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After Orthodox Jewish protest event at Barclays Center, blocked travel lanes, much consternation (but could've been worse)

The rally yesterday at the Barclays Center for haredi (traditional) Orthodox Jews to protest the Israeli draft drew 12,000 or 15,000 (or more) men (and some boys/youth), arriving in mid-afternoon and leaving around 7 pm. This article quoted a backer; this one suggested the rally drew only a fraction of New York's haredi groups. Here's a press release.

Compared with the only previous event with an Orthodox audience--a weekday memorial in March 2015 that turned into a logistical mess, given many schoolgirls returning to school on buses waiting in the neighborhood--it was no disaster.

A large number of police officers and pedestrian managers--as well as staff working with the organizers--helped get huge groups of pedestrians across Atlantic Avenue, at one point stalling all traffic, and helped manage loading and unloading around the arena (but less so farther away).

But the margin for error with Barclays Center operations is very small, and I and others saw and recorded numerous encroachments on neighboring blocks, as described below, in the 90 or so minutes it took to get people out. Blocked travel lanes, bus pickups in the street, and pedestrian surges in driving lanes meant lots of honking and consternation among drivers and passers-by.

The lack of a turning radius at Pacific Street and Sixth Avenue--not meant for bus loading/unloading and narrowed by construction of 38 Sixth (aka B3) meant that one driver had to pull up on the sidewalk to let a bus pass, as shown in the video below.

Unloading on Atlantic Avenue

That said, the Atlantic Avenue lanes outside the arena that connect to an area commandeered for construction (which starts farther down Atlantic) sure proved useful for VIP parking and some drop offs.

Loading on Hanson Place

Buses both unloaded before the event and picked up after the event on Hanson Place, outside the Atlantic Terminal mall. As shown in the sequence below, the yellow bus loading post-event caused the white bus to travel past it by using the lane designated for traffic in the other direction.

Clogging Fort Greene Place

Given that a large number of attendees were Satmar Hasidic Jews from Williamsburg, the distribution of subway user skewed heavily to the G train.

After the event, large crowds surged up Fort Greene Place between the Atlantic Terminal and Atlantic Center malls, walking in the street. Some loaded onto buses stopped in the middle of the travel lane, while others continued to the G train stop at Fulton Street.

At Fulton Street

Yes, the Fulton Street G train stop is not built for surges like the Atlantic Avenue/Barclays station.

On Flatbush, loading in a travel lane or blocking a travel lane

Most buses did pull to the curb on Flatbush Avenue outside the arena, but some did not. Buses were going up to Monsey in Rockland County and Monroe in Orange County.

A cul-de-sac becomes a place for evening prayer

Picking up outside arena on Atlantic Avenue

Police vehicles using Dean Street for staging

Video: a stalled lane on Flatbush

At about 8:15 pm, I overheard Deputy Inspector Frank DiGiacomo, the commanding officer of the 78th Precinct, order some officers to get the bus blocking the Flatbush Avenue travel lane removed. (I'm not sure how long it was there.)

Crossing Atlantic Avenue after the event

These videos were shot perhaps 20 minutes after the real surge.

Loading on Flatbush Avenue

Some buses blocked the travel lane while loading.

Lining up on Flatbush further south


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