Wednesday, January 11, 2006


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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I mentioned that parking for 4000 cars equals 19 miles of private roadway to illustrate the strain put on public roads when private roads are built, essentially with no oversight or standards. Watch this issue in the coming months.

Moreover, the public/private boundary of Atlantic Yards has been drawn on maps, but has never been stated in words.

Is the entire Atlantic Yards project private property?

Will existing City roadways that continue to be used as roadways be demapped (i.e. privatized)?

Are all of the sidewalks within the footprint to be private or public?

Maybe ESDC will tell us.

If the answer is yes, what are the traffic, pedestrian and social implications of such a large private island in Brooklyn?

9:33 AM  
Blogger Ar2thelow aka arlo said...

Those concerned with traffic impacts should definitely stay focused on parking. The amount (and, to a lesser degree, the price) of available parking is really going to determine whether people choose to drive to arena events or go by some other mode.

Residential parking permits for the neighborhoods around Atlantic Yards will also probably be necessary to ensure that hundreds or even thousands of vehicles aren't trolling around, looking for free parking spots every time there's an event at the arena. There are some really innovative things being done in "parking management" these days. For instance, in some places the money raised by parking meters or parking permits goes directly back to the neighborhoods or business districts whose meters generated the revenue. This makes pricing of on-street parking more palatable to the locals.

More here:

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need to re-examine Coney Island as a location for the Nets Arena. This would complement Keyspan Park and provide a big boost to plans to reinvigorate Coney Island as an entertainment district. There is sufficient land for parking, good highway access, fairly good mass transit access, and most importantly, as Norman Oder stated in his blog it will be a lot easier for mass transit to accomodate an emptying arena at the terminus of the train lines rather than at a central node. Parts of Long Island and Queens such as Valley Stream, Five Points and Jamaica might also become a new fan base at this location to replace the New Jersey fan base. I can see a Gehry designed arena next to the newly rehabilitated Stillwell Avenue Station with it's attractive solar panel roof design.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

coney could be a great location in many ways.

unfortunately it's a lousy location if your goal is to quickly, conveniently get wall street guys and midtown execs into luxury box seats quickly after work. the arena wouldn't be able to sell anywhere near the number of corporate boxes down in coney. this is no small matter.

from an enviro perspective coney is bad because it would generate an insane amount of new car trips and vehicle miles traveled on the already clogged belt and ocean pkways -- even with that great new stillwell station. i hate to say it but the atlantic ave transit hub is, in some ways, a much better location from an enviro perspective. but only if we make the maximum effort to discourage auto trips to and from events.

3:07 PM  

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