2. Include a transportation plan that works

The original Atlantic Yards proposal would generate over 20,000 new vehicular trips every day with no real plan to avoid gridlock.

This rendering shows the location and size of the "interim" surface parking lots planned for the Atlantic Yards site. (Photography by Jonathan Barkey.)

The modified plan is different, but not better. Although the modified plan doesn't guarantee the residential towers of the original plan will ever be built, it includes roughly the same amount of parking spaces. Worse, it anticipates providing the majority of those spaces as "interim" surface parking on blocks located between Carlton Avenue, Vanderbilt Avenue, Dean Street, and Atlantic Avenue, in what would be the largest collection of surface parking spaces in Brooklyn. The recent agreements between the developer, the MTA and the ESDC indicate the "interim" parking spaces could remain in place for fifteen years, or longer.

Locating so much parking next to the second largest mass transit hub in New York City is bad policy – it’s environmentally unsustainable and fiscally irresponsible. Instead, the BrooklynSpeaks sponsors believe the City and State must
  • Adopt mass transit incentives and demand management strategies to reduce by 50% the number of parking spaces programmed for the Arena under the revised plan.
  • Limit interim surface parking to no more than this reduced number of spaces allocated for the Arena, and define a specific timeline for their replacement by open space or non-parking uses at grade.
  • Provide adequate State and City funding for the MTA to ensure that transit service to the development is preserved and enhanced.
  • Implement residential permit parking in surrounding neighborhoods to ensure that they are not overwhelmed with cars searching for free parking on game and event days.
  • Design and implement traffic-calming measures on the streets in surrounding neighborhoods to ensure pedestrian and cyclist safety.

Finally, the City and State must prepare a comprehensive traffic plan which includes and integrates the issues above and responds to the impact of an arena at this, the most congested and environmentally compromised intersection in Brooklyn.