It's probably never been as great a demand as we're having right now. ... This city did not have the kind of recession that much of the country had.
—Forest City Ratner Companies CEO Bruce Ratner*
As Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries bill to reform oversight of the Atlantic Yards project was on its way to the floor of the New York State Assembly, developer Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) lobbied legislators to vote against the bill by, among other things, circulating a “Memorandum in Opposition.”
This evening at Brooklyn Borough Hall, a consultant hired by Forest City Ratner will present a plan to implement significant alterations to the streets surrounding the Atlantic Yards project in order to manage congestion at the intersection of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues expected when the Barclays Center arena opens. The elements of the plan are taken from a five-year old environmental study which was also paid for by the Atlantic Yards developer, and which has not been updated to reflect changes to the roadway network over the intervening years. Whether Forest City’s plan will be an effective solution for the worst traffic intersection in Brooklyn remains to be seen, but there is no question it falls far short of what is required to handle the tidal wave of traffic—and stampedes of pedestrians—that its arena will generate. It is certainly not a substitute for the comprehensive transportation plan the City and State owe the people of Brooklyn.
Sometimes, it can be hard to tell what is really going on at Atlantic Yards. A new video asks about public benefits, accountability, oversight, and the legal challenge to the project's environmental review. Does it have a happy ending? We'll have to wait to find out...