Residents of the streets surrounding the Atlantic Yards Project have numerous concerns about impacts that will follow the opening of Barclays Center arena, but few are greater than the effect of a new surface parking lot planned for the block bordered by Carlton Avenue, Vanderbilt Avenue, Dean Street and Pacific Street. The block is known as block 1129.
Following FCRC's renegotiation of the project plan in 2009, the duration of use of block 1129 for surface parking was extended, the number of spaces were increased, and up to two cars were assigned to each space using stackers. In addition, for the first time all the parking planned for the arena was concentrated there. Originally scheduled to be an "interim" surface lot in place for perhaps four years, it is now likely the full block of parking will be in place for at least 12 years, by which point the developer is required to start the construction of one residential building on the block. The remainder of the site can remain a parking lot for as long as 25 years or more since the project's development agreement allows further extension under certain conditions.
The picture on the left above commissioned by AYW is an illustration of the lot configuration and stackers necessary to provide the 1,100 parking spaces specified in the 2009 Atlantic Yards Modified General Project Plan. Given the density and number of parking spaces, the lot would not comply with New York City's design standards for surface parking lots. For comparison, the picture on the right shows a possible design for parking on block 1129 based upon City standards. (Click on the pictures to enlarge.)
Updated February 12, 2012
A temporary construction regulation establishing no parking in the vicinity of the Carlton Avenue Bridge reconstruction were posted to two trees on Pacific Street on Friday, February 10th. They were removed after the installation of the signs was reported on this website.
Signs associated with "Maintenance and Protection of Traffic" (MPT) are obtained and installed by a contractor for FCRC. It is illegal to nail into street trees in NYC. The fine of $150 for each posting is doubled when the sign is nailed to the tree.
No notice of a change to the MPT on Pacific Street was included in the most recent construction alert. Approximately 4 to 5 parking spaces have been eliminated.
From Department of Sanitation regulations:
It is illegal for any person to affix any handbill, poster, notice, sign, advertisement, sticker or other printed material upon any tree by any means. In addition, affixing any handbill, poster, notice, sign, advertisement, sticker or other printed material upon a tree by means of nailing or piercing the tree by any method shall have an additional penalty imposed equal to the amount of the original penalty. There is a rebuttable presumption that the person whose name, telephone number, or other identifying information appears on any handbill, poster, notice, sign, advertisement, sticker, or other printed material on any item or structure is in violation. Every handbill, poster, notice, sign, advertisement, sticker or other printed material shall be deemed a separate violation. Anyone found to have violated this provision, in addition to any penalty imposed, shall be responsible for the cost of the removal of the unauthorized postings.
A Supplemental Construction Alert from Empire State Development Corporation Project Director Arana Hankin has given notice work in the railyard now may extend until 3 am Monday through Friday. The extended hours are to be implemented as needed to work on the Carlton Avenue Bridge. State documents made available as a result of a FOIL request by Norman Oder of Atlantic Yards Report show ESDC's Owner's Representative STV reported to the ESDC in September 2011 that the bridge is one month behind schedule and now has an anticipated completion date of late September 2012, the same time the arena is scheduled to open.
No parking? No problem. No Standing sign torn down by Barclays Center worker less than 24 hours after it was installed
A new video submitted with an incident report shows a Barclays Center worker tearing down a no standing sign less than 24 hours after it was installed. The worker tore down the sign in order to disguise his illegal parking. This is not the first time the sign has been torn down. A notice the sign was installed and a prediction it may not last long was posted on this website yesterday. In tearing down the sign the worker creates 4 or 5 illegal spaces used by Barclays Center construction workers on a regular basis.
The video is indexed:
00:46 the worker parks
01:10 the worker destroys the NYC DOT Red No Standing sign
03:16 the worker moves the sign to N side of Pacific St near Vanderbilt Yards property
DOT approves plan for arena block bollards after yet another Technical Memo attempts to patch a flawed analysis
When in August 2011 plans for the installation of security bollards around Barclays Center submitted by FCRC to NYCDOT were made available to the public, AYW noted that the sidewalks as shown in the plans were in some cases significantly narrower than had been disclosed in the 2006 environmental analysis under which the Atlantic Yards project was approved. The photos above and below show the existing street corner as well as the sidewalk that extends from it along Atlantic Avenue, but the sidewalk will actually be two feet narrower at the time Barclays Center opens than it is in its existing condition.
