Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The audacious timing of the Barclays Center Transportation Demand Management plan: prepaid parking not working (but no consequences); two important documents released after comment period

The final Atlantic Yards Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan, and the Reponse to Comments were both made public today, about two weeks after they should have been released, by Empire State Development (ESD), the state agency overseeing the project.

Even with the delay, ESD and Forest City Ratner could not obscure a significant glitch: a cornerstone of the plan to deter arena-goers from seeking on-street parking, an online parking reservation system, still isn't ready. (The Q&A promises that "full implementation [is] expected in the week of August 13.")

In other words, arena operators have sold hundreds of thousands of tickets without being able to sell parking at the same time. Now it's possible that many of them will try to buy parking later, but the promised "seamless" process simply isn't in place.

The Q&A states:
The proposed TDM Plan includes an online parking reservation system, which FCRC indicates will be aggressively marketed to arena ticket buyers at the time of ticket purchase.
Not yet.

First months an experiment

Then again, however much Brooklynites in the orbit of the Barclays Center may bear the brunt of this glitch, it won't count on the arena's permanent record.

That's because a "post‐opening traffic study will be conducted in 2013 after the Nets season has begun and will therefore occur after arena travel patterns have normalized."

So essentially the first few months are an experiment.

No way to comment

The Q&A document cites two important documents that were released after the comment period ended July 3, thus precluding public comment.

For example, an assessment of arena-area sidewalks "by Philip Habib & Associates in August 2012 identified a number of locations where sidewalk widths will likely be narrower" than previously assumed, though the locations "are still projected to operate at acceptable levels."

However, no one's seen that document, so it's impossible to evaluate.

Meanwhile, in early July, the city Department of Transportation released a study recommending against a residential parking permit system around the arena. There was no way to submit comments to ESD, though the study had many flaws.

ESD_TDM_ResponsetoComments

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