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

Times Plaza open space revamp may come in Q2 of 2018

This is among several articles regarding the 10/17/17 meeting (video) of the Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC). Also see the timetable for 38 Sixth (and the issue of middle-income units going begging), the project's uncertain schedule, and danger on Dean Street.

A Department of Transportation message circulated in early September on Twitter (right) indicated that some promised safety fixes at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic avenue would happen this fall, including new pedestrian islands, removing dual right turns from Atlantic to Flatbush, and optimizing signal timing to improve traffic flow.

See graphic at right for summary.

That may be so, but the promised improvement of open space at Times Plaza within that intersection, which is a required mitigation under the 2014 Atlantic Yards Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, won't occur until the second quarter of 2018, at best.

Times Plaza plans

Attendees at the AY CDC meeting got an update from Jane Marshall of Forest City New York, representing Greenland Forest City Partners, which expanded on what was described in May by the Department of Transportation (DOT), shown at right. (See 1:24 of the video.)

The developer, Marshall said, is renovating the DOT portion of Times Plaza, about 4,500 square feet. "We are almost acting as a client for DOT," she said. "They are making the design decisions, they are managing city approvals."

The next step, she said, is for DOT to file an application to the Public Design Commission, which could happen in November or December. "But, if everything works, I’m told, possibly this project could go into construction second quarter of next year." Construction, she said, would probably take six to eight weeks.

The DOT, not the MTA

The work will only take place in the western part of the space, which is controlled by DOT. As shown in the above image, the purple indicates space for a bike lane, and a neckdown to make for a shorter crossing of Flatbush. Heavy planters would be movable (with a forklift). Also movable would be tables and chairs. There's space for a kiosk, bike racks and trash cans.

Though members of CB2 indicated a wish to have the MTA coordinate on this, its structure--a restored 1908 control house, now a building with a skylight--guarded by bollards is not part of the revamp.

"This is not a destination open space," said Marshall, saying it should enhance public safety. It will use DOT standard materials and previously approved designs and area precedents. Maintenance will be done by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

"In response to public input, and in response to DOT’s development of a pedestrian safety plan that affects the larger area," Marshall said, the DOT pushed the curb to provide for a future bike lane and added that pedestrian refuge at the top.

The bike lane does not connect to a network, but is rather a placeholder for the future. "This was a huge issue for the community: they wanted a bike lane," Marshall said, later adding, "I thought that was insane, but that’s just me."

"I would not be riding my bike," chimed in Marion Phillips III, president of the AY CDC and an executive with Empire State Development.