Friday, February 01, 2013

Atlantic Yards Watch: survey shows illegal parking/idling limos still plague streets around arena

On Tuesday, 1/29/13, the police official overseeing the Barclays Center, Deputy Inspector Michael Ameri of the 78th Precinct, said the main outstanding complaint regarding arena operations, was the plethora of illegally parked black cars and limousines.

Driver sleeping in car while parked in crosswalk;
north side of Atlantic Avenue near South Oxford Street
(That challenge, he was too diplomatic to mention, was not addressed in pre-opening planning, since those who devised the Transportation Demand Management plan apparently neglected to check to see if cops would be able to pursue enforcement.)

The next night, when the Miami Heat came to play the Brooklyn Nets, a team of Atlantic Yards Watch volunteers tried to quantify the problem, doing a one-time survey of streets between 8:30-10:30 pm.

There were 77 apparent parking and/or idling violations (65/12), compared to an earlier survey on 12/5/12, when there were 83 apparent violations (64/19). There was more enforcement this week, as volunteers counted ten tickets, all but one in fire hydrants or bus stops, versus just one in December.

And while there were ten vehicles parked in the designated staging area for TLC vehicles on the south side of Atlantic Avenue between Sixth and Carlton avenues, it was underused, and three of the vehicles were committing violations.

Two failures

Anecdotal evidence from one limo driver, who works for an NBA player, suggested two failures. One is the failure to provide sufficient spaces within the arena to accommodate such cars, which is common among NBA arenas.  The other is a failure to inform limo drivers of the designated staging area.

Across from arena

Unloading in the travel lane across from arena
The report suggests hazards across from the arena:
In one area, the north side of Atlantic Avenue between South Portland Avenue and Fort Greene Place, illegal private parking and a surfeit of city agency parking facilitated by DOT-issued placards is forcing patrons of the shopping mall and the arena to use a travel lane to load and unload. This is clearly less safe than unloading near the curb. During our survey 9 cars with some form of placard parked in this area at the same time a line of 7 to 9 cars continually lined up to load and unload in the adjacent travel lane
For the full report, including block-by-block survey results, go to Atlantic Yards Watch.

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