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As trucks continue to violate Atlantic Yards environmental commitments and NYC law, signs emerge that methods for coordinating trucks are changing

Construction trucks at the Atlantic Yards construction site have repeatedly violated the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments, Barclays Center Truck Rules and Requirements and NYC law.  Clarification of truck routes and enforcement were on the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet agenda July 14th, but the meeting ended before the subject was covered.  

Since Saturday July 30th, this website has received ten more incident reports, (all public here), related either to trucks driving the wrong route, driving against traffic, waiting in travel lanes or bus stops, leaving the construction site uncovered, or idling.  Among the streets documented on this website impacted by insufficient coordination of delivery trailers and trucks are Atlantic Avenue, Pacific Street between Carlton and 6th Avenues, Carlton Avenue between Dean and Pacific Streets, Dean Street, South Portland Avenue, and Clermont Avenue.  

The photo above shows cement trucks with mud covered wheels adjusting their positions inside the arena block by shutting traffic down on Atlantic Avenue. The picture below shows a dump truck likely associated with Carlton Avenue Bridge work because it originated at the railyard entrance on Atlantic Avenue near Carlton, turning down Clermont Avenue.  Clermont Avenue is not a designated truck route.

Empire State Development, (ESD), previously stated to Atlantic Yards Report that an incident report on Atlantic Yards Watch documenting uncovered dump trucks leaving the construction site was an "isolated incident." Now, following similar documented incidents on this website,  ESD has told AYR that "once it was brought to ESD’s attention by our environmental consultant that this was not an isolated incident, ESD required FCRC [Forest City Ratner Companies] to work with the contractor to develop a more stringent review and disciplinary process which would result in immediate removal from the site if truckers leave the site with their load uncovered."   

Perhaps through pressure from ESD, discernible changes are being made to the way trucks are coordinated at the site.  The changes appear to have been in place for several weeks, but to date have not altered the pace or types of truck violations occurring at the construction site.

The last two construction alerts detail a dispatch center being added to block 1129 to coordinate delivery trailers and trucks to the arena site. This appears to exclude work on the LIRR railyard, Carlton Avenue Bridge, and likely the contractors' staging areas on block 1129.  

The Barclays Center Truck Rules and Requirements has always specified that the "flagger/radio operator at the intersection of Carlton Avenue and Pacific Street will dispatch trucks on an as-called for basis from the Arena site radio operator." Until approximately two weeks ago, no flagger of that description had been at that location for a long period, if ever.  Now a worker for the security firm Securitas apparently coordinates traffic at that intersection.  

In addition, new signs for many of the entrances on the arena block have been posted.  Most arena block gates now have a number, (1-6), and a letter, (either A or B).  The image below is a gate located on Atlantic Avenue at 6th Avenue.  There are no new signs on the entrances for the railyard or the staging areas on block 1129.

The Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments states that at each exit trucks will be inspected to ensure covering before they are allowed to leave the construction site.  Also at each exit there is to be a wheel washing station in which water is to be contained and recycled to ensure mud is not tracked from the site.  The construction alerts prepared by FCRC and released by ESDC have long not accounted for the true number and locations of truck entrances at the site; whether connected or simply a coincidence, many of the unidentified entrances, (such as the one in the photo to the left), were also not equipped to meet the commitments spelled out in the Memo.  Time will tell if at least those entrances identified by sign will now be equipped in the way the Memo promises.  

With more coordination of delivery trailers and trucks, ESD and FCRC should now be able to detail to the community the routes in and out, and the protocols, for each of the arena block entrances.  That information has never been satisfactorily provided the community before.  Are Atlantic Avenue entrances supposed to be active during rush hour?  Is the route from the Dean Street entrance in the arena block to the contractors' staging areas in block 1129 Dean Street?  

ESD and FCRC should also provide the routes and protocols associated with truck entrances like those for the construction of the Carlton Avenue Bridge that may not be part of the new dispatch center system.  For example, what is the route out of the railyard entrance on Atlantic Avenue near Carlton?    

 

 

 

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