Friday, September 28, 2012

In Wall Street Journal, arena consultant Schwartz spins on prepaid parking, comparison to Madison Square Garden

Arena Parking in Play, the Wall Street Journal reported last night:
Some Brooklyn parking garage owners are jacking up prices and preparing special event rates in preparation for the thousands of people who may defy the warnings of city officials and drive to the Barclays Center when it opens Friday.
Ok, but what about the plan to provide nearly 2,000 pre-apaid parking spots "seamlessly," as promised by Sam Schwartz, consultant to the arena.

The Journal reports:
Only about 650 on-site parking spaces—including 150 for VIPs—were set aside, with the purpose of discouraging driving to Nets games, concerts and other events at the 18,000-seat capacity arena. Another 700 will be available through arrangements with private garages.
So there's a deficit, as I reported 9/6/12. (Also, there are only 541 on-site spots, by my count, unless they're counting spots at the Atlantic Center mall.)

Is deficit meaningful?

The Journal lets an interested party downplay the issue:
But there are about 1,400 other available spots in private garages within a half-mile of the arena on any given night, according to the engineering firm of former city traffic commissioner, Sam Schwartz, who has served as a traffic consultant to the Barclays Center. A little farther away, there are several more garages, many of which are considering advertising openly for Barclays events.
OK, but wasn't the point to have prepaid parking so people wouldn't cruise for spaces and learn the most direct route?

Like MSG?

The article states:
Parking in the area isn't a new problem. Brooklyn Borough Historian Ron Schweiger said the intersection of Alantic and Flatbush avenues has always been "a congested area for traffic." It was considered as a site for a new Dodgers stadium in the 1950s, he said, but wasn't chosen in part because it lacked good parking. Mr. Schwartz has compared the Barclays Center to Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. The Garden offers no parking, Mr. Schwartz said, but a lot of trains. "It's virtually the same number of subway lines, and in some ways, it's even better at the Barclays Center," he said.
And in some ways it's not. MSG is in a business district, and there are thousands of parking spaces used by business commuters that later open up for arena events.

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