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Atlantic Yards-related work extends to 24 hours a day, resulting in many reported quality of life impacts


Late night and weekend work hours continue to be expanded at Atlantic Yards.  The work in the video above takes place at Atlantic and 4th Avenues on a regular basis late at night and is concluded at 6 am.  This video is from September 1st.

Normal construction work hours at the site extend from 7 am to 3:30 pm.  Work in the arena is now often 24 hours a day during the week and extends into weekends.  As of this weekend, work in the Vanderbilt railyard will take place both Saturdays and Sundays. Truck deliveries for the arena have now been moved forward to as early as 6:00 am.   Construction staging on block 1129 is active any time extended hours work takes place elsewhere in the footprint or its vicinity.

The number of workers during extended hours is often significantly less than during normal weekday hours.  And according to the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments, "work that generates high noise levels would be scheduled during weekday daytime hours to the extent feasible...unless required by safety or other agency requirements." Now safety and other agency requirements often appear to override community noise concerns.

Lay-by lane capacity at Barclays Center to be less than analyzed in 2006 environmental review; change may increase congestion around arena block

At the time the Sam Schwartz mitigation plan was detailed to the public in June, AYW reported that Barclays Center will have less in place at the time of the arena opening than anticipated in the 2006 FEIS:  "fewer travel lanes for traffic, fewer lay-by lanes, and narrower sidewalks for pedestrians."

Thanks to the bollard plans before NYCDOT, it is now possible to see more clearly how this is so in relation to the arena block.  In publishing the bollard plans several weeks ago, we wrote about the reduced effective widths of many of the sidewalks around the arena.  The state of the lay-by lanes at the time of the arena opening will be similar, with one permanently changed and others with no construction schedule.  

The function of lay-by lanes is to take traffic stopped for loading or unloading out of travel lanes.  Fewer lay-by lanes mean there is a higher degree of risk for vehicle/vehicle and vehicle/pedestrian conflicts.  It also potentially means increased congestion around the arena block.  

Truck deliveries procedures are revised at the site; a new system is introduced with a colored ticket required for entry at some truck entrances

Following months of reports on Atlantic Yards Watch about trucks driving illegal routes, idling, and traveling with uncovered loads in the neighborhoods around Atlantic Yards, a new system of organizing truck deliveries appears to have been put in place by Forest City Ratner this week.

The new system involves a colored ticket which is picked up by drivers on Pacific Street at Carlton Avenue.  The drivers then proceed to the gate with the sign that matches the color of their ticket.  The ticket is required to enter the gate.  The gate associated with the pink delivery ticket is shown to the left.

In August we reported that some truck entrances had been given a letter and number and that an employee of Securitas had been located at Pacific at Carlton to act as a dispatch.  That system seems to have been further refined with the addition of the colored tickets that are now picked up by the drivers from the dispatcher.

Last week Atlantic Yards Report posted that ESD had plans to issue a notice of violation to FCRC stating that they were not complying with the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments in relation to truck protocols.  FCRC was reportedly to be given 30 days to comply. If still in non-compliance they would then be required to pay a fine of $1,000 per day.  According to the ESD's spokesperson Elizabeth Mitchell, it would be the first notice of violation in the history of the project.  

Did Dean Street Block Association hold its last block party?

Dean Street Block Association, 6th Avenue to Vanderbilt has held block parties on Dean Street between 6th Avenue and Carlton for years.  That block will soon be sandwiched between the future Barclays Center and its anticipated 1100 space accessory parking lot.  

The community near the project, much of it with roots that goes back decades, is now wondering if the block association will be allowed to close the street for block parties in the future.  Barclays Center operation may prevent the annual celebration. The quintessential Brooklyn block party has always been one of the highlights of the summer for neighborhood families.  Among the popular activities that take place on the street are grilling, dancing, volleyball, basketball and of course catching up with neighbors.

Already anticipated to be impacted significantly by the project plans announced in 2006, the quiet and mostly residential Dean Street, Carlton Avenue and Pacific Streets will likely be further impacted by changes to the plans in 2009 that increased the concentration of arena patrons walking and driving to the east of the arena.

Photographer, (and block association Secretary), Tracy Collins has posted more photographs of this year's block party on the Dean Street Block Association blog "Our Streets - Our Stories."

Not an isolated incident: truck use of residential Clermont Avenue is widespread

More than a dozen videos, taken over the course of a single week, document repeated illegal use of Clermont Avenue by fully loaded dump trucks leaving the project site from the Carlton Avenue brige exit.  As the videos show, trucks exiting the Carlton Avenue bridge site on to Atlantic make the first left on to Clermont, departing from NYC's designated truck route.   Clermont Avenue is a residential street of three story townhouses and a public housing complex and is the location of two public playgrounds (one is part of the Atlantic Terminal Housing; the other, the Cuyler Gore playground, is at intersection of Clermont and Lafayette).

The videos were recorded on three days - August 15, 18 and 19. (There is an AY Watch incident report for each day; while each day's report documents multiple violations.)  Most of the trucks had ‘LMC Trucking - USDOT: 1501837’ as vehicle identifiers.

