Getting Porked on Parking at Atlantic Yards

We’d missed this post on Atlantic Yards Watch last week until Atlantic Yards Report linked to it yesterday. Anyone who lives anywhere near the Barclays Arena will want to pay close attention. 2009′s Modified General Project Plan called for 1,100 parking spaces in block 1129 (Dean Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt) to accommodate people driving to arena events. There’s just one problem: They’ll be lucky to fit even half that number. Last week ESDC head Ken Adams admitted that the actual number would be “south” of 550 and Atlantic Yards Watch’s own calculations (or those by a consulting architect) come out to between 465 and 482 spaces. That’s an extra 600-odd cars that could be cruising the streets of Fort Greene and Prospect Heights looking for a free spot. What’s particularly galling to AYW is that ESDC still has not responded to last year’s court order to prepare a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement to address the issue. “ESDC has not yet stated when or if it plans to comply with the court order for an SEIS that is now almost three years late. In the meantime, plans for parking continue to shift, reducing the parking for arena patrons by half with no formal study released to the public of the impact to traffic and on-street parking in local neighborhoods. Nor has it assessed the long term environmental impacts on the community of a lot that does not meet NYC’s own guidelines for the landscaping of surface parking lots.” UPDATE: Some commenters point out that this doomsday scenario is mere speculation on our part, which by definition it is. They point out that there is plenty of evidence from other cities that if there are fewer spaces, fewer arena visitors will drive. We suppose this is possible and hope it’ll be the case but remain skeptical that folks coming from South Brooklyn, Long Island and New Jersey will give up their cars. When that game or concert lets out at 11:00, those in cars are going to be home in bed before the mass transit takers. ANOTHER UPDATE: And one more thing…Even if reducing parking is the right thing to do incentive-wise (which plenty of smart people seem to be making the case for), surely a unilateral decision without any public input or explanation isn’t the right way to get there.
What Are the Consequences of a Change in Parking? [AY Watch]

30 Comment

  • scratch all parking. make em walk

    why aren’t those resident parking permits here yet. this seems like a great time for that!

  • Building a parking garage is very, very hard, apparently.

  • How can you claim ‘extra 600-odd cars ‘ will be cruising looking for steet parking. Pure speculation and solely because of anti-arena bias.
    If no parking available perhaps people won’t drive there? How many blocks do you think avid car drivers are willing to walk?

    p.s. Parking permits is idiotic idea too.

  • There’s no reason to think that 600 cars will be cruising the streets just because the developer originally intended to provide spots for them. Are there huge traffic jams after Knicks games? It shouldn’t take long for fans to figure out there’s no parking and that they should take the ample mass transit options instead.

  • I stopped looking at AY Watch and its ilk a long time ago. Why? Because they seem to be more interested in participating in and fostering alarmist statements/reactions than anything else. If anyone actually thinks there are 600+ parking spaces to be had in the surrounding neighborhoods and that cars will be constantly cruising around looking for them is a ninny. Want to make sure traffic is a non-issue? Reduce the parking spaces even further and charge out the @ss for the few provided. There. I said it.

    • Snappy, I’m sorry you feel that way about the AY Watch site. It’s purpose is to create a place for local residents to register their concerns and complaints about the construction impacts. Also for them to learn what’s going on at the site. For example, did you know that construction is permitted in the railyard until 3AM Mon-Fri? I know, because I live 3 blocks away and often can’t sleep thanks to the incredible noise created! So, that said, are you sure you’re not confusing AYW with Atlantic Yards Report, the blog written by Norman Oder?

    • Snappy, I’m sorry you feel that way about the AY Watch site. It’s purpose is to create a place for local residents to register their concerns and complaints about the construction impacts. Also for them to learn what’s going on at the site. For example, did you know that construction is permitted in the railyard until 3AM Mon-Fri? I know, because I live 3 blocks away and often can’t sleep thanks to the incredible noise created! So, that said, are you sure you’re not confusing AYW with Atlantic Yards Report, the blog written by Norman Oder?

  • I don’t understand Brownstoner’s point of view on this issue.

