Skip to main content

Bike valet parking at Barclays Center gets big publicity push, modest use (updated again with total of 85, new photos)

Mayor and band, via @Barclays Center
Update Friday, June 7: TA tells me the official total is 85.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg came to the Barclays Center last night to promote the new valet bike parking service, in which visitors could simply trade their bikes and helmets for a ticket and not have to lock up.

(He even promoted the city's new Citibike service, as a photo further below suggests. The nearest Citibike station is on the other side of the arena, at the Atlantic Terminal mall.)

Members of The National, the headliners at the Barclays Center, rode from Ditmas Park.

Representatives of arena developer Forest City Ratner and Transportation Alternatives, which ran the valet parking effort, spoke to multiple TV cameras.

Did it work?

So, did the "experiment" work? As the (somewhat) tight shot at left suggesta, only a few dozen people took advantage of the service, at least early in the evening. (I wasn't able to stop by myself.)

That number surely grew. Brooklyn Spoke's Doug Gordon wrote me to say he "was told it was over 100." Indeed, that's what Transportation Alternatives later reported (though see above). The capacity is 400 bikes.

Indeed, Gordon sent photos that showed more at the end
of the concert.

Still, the total is far fewer than at Celebrate Brooklyn, where valet bike parking has been offered for years and draws 300+ bikes, I'm told.

Then again, Celebrate Brooklyn is free (with a requested donation) and events start earlier, so it should attract far more people.

Also, it takes a while for word to get out. So, I suspect that, if valet parking is offered consistently at the Barclays Center, use will pick up. It may not earn back the modest fee ($850 for the first event) Forest City pays, but it still might be worth it to build a base of users.

Does anyone remember that the site of the valet parking used to be home to Freddy's Bar & Backroom, and adjacent buildings? A wag once wrote a song called "Freddy's Is an Escalator Now," though, more accurately, it could be "Freddy's Is a Bike Parking Lot Now."

BC TV coverage

Barclays Center TV did its own upbeat segment.

The coverage

NY1 offered Barclays Center Tests Out Bike Valet Service.  ABC reported Valet services offered for bicycles at Barclays.

And News12  had Transportation Alternatives tests free valet bike service at Barclays Center.

Note how, in the screenshot at right from News12, Brigitte LaBonte is described as a "Park Slope Concert Goer."

I'm sure that's not inaccurate, but she also should be described as a member of arena developer Forest City Ratner's external relations staff.

A call for context Guide Ellen Freudenheim called for context, writing Mayor Mike on a Bike: Why Cheer Barclays New Bike Valet Parking Tonight & Not Congratulate Celebrate Brooklyn Too?:
Imagine my surprise at reading in the hyper local news outlet DNA that Mayor Mike will show up tonight in Brooklyn to tout urban biking....but where? At Barclays Center to make a fuss over the mega-million dollar stadium's embrace of valet bike parking.
Well, how about Mayor Mike on a bike showing up at some of other Brooklyn cultural institutions that have had valet biking for years-- before, say Barclays even broke ground?
So here's an invitation to Mayor Mike, on or off his bike, un-vetted by the good folks at BRIC, the sponsors of Celebrate Brooklyn!
...Unlike Barclays, entrance is free, with a suggested entrance fee of $3 that would barely buy a hotdog at the stadium, much less a ticket.
...And unlike Barclay's, they've offered free valet bike parking for years now.
The Citibike promo

The mayor turned it into a Citibike promo, with members of The National and DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan


Popular posts from this blog

Barclays Center/Levy Restaurants hit with suit charging discrimination on disability, race; supervisors said to use vicious slurs, pursue retaliation

The Daily News has an article today, Barclays Center hit with $5M suit claiming discrimination against disabled, while the New York Post headlined its article Barclays Center sued over taunting disabled employees.

While that's part of the lawsuit, more prominent are claims of racial discrimination and retaliation, with black employees claiming repeated abuse by white supervisors, preferential treatment toward Hispanic colleagues, and retaliation in response to complaints.

Two individual supervisors, for example, are charged with  referring to black employees as “black motherfucker,” “dumb black bitch,” “black monkey,” “piece of shit” and “nigger.”

Two have referred to an employee blind in one eye as “cyclops,” and “the one-eyed guy,” and an employee with a nose disorder as “the nose guy.”