The use of a residential street as a truck route violates NYC City law as well as the Barclays Center Delivery Truck Rules and Requirements,  which is part of the project's of Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments,  to be enforced by ESD and Forest City Ratner. 

The issue of trucks on residential streets was to be discussed at the July 14 Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet meeting, but the meeting ended before the subject was covered. While Forest City Ratner has made some improvements in enforcement of truck requirements, particulary in wheel washing before trucks exit the site, the issue of trucks using residential streets may require coordination with NYPD.  NYPD has yet to send a representative to a district service cabinet meeting.

The next meeting of the Service Cabinet will take place on September 15. 


"Surface" parking lot to have a modular second floor deck?

NetsDaily reports that a company called More Park is claiming its prefabricated parking system will be used by the "Brooklyn Nets". More Park's web site describes its parking system as "the lowest-cost parking deck available," and a "green parking solution" that can be assembled (and disassembled) without heavy construction equipment.

A rendering of More Park's parking solution from its web site appears above left. The design of the platform would appear to be consistent with the renderings that were supplied by the ESDC in December 2010, which show a second level of cars parking on block 1129 visible above a fence on block 1129 along Dean Street and Carlton Avenue (below left).

Chapter 12 of the 2006 Atlantic Yards Final Environmental Impact Statement describes parking on block 1129 as "an attendant-park facility with no stackers." In 2009, Forest City Ratner renegotiated the Atlantic Yards project plan with ESDC, which approved the new plan without further environmental review, prompting a successful legal challenge by community groups, elected officials and nearby residents. A Technical Memorandum submitting by ESDC during the litigation states with respect to parking on block 1129 that "stackers would be in use to allow for the parking of up to two cars per space," while continuing to describe the facility as a "surface lot." In July 2011, a New York State Supreme Court decision ordered ESDC to undertake a supplemental environmental impact statement and reconsider the 2009 Modified General Project Plan.

Arena block sidewalks proposed to be narrower than analyzed in 2006 environmental review

FCR bollard plan

In July, Forest City Ratner submitted to the NYC Department of Transportation plans to install 206 bollards on the sidewalks surrounding the Barclays Center arena. The plans appear to mirror the renderings of Barclays Center submitted by ESDC in December 2010 with its response to a State Supreme Court remand order. However, the plans reveal for the first time that several sidewalks surrounding the arena, including one in front of an arena entrance on Dean Street, will have narrower effective widths than were analyzed for the 2006 environmental impact statement under which the project was approved.

Some steps directed to addressing the rodent problem are underway; in the meantime stories in the press continue

Forest City Ratner Company will begin its distribution of garbage cans with lids to local residents this week.  The BrooklynPaper reports 172 Rubbermaid wheeled cans will be distributed at a cost to FCRC of $32 each.  At the last District Service Cabinet FCRC also said they would add 16 new trash receptacles to the construction site for worker's food waste, and add four new workers to empty those receptacles regularly and do a limited perimeter sweep.  In addition contractors have apparently added between 180 to 220 bait traps inside the construction site.

Based on regular observation, the construction site is generally cleaner than before attention was drawn to the rodent problem, such as when this linked photo portrait was taken June 21st.  But garbage can still be found in the 22 acre footprint of the project.  The photo below from August 4th shows trash including food waste located mostly inside the railyard work area just east of the 6th Avenue Bridge.

Nine violations by trucks of the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments, Barclays Center Truck Rules and Requirements and/or NYC law are documented today before noon


Nine violations by trucks of the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments, Barclays Center Truck Rules and Requirements, and/or NYC law were documented before noon today.  The filer was stationary and only captured those incidents within the visual range of his/her location.  The times below are from the incident reports.

1).  5:50 am

A flatbed truck delivering steel idles under the windows of Newswalk's residences on Pacific Street between Carlton and 6th Avenues.  The Barclays Center truck rules require trucks to wait on Pacific Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt and advance under the guidance of a flagger at Carlton and Pacific Street.  They are not allowed to wait in this location.

The report states the truck idled for over an hour and that the driver ignored a request to move from a resident.  The photo below apparently shows an Atlantic Yards worker documenting the truck with a cell phone camera.

More trouble with a Casagrande drill when it releases what appears to be smoke

In the last two weeks, this website has received incident reports related to adverse impacts on air quality from mechanical demolition, loading of trucks without spraying, an uncovered pile -- one of a number -- on site, jackhammering of a retaining wall, idling trucks, and now again from the Casagrande drill.

The use of Casagrande drills have instigated complaints from nearby residents related to noise, vibrations and air quality.  After striking video documentation of dust spewing from the drill was sent to ESD in April, the drill was apparently modified.  In June, mud spewed from the drill injuring two pedestrians outside the construction site and damaging seven cars.

Today, one of the drills released what appears to be smoke into the air.  The two videos below were submitted with an incident report which identifies the incident as occurring at 9:23 this morning.