Skip to main content

How Barclays Center operations rely on illegal, informal parking lanes on public streets; a cacophony of honking on residential South Portland Avenue

Yes, most people seem to be using subways and rail to get to the Barclays Center. Yes, police and traffic safety officers keep the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues from turning into gridlock, and manage turning cars so pedestrians don't get killed.

But the arena, at least when it has a full house and an audience that requires a good number of limos/taxis, has some significant underacknowledged spillover effects: clearly illegal (though allowed by police) informal parking/waiting lanes in traffic lanes along eastbound Atlantic Avenue and southbound South Portland Avenue.

Given that police and transportation officials also allow illegal idling/parking on residential streets, it seems like city officials have prioritized traffic flow and service to the arena over the interests of local residents.

And that congestion compounds congestion for through traffic, causing some to speed and even travel on the wrong side of the street. Notably, as detailed in the videos below, prompts a cacophony of honking, especially annoying for residents of residential South Portland Avenue just north of Atlantic--just past the northeast corner of the arena block.

In fact, a limo driver from New Jersey, who approached me at that contested corner to chat without knowing who I was, called the situation "terrible."

Unlike during the Jay-Z concerts, traffic agents did not stop westbound Atlantic Avenue traffic and divert it up residential South Portland Avenue. However, at several junctures, they waved westbound traffic to a halt despite green lights, trying to ensure that congestion did not build up along Atlantic Avenue just opposite the arena.

Congestion on Pacific Street

Also, as detailed in a video below and photo at right, the post-event scene on Pacific Street just east of the arena was also congested and loud, as a large crowd built up outside the Newswalk building, which has the nearest parking garage to the arena.

Vehicles exiting that residential building intersected with other vehicles, many of those leaving the surface parking lot just to the east, causing congestion and honking.

Lack of parking enforcement

Nor do police seem to be enforcing parking rules. As noted on Atlantic Yards Watch, numerous cars and limos were blocking hydrants, illegally idling at bus stops, or parking in No Parking and No Standing zones, just in a small area around St. Marks Avenue, Fifth Avenue, Bergen Street, Dean Street, and Flatbush Avenue.

I walked around before the event and saw several examples myself. Below is a video shot on Douglass just west of Fifth Avenue, with a vehicle parked in a No Standing zone at about 7:45 pm:

Flatbush and Third

A resident near Third Avenue and Flatbush commented on Atlantic Yards Watch:
Following Barbara Streisand concert traffic was jammed at 3rd and Flatbush Avenue. Cars were constantly honking to enter intersection until approximately 1AM. No sign of police directing traffic. Noise from honking could be heard in residences located several blocks away. Also, drivers escaping traffic jam were attempting to find alternative routes in Fort Greene, causing additional traffic jams and honking at Ashland Pl/Fulton.
The informal idling lanes

Limos idle along Atlantic Avenue, between Fort Greene Place and South Portland Avenue, 10:35-37 pm; they're in both the parking lane and the adjacent traffic lane:

Limos idle on Portland north of Atlantic, 10:40 pm, in both the parking lane and the traffic lane. That means the only open lane is the lane that indicates a left turn onto Atlantic:

A cacophony of honking

On South Portland, 10:49-53 pm, lots of honking as vehicles get impatient with a short light and a lack of maneuverability:

Shortly before the concert let out, at about 10:57 pm on South Portland, just north of Atlantic, the honking continues:

At Atlantic and South Portland

After the concert let out,  at 11:10-11:15 pm, there was lots of honking from southbound traffic on South Portland that was unable to cross or turn on Atlantic.

Traffic officers regularly stopped westbound traffic on Atlantic at South Portland, At about 2:10 of the video below, the limo driver from New Jersey approaches me to ask if this happens every time. I say only when it's a full house.

"This is terrible," he says.

At 11:20-11:25 pm at South Portland and Atlantic, the problems continue:

On Pacific Street

Below, there's congestion on Pacific Street near the Newswalk building caused by traffic as well as exiting vehicles from the parking garage bottleneck, 11:28-34 pm. There's honking and a large line, probably more than 100 people:

On Pacific Street

The below video was shot walking down Pacific Street from Newswalk to surface parking lot at Carlton Avenue. You can hear a lot of honking in the distance, at 11:40-45 pm.

Much of the surface parking lot traffic was gone. I did not hear any whistles blown by lot employees, as at the concert two days earlier. Perhaps operators recognized that could be disruptive. The lot, when i walked by earlier, was at least 80% full, but I didn't get there during peak operations.

Preparing for the event

Police gather at the subway entrance, 7 pm:


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 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…

At 550 Vanderbilt, big chunk of apartments pitched to Chinese buyers as "international units"

One key to sales at the 550 Vanderbilt condo is the connection to China, thanks to Shanghai-based developer Greenland Holdings.

It's the parent of Greenland USA, which as part of Greenland Forest City Partners owns 70% of Pacific Park (except 461 Dean and the arena).

And sales in China may help explain how the developer was able to claim early momentum.
"Since 550 Vanderbilt launched pre-sales in June [2015], more than 80 residences have gone into contract, representing over 30% of the building’s 278 total residences," the developer said in a 9/25/15 press release announcing the opening of a sales gallery in Brooklyn. "The strong response from the marketplace indicates the high level of demand for well-designed new luxury homes in Brooklyn..."

Maybe. Or maybe it just meant a decent initial pipeline to Chinese buyers.

As lawyer Jay Neveloff, who represents Forest City, told the Real Deal in 2015, a project involving a Chinese firm "creates a huge market for…