Anonymous responded to a previous post: “Parking for 4000 cars is the same as about 19 miles of roadway”. We're not sure if this was in support or in opposition to providing venue parking, which we oppose, but let’s consider this a bit more.
A typical parking spot is roughly 20’ long, so 4,000 spots, lined up end to end, would be 80,000 feet long. Since one mile is 5,280 feet, 4,000 spots is, in fact, equivalent to over 15 miles of cars, lined up end to end, without cross-streets or gaps. If these cars were all to arrive at the same time, or to leave at the same time, this does mean a line of cars stretching from the site to the Goethals Bridge , or to the Meadowlands in New Jersey, assuming no gaps and no other traffic in this single lane.
Why New Jersey? Neil Best, writing in NYNewsday, documents the efforts of Brett Yormark to develop the New Jersey fan base for the Nets, with the hope that they will stick with the team after it makes the move to Brooklyn. In the report on the estimated fiscal impact of the project, commissioned by the developer and prepared by Andrew Zimbalist, it is assumed that 30 percent (2,681) of current fans of the Nets who reside in New Jersey will attend games in Brooklyn. In addition, 5,802 current fans from outside NJ will attend games in Brooklyn. However, in a comprehensive analysis of this report, Jung Kim and Gustav Peebles find the projection of outside support for a Brooklyn team severely flawed and overly optimistic. The arena’s economic model depends on New Jersey fans coming to Brooklyn. But if New Jersey fans come to Brooklyn, they will drive. Are we providing venue parking to validate a flawed economic model?
In a recent article by Nicholas Confessore in the Times, FCR claims to recognize that traffic is a “challenge”. They hope to rely “largely on remote parking for sports events”. In this article, the developer wants us to believe that since basketball games start at 7:30, the traffic generated by the games will not conflict with existing traffic patterns. But this view of rush hour is contradicted by their own consultant “Gridlock Sam” in the Daily News this week, where he ominously warns: “Friday's evening rush hour may be affected by the Nets' 7:30 p.m. matchup against Orlando”.
And ultimately, the developer’s claim in the Times that “traffic has to work for us, too” because the success of the residential units will be “directly tied to the quality of life” rings hollow. The fact is, the most congested areas of the city are not necessarily lacking for tenants. If there is any correlation between rental prices and traffic, it would just as likely run the other way, ie. the more traffic, the higher the rental price. Economically “successful” projects are not necessarily successful quality of life models, witness Metrotech and the Atlantic Center mall. This is something difficult for developers to be responsive to: quality of life is not just an economic measure.