On Daily News podcast, I and DN's O'Keeffe talk Barclays Center, Pacific Park, and the need for government to step up
We discussed a lot about the project, including the arena's location, which uses public transit but has a very small margin for error given the tight fit in the neighborhood, the recent quality of life complaints regarding project construction and operations, why some fears of the project didn't come true, the "Culture of Cheating," how sports fandom sometimes leads to narrow thinking, the reason for an arena not designed for hockey, and the impact of the Islanders and "tailgating culture."
I several times said "the devil's in the details," since that refers to so much regarding the project, including whether arena workers are truly happy (they get too few hours), whether the "affordable housing" is truly affordable (only some of it), and whether a lack of arena-related parking has deterred people from driving (yes, but the opportunity for free parking in the neighborhood, as well as illegal parking/idling, means some people still drive).
What the government should do
At the end of the podcast, host Andy Clayton asked what I'd like to see done by the owners/oeprators of the Barclays Center. I said it's partly up to them, as well as the owners/operators of Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park, but it's more the responsibility of the mayor and governor, who oversee the project or agencies that oversee it.
And by now, I said, pledges to do better are insufficient. I described how, last November, a delivery truck for the arena stopped outside the loading dock, causing cars to drive on the sidewalk, which was documented on video by resident Wayne Bailey, who appeared in one of the Daily News stories.
There were apologies, I said, but at some point, "you need to make them hurt in reciprocity to the advantage they're gaining." That hasn't happened.