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Local precinct commander says: free parking in Barclays dropoff lane because "they have to park somewhere"

November 2017 photo
At the 1/30/18 meeting of the 78th Precinct Community Council, a resident asked the Precinct Commander, Deputy Inspector Frank DiGiacomo, why there seemed to be valet parking services in the dropoff lane outside the Barclays Center on Atlantic Avenue.

DiGiacomo insisted there was no paid valet service. "Those are dropoff lanes," he said.

"They park there," the resident told him. (The sign says "No Standing Anytime.")

"We'll look into it," DiGiacomo said, offering a rather standard police response.

He then acknowledged that people associated with the arena do park in the dropoff lane. "They have to park somewhere," he said. "We let them park there instead of taking up people's [neighborhood] parking. I can move them but [then] they can take other parking."

Jan. 31, 2018
In other words, in the absence of residential permit parking, which would reserve spots for people in the neighborhood, complaints from neighbors have apparently nudged the precinct to overlook the law.

A habit of free parking

The cops may be in the middle on this, but why exactly do arena staffers need free neighborhood parking? (By the way, the next Precinct Council meeting is tonight at 7:30 pm.)

People associated with the arena got used to free parking on Atlantic Avenue inside MPT (maintenance and protection of traffic) barriers that had been up for years.

This area had been used for Lyft dropoffs, which have moved around to Flatbush Avenue. And it's been used for what attendants called "VIP parking," albeit when the whole area was a protected zone, behind barriers.

Surely they'd still rather park outside the "office" without paying. But why can't they pay for parking, say, across the street at the Atlantic Center mall? If not, would they really be taking up neighborhood parking? And if they are, isn't there a more deliberative, democratic way to resolve things? Update: as noted in the tweet below, posted after this article went live: After the meeting, I went over the Barclays Center and shot the short video below. There were more than a dozen vehicles parked, including an EMT ambulance, and at least one taxi waiting. I went back the next day and shot the photo above left, and also found the earlier photo above right.