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On Flatbush Ave. & sidewalk outside Chick-fil-A & Shake Shack opposite arena, pick-ups cause bottleneck for traffic & pedestrian access; DOT says solution is coming

June 27: looking north, no barriers

Perhaps the most consistent challenge to road and sidewalk flow near the Barclays Center is not connected to the arena--except indirectly, since the central locations has attracted two high-volume restaurants popular--one acutely so--with delivery services.

Outside Chik-fil-A and its neighbor Shake Shack on Flatbush Avenue just below Pacific Street, delivery guys on e-bikes cluster on the sidealk and, sometimes, in the parking area. 

Drivers heading south along the contested Flatbush corridor double-park so they can pick up their orders, causing traffic to back up. Pedestrians face increased risks both on the sidewalk and crossing the street.

An official request, last year

In July 2021, Eric McClure, then Co-Chair of Brooklyn Community Board 6's Transportation Committee, asked the city Department of Transportation (DOT) to address what has been "a constant issue since the Chick-fil-A opened in September 2019,", copying local elected officials and New York Police Department (NYPD)  representatives.

April 19: looking north, with temporary barriers

"Drivers standing illegally in front of Chick-fil-A regularly fill the No Standing Zone along the curb, which is a southbound moving lane, and often take up the center southbound moving lane, " McClure wrote, noting that such behavior causes congestion, speeding, and risks, as well as frustrating bus passengers.

Concerns about "using Flatbush Avenue as a de facto restaurant drive-thru," he wrote, he been raised at CB 6 and the 78th Precinct Community Council. Because enforcement can't happen all the time, a street design solution might help, he suggested.

The issue was discussed by officials at a subsequent Precinct Council meeting, he noted. At subsequent meetings I've observed, neighbors consistently raise concerns.

Temporary action

April 19: looking south, temporary barriers

Meanwhile Precinct Commander Frantz Souffrant took temporary action, using barriers to deter parking and set up a bike corral in the parking lane, thus freeing up sidewalk space. 

At a 4/26/22 Precinct Council meeting, Souffrant noted that the tactice was temporary, so he expressed hope that DOT would devise a permanent solution.

Two months later, at a 6/28/22 meeting, Souffrant said they were still waiting solution. "I gave it the college try," he said, but the barriers had to be redeployed for parades and other obligations.

June 4: congestion under scaffolding
DOT response

I first queried the DOT in April, and followed up recently.

"The DOT is exploring solutions to accommodate the high volume of working cyclists at these establishments. We look forward to sharing a proposal soon,” spokesperson Vin Barone responded two days ago.

I assume that also would encompass the double parking issue, but my follow-up query didn't get clarification yet. (I'll update when I know more.)

April 19 photos
Looking south

Looking north, on sidewalk

June 4 photos

Looking south

Looking south

Looking north

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