Monday, August 22, 2011

In contrast with 2009 statement by FCR, ESDC says surface parking lot will initially be used for arena events only, not to satisfy general demand (but there's an asterisk)

The Empire State Development Corporation has posted (also embedded below) 68 questions and responses from the 6/14/11 public meeting on traffic issues. I've highlighted some of the questions and responses, including the capacity of sidewalks on Dean Street.

Parking lot open 24/7?

This one jumped out:
43. Is the parking lot open 24 hours – 7 days a week?

No. The on-site parking lot on Block 1129, in the Arena-opening condition, is for Arena events and will therefore be open only before, during and after Arena events. The parking lot hours may change as additional buildings are constructed on the Project site and the parking lot is used for the residential and office uses on the Project site.
That does not address the use of the parking lot in the pre-Arena-opening condition, when it could be open for construction workers on multiple shifts, and perhaps others. Also, the post-Arena-opening condition, as stated above, could increase hours.

So the answer "No" refers to a very specific time frame.

What FCR said

Still, the limits contrast with Forest City Ratner executive MaryAnne Gilmartin's more expansive statement (below) at a 7/22/09 community information meeting.



As I reported 11/5/09, moderator Craig Hammerman read a question: "Will the interim surface parking lots be used only for arena uses? If not, who else will have access to them and at what times of day?"

"They're available for the arena and they also will be managed by a third-party parking provider," Gilmartin responded. "The expectation is that, if there's demand for that parking that could be satisfied through making it available to the public, that would be the plan. So, again, at arena event nights, the parking would be targeted for arena use, but again there are many other hours and many other periods of the year when that parking could be and would be made available to others."

From the Response to Comments

The Response to Comments document provided to ESDC board members before their 9/17/09 vote to re-approve the project included a comment:
Private operators could increase the capacity of the interim surface parking lots above what was analyzed in the FEIS to accommodate park-and-ride or construction worker demand.
The response:
The MGPP [Modified General Project Plan] does not change the manner in which the on-site parking spaces will be used, with the exception of the relocation of 100 parking spaces from the Arena block to Block 1129.... The MGPP relocates 100 parking spaces from the Arena block to Block 1129, increasing the size of the parking lot on Block 1129 to 1,044 spaces. As the Technical Memorandum concluded, this change to the size of the parking lot on Block 1129 is not expected to result in significant adverse impacts that were not previously identified in the FEIS. There is no park-and-ride programmed under the MGPP for any of the parking lots on the Project Site.
So, if it's not programmed, is it thus banned? Or would it be made available to satisfy demand during "many other hours and many other periods of the year"?

The answer, apparently, is that there would be limits in the Arena-opening condition, but before and after that remains unclear.

Also note that the capacity was in 2009 quietly increased from 1044 to 1100 spaces.
070811 Response to Questions re Traffic from June 14 Public Meeting

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