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Residents to Barclays Owners: You Have the Clout to Protect Our Neighborhoods

If Ratner has the power to build the arena, it has the pull to ensure adequate police and sanitation services, those living near Atlantic Yards said at public meeting.

 

Frustration bubbled over last night at a public meeting discussing how to handle , litter-strewn yards and other anticipated problems once the later this month.

Of the some 100 people who came to Bergen Street’s Iglesia Latina Evengelica two blocks from the arena, there seemed to be a number of new faces along with the seasoned regulars leading to fresh reactions to familiar responses from Forest City Ratner, which is developing the Atlantic Yards site. 

Officials explained measures they were taking to improve quality of life for area residents, such as , the plan to empty nearby street trash bins after events, the creation of a permanent quality of life subcommittee and plans to hire a community affairs manager.

But for such issues as , and double-parked cars, Ratner officials said they didn’t have jurisdiction outside of their property to help with such matters and directed residents to consult with the the NYPD and Department of Sanitation.

While this response is expected by repeated meeting attendees, several newer participants at last night’s meeting responded with pique, saying that if Ratner has the political pull to get the arena built, they had the influence to get resident-only parking permits passed in Albany and to make sure the police and sanitation departments have enough manpower to provide adequate enforcement and services.

“Don’t please keep telling us it’s not your property or it’s not your area. We don’t have the political clout you guys do to make this stuff happen,” said Daphne Eviatar, who lives a few blocks from the Arena on St. Marks Avenue.

“You’re funneling 17,500 people into the street to use public transportation. If people are walking down my street throwing trash, who is going to clean that up?” said a South Oxford Street man who left before the meeting ended.

“You’re not taking responsibility,” he added. “This is not a way to create a partnership."

In addition to this discussion, there was quite a bit of useful information presented at the two-hour meeting by Forest City Ratner’s Jane Marshall and Ashley Cotton. Here’s a summary:

 

Parking Lots:

1- Forest City will improve the planned landscaping around the patron parking lot, with a four foot perimeter of perennial plantings. The broadcast lot doesn’t have the space for plantings but will have fences covered by work by local artists in partnership with ArtBridge

2- At the request of neighborhood groups, Barclays has eliminated the exit on Vanderbilt.

3-They have no plans to replace street trees along Carlton Avenue.

4-Broadcast trucks can hook up to onsite electricity. No idling will be permitted. The lot will have four, 20-foot light polls that will be shut off after the trucks leave.

5. Central Parking will operate the patron lot.

 

Sanitation:

1- Barclays workers will hold garbage receptacles as patrons leave the arena, and encourage them to throw out garbage. They will clean Barclays Center property including cigarette butts.

2- There will be Department of Sanitation trash and recycling bins around the arena and on the route to the parking lot. Barclays said they will empty the bins following each arena event. There will also be trash cans in the parking lot. (See photo gallery for a map of bin placement.)

 

Traffic and Parking

1- Captain Michael Ameri, who heads the 78th Precinct was at the meeting to assure residents that eight dedicated officers and one supervisor would be enforcing rules and keeping order around the arena. The and surrounding streets in Prospect Heights and Fort Greene. 

2-Chris Hrones of the DOT said that although his agency’s initial study said around the arena, conditions would be studied after the arena opens.

3-Councilman Stephen Levin said residential parking permits were being blocked in Albany by state Republicans of Bay Ridge.

 

Alcohol Sales:

Although Barclays has for basketball games it will follow NBA rules and stop serving at the beginning of the 4th quarter. For other events, it will cut off sales an hour before the event is scheduled to end for the general public, and an hour after the event for premium ticketholders.

 

Arena Lights

There will be a large billboard similar to Madison Square Garden and LED lights on a circular, spinning oculus above the arena. The oculus lights will be off between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

 

Pest Control

Barclays will only take responsibility for pest control on its own property. 

 

Delivery Trucks

1- Trucks will deliver goods on a pre-arranged staggered schedule, ideally preventing a line of trucks waiting to unload.

2- Usually deliveries will take place between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. but there will be exceptions.

3. Large trucks will unload onto smaller vehicles at a staging area in the Navy Yards. The truck route from there to the arena will be along Clinton, Flushing, Navy, Tillery, Flatbush, Fifth Avenue and Dean.

4. Currently trucks are directed to drive down Sixth avenue to Flatbush after unloading because that is the shortest route to a major artery, but residents pointed out that that intersection is very congested and Marshall said she would look into an alternative route.

5. Forest City Ratner had looked into having deliveries made by train, but the request was denied, Marshall said.

 

Other:

1-A “Quality of Life” subcommittee will be set up to replace the current Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet. The cabinet was made up of city and local officials and discussed such topics as police, pest control and sanitation in the Atlantic Yards area.

2- The Carlton Avenue Bridge will open before the arena opens, but the exact date has still not been announced.

3- You can find out the schedule for Barclays Center events at BarclaysCenter.com.

4- The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council encourages residents to report quality of life issues on Atlantic Yards Watch. Ashley Cotton encouraged residents to contact Roberta Fearon, community liason for the construction site at 866-923-5315 or communityliason@atlantic yards.com. Another liason will be hired in addition to work with the community to fix concerns.

5- One resident suggested Barclays plant many, many more trees and other plants to absorb pollution and noise. Cotton said trees weren’t possible in most spots because the train ran underneath but would “look into” planters.

6- There will be layby lanes for bus and limo drop-off and pick-up. There will also be a dedicated taxi area. There is no place for buses or limos to wait during a game.

Grand Army September 07, 2012 at 02:38 PM
This is sobering. Wouldn't you think that with the arena about to open, FCR would finally be ready to take more responsibility for the quality of life issues faced by the neighborhood they are now a part of? Apparently not. On the subject of parking, it's pretty clear the city is taking a wait-and-see/just-how- bad-will-it-be approach. On 7/13, Patch wrote about the DOT's study of residential parking permits and said, "At Barclays Center, the report found that 24 percent of 9,395 available spaces within a half-mile radius of the arena would be available during events." 24% of 9,395 = 2,255. The idea that there are over two thousand vacant parking spaces available in the area on any given day is a complete fantasy! Even if you're prepared to pay for off-street parking, this statistic is a joke. It's too bad that in this day and age there is so little responsiveness and accountability from both the developer and government.
Larry September 07, 2012 at 02:49 PM
I feel bad for the people in the immediate vicinity but this mess will affect the Q.O.L. in entire neighborhoods from downtown to Flatbush to Windsor Terrace. The traffic increase alone will be a nightmare. And who gains?
Lisa September 07, 2012 at 10:42 PM
"Trucks will deliver goods on a pre-arranged staggered schedule, ideally preventing a line of trucks waiting to unload. Usually deliveries will take place between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. but there will be exceptions" Or starting on September 7th at 5pm they will block Flatbush Avenue, the crosswalk on Dean and the bike lane on Dean making a hazardous situation for motorist cyclists and pedestrians. Who is enforcing these rules? It's too dangerous to ride my bike up Flatbush after work, now I can't even walk across the crosswalk.

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