Local Elected Officials and Civic Organizations Announce Barclays Center Neighborhood Protection Plan

LOCAL ELECTED OFFICIALS AND CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS ANNOUNCE BARCLAYS CENTER NEIGHBORHOOD PROTECTION PLAN


Coordinated set of initiatives necessary to ensure safety and quality of life
in residential communities after September arena opening

BROOKLYN, May 29, 2012 – Today, City Council Members Stephen Levin, Letitia James and Brad Lander announced the Barclays Center Neighborhood Protection Plan (NPP), a set of coordinated initiatives aimed at mitigating safety and quality of life impacts expected to result from locating the Brooklyn arena within residential neighborhoods.

The NPP calls for policies to be instituted by the Barclays Center operators as well as regulation and enforcement to be carried out by State and City agencies covering arena operations, public safety, pedestrian circulation, sanitation, open space, and traffic.

Among the proposals included in the NPP are:

·         NYPD’s 78th Precinct be responsible for policing the arena as well as enforcement of traffic and parking rules, protection of pedestrian safety and regulation of public behavior within a one-half mile radius around the arena block.

·         NYCDOT install signage clearly directing pedestrian and vehicle traffic, including directing vehicles to use 4th Avenue, Atlantic Avenue, Flatbush Avenue, 6th Avenue north of Flatbush Avenue, and Vanderbilt Avenue, instead of residential streets in Boerum Hill, Fort Greene, Park Slope and Prospect Heights.

·         The State authorizes and the City implements a residential parking permit program in the above neighborhoods.

·         Barclays Center provide at least one additional street basket at each corner within a half-mile radius of the arena, as well as be responsible for emptying all street baskets within the half-mile zone and cleaning sidewalks on blocks between the arena and five nearby transit stations and the arena’s parking facilities by 8:00 AM on each day after an event.

·         Barclays Center provide annual funding, as established by the NYC Parks and Recreation Department, for a Parks Associate position to serve the two existing impacted public open spaces near the arena, Dean Playground and South Oxford Park.

“The plans announced by Barclays Center to date won’t be enough to protect and preserve the residential character of the neighborhoods surrounding the arena,” said Council Member Stephen Levin.  “We need both swift action by the State and City governments, as well as real commitments from Barclays Center, to address the impacts of arena operations before the arena opens in September.  We are here to partner with Forest City and the Administration to address these issues, but that means everyone has to have a seat at the table.”

“State overrides of New York City zoning regulations allowed Barclays Center to be built among residential neighborhoods,” said Council Member Letitia James. “But so far, the State and the City have stood on the sidelines while important decisions about traffic, pedestrian safety, parking and sanitation have been left up to a private developer. I urge the Mayor’s office and City agencies to take up the proposals in the NPP with all possible diligence, and work with local elected officials to get them implemented quickly.”

“The State must take an active role to manage the impact of an arena operating in a residential district,” said Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries, whose district includes nearly the entire Atlantic Yards site, and many of the surrounding neighborhoods. “The Neighborhood Protection Plan is a road map of common-sense initiatives that have proven effective in cities like Chicago and Newark. Brooklyn deserves the same.”

Elected officials representing the neighborhoods of Boerum Hill, Fort Greene, Park Slope and Prospect Heights have previously expressed support for some of the proposals contained in the NPP, such as the issuance of residential parking permits.

“The traffic on event-nights after the arena opens is likely to be atrocious,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “The measures contained in the Neighborhood Protection Plan—collaboratively developed by community stakeholders—are sorely needed. I look forward to working with my colleagues in State and City government to get them implemented.”

Forest City Ratner Companies recently released the provisions of a long-delayed Transportation Management (TDM) plan intended to incentivize arena patrons to use mass transit when traveling to Barclays Center events. The TDM has been criticized for not including disincentives which have shown to be more effective at changing driver behavior.

The full Neighborhood Protection Plan is available at:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/95139027/NPP-FINAL

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