Thursday, September 06, 2012

While there may be enough offsite parking lot spaces to meet demand, too few, for now, are part of the pre-paid inventory

Will there really be enough off-site parking lot spaces to serve demand for the Barclays Center?

There should be enough spaces, at least according to a consultant's memo, but only one-third of the facilities listed in a memorandum (also at bottom) are currently part of the "seamless" pre-paid parking system aimed to steer drivers directly to the parking lots rather than meander Brooklyn streets.

Forest City Ratner VP Jane Marshall explained last night that parking vendors may be waiting to see how arena parking demand evolves, but more should be joining the Click and Park inventory. That's plausible, but it sure reinforces the notion that the first few months of arena operations will be something of an experiment.

The parking inventory

The memo issued in April by Forest City Ratner consultant Sam Schwartz Engineering updated the  2006 inventory of spaces in the public, off-street parking facilities located within ½ mile of the arena block.

The 20 public parking facilities assessed in October 2011 have a total licensed capacity of 3,461 spaces and are typically utilized 49% on weekday evenings and 41% on Saturday afternoons. The estimate: a total availability of 1,685  parking spaces on weekday evenings and 1,986 on Saturday afternoons.
Is that enough?

According to the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), there'd be a maximum arena-generated parking demand of 2,517 for weekday evenings and 2,461 vehicles for Saturday nights. Schwartz updated that analysis to assume there'd be a reduction of 15% parking demand thanks to the promotion of public transit.

So that means it all should work, according to the memo.

Thus, even with the reduction of on-site capacity from 1,100 to 541 spaces, according to the memo, there would be a surplus of 337 and 685 available spaces, respectively, during a weekday evening and Saturday afternoon game.

But that depends on the 1,685 spaces on weeknights and 1,986 spaces on Saturdays available in the 20 facilities.

How many spaces prepaid?

The memo touts the seamless prepaid system:
To further encourage drivers to park at facilities along their routes of travel, the Barclays Center will establish an online parking space reservation system (controlled by an outside vendor), where parking passes for arena events could be pre-purchased by attendees. The on-site parking facility (Block 1129) would be a part of this reservation system and the vendor would make efforts to incorporate all of the 20 other off-site facilities in the area, as well as any designated remote parking facilities, into the system.
However, arena operators have signed up only seven parking lots within the half-mile radius, along with the arena lot, 752 Pacific, according to the web site, operated by Click and Park. (And the system started working only last month, four months after it was announced.)

What's the capacity? Taking the numbers from the first table, with the first number a weekday evenings, the second a Saturday afternoon:
625 Atlantic: 312/117
700 Pacific: 65/82
253 [258?] Ashland: 109/154
62 Rockwell: ??
395 Flatbush: 67/116
300 Livingston: 361/486
800 Union: 13/13
The totals: 927 for a weeknight, and 968 for a Saturday, without the purported spaces from 62 Rockwell Place. With the 541 on-site spaces, that adds up to 1,468 and 1,509 spaces available at each time.

Given the demand of 1,889 and 1,842 spaces, according to the memo, in both cases that means a parking deficit of several hundred spaces--at least for pre-paid parking via the Click and Park system.

The 62 Rockwell confusion

The web site is also confusing, because there's no parking (yet) at 62 Rockwell, which is the site of a residential building under construction, also known as 29 Flatbush, which ultimately would have 200 parking spaces.

According to the map at right from Click and Park, there are facilities at 62 Rockwell and 253 Ashland, or at 258 Ashland.

Though the map indicates that 258 Ashland is located on the west side of Ashland, it's actually on the east side of Ashland.

Let's expect this to get clarified sooner rather than later.

The moving target

The total available via Click and Park surely will change, as additional lots joint the inventory.

Other lots offer parking via rival ParkWhiz, though only one (395 Flatbush) is within a half-mile and it apparently is also being marketed by Click and Park.

For now, however, it's all a bit of a mystery--and an experiment.

Barclays Center on-SiteParkingReduction

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