Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Modular mix-up on Dean Street: photos show module delivery after promised hours, blocking turn lane, bike lane

Something odd happened yesterday with the delivery of modules for the B-2 tower.

First, webcam evidence suggests, a module was delivered late in the afternoon, after 3:50pm.

That's outside the time period promised.

Second, as noted on Atlantic Yards Watch and indicated in the photos here, the module, placed on Dean Street near the intersection with Sixth Avenue, blocked both a bicycle lane and a turning lane.

Daytime deliveries are not supposed to encroach on Dean Street but rather be placed within the MPT [maintenance and protection of traffic] area that is enclosed by construction fencing.

Hazards increased

The delivery, it seems, exacerbated the already very challenging situation facing drivers and cyclists on Dean Street.

When turning off Flatbush or continuing on Dean Street from the west, they share a constricted lane outside the MPT, as indicated in the photo below left.

Yesterday, as shown in the video below, cyclists were squeezed when passing by the parked module as they approached the Sixth Avenue intersection.



Yesterday, one confused bicyclist even crossed over to the right side of the street, a risky move given the tight fit.

I had suggested that Forest City Ratner, which had suspended delivery of modules, had decided to resume them only after the 6/3/14 Atlantic Yards Quality of Life Committee meeting to avoid provoking any complaints.

At that meeting, New York City Department of Transportation representative Chris Hrones responded to complaints about safety on Dean Street by saying,  "The reality is, as frustrating--and I'm a cyclist--as it is, in that space, bikes will have to share the road with the cars, and you probably know--as a cyclist, you just sort of have to assert yourself and go single file. I know it's not ideal."

"It's a pinch point for the foreseeable future," said Terence Kelly, the arena's community relation's manager (and a bicyclist himself), who noted that cyclists using the route already are mindful.

Hrones said he'd think about "creative ideas to make motorists more aware."

What the rules say

It's not supposed to be that way.

The official protocol, as stated in the bi-weekly Atlantic Yards Construction Alert, states rules for daytime deliveries of modules for the B2 tower:
  • Daytime deliveries are required to occur between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm. A maximum of four modules will be permitted.
  • All daytime deliveries will proceed directly into the Dean Street B2 MPT area and will not encroach on Dean Street itself.
  • The pedestrian path adjacent to the MPT area will be closed and signed when modules are being stored overnight in Dean Street. The shared vehicular and bicycle lane will remain open to travel.
(Emphases added)

However, as shown the photo above, the parked module blocked not only the bike lane but also the left turning lane near the corner of Sixth Avenue.

The delivery sequence yesterday

Note the time stamps in the upper left of the webcam photos, as well as the delivery site in the far right of the photo along Dean Street

3:50 pm, no module
3:55 pm, module delivered
What next?

According to the construction alert, "Picking of the modules that were stored overnight will begin at 7:00 AM the following morning."

As of the latest webcam photo, the module is still there (though should presumably change).

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