Wednesday, October 30, 2013

NYPD traffic division (finally) pledges to push on illegal parking around Barclays Center; ESD "pleased" with overall project

It's been a persistent issue since the Barclays Center opened: illegal parking and idling in the blocks around the arena. But cops focused on controlling crime have not made traffic enforcement a priority, as some neighbors have regularly pointed out.

Indeed, the work can be best done by the New York Police Department's (NYPD) civilian wing and, finally, the reinforcements are coming.

"First, we weren't aware that there was an issue with parking illegally around the perimeter of the Barclays Center," NYPD Traffic Enforcement District Manager Donald Powe told last night's 78th Precinct Community Council meeting.

That comment prompted some raised eyebrows regarding the belated awareness and the communication within the overall department, since Deputy Inspector Michael Ameri, commanding officer of the 78th Precinct, has been very much alerted to the issue.

"Now that we are aware of it, we will devote a few patrol cars" to the streets where problems have been recorded, Powe said, and "issue some summonses" where violations--such as cars parked at hydrants and bus stops--are found. (This wing of the NYPD also supplies Traffic Enforcement Agents whose focus is--and has been, in the case of the arena--on moving traffic.)

When will they start? At the next arena event, Powe said. (That would be the Brooklyn Nets' season debut versus the defending champion Miami Heat this Friday night, sure to sell out.)

For how long? "It'll be ongoing," he replied.

Note that Traffic Enforcement Agents are civilian members of the Department. They must pass 12 weeks of training in parking and traffic rules and regulations, intersection control and ticketing before being assigned to posts throughout New York City.

ESD comments

Given a chance to comment to the group, Derek Lynch, community and government relations manager for Empire State Development (ESD), said, "The state is continuing to monitor the project. we're pleased with the way the project is unfolding so far. We're excited about the partnership with [potential Chinese investor] Greenland and think this is an opportunity to hopefully speed the process up and get affordable housing built quicker."

I asked about reports of sounds penetrating residences during Saturday night's Sensation show.

"We did hear it. We are aware of the issue and the concerns," he said, noting that the city Department of Environmental Protection "was out there that night monitoring and testing."

When exactly?

"DEP told me they were out there from 7 to 8 and also from 10 to 12," Lynch replied.

It may be that the DEP was in the area of the arena, but I'm told they were not measuring sound inside the Newswalk building during that later period--and that the sound got louder.

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