    Brownstoner, are you saying that you’d prefer, say, 5000 parking spots? As if that would somehow ameliorate the traffic problem better? Because that’s a delusional position.

    Build more parking = get more cars.

    Build less parking = get less cars.

    Who drives to MSG?

  • The fewer parking spaces the better; more parking spaces never means fewer cars. The fewer spots available to the arena, the fewer people will drive to events there. This the most transit connected sports venue in the country.

  • I want to believe you people who say fewer parking spots means fewer cars, but the truth is, this venue is going to attract a lot of Long Island folk who will drive in and look for parking rather than switch 3 times on the LIRR to get home at midnight or 3 a.m.

  • I want to believe you people who say fewer parking spots means fewer cars, but the truth is, this venue is going to attract a lot of Long Island folk who will drive in and look for parking rather than switch 3 times on the LIRR to get home at midnight or 3 a.m.

  • Stockholm Syndrome much?
    Yes, let’s all roll over and take even more B.S. from Ratner & Co. Thank you sir, may we have some more?
    And while we’re at it, let’s be sure to criticize anyone who points-out that Brooklyn keeps getting lied-to over-and-over again. Those sorts of facts are just the ‘inconvenient truth’ about AY…
    Debate all you want about how many parking spaces are necessary: the bottom line is 1100 were in the plan and fewer than HALF are actually going to be built. If they lied about that, what else are they lying about?
    But no, let’s not ask those sorts of questions….

  • I will never vote for Hakeem Jeffries if he doesn’t push for resident parking permits for blocks near the areana. Stand up to Marty Golden!

  • I lived in Chelsea for 15 years, 10 blocks south of MSG and I could never tell you when there was or wasn’t an event. If you lived 3 blocks away, yes, you’d know by all the town cars and taxis. Or the cars who would park way over by the river. But that was it. The traffic impact was pretty minimal. Compare it to Yankee Stadium where there is plenty of parking — the traffic clogs up everything.

    Brooklyn people will take the subway. LI people will park and ride. Nobody will come in from NJ.

    What does “those in cars are going to be home in bed before the mass transit takers?”

  • I lived in Chelsea for 15 years, 10 blocks south of MSG and I could never tell you when there was or wasn’t an event. If you lived 3 blocks away, yes, you’d know by all the town cars and taxis. Or the cars who would park way over by the river. But that was it. The traffic impact was pretty minimal. Compare it to Yankee Stadium where there is plenty of parking — the traffic clogs up everything.

    Brooklyn people will take the subway. LI people will park and ride. Nobody will come in from NJ.

    What does “those in cars are going to be home in bed before the mass transit takers?”

  • Chuck – Brownstoner’s point of view on this is clear – disparage every AY related development:

    AY is building parking lots= Brownstoner POV = the traffic will be terrible because it encourages driving

    AY is NOT building Parking = Borownstoner POV = the traffic will be terrible because people will be looking for parking

    AY is not getting Hockey= Brownstoner POV = the arena sucks it will be a white (brown) elephant

    AY IS getting hockey = Brownstoner POV = the arena sucks it will be crowded all the time

    AY isn’t getting Streisand = Brownstoner POV = see the only acts that will play here are Rap groups and Hip Hop

    AY is getting Streisand = Brownstoner POV = the arena ignores the local population and caters to the 1%

    Here is the formula (Anything AY related) * (-1) = a negative (AY)

  • This whole project has been a disaster with a million bait and switch plays. This parking thing .. eh, I’m for reduced parking. Plant some trees while yer at it and I’ll even give Ratner this one.

  • Of course it’s speculation that 600 cars will cruising the hood looking for spots. It could be many more or many less. We don’t know. Infact, there’s a lot we don’t know because there’s no enviromental impact statement! As a Prospect Heights resident, I’ve seen parking get much tougher in the past 3 years — ever since Pacific St was closed and other street changes went into effect. It will no doubt be even worse after the arena opens. I’m less concerned about my parking woes than I am about people who live on or near Dean St where the parking lot will be. For their sakes, fewer spots has to be a good thing. The stackers would have been an absolute nightmare. Not just aesthetically but more seriously for the delays they would have caused — and the inevitable traffic backups — as cars tried to enter and exit the lot. And to compound the situation, Dean St is a bus and cyclist route.

