Skip to main content

On Dean Street, post office trucks, illegal worker parking, and giant green wall compound hazards, frustration

And see the Twitter exchange here.

Since January, residents of Dean Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt avenues have been frustrated by postal trucks parked at the Dean Street curb, late-night deliveries and workers parking illegally, which stalls traffic, compounding hazards, and causes noise.

The proximate cause is the siting of a postal carrier annex--moved from Atlantic Avenue at Times Plaza--which requires significant deliveries on a block that has become more residential than commercial.

But a fundamental factor is the giant green wall that encroaches south onto Dean Street to enclose part of the Pacific Park site, which has eliminated street parking on both sides of the street and narrowed traffic lanes.
via Dean Street Block Association 
Given a limited turning radius, that also means that only smaller delivery trucks can be accommodated--which means more frequent trucks.

Frustrated residents

"We've spent six months working with the post office," said Anu Heda, president of the Dean Street Block Association. "They kind of placate us, and say 'we're working on it,'" blaming Washington for picking the location and saying that many of the 50 or so employees come from so far away it's not feasible to take mass transit.

The Brooklyn Paper, which reported on the issue 6/30/17, quoted a postal service rep as saying it would "redouble its efforts to monitor the distribution and use of these placards,” she said. But Heda said about eight employees make no attempt to find legal parking but instead use placards that say official postal service businesses or even put their hats on the dashboard.

He said the block association has raised the issue to the New York Police Department's 78th Precinct, without results. (I'd observe that the NYPD could easily write many tickets in the orbit of the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project, given worker parking and drivers to events, but focuses on crime.) They've also brought the issue to Rep. Yvette Clarke's office.

Dealing with constraints

Narrowed Dean Street, Heda said, contains a bike lane and is the route of the B65 bus. When a bus trails a bicyclist, rather than unsafely overtaking him/her on the narrow street, that causes a traffic jam. Some "people say it's dangerous because cars are backed up."

"Pre-wall, Dean had alternate side of the street parking on both sides of the street," Heda said, with some 70 spots. "Conceivably, larger delivery trucks could come and could make that turn... and employees could find a spot on these blocks."

“I’ve started wearing ear plugs to bed,” resident David Richman told the Brooklyn Paper. “I can be awakened by a truck coming in at one, two, three, four in the morning — it’s literally around the clock.”

Beyond moving the post office out--a spokeswoman told the Brooklyn Paper it's lease wasn't renewed on Atlantic--Heda said that the removal of the wall could restore parking, and also reduce the number of delivery trucks, allowing them to park off-street in internal bays.

However, requests to Empire State Development, the state authority overseeing the project, have been met with responses that it's impossible to move the wall. The wall has been reduced outside the two finished towers, 550 Vanderbilt and 535 Carlton, but remains outside two building sites, B11 and B12. 

Developer Greenland Forest City Partners in September 2015 announced a design for B12, known as 615 Dean Street, but has not moved forward with the building. It has sought new investors for that site and two others. 

Also, Forest City Realty Trust, which owns 30 percent of the project going forward with Greenland USA, last November said--presumably speaking for the joint venture--it would pause development, given the glut in luxury units, among other factors. That extends the wall indefinitely.


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…

No, security guards can't ban photos. Questions remain about visibility of ID/sticker system.

The bi-monthly Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Community Update meeting June 14, held at 55 Hanson Place, addressed multiple issues, including delays in the project, a new detente with project neighbors,concerns about traffic congestion, upcoming sewer work and demolitions, and an explanation of how high winds caused debris to fly off the under-construction 38 Sixth Avenue building. I'll have more coverage.
Security issues came up several times at the meeting.
Wayne Bailey, a resident who regularly takes photos and videos (that I often use) of construction/operations issues that impact residents, asked representatives of Tishman Construction if the security guard at the sites they're building works for them.
After Tishman Senior VP Eric Reid said yes, Bailey asked why a guard told him not to shoot video of the site, even though he was on a public street.

"I will address it with principals for that security firm," Reid said.
Forest City Ratner executive Ashley Cotton, the …

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park graphic: what's built/what might be coming + FAQ (post-dated pinned post)

This graphic, posted in January 2018, is post-dated to stay at the top of the blog. It will be updated as announced configurations change and buildings launch. Note the unbuilt B1 and the proposed shift in bulk to the unbuilt Site 5.

The August 2014 tentative configurations proposed by developer Greenland Forest City Partners will change. The project is already well behind that tentative timetable.

How many people are expected?

Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park has a projected 6,430 apartments housing 2.1 persons per unit (as per Chapter 4 of the 2006 Final Environmental Impact Statement), which would mean 13,503 new residents, with 1,890 among them in low-income affordable rentals, and 2,835 in moderate- and middle-income affordable rentals.

That leaves 8,778 people in market-rate rentals and condos, though let's call it 8,358 after subtracting 420 who may live in 200 promised below-market condos. So that's 5,145 in below-market units, though many of them won't be so cheap.

As …

The passing of David Sheets, Dean Street renter, former Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality

David Sheets, longtime Dean Street renter, Freddy's bartender, eminent domain plaintiff, and singular personality, died 1/17/18 in HCA Greenview Hospital in Bowling Green, KY. He was 56.

There are obituary notices in the Bowling Green Daily News and the Wichita Eagle, which state:
He was born in Wichita, KS where he attended public Schools and Wichita State University. He lived for many years in Brooklyn, NY, and was employed as a legal assistant. David's hobby was cartography and had an avid interest in Mass Transit Systems of the world. David was predeceased by his father, Kenneth E. Sheets. He is survived by his mother, Wilma Smith, step-brother, Billy Ray Smith and his wife, Jane all of Bowling Green; step-sister, Ellen Smith Alexander and her husband, Jerry of Bella Vista, AR; several cousins and step-nieces and step-nephews also survive. Memorial Services will be on Monday, January 22, 2018 at 1:00 pm with visitation from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm Monday at Johnson-Vaughn-Phe…

Some skepticism on Belmont hockey deal: lease value seems far below Aqueduct racino; unclear (but large?) cost for LIRR service

As I wrote for The Bridge 12/20/1, The Islanders Say Bye to Brooklyn, But Where Next?, the press conference announcing a new arena at Belmont Park for the New York Islanders was "long on pomp... but short on specifics."

Notably, a lease valued at $40 million "upfront to lease up to 43 acres over 49 years... seems like a good deal on rent for the state-controlled property." Also, the Long Island Rail Road will expand service to Belmont.

That indicates public support for an arena widely described as "privately financed," but how much? We don't know yet, but some more details--or at least questions--have emerged.

An Aqueduct comparable?

Well, we don't know what the other bid was, and there aren't exactly parcels that large offering direct comparables.

But consider: Genting New York LLC in September 2010 was granted a franchise to operate a video lottery terminal under a 30 year lease on 67 acres at Aqueduct Park (as noted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo).


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…