For at least the third time since construction began on Barclays Center, a signal light at Carlton Avenue and Pacific Street has been knocked down. The photo above left is from last week. To the right is a photo of the signal light damaged (but not knocked down) in July. At the bottom of the story is a sequence showing an Atlantic Yards construction delivery truck in July working its way around the corner with the assistance of flaggers.
ESDC says generators not to be used again at the Pacific Street/Carlton Avenue location "in the near future"
According to ESDC Atlantic Yards Project Director Arana Hankin, the generators used for the rebuilding of the Carlton Avenue Bridge will not return to Pacific Street at Carlton Avenue "in the near future."
Ms. Hankin informed us, "The generator was placed on the street because there was no space in the yard where the generator could have been placed to do the necessary work on the south abutment of the bridge. If there is a need to use the generator in this area again, the contractors will be required to use noise attenuating blankets."
The generators were placed in that location without any noise attenuation, apparently in violation of the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments. The MEC details the use of noise barriers, equipment enclosures and perimeter fencing made of 3/4 inch plywood to mitigate noise impacts. None of those measures were implemented in this case. The generators were located approximately 50 feet from residences and only a short distance from the construction offices housing FCRC's contractors.
The floodlights in the Vanderbilt Railyard are being used to extend construction work hours to as late as 11:00 PM many days of the week. In the spring of 2010, LIRR told community members the lights would be used infrequently to enable work that could not be executed in the day while the railyard was operating. At that time there was no mention the lights would be used for construction.
The policy for use of the lights has apparently changed. According to ESDC Project Director Arana Hankin, LIRR and the FCRC contractors working on the Carlton Avenue Bridge are negotiating an agreement for the use of the lights that includes extending construction work hours. The rebuilding of the Carlton Avenue Bridge is not a LIRR project, although its completion is dependent on various elements of railyard construction being finished. The lights are planned to be used until reconstruction of the Carlton Avenue Bridge is complete, which must be prior to the time the arena opens in September 2012. It is unclear to what extent the lights will be used when construction in Vanderbilt Railyard continues with the replacement of the permanent railyard. It is anticipated to be complete in 2016.
Generators adjacent to perimeter fencing across from residences, and the absence of barriers to shield the residences from the noise they generate, appear to violate both the spirit and the letter of the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments. The generators are apparently being used to facilitate construction of the Carlton Avenue Bridge.
They are situated directly across the street from residences on the north sidewalk of Pacific Street at the location of the Carlton Avenue Bridge. They are in a highly visible location close to the construction offices and along the walking route between the construction offices and the arena construction site.
A recent incident report declaims, "Their generator is making me crazy !!!!" It asks, "Is there any way we can have them "plug" their damn equipment in instead of using the damn generator ALL DAY EVERYDAY?!?!!? It is really starting to drive me nuts!"
A resident with a decibel reader registered 98 decibel level outdoors in the vicinity of one generator Saturday, December 17th at 6 pm. According to the Guide to the NYC noise code, a train has a decibel level of 100dB(A) and a lawnmower has a decibel level of 85 to 90 dB(A). The guide explains a decibel is a logarithmic unit, "which means that a noise measuring 30 decibels is actually 10 times louder than a noise that registering at 20 decibels." A measurement of 45 dB is recommended indoors and should not exceed 65 dB. Outdoor walls and windows are anticipated to reduce noise levels by 15 dB. Residential units are located roughly 50 feet from the location of the generators.
Illegal parking on sidewalks, primarily by 78th Precinct employees, has replaced street trees on 6th Avenue between Dean and Pacific Streets. The photos above are one example of how Atlantic Yards construction has reversed the development progress of some areas of the community adjacent to the project site. The photo on the left was taken in December 2007. The photo on the right was taken November of 2011.