  • “When that game or concert lets out at 11:00, those in cars are going to be home in bed before the mass transit takers.”

    How do you figure? At other arenas it can sometimes take 20 minutes just to get out of the parking lots before you even get into traffic.

    Also, please read Donald Shoup and Google “induced demand.”

  • “When that game or concert lets out at 11:00, those in cars are going to be home in bed before the mass transit takers.”

    That’s not necessarily true. Have you ever tried to drive out of the Meadowlands after a Giants game? I’d be willing to bet that 90 out of 100 times I’d be back in Brooklyn faster by taking mass transit than by driving my car (which is why I’d just leave it home).

    The Barclays location is served by commuter rail lines and subways. Folks will adjust to the parking space that’s available. Many will opt not to drive if it becomes impossible. This is NYC. People have adapted to changing traffic and parking patterns for decades.I can understand that folks want to see the environmental impact statement. That’s legit. But otherwise, this is really a bit much on this topic already.

  • I think there will a lot of game attendees that will come from areas in Brooklyn and Queens that are not well served by public transportation and drive they will. They’re the same people who drive to a subway station on their way to work. I’m not sure if they are going to try to park right near the arena, but they may opt for parking one or two stops away.

  • There’s no way of knowing what will happen until it happens, but I think the commenters saying “No one drives to MSG” are comparing apples to oranges.

    No one drives to MSG because everyone and their mother knows that street parking in Manhattan, especially around MSG and Times Square, is pretty much non-existent and has been for a very long time. You drive in to Manhattan in those nabes and you pretty much know you’re going to be coughing up dough to park in a garage/lot.

    Now, everyone and their mother knows that Brownstone Brooklyn has pretty much unlimited street parking after 7pm – so the temptation to drive in from elsewhere in the comfort of your own car is going to be damn enticing – even if you have to park a few blocks away from the arena.

    Using public transportation during daylight business hours is one thing – wanting to wait for the MTA/PATH/LIRR at a Brooklyn station at 11pm to get you home hopefully in under an hour is another thing entirely.

  • There’s no way of knowing what will happen until it happens, but I think the commenters saying “No one drives to MSG” are comparing apples to oranges.

    No one drives to MSG because everyone and their mother knows that street parking in Manhattan, especially around MSG and Times Square, is pretty much non-existent and has been for a very long time. You drive in to Manhattan in those nabes and you pretty much know you’re going to be coughing up dough to park in a garage/lot.

    Now, everyone and their mother knows that Brownstone Brooklyn has pretty much unlimited street parking after 7pm – so the temptation to drive in from elsewhere in the comfort of your own car is going to be damn enticing – even if you have to park a few blocks away from the arena.

    Using public transportation during daylight business hours is one thing – wanting to wait for the MTA/PATH/LIRR at a Brooklyn station at 11pm to get you home hopefully in under an hour is another thing entirely.

  • This is one of the most connected transit hubs in the entire world. There should not be any parking.

    450 spots = 450 more cars on a badly congested avenue, and also a massive waste of space.

  • Overlooked in all of this is that after a month or so, nobody is actually going to go to these games, in cars or otherwise.

  • i agree that this is actually a good thing. in my view, those 500 spaces aren’t going to help or hurt most of us in the immediate neighborhood of PH, south FG and north slope – our streets will be full of cars during every large event. but it does matter in that it eliminates another serious, negative quality of life impact for those on dean street, and i support that.

    brownstoner must think that more parking in prospect heights means fewer drivers cruising for spaces in clinton hill. we’re all nimbys at heart, i guess. but i do think the evidence is pretty clear that, when it comes to parking garages, “if you build it, they will drive.” it’s the people in clinton hill, south slope, and boerum hill who stand the most to gain by NOT having parking lots, so hopefully you’ll look at the research and get on board the “no lots” train!!