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Officials: Dean Street snags should be relieved, after construction coordination meeting (but what about arena ops?)

I'll have more reports from last night's meeting in a separate article.

Will the scenario below on Dean Street between Flatbush and Sixth avenues, as detailed just last week, change? According to officials at a meeting last night, yes. But the proof will be in the pudding.

Last night, at the bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting (fka Community Update meeting fka Quality of Life Committee), Department of Transportation representative Abigail Ikner said that the multiple construction projects on Dean are "getting in each other's way."

Do the DOT "had a construction coordination meeting Friday just to work out the amount of construction in that area," she said, indicating representatives of the 461 Dean modular building, part of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park (on north side of the street), and the project involving the former Bergen Tile site (on the south side of the street).

She didn't say anything, however, about arena-related deliveries and parking that also snag traffic.

Later, Forest City Ratner spokeswoman Ashley Cotton referenced Ikner's statement, adding that "the conflicts that I’ve witnessed myself with what we call the Bergen Tile site, and our building, and the arena loading dock, are overwhelming."

After the meeting, she said, representatives of the two construction projects detailed their schedules. At some point, she said, the pedestrian path "will move to our side of the street." Segments of the construction fence closest to arena loading dock, she said, will come down "within days, weeks, very, very soon."

Other construction fences regarding 461 Dean will come down in the next month or two, even as tenants move in starting this month.

Local response

Several people in the meeting, who expressed frustration about various impacts from construction,  seemed skeptical. They cited truck idling and illegal parking, which Ikner called an enforcement issue. (There were no reps present from the New York Police Department to comment.)

"This meeting that went so well," asked Elaine Weinstein of the Dean Street Block Association, "I’m curious when you believe it will it have an impact on our quality of life?"

"I believe it will impact your quality of life immediately," Ikner responded.

"When are you sending people to observe again?"

"If you give me your information," Ikner replied, "I will personally walk with you."

Earlier, Weinstein asked, "Have you spent two hours on Dean Street during the day, just trying to live there? If I were managing a project that comes down Dean, Pacific, Carlton, I would expect some of my employees to spend two or three hours in that community, and feel what it feels like, [regarding] amount of traffic, inability for get buses past."

"Is the quality of your life better," she asked others among the 40 or so people at the meeting, held at the State Office Building at 55 Hanson Place. She got a chorus of no's.  in Pacific Heights

"I can assure you many DOT employes do live in the neighborhood and many do come to neighborhood on a frequent basis," Ikner said.

A new sign needed

Jim Vogel, a resident of Pacific Street between Fourth and Flatbush avenues, noted that, when the traffic plan for the arena reversed the flow of traffic on that block, a sign warned against truck traffic except for local deliveries.

"We continually have a period of 20 minutes every four days," he said, in which " some semi tries to make a right on Pacific" and causes a snag. "When did it go away?"

"I will make a note of it," Ikner responded, "and we will put the sign back."


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