During an overlapping period this morning, a major piece of Sam Schwartz's traffic mitigation plan was tested against weekday traffic for the first time, a job action disrupted construction work at the arena, and a lane of traffic on Atlantic Avenue was closed in order to conduct random radiation tests.
As the picture to the right shows, weekday drivers traveling northbound on 4th Avenue Monday discovered they can no longer continue on 4th Avenue between Atlantic and Flatbush. Instead they are now expected to turn left on Atlantic to 3rd Avenue where they can continue north, or turn right onto Pacific Street which is now one lane eastbound.
The traffic mitigations are being put in place at this time because traffic levels are lower than at other times of the year. The changes in traffic patterns, (actually implemented Saturday), are forced into being by temporary obstructions that will soon be turned into a permanent extended plaza on 4th Avenue between Atlantic and Flatbush, and a "neck-down" at Pacific and Flatbush.
While the NYPD was assisting confused drivers coping with unfamiliar obstructions on the west side of the arena, on the east side along 6th Avenue concrete workers were protesting anticipated pay and benefit cuts. Some of the concrete workers held signs stating "The concrete contractor on this job site does not have an agreement with the Cement and Concrete Worker District Council." At 8:00 am when this writer encountered the demonstration, only a few workers were visible inside the arena block working, and 87 workers in total stood outside. Most were workers from other unions.
Meanwhile, across the street from the north side of the arena a lane of traffic was shut down along Atlantic Center in order to facilitate a random radiation test. Apparently the radiation tests rotate around the city. NYPD and National Guardsmen with rifles were visible throughout the area.
(Photo and video by Wayne Bailey)