Monday, May 04, 2015

Sign of progress: event at Barclays Center relying on buses works more smoothly; five summonses issued

It was, by the standards of Barclays Center events, a mark of progress: some 6,000 people were delivered on 120 buses to the arena on the morning of 4/18/15, and caused far less consternation than the 3/17/15 event that confounded neighbors.

There were significant differences: the March event, on a weekday, was more than double the size, involving 270 buses. Not only that, most attendees were schoolgirls, who needed to get back to their religious schools on a tight time frame.

The event in April involved attendees at a book launch by the founder of the Universal Church, and the weekend time frame more relaxed.

The New York Police Department--after working out procedures with the arena--more stringently enforced rules, sending buses to a staging area in Red Hook and staggering the deliveries and pickups. Even so, NYPD issued five summonses for double-parking or no standing.

No such summons were issued during the March event, though violations were glaring.

The April event "went great," declared Captain Frank DiGiacomo, the 78th Precinct Commanding Officer, speaking at the meeting last Tuesday of the 78th Precinct Community Council. He noted there was only one complaint, as cited on Atlantic Yards Watch.

At the meeting, Park Slope resident Steve Ettlinger followed up on the complaint, saying St. Marks Avenue between Fifth and Sixth avenues was "totally filled with buses," causing a traffic jam.

Sgt. Angelo Pirozzi commented that the buses Ettlinger saw were off-route, and could have been hit with summonses. Cops sent back numerous buses that weren't complying with the rules, Pirozzi said, but didn't have the manpower to issue summonses to all violators.

The March event, by contrast, provoked complaints and/or frustration from numerous residents and merchants in the orbit of the arena.

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