Tuesday, July 20, 2010

On Pacific Street, truck traffic for arena construction seems to be backed up again

What's wrong with this picture of Pacific Street between Carlton and Sixth avenues?

Well, according to the Prospect Heights residents who sent me the photo yesterday, the trucks waiting to cross Sixth Avenue and enter the arena construction site were not following the rules as stated in the sign below.

Trucks are supposed to "queue as needed from Vanderbilt Ave to Carlton Street on Pacific Ave only." (The latter two, of course, were described incorrectly.)

Then the "flagger/radio operator at the intersection of Carlton Street and Pacific Avenue will dispatch trucks on an as called for basis from the Arena site radio operator."

(Photo of sign by Tracy Collins)

Construction in a neighborhood

The reason for the rules? Pacific Street between Vanderbilt and Carlton avenues has been closed, so it's a private street used for construction staging. Pacific Street between Sixth and Fifth avenues also has been closed (as has Fifth between Flatbush and Atlantic avenues) for construction.

However, Pacific Street between Carlton and Sixth remains a public street, with the residential Newswalk building occupying a larger portion of the block. So the drivers are supposed to be mindful of their surroundings.

The process broke down on April 27, as I reported June 1, as vehicles were driving on the sidewalk, trucks caused a two-hour delay on Pacific Street, and a school bus had to back up more than a block.

Empire State Development Corporation spokeswoman Elizabeth Mitchell, after checking with Forest City Ratner, blamed the problem that day on a substitute dispatcher. Of the two dispatchers, one is responsible for managing between Vanderbilt and Carlton and one on the arena block site alerting the first dispatcher when space on the site is available and when to release truck(s) from Pacific and Carlton.

According to the tipster, that wasn't happening yesterday. The photo--as opposed to a video--isn't conclusive, but, according to the tipster, only after dispatchers at Sixth Avenue and Pacific Street recognized they were being watched did one return to Carlton Avenue.

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