There's been no official response yet though arena spokesman Barry Baum told the Daily News they, but take “allegations of this kind very seriously” and have "a zero tolerance policy for…

Behind the "empty railyards": 40 years of ATURA, Baruch's plan, and the city's diffidence

To supporters of Forest City Ratner's Atlantic Yards project, it's a long-awaited plan for long-overlooked land. "The Atlantic Yards area has been available for any developer in America for over 100 years,” declared Borough President Marty Markowitz at a 5/26/05 City Council hearing.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, mused on 11/15/05 to WNYC's Brian Lehrer, “Isn’t it interesting that these railyards have sat for decades and decades and decades, and no one has done a thing about them.” Forest City Ratner spokesman Joe DePlasco, in a 12/19/04 New York Times article ("In a War of Words, One Has the Power to Wound") described the railyards as "an empty scar dividing the community."

But why exactly has the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Vanderbilt Yard never been developed? Do public officials have some responsibility?

At a hearing yesterday of the Brooklyn Borough Board Atlantic Yards Committee, Kate Suisma…

Barclays Center event June 11 to protest plans to expand Israeli draft; questions about logistics

At right is a photo of a poster spotted in Hasidic Williamsburg right. Clearly there's an event scheduled at the Barclays Center aimed at the Haredi Jewish community (strict Orthodox Jews who reject secular culture), but the lack of English text makes it cryptic.

The website explains, Protest Against Israeli Draft of Bnei Yeshiva Rescheduled for Barclays Center:
A large asifa to protest the drafting of bnei yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel into the Israeli army that had been set to take place this month will instead be held on Sunday, 17 Sivan/June 11, at the Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn, NY. So attendees at a big gathering will protest an apparent change of policy that will make it much more difficult for traditional Orthodox Jewish students--both Hasidic (who follow a rebbe) and non-Hasidic (who don't)--to get deferments from the draft. Comments on the Yeshiva World website explain some of the debate.

The logistical questions

What's unclear is how large the ev…

Atlanta's Atlantic Yards moves ahead

First mentioned in April, the Atlantic Yards project in Atlanta is moving ahead--and has the potential to nudge Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn further down in Google searches.

According to a 5/30/17 press release, Hines and Invesco Real Estate Announce T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards:
Hines, the international real estate firm, and Invesco Real Estate, a global real estate investment manager, today announced a joint venture on behalf of one of Invesco Real Estate’s institutional clients to develop two progressive office projects in Atlanta totalling 700,000 square feet. T3 West Midtown will be a 200,000-square-foot heavy timber office development and Atlantic Yards will consist of 500,000 square feet of progressive office space in two buildings. Both projects are located on sites within Atlantic Station in the flourishing Midtown submarket.
Hines will work with Hartshorne Plunkard Architecture (HPA) as the design architect for both T3 West Midtown and Atlantic Yards. DLR Group will be t…

Not quite the pattern: Greenland selling development sites, not completed condos

Real Estate Weekly, reporting on trends in Chinese investment in New York City, on 11/18/15 quoted Jim Costello, a senior vice president at research firm Real Capital Analytics:
“They’re typically building high-end condos, build it and sell it. Capital return is in a few years. That’s something that is ingrained in the companies that have been coming here because that’s how they’ve grown in the last 35 years. It’s always been a development game for them. So they’re just repeating their business model here,” he said. When I read that last November, I didn't think it necessarily applied to Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, now 70% owned (outside of the Barclays Center and B2 modular apartment tower), by the Greenland Group, owned significantly by the Shanghai government.
A majority of the buildings will be rentals, some 100% market, some 100% affordable, and several--the last several built--are supposed to be 50% market/50% subsidized. (See tentative timetable below.)

Selling development …

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

"There is no alternative": DM Glen on de Blasio's affordable housing strategy

As I've written, Mayor Bill de Blasio sure knows how to steer and spin coverage of his affordable housing initiatives.

Indeed, his latest announcement, claiming significant progress, came with a pre-press release op-ed in the New York Daily News and then a friendly photo-op press conference with an understandably grateful--and very lucky--winner of an affordable housing lottery.

To me, though, the most significant quote came from Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, who, as the Wall Street Journal reported:
said public housing had been “starved” of federal support for years now, leaving the city with fewer ways of creating affordable housing. “Are we relying too heavily on the private sector?” she said. “There is no alternative.” Though Glen was using what she surely sees as a common-sense phrase, it recalls the slogan of a politician with whom I doubt de Blasio identifies: former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, a Conservative who believed in free markets.

It suggests the limits to …