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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.


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