Saturday, July 14, 2012

Is the Barclays Center area like the Bronx around Yankee Stadium? Poking holes in the city's rejection of residential permit parking

Credit Streetsblog and its commenters for following up on the city's curious rejection of residential permit parking for the areas around Yankee Stadium and the Barclays Center arena, and a demolition of the city's implicit comparison between the two venues.

I'd already pointed out that Yankee Stadium is a warmer weather venue, while the arena is the opposite (at least for Nets games). The most cogent comments, to my mind, regard other points of difference: the Barclays Center would be used more than twice as much; drivers can reach the stadium via non-local streets; and a higher crime rate in the Bronx.

Beyond that, one commenter noted that a good number of people in the Bronx simply park on sidewalks, with impunity.

Comments Jonathan:
1. The study has a narrow scope, which is "to better understand the parking conditions around Yankee Stadium and Atlantic Yards", but infers from that scope that "a Residential Parking Permit (RPP) Program would be problematic for residents, drivers, and city government", an opinion that is not supported by the work in the study.
2. The study identifies that Yankee Stadium is used on about 100 days a year, but does not mention or address the fact that Barclays Center is planned for more than double that.
3. The study identifies that both areas have significant off-street parking available, but does not identify that most drivers arriving at Yankee Stadium are directed to the off-street parking without passing residential neighborhoods, while at Barclay's Center virtually all drivers will be arriving on the residential and mixed-use study streets.
4. The study assumes that "the objective" of an RPP program would be to prevent event attendees from using on-street parking spaces, whereas in fact a more important objective would be to prevent attendees from trolling for parking spots on narrow residential streets.
5. The report presents findings from parking studies conducted around Yankee Stadium and Atlantic Yards, but does not evaluate the successful RPP programs that exist in virtually every other large North American city, including but not limited to: Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Berkeley, Boston, Calgary, Cleveland, Columbus, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Edmonton, Evanston, Fort Lauderdale, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Louisville, Madison, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Montreal, Nashville, New Orleans, Oakland, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Sacramento, Seattle, San Jose, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Toronto, Tucson, Vancouver BC, and Washington DC.
6. The study does not compare or address crime rates in the two neighborhoods identified, which may act as a deterrent to on-street parking.
7. The study does not address the fact that in the neighborhoods closest to Barclays Center, on-street availability is significantly less than at Yankee Stadium, casting doubt on the applicability of finding #3 ("Fans parking on-street do not necessarily prevent residents and others from finding on-street spaces").

8. The study collected data on the percentage of "resident" vs. "non-resident" parkers, but does not provide a fine enough grain to identify the significant differences found. Even a brief qualitative analysis could have addressed the potential origins and destinations of the non-residents and drawn obvious conclusions.
9. The study only assesses the need for RPP due to game days. In fact, there is already a need for RPP, due to drivers parking here to use the subway, and this additional load merely acerbates the problem.
10. The study opines that "Given the city's population and vehicular density, RPP would be little more than a "hunting license", continuing to allow residents to compete with one another for parking but without guaranteeing availability". The study states that while "some" may be willing to pay for RPP, "many" of us living on the blocks close to the arena are likely to question it. How about asking us?
Comments car free nation
The obvious solution here is to make all parking in the area metered, using Shoup principals. Then residents, contractors, sports fans, etc. would all be able to find parking when they needed it, and the city could take the revenue and use it for something useful. Residential parking permits are just a giveaway to the residents who happen to own cars in the neighborhood, and they will make it harder for all the other people who drive into the neighborhood (like contractors, repairmen) etc. to park. We could also assign a few spots on each street to car sharing, and bike corrals, which would be a far more efficient use of the space.
Comments Danae Oratowski (of Prospect Heights):
It all depends on which time period you look at - day v evening, weekday v weekend. The study found that on Saturday evenings around Yankee Stadium parking by non-residents goes from 25% on non game days to 55 % when there are games. That's a significant impact for local neighborhood on parking - but also on the noise level, air quality and traffic conditions.
DOT conveniently ignores these numbers in their conclusion.
Comments Guest
I can tell you first-hand as a former resident of the [Yankee Stadium] area, this statement is not entirely accurate:
"Of those who drive to the park, 90 percent park in off-street lots (of which there are far too many in the area). The 10 percent who opt for on-street spaces cluster within a ten minute walk to the park."
There is a sizeable percentage of drivers who park on sidewalks, which is neither "on-street spaces" nor "off-street lots."

I wonder how their analysis would be different if they provided for actual enforcement of the law for the safety and convenience of the pedestrians, and to protect the sidewalks from damage.
Also see coverage in Patch and The Local.

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