Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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Barclays Developers Push Mass Transit As Residents Worry About Parking

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TWC News: Barclays Developers Push Mass Transit As Residents Worry About Parking
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Running extra trains and buses are some of the ways to help get people to and from Brooklyn's new arena when it opens in September. But will that be enough to accommodate the expected crowds? NY1's Brooklyn borough reporter Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.

As the Barclays Center goes up, so do the subway entrance and exit at its doorstep. The station has just been renamed the Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center stop and the arena's developer hopes that's the way most visitors will access the 18,000-seat entertainment complex.

"The site itself is phenomenal for mass transit," said Forest City Ratner Senior Vice President Jane Marshall.

Mass transit is the centerpiece of the transportation management plan Forest City Ratner presented to public officials and community boards Tuesday. 11 subway lines, 11 buses and the LIRR will stop at the station. The developer says public transit information will appear on all of its marketing materials and all event tickets.

In the meantime, a parking lot for 541 cars is being built for those who choose to drive. Residents in the area worry that's not enough.

"What's going to happen to those drivers who are going to come, who aren't going to find parking on the site?" said Peter Krashes of the Dean Street Association.

Forest City said it's identified hundreds of additional spaces in privately operated parking garages in the neighborhood and will let event-goers pre-pay for parking when they buy tickets.

"You will have a reserved spot," said Sam Schwartz, a transportation consultant with Forest City Ratner. "You won't have to pay when you get to the parking facility and we'll give you directions to the parking facility so that you don't use any residential streets."

If arena-goers do decide to use street parking, it will be free.

Residents said one of the best ways to discourage drivers is to issue residential parking permits for the neighborhood.

"That eliminates free parking for arena patrons near the arena at the time of arena events," said Tom Boast of the Carlton Avenue Association

The possibility is being studied but Department of Transportation officials warn that it will take some time.

"We're talking about at least 9 to 12 months to set up a program," said Christopher Hrones of the Department of Transportation. "I don't want to think that residential permit parking could be implemented."

The public has 30 days to review the plan. Comments can be made at www.esd.ny.gov/atlanticyards.

But all agree that a permanent plan can only be set after the arena has been open for several months.

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