Tuesday, August 02, 2011

From Urban Omnibus: Atlantic Yards Watch: Tracking Daily Impacts

My article in Urban Omnibus, a project of the Architectural League of New York, is headlined Atlantic Watch: Tracking Daily Impacts. It begins:
In April 2006, recognizing how blogs had sprung up in response to the controversial Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, The New York Times suggested the development “may well be the first large-scale urban real estate venture in New York City where opposition has coalesced most visibly in the blogosphere.”

More than five years later, Atlantic Yards continues to provoke web innovation, with the advent of Atlantic Yards Watch, not a platform for opposition but a self-described “community-based initiative to protect the health and livability of neighborhoods” impacted by the now-under-construction Barclays Center arena and the planned 16 towers.
The close:
The initiative has already changed the ecosystem for discussing Atlantic Yards. Arana Hankin, Director of the Atlantic Yards Project for the ESD, gave Atlantic Yards Watch an off-the-cuff compliment at a June 23 community meeting on rats, calling the web site “fantastic and wonderful,” but at the same time — to the frustration of some — suggesting that complaints must be filed directly with the agency to provoke changes. However, thanks to Atlantic Yards Watch and that public meeting, the media had become aware of the “rat tsunami,” spurring official concern.

This weekend, the site’s most prolific contributor posted another incident report, documenting how trucks delivering steel idled on the public street rather than used the designated staging area. Once again, citizen watchdogs were making sure that government overseers could not plead ignorance.
The full piece is here.

The latest from AY Watch


And on Atlantic Yards Watch, see Incident Report Saturday documents steel deliveries to Barclays Center that ignore ESDC's published truck regulations and appear to violate NYC law:
Besides the type of violations shown in the video above, two incident reports filed on this website supported by video and photography state the trucks idled on Pacific Street for "hours." Driving against traffic, using a travel lane as a staging area without permission from DOT, and idling for more than 3 minutes are all against NYC law.

The Barclays Center truck rules require trucks to enter Pacific Street from Vanderbilt Avenue and wait on Pacific Street between Vanderbilt and Carlton until signaled by a flagger to advance. On Saturday no flagger was present at that intersection and the trucks entered against the traffic into Pacific Street from 6th Avenue.

There was also no delivery dispatch center in operation as was promised would be installed during the two week period covered in the Construction Alert distributed July 18th. In one video a person with a yellow construction vest is shown guiding the truck into a position blocking the entrance of LIRR railyard.

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