Skip to main content

Second night of Barclays Center operations: no traffic jams, lots of cops, Atlantic Avenue overrun post-event (with NYPD coordination/dismay), idling vehicles proliferate nearby

Line at arena plaza, 8:22 pm
On the second night of Barclays Center operations, there were again no major traffic jams, thanks to the use of transit by arena-goers, a massive police presence, again little use of the surface parking lot, and copious pedestrian managers.

Also, it's likely that event-goers recognized that they need not converge on the arena by 8 pm, given that headliner Jay-Z wouldn't start for an hour.

From BarclaysCenter.com
(On opening night, the delay was about 90 minutes.) This was the second of eight sold-out concerts.

As shown in the photo above left, and in videos below, there were still long lines well after the official starting time of 8 pm.

 The lag likely was also caused by the security precautions, including use of metal detectors, but given the pleasant weather, people were generally calm.

Unlike on the first night, there was no major pre-event blockage of  the Atlantic Avenue sidewalk, given no red carpet for celebrities and attendant paparazzi.

Idling, Atlantic Avenue, 10:51 pm
A block party and area idling

For the second night, however, Atlantic Avenue was turned into a post-event block party, as concert-goers streamed into the street, given that the main Atlantic Avenue entrance is not coordinated with any crosswalk.

This was managed somewhat better by the police, who stopped traffic for about 12 minutes, as shown in a video below, though they still seemed frustrated.

S. Portland above Atlantic, 10:50 pm
Given the arena's tight fit, encroaching on several residential neighborhoods, residents nearby reported several episodes of limos and other vehicles idling improperly and blocking crosswalks.

For example, as reported on Atlantic Yards Watch, a white stretch limo parked in front of an apartment building at Sixth and St. Marks avenues in Park Slope, blocking the the crosswalk.

The driver, according to the report, said he wished there had been a limo parking lot as with the more suburban Meadowlands; his clients would pay.

Will police step up?

These issues are quite frustrating for neighbors but are, at least by the benchmark of pre-event worries, likely deemed by officials as secondary.

Post-event accident, Vanderbilt/St. Marks
Still, if police can manage to avoid traffic chaos, surely they could step up--as they have apparently not yet done fully--to deal with quality of life and health issues such as illegal idling, honking horns, and noisy (and drinking) pedestrians.

One resident said at least five SUVs and limos were parked on Dean Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues, mostly in front of a church, where's there's no parking, and others impeding the bus stop.

Police let it all slide, the resident reported.

Parking and biking

The generally young crowd profile for the Jay-Z concert likely was a good way to begin the series of Barclays Center events, since they'd be more likely to use transit--even, apparently, on a weekend evening like last night.

Post-event beer (it seems) in a cup
Older crowds, such as for Barbra Streisand, and families, such as attending family shows and Nets games, may be less likely to use transit--though we'll see how promotion works.

It's likely we'll see much more use of the surface parking lot, between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues and Dean and Pacific Streets. Last night it was perhaps 20 percent full; event capacity is 541 spaces.

There was significant use last night of the nearest parking lot, at the Newswalk building on Pacific Street east of the arena block.

I'd be interested to learn reports of the other parking lots. The shuttles to the remote parking lots, at least when I spotted them, didn't look too busy.
Surface parking lot, 8 pm

There were a handful of bikes parked at the bike racks at the southeast corner of the arena block: Dean Street and Sixth Avenue.

Atlantic Avenue: "This is not a street fair"

After the event, police seemed somewhat more prepared for pedestrians crossing Atlantic Avenue, stopping traffic going east and westbound for about 12 minutes after they streamed into the street.

They also gave up on the metal barriers aimed to block people from crossing over the median. The shutdown on Atlantic Avenue did not appear to cause major traffic problems, given the late hour, but it surely can't be managed post-event on a weekend afternoon.

Starting at about 11:05 pm, the 17-minute video below shows people going into the street at about three minutes in. At about 12 minutes, a police official on a bullhorn tries a bit fruitlessly to urge people to cross. "This is not a street fair," he declares. Shortly before the 15-minute mark, traffic starts flowing.



