This week's Brooklyn Paper has two more letters in favor of permits. One, from Park Slope architect Jonathan Cohn, who wrote the Brooklyn Views blog, states:
Your reporter’s misrepresentation of the facts (to make it seem like the issue is about generating additional revenue for the city) is taken up by project opponent Patti Hagen who rails against “yet another new tax.” The parking situation for those of us living near the Atlantic Yards site is already untenable. Commuters drive in from areas that are poorly-served by public transit to park close to the Atlantic/Pacific transit hub in order to shorten their commute. Shoppers at the Atlantic Mall park on our streets to avoid paying for parking at the mall.That is seconded by Danae Oratowski, chair of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, who writes:
This situation will be exacerbated by the Atlantic Yards development, which will draw additional drivers — at extended hours — to look for parking in our neighborhoods.
The solution, as James points out, is residential parking permits (whether they involve token fees or not), and a more robust and extensive transit system that provides more efficient and convenient options for all.
No matter what parking facilities are at the arena, many drivers will circle the neighborhood looking for free on-street parking. Residential permit parking would reduce congestion, gas emissions, noise and dangerous crossings for pedestrians — and benefit residents and businesses.
Cities across America have residential permit parking, often for nominal fees, around sports complexes. Community advocates can surely come up with a plan that meets the needs of residents, local businesses and visitors? A comprehensive traffic plan for Atlantic Yards is desperately needed to reduce the number of cars driving to the arena, and implement measures that go beyond the inadequate mitigations in the project’s environmental impact statement. The Empire State Development Corporation and Forest City Ratner have yet to announce such a plan, and now that ground has broken on the arena’s construction, time has run out.
It’s time to demand that the State and City departments of transportation prepare an independent transportation plan to ensure public safety and neighborhood sustainability in the areas surrounding the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues before the situation spins further out of control.