Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Parking snag? Despite promises of prepaid parking, system still not live yet, though many tickets sold (also, a map of parking and the shuttle bus)

Despite promises in May from a Forest City Ratner consultant that arena event-goers would find prepaid parking "seamless with the Barclays Center software," arena operators have sold hundreds of thousands of tickets to upcoming events without being able to offer that option.

Though Barclays Center operators have been quiet about this glitch, the company Click and Park, which offers prepaid parking for venues like Yankee Stadium and Wrigley Field, won't finish its web page linked to the new Brooklyn arena until Aug. 6, a representative stated when I called to inquire.
BarclaysParking.ClickandPark.com

Indeed, as indicated at right, one version of the webpage is just a placeholder, though another, below, is nearly ready.

What do you do now?

Nor can event-goers easily prepay for parking, say, for that first weekend of Jay-Z concerts, beginning Sept. 28. (See maps of garages, including remote parking, at bottom.)

I called the garage at 700 Pacific Street, listed as part of the Click and Park inventory, and was given rather confusing information on whether and how parking might be prepaid.

What does arena operator Forest City Ratner say? I twice queried representatives of the developer, but got no response. One question: will ticket-buyers be sent a reminder when these sites go live?

Another, which I didn't ask: can the large numbers of people buying tickets on the secondary market be informed?

Not ready yet

As I wrote last week, responding to an article about a rival prepaid company that has signed up relatively few garages, a Click and Park website, BarclaysParking.com (below), seems to offer the opportunity to buy parking for upcoming arena events.

But the "Buy Parking" link doesn't work yet, neither on this page nor on the page for remote parking. At least the web site's been updated from last week, when there was Latin placeholder text under General Information.

barclaysparking.com
Gridlock Sam's optimistic promise

As I wrote 5/25/12, summarizing the release of the Barclays Center Transportation Demand Management plan, arena transportation consultant Sam (Gridlock Sam) Schwartz explained, "Now, short of flogging people, we still expect some people to drive. So nonetheless, the disincentives vs. the incentives of transit... which is going to be convenient, the cost of parking, which is going to be much higher than the cost of subway, we still know that some people will drive."

"And so our job, for those people, is to intercept drivers before they approach the arena," he said. The first solution is remote parking at locations just off the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, which will connect to the arena via shuttle buses.



"We're going to try to get as many of the drivers to commit... to a parking facility that is convenient for them," he said. "So, to the extent possible if we can do that.... we'll have a reservation system for parking. And we'll have as much pre-sale of spaces and we'll provide the driving directions, which will be away from residential streets, and the walking directions, as well. So to the extent that we can keep people on the major arterials, we will do so."

There was no indication from Schwartz that the parking system would not be live when tickets to Jay-Z, the New York Islanders' preseason game, and Barbra Streisand, among many others, were sold.

"We've engaged with a firm... called Click and Park," he said. "It's an online parking management system. And the software will be seamless with the Barclays Center software. So when you to Barclays Center and you've gone through all the discouragements of driving and you elect to drive, you will then go to the Click and Park site, which will give you parking options. We will try to entice you with low-cost parking at the remote parking facility. And that low-cost parking will be pegged at at least 50% off the market rate at the arena."

"If not, we will connect with some of the off-site parking facilities--again, a reservation system so that you can directly to that parking facility without doing circulation," he said. "One of the worst problems that could come up is circulation. If we can get people directly into parking facilities where they've already reserved, we will reduce circulation."

Surely they will get it to work. But for the crucial first weeks of arena opening, when glitches inevitably need to be worked out, it's not working right.

Where the garages are: close-in parking


Where the garages are: remote parking


Note that the shuttle bus begins 90 minutes prior to the event and runs until 30 minutes after the event starts, then runs for one hour after the event. While it will mainly use Atlantic Avenue, those on Sixth Avenue, Bergen Street, and Third Avenue will also see bus traffic.

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