Videos describing events, in chronological order

FUREE held a march, ending the arena plaza, with red-jacketed arena staff gathered to form a cordial security cordon.



A look at the police posted at the plaza before the event, watching the protest.



The police and fire staging area on Pacific Street, just east of the center of the arena, including vehicles on the sidewalk.



At the parking lot officially requested for TV vans at the northeast corner of Dean Street and Sixth Avenue, there are other vehicles parked there. Then a FDNY truck exits from its Dean Street firehouse and has a rather narrow turn.



At the Dean Street entrance just after the concert's official start, a large but not unruly crowd gathered. People were walking there from the plaza.



At the subway station, at 8:15 pm, the flow was light, but there was a plethora of police and MTA staffers.




On Dean Street, between Sixth and Flatbush avenues, there are several vehicles, most official, in the No Standing area.



On line outside Dean Street entrance, 8:50 pm.




At about 11:30, police gathered at the subway entrance, and a crowd of what seemed to be subway newbies massed at the vending machines and token booth to buy MetroCards and (presumably) get directions. But the overall crowd was not overwhelming at this point.



Busy but not crazy at Flatbush Avenue and Pacific Street, at about 11:40 pm.



At Atantic Avenue and Flatbush Avenue, outside Modell's



Two previous episodes

Also, as reported on Atlantic Yards Watch regarding the first concert, at 372 Bergen Street (between Fourth and Fifth Avenues) and across the street as well:
Two limousines idling while waiting for their clients to return from the Jay-Z concert. One was a Cadlillac sedan (License No: 5) and one a Cadillac Escalade. I asked a nearby officer on patrol if he could do something, but he said he did not "deal with stuff like that -- its more of a traffic thing."
Another reported regarding a bus idling on St. Marks Avenue between Flatbush and Carlton at about 9:30pm:
I called 911, not 311. The bus eventually moved on, after several neighbors came out to complain to him. It was an enormous concert bus with a trailer on the back, idling on a residential block. The driver was belligerent when we asked him to move. Only after several people called the police did he move.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website Matzav.com explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Revising official figures, new report reveals Nets averaged just 11,622 home fans last season, Islanders drew 11,200 (and have option to leave in 2018)

The Brooklyn Nets drew an average of only 11,622 fans per home game in their most recent (and lousy) season, more than 23% below the announced official attendance figure, and little more than 65% of the Barclays Center's capacity.

The New York Islanders also drew some 19.4% below announced attendance, or 11,200 fans per home game.

The surprising numbers were disclosed in a consultant's report attached to the Preliminary Official Statement for the refinancing of some $462 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Barclays Center (plus another $20 million in taxable bonds). The refinancing should lower costs to Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the arena operating company, by and average of $3.4 million a year through 2044 in paying off arena construction.

According to official figures, the Brooklyn Nets attendance averaged 17,187 in the debut season, 2012-13, 17,251 in 2013-14, 17,037 in 2014-15, and 15,125 in the most recent season, 2015-16. For hoops, the arena holds 17,732.

But official…

"There is no alternative": DM Glen on de Blasio's affordable housing strategy

As I've written, Mayor Bill de Blasio sure knows how to steer and spin coverage of his affordable housing initiatives.

Indeed, his latest announcement, claiming significant progress, came with a pre-press release op-ed in the New York Daily News and then a friendly photo-op press conference with an understandably grateful--and very lucky--winner of an affordable housing lottery.

To me, though, the most significant quote came from Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, who, as the Wall Street Journal reported:
said public housing had been “starved” of federal support for years now, leaving the city with fewer ways of creating affordable housing. “Are we relying too heavily on the private sector?” she said. “There is no alternative.” Though Glen was using what she surely sees as a common-sense phrase, it recalls the slogan of a politician with whom I doubt de Blasio identifies: former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a Conservative who believed in free markets.

It suggests the limits to …