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

With construction on two sides of Sixth Avenue, medical facility drop-offs, and scofflaw parking, continued pedestrian safety issues

This is the fourth of several articles based on the 9/17/19 Quality of Life meeting, hosted by Empire State Development (ESD), the state authority overseeing and shepherding the project. The first concerned plans for the school. The second concerned questions about the timing of the platform. The third concerned work that was not previewed in the two-week Construction Update.

Toby Jaiyesimi, Atlantic Yards project director for ESD, and also the executive director of the advisory Atlantic Yards Community Development Corporation (AY CDC), was the main speaker, responded to a pre-meeting question about the traffic conditions on Sixth Avenue between Dean Street and Atlantic Avenue.

Pedestrians on west side of Sixth Ave. near B4 site
The difficulty is that the east side of Sixth Avenue is closed to pedestrians between Dean and Pacific streets, given construction at the B15 site, while the west side Sixth Avenue is closed to pedestrians between Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue, given construction at the B4. That scenario was approved by the city Department of Transportation.

That hasn't stopped pedestrians from courting danger while working north along the west side, as I previously documented.

"So that does create a bit of a trail for pedestrians," Jaiyesimi said, meaning that they have to cross over to the other side for safe access. She didn't address the fact that some people, unsurprisingly, are taking the straightest path.

As construction progresses, "we're looking at improving coordination to minimize impact while also protecting pedestrians," she said, indicating that if significant truck activity is expected at one construction site, that will be coordinated with the other site.

That improves on the worst case scenario, but doesn't resolve the general problem.

Dropoff issues

Jaiyesimi also noted concerns regarding vehicles parking outside B3, 38 Sixth Avenue, which contains a New-York Presbyterian Hospital medical facility.
That location, she allowed, "is a little bit unique," because some visitors may take longer getting out of vehicles. That can squeeze an already narrowed street. "So that's a little bit harder to manage."

Resident Robert Puca said there were often vehicles parked in front of 38 Sixth, which lacks a drop-off area, compounding the challenge.

He also noted that police vehicles and others--for example, the FedEx vehicle in the photo at right--frequently park at the northeast corner of Dean Street and Sixth Avenue outside the B15 site, where there's a small space apart from the roadway. That, he said, constricts trucks that turn onto Sixth.

"I received those concerns," Jaiyesimi said. "So I did send some pictures and messages to the 78th Precinct, urging them to please ask the officers to be mindful of where they're parking their vehicle. So I'll continue to do that."

She noted that the street is also important for the Fire Department, since fire trucks frequently exit the Dean Street firehouse, just east of Sixth Avenue, and go against the one-way traffic to reach Sixth Avenue and go north to Atlantic Avenue.

Police parking at 535 Carlton

One resident noted that the 78th Precinct was supposed to have been provided with 24 parking spaces at the garage at 535 Carlton, one long block away: "Are you saying they’re not using it?"

"They’re not fully utilizing it," Jaiyesimi said. "This is a matter that will come up numerous times. And I continue to follow up with the NYPD about it. The spaces again are made available to them. I've been part of discussions with the garage operator and the 78th Precinct."

"You said they are beginning to use it," she was asked. Residents contended they're not being used at all.

"I need a confirmation from them," she said. "The last follow-up I had was that they met with the garage operator event and are working on it. So I'm trying not to misrepresent how much they might be utilizing the parking spaces. But again, it's fully available to them."

Several residents pointed out that the police would rather not walk that long block to their cars.

"I don't know why," Jaiyesimi said. "All I can do is continue to ask" and point out if they're parking in ways that inhibit traffic flow.

Bonus photo

Free parking, on the Dean Street sidewalk between the Barclays Center entrance and the loading dock, for someone associated with the Barclays Center.