19-11, with this widening, the north crosswalk would operate at LOS D in the weekday and Saturday pre-game peak periods, with an average of 17.3 and 15.4 square feet per pedestrian during these periods, respectively. The potential significant adverse impacts to this crosswalk resulting from the proposed project in 2016 would therefore be fully mitigated.
Similarly, the north crosswalk on Sixth Avenue at Dean Street would be widened.

The parking lot expands, crosswalks widen

The June 2009 Technical Memorandum considered the increase in the size of the parking lot, and the solution was the widen the crosswalks by one foot each:
As noted above, the relocation of up to 100 spaces of parking capacity from the arena block to Block 1129 under the proposed design development would result in the addition of 32 to 36 pedestrians to each of these two crosswalks in the peak 15 minutes of each peak hour in the weekday and Saturday pre-game peak periods. To accommodate this additional demand, the design development includes the widening of the north crosswalk on Carlton Avenue at Dean Street and the north crosswalk on 6th Avenue at Dean Street by an additional one-foot each. Widening the north crosswalk on Carlton Avenue from 20 feet in width (in the FEIS Build with Mitigation condition) to 21 feet and the north crosswalk on 6th Avenue from 17 feet in width to 18 feet would maintain each of these crosswalks at an acceptable LOS D, with more than 15 square feet/pedestrian in each peak hour. Therefore, with the proposed further one-foot increase in the width of the north crosswalk on Carlton Avenue at Dean Street and the similar one-foot increase in the width of the north crosswalk on 6th Avenue at Dean Street (compared to the FEIS Build with Mitigation condition), the additional pedestrian demand generated by the relocated parking would be accommodated.
And where will they walk?

The other day, I asked Peter Krashes of the Dean Street Block Association to help measure the width of the sidewalk at various points, as I took photos. All photos are on the north side of Dean between Carlton and Sixth, except as indicated.

At crosswalk at Carlton and Dean: 18'


Just west of crosswalk: 12'6" to cobblestones around tree


South side of Dean, across the street: 6'2"


Moving west along Dean: 6'6"

To light pole: 8'


Toward the middle of the block: 5'10"


In front of Temple of the Restoration: 6'10"



South side of Dean, outside playground: 10'



Outside firehouse on south side of Dean, near Sixth and arena block


Outside bodega on south side of Dean near Sixth: 8'


Back on north side of Dean, near Sixth, looking east: 7'


Same spot, looking west toward arena block: 7'


South Side of Pacific Street east of Sixth (opposite arena block): 18'


North side of Pacific Street:5'10"




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Revising official figures, new report reveals Nets averaged just 11,622 home fans last season, Islanders drew 11,200 (and have option to leave in 2018)

The Brooklyn Nets drew an average of only 11,622 fans per home game in their most recent (and lousy) season, more than 23% below the announced official attendance figure, and little more than 65% of the Barclays Center's capacity.

The New York Islanders also drew some 19.4% below announced attendance, or 11,200 fans per home game.

The surprising numbers were disclosed in a consultant's report attached to the Preliminary Official Statement for the refinancing of some $462 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Barclays Center (plus another $20 million in taxable bonds). The refinancing should lower costs to Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the arena operating company, by and average of $3.4 million a year through 2044 in paying off arena construction.

According to official figures, the Brooklyn Nets attendance averaged 17,187 in the debut season, 2012-13, 17,251 in 2013-14, 17,037 in 2014-15, and 15,125 in the most recent season, 2015-16. For hoops, the arena holds 17,732.

But official…

So, Forest City has some property subject to the future Gowanus rezoning

Writing yesterday, MAP: Who Owns All the Property Along the Gowanus Canal, DNAinfo's Leslie Albrecht lays out the positioning of various real estate players along the Gowanus Canal, a Superfund site:
As the city considers whether to rezone Gowanus and, perhaps, morph the gritty low-rise industrial area into a hot new neighborhood of residential towers (albeit at a fraction of the height of Manhattan's supertall buildings), DNAinfo reviewed property records along the canal to find out who stands to benefit most from the changes.
Investors have poured at least $440 million into buying land on the polluted waterway and more than a third of the properties have changed hands in the past decade, according to an examination of records for the nearly 130 properties along the 1.8-mile canal. While the single largest landowner is developer Property Markets Group, other landowners include Kushner Companies, Alloy Development, Two Trees, and Forest City New York.

Forest City's plans unc…