Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Will there be accountability? Waiting for new AYCDC, as project leads to narrowed streets, idling trucks, concert noise, delayed fire trucks

Narrowed Dean Street leads to congestion
The Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation, promised to be active this month, now has its first meeting delayed until January 30.

It was supposed to enhance oversight, even if it it has just an advisory role, but the delay suggests construction trumps accountability.

Its members should be consulting--and enhancing--Atlantic Yards Watch, where neighbors post incident reports. Here's a round-up of some recent ones.

A delay for fire trucks

This report, regarding a mid-afternoon incident on 12/8/14, describes how congestion on Dean Street, compounded by the closure of Sixth Avenue between Bergen and Dean Streets, stalled a fire truck in Dean Street traffic for more than two minutes.

In recognition of the fire truck's siren and honking, several drivers on Dean--already narrowed for construction on adjacent Block 1129, with the sidewalk constrained by construction on part of the south side--pulled their cars up on the sidewalk to make room for the fire truck, not all could do so.

Pedestrians used closed sidewalk

There were--at least of 12/18/14--no "sidewalk closed" signs on the crosswalks across Dean Street and Vanderbilt Avenue at their intersection, according to the incident report:
The closure seems anyway to count on pedestrians to behave themselves and not walk along the construction fence, which if experience is a guide, they will do. It is hard to fight natural pedestrian behavior. When the north side of Dean Street between Flatbush and 6th Avenue was closed to build the arena people simply walked along the construction fence.
The Dean/Vanderbilt intersection is busy and I think planners are going to have to be more thoughtful if they want to stop people from walking in travel lanes and using closed crosswalks, if that is possible at all. The only signs on the construction fence advertise the work in progress, (see videos). The sign has small print and will tend to draw people across the street which is obviously not desirable. 
Note in the video how pedestrians walk south on the Vanderbilt bike lane along the construction fence, generating honking from passing cars, then cross Dean Street. (And here's another report on narrowed Vanderbilt.)

Light from Barclays Center parking lot

This 12/18/14 incident report indicates light inside the Barclays Center parking lot, which is used as a staging area for construction:
A new light has been installed inside the Barclays Center parking lot. The light is pointed straight toward my building. At first I did not notice it. But, then, I opened my eyes. Light was flooding my bedroom. All night long it illuminates room. I could barely sleep. The light is so intense I can cast a crisp shadow on my back wall (see attached photo).
A truck blocks a sidewalk

According to this incident report, posted 12/14/14, the Sixth and Atlantic avenues crosswalk, already closed in part, was "functionally closed" by a truck unloading at the west crosswalk. The pipes on the truck may be part of the work on the underground West Portal.

The video shows the truck blocking the crosswalk for more than two minutes. At about 1:30, a boy walking southbound must weave through the gridlocked traffic to pass around the truck.

Why the green roof is needed: noise still escapes arena

This 12/14/14 incident report indicates that noise from the Justin Timberlake concert could be heard halfway down Dean Street at the Dean Playground between Carlton and Sixth avenues: "It was not just the bass. If I knew his music I would have been able to name the song."

In other words, the measures taken so far--no acoustical panels, a sound concierge--aimed to keep noise from escaping the building have only limited success, and the under-installation green roof is really necessary.

An idling concert bus

That same night, 12/14/14, a bus bringing guests to the concert parked on the sidewalk at the corner of Pacific Street and Sixth Avenue and idled for at least three minutes, according to this incident report and video.

An idling tractor-trailer

This 12/14/14 report concerns an 18 wheel tractor-trailer that idled for more than two hours on Sunday morning, parking in the B65 bus stop and the southwest corner of Dean Street and Sixth Avenue.

Double-parking on Dean Street

This one doesn't have to do with Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park directly, but shows the precariousness of the street system, as double parking on Dean Street between Sixth and Carlton avenues, adds congestion, which is exacerbated down the block by the narrowing of Dean Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues because of a construction fence.

The incident report is from 12/21/14:
Temple of Restoration church double parks even in B65 bus stop creating more traffic impacts & congestion for residents.


  1. Anonymous9:36 AM

    If you are going to change the name of a project don't you think the state should also change the name -

    Ya think the employees at the state have not realized what the new name is? Or, do you think it's because of inertia when it comes to staff at ESDC assigned to this project?

    1. I think it's because all the official approvals are for Atlantic Yards, so they'd have to reissue them. It's easier to be "Atlantic Yards dba Pacific Park."

    2. Anonymous10:00 AM

      Doing great work, from minutiae to macro issues of importance to other proposals as a cautionary tale. You should be paid for all of this work, work that our elected officials should be doing!