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

Barclays Center: Dean Street sidewalk parking not encouraged but used by "our canine unit." ESD: (illegal) parking on Atlantic Avenue "supporting arena operations."

This is the second of two articles on the 5/11/21 Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Quality of Life meeting. The first mostly concerned construction progress and a dubious claim about after-hours work.

Mandy Gutmann, Senior VP, Communications and Community Relations, spoke regarding the Barclays Center. "It's been very, very, very good at Barclay Center," she said. "We are looking forward to increasing our fan attendance on May 19. Per Governor Cuomo, we are going up to 30% [capacity], and the Nets are in the playoffs, so we're incredibly excited about that."

Note that that seems a stealth increase in capacity, since an increase from 10% to 25% as of May 19 was announced last month

That said, it's getting around, since a big New York Times Arts section article yesterday on The Brooklynettes and how they've adapted to smaller crowds and social distancing also mentions an increase to 30%.

Gutmann noted that the WNBA's New York Liberty will begin their first season at Barclays this week. She cited various community relations efforts, including a virtual STEM day for 1,000 students and a virtual cooking class, which was part of the Brooklyn Nets food pantry that we host with our partner HSS.

About Dean Street sidewalk parking

Gutmann didn't quite answer the question I sent in about why the arena apparently encourages parking--as I was told by one of those parking--on the sidewalk outside the arena beteen the Dean Street entrance and the "pad" entrance to the loading dock.

"First and foremost, we don't encourage anyone to park on the sidewalk," she said. "We really do our best to manage the many moving parts of an event night and we're very mindful that, when we do have to shift things around, that we continue to leave room for pedestrians to use the sidewalk."

But then she defended the practice: "I'm not sure if you're aware of this but the vehicle that is sometimes parked partially on the sidewalk is actually the one that houses our canine unit for explosive detection. So this is the resting spot for that canine unit, and those canines work tirelessly to keep our fans and our employees and our athletes safe."

That's not a government emergency vehicle, though. 

And her explaination didn't explain 1) why they don't use arena space for such vehicles or 2) why vehicles have often been parked there when there aren't events scheduled. 

But arena-related vehicles break a lot of parking rules, both on Dean Street and Atlantic Avenue--just see the truck parked at the hydrant above.

Indeed, when I walked by yesterday around 2:30 pm, well before the 8 pm game time, I saw a little piece of private parking created with a barrier, just in front of a "No Standing Anytime" sign, as shown in the photo on the left.

(Update 1 pm: almost none of the parking I describe here relies on placards, as far as I've seen, and no one has claimed the vehicles have placards. That said, another look today showed one vehicle with a FDNY placard.)

About combat parking on Atlantic Avenue

Why does the arena seem to encourage combat parking along the arena block's north flank along Atlantic Avenue--despite the presence of "no standing" signs and a hydrant?

Gutmann responded, "I'm not sure if there's anything additional to share-- I mean we've we used that space for quite some time.... I can look into it more, but that's been commonly a space that we've utilized for the arena."

Tobi Jaiyesemi of Empire State Development, which oversees and shepherds the project, followed up with a similar deflection: "And then for some time now there's been combat parking that has occurred along Atlantic Avenue by the arena as well. The use of this space is something that has been brought to the attention of the [NYPD's] 78th Precinct. And it's also something that is utilized according to supporting arena operations."

Alternatively, it's used to provide convenience to a core of staff or others associated with the arena, given the limited parking immediately nearby. 

Note that if NYPD wanted to enforce this, they could, generating a steady stream of fine money--just as they could in the neighborhood at large, during arena events--but surely there is pressure/direction from the above to allow this regular flouting of the law.

"And so if folks had additional questions about utility of the space," Jaiyesimi continued, "send us a note but it's something that the arena has been utilizing for some time now and it's also--the enforcement of parking regulation is within the jurisdiction of the 78th Precinct and the precinct is aware of the use of the space of combat parking."

An then attendee posed the apparently tongue-in-cheek question about whether they could park on Atlantic Avenue when they wanted.

"Again, the conditions along Atlantic Avenue is something that the 78th Precinct, which is the entity that's responsible for enforcement of parking regulation, is aware of. And so, I can't speak to the legality or illegality of the matter," Jaiyesimi said. "I'm just noting what has been permitted thus far."

Permitted de facto, but not necessarily by law.

And we do have the Brooklyn Nets, and the New York Liberty, so that justifies all, right?