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FCRC to offer free lidded garbage cans to a set of residents near the project footprint; a rodent forum is scheduled for August 17th

Forest City Ratner Companies is to provide lidded garbage cans to tenants, property owners, and superintendents of buildings near Atlantic Yards.  The area the cans will be provided extends from the south side of Atlantic Avenue to the south side of Bergen Street, and from the east side of Vanderbilt Avenue to the east side of 4th Avenue.  Only buildings with 12 units or less are eligible.

The map below shows the distribution area which is located largely to the south of the project.  The "pick up site" for the free cans is Forest City Ratner's Community Liaison Office.

In addition, Empire State Development and the New York City Departments of Health and Sanitation will host an educational forum at the Pacific Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library on Wednesday, August 17th from 6-8 pm.  At the forum experts will offer strategies for rodent prevention and answer questions.

The distribution of free garbage cans was first proposed by FCRC at the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet July 14th following community complaints and press reports about problems with rodents in the vicinity of project construction.  The cans are one component of a multifaceted approach to reducing the rodent population outside the project footprint.  Along with encouraging prevention inside the project footprint,  the Departments of Health and Sanitation will be inspecting the community to identify existing problems.

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.

With demolition of a family shelter, the last existing residences in this phase of property condemnations will be eliminated

(Updated)  

Forest City Ratner Company is in the process of demolishing 603 Dean Street, one half of the 94 unit residential family shelter formerly known as the Pacific Dean Annex.  The shelter's residences are the last to be demolished in the project footprint during this phase of the project.  In 2009 the project was changed so that property would be acquired by the State and FCRC in at least two phases.  The completion of the condemnation process for three small, still inhabited residential buildings on Dean Street will not occur until some unscheduled time in the future.  

In the 2006 FEIS, the ESDC estimated 171 residential units and 410 residents would be directly displaced by the project.  That number did not include the shelter's family residences.

The shelter is located on block 1129 which is part of the project's second phase.  It is being demolished to make way first for construction staging, and later an accessory interim surface parking lot for the Barclays Center anticipated to have as many as 1100 spaces.

FCRC states their long term plans are to build housing on the shelter's current location.  Currently the developer has no financing for any housing, and the project agreements give the developer at least 25 years to complete the project's second phase.

An eventful morning around the Barclays Center construction site

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.

Incident Report Saturday documents steel deliveries to Barclays Center that ignore ESDC's published truck regulations and appear to violate NYC law

The video above from Saturday shows a Barclays Center construction-related truck disobeying both NYC traffic laws and the ESDC's published truck rules on Pacific Street between 6th Avenue and Carlton.  The truck crosses the 6th Avenue intersection while the north/south traffic on 6th Avenue has a green light, attaches a load waiting in the travel lane and then drives against traffic to block 1129.

This one truck trip is part of a series of steel deliveries on Saturday that were not consistent with either the Barclays Center Truck Rules and Requirements made public by the ESDC, or NYC traffic law. 

Besides the type of violations shown in the video above, two incident reports filed on this website supported by video and photography state the trucks idled on Pacific Street for "hours."  Driving against traffic, using a travel lane as a staging area without permission from DOT, and idling for more than 3 minutes are all against NYC law.

The Barclays Center truck rules require trucks to enter Pacific Street from Vanderbilt Avenue and wait on Pacific Street between Vanderbilt and Carlton until signaled by a flagger to advance.  On Saturday no flagger was present at that intersection and the trucks entered against the traffic into Pacific Street from 6th Avenue.  

The Daily News reports the NYPD is now ticketing construction worker cars parked illegally

Erin Durkin in the Daily News has followed up on her article from earlier this month about illegal construction worker parking.  She reports the police have issued 69 summonses in the last two weeks in the blocks around the site.  She quotes a NYPD spokesman as saying the violations "run the gamut," of the type of violations this website has highlighted.

Regular visitors to Pacific Street or 6th Avenue will see a discernible difference with few cars parked on sidewalks or in violation of parking regulations.  Illegal construction worker parking has largely been cleared away from those areas.  Other areas such as inside the MPT zone on Atlantic Avenue continue to be used by construction workers.  Illegal city employee parking, especially related to the 78th Precinct, also continues.

As part of what will be an ongoing initiative Atlantic Yards Watch will post a review of existing construction worker parking strategies in a few weeks.

Signs stating sections of Carlton Avenue and Pacific Street will be closed July 30-31 and August 6-7 from 8 am to 4 pm are incorrect; there will be no closures this weekend

(updated Thursday, July 28th)

Two signs were posted Wednesday giving notice Carlton Avenue will be closed between Pacific Street and Dean Street, and Pacific Street closed between 6th and Carlton Avenues July 30-31 and August 6-7  from 8 am to 4 pm.  Both blocks are contiguous and linked to one temporary and two permanent street closures related to Atlantic Yards. For this reason, further temporary closures may be particularly inconvenient for project neighbors.

The new temporary closures were due to renovations on the Newswalk building, not Atlantic Yards.  Apparently, the closures have been suspended for this upcoming weekend because the contractor failed to meet public notification requirements.  When further information is available, it will be posted here.

After a month of violations the dirt mound at Dean Street and Carlton Avenue is finally "slimed" with green protective covering

(Updated)

Roughly a month after a mostly uncovered large mound of dirt appeared on block 1129, an incident report finally gave notice "the mound was "slimed" with green stuff."  The green stuff is presumably a protective covering to inhibit dust.

Only a few days after the "sliming," the mound was gone. It did not appear again in another location, suggesting the contractor only covered the mound once its function was complete.

For a month community members (and apparently the ESDC) had attempted to get the contractor to cover the mound or move it.

The photographs submitted with the report show one portion of the mound still covered with plastic and another with a slightly unnatural green hue.

Early this month this site reported that improper custodianship of the mound appeared to violate numerous commitments in the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments.  Since that time, ESDC told this writer they continued to "reprimand" the contractor to ensure the dust pile is covered or wetted frequently, and that they requested an air monitor be placed near the pile to ensure air is not compromised.  An air monitor was located near the pile at times.  No neighbors of the pile have reported seeing wetting used, although the dirt is brought to block 1129 to be sifted and then shipped elsewhere on the site.  

Complaints about extended hours work continue, and new sources of construction noise at night and on weekends may be on their way

Complaints about late night and after hours construction work continue to reach this website.  The video above, (which reached this site indirectly), was filmed at 1:30 am at the intersection of 5th Avenue and Bergen Street.

Complaints about permitted late night work on the project date back to the extended infrastructure work that took place on Dean Street and Flatbush Avenue in 2008 and caused substantial discomfort to many living in the vicinity.  The earliest illegal after hours work inside the footprint dates to the spring of 2007, only a short time after work on the project began.  

The sources of the complaints relate to an expanding list of types of work scheduled at night and on weekends.  The affected residential areas are dispersed throughout the perimeter of the 22 acre project site.

Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet focuses on rats; FCRC commits to providing vouchers to residents for garbage cans

The Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet Thursday, July 14th was largely dedicated to the rodent problem in the vicinity of the project.  At the meeting  Forest City Ratner committed to providing community residents a voucher to get a free garbage can.  

More details of the program, including the type of can and the specific area the program will be available, will be made public in a week or so. 

In addition, at the instigation of Council Member Letitia James, the NYC Department of Health, the NYC Department of Sanitation and ESDC Project Director Arana Hankin are working together to identify a strategy to address the full range of problems in and around the project site.

Further details on the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet can be found at the Prospect Heights Patch and Atlantic Yards Report.