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Here you may browse an archive of stories posted to Atlantic Yards Watch from 2011 to 2015. You may also search stories and incident reports.


July 9, 2011 - 10:29am

On Thursday signs identifying the location of FCRC's Community Liaison Office were posted along the perimeter of the project site.  The signs do not include the hours the office will be open.

This follows a statement by Rachel Shatz of the ESDC that FCRC is in violation of the Amended Environmental Commitments Memo at a joint meeting of the Carlton Avenue Association and Dean Street Block Association on June 28th.  At the meeting Brigitte LaBonte, FCRC's Community Liaison, stated that she is on site one or two days a week.

The commitments in the memo state, "FCRC shall maintain an on-site construction coordinator to function as a liaison between FCRC and the community with respect to construction-related issues. The coordinator shall be available to consider specific concerns raised by the community with respect to the construction issues and seek to resolve such concerns."

Amy Sara Clark of Prospect Heights Patch and Norman Oder of Atlantic Yards Report both highlighted Shatz's statement in their coverage of the meeting.  In Clark's coverage FCRC promised change and said that the developer would have at least one person on site during working hours.

At points in the project, FCRC has described the Community Liaison as a "capacity" the company has rather than a person.  



July 9, 2011 - 8:10am

The press continued coverage of local concerns about construction workers who violate parking regulations in the vicinity of Atlantic Yards following Erin Durkin's story in the Daily News Thursday.  Numerous complaints about illegal parking have been filed at this website by members of the community.  

The illegal parking is apparently enabled by selective enforcement of parking regulation law in the area by NYPD.  The illegal parking occurs in violation of posted parking regulations, in bus stops, no standing zones and on sidewalks.  For the community near the project the issue is important because the sidewalks in the area are less walkable and streets often cannot be cleaned.  

Plus, there is a perceived double standard.  While construction workers and city employees who live elsewhere openly park illegally, those who live in the community are given tickets for far less bold transgressions of parking regulation law.  

Here are links to news coverage of the story:

Liz Wagner's report on News 12 Brooklyn Atlantic Yards Neighbors Fuming Over Illegal Parking includes a reference to this website.

Monica Morales' report on WPIX11 Atlantic Yards Double Parking Double Standard identifies the car with both an iron worker local sticker and a funeral director placard.

Ti-Hua Chang's report on MYFOXNY Parking Violations Around Atlantic Yards Site includes an interview with Paul Steely White of Transportation Alternatives and with a construction worker who says he's glad parking regulations aren't enforced.

Norman Oder of Atlantic Yards Report has reported on the story twice:

Daily News follows up on "rampant" illegal parking around Atlantic Yardsconstruction zone;  AYR video shows NYPD placards on Sixth Avenue

Fox News, WPIX follow up, find illegal parking at site;  Atlantic Yards Watch shows Atlantic Avenue "lot" and "funeral director"; will AY District Service Cabinet address parking issue?



July 8, 2011 - 4:44pm

The following photos show the locations and strategies of Atlantic Yards construction workers who park illegally in the vicinity of the project.  All of these photos were taken between 1 pm and 2 pm on Thursday, July 7th.  

Construction workers apparently piggyback on the illegal parking of city employees in the area of the Barclays Center which happens to be virtually across the street from the 78th Precinct.  There is apparently little or no enforcement of parking regulations in the vicinity of the 78th Precinct by the NYPD.  A more complete description of the problem can be found here.

 

Is it a funeral director or an iron worker?  If it is a construction worker he or she has found an inventive way to get around parking regulations.  This car was parked in a no standing zone on 6th Avenue immediately adjacent to the Barclays Center site.



July 8, 2011 - 9:03am

Today the Daily News story Illegal Parking Rampant Around Atlantic Yards Construction Zone in Brooklyn covers the long on-going problem of illegal construction worker parking in the vicinity of the project site.

Construction workers piggyback on the illegal parking of city employees associated with the NYPD 78th Precinct, FDNY 105 Ladder Company and HPD in the vicinity of the 78th Precinct.  This is possible due to the apparent selective parking regulation enforcement of the NYPD in the area around the precinct.  

Numerous 311 complaints from community members have been filed at this website about the issue.  The pattern of the dispositions of the 311 complaints seem to show the police not finding a problem at the time they go to the locations reported in the complaints.  In one case in which the disposition stated the police had corrected the problem, follow up from the filer showed the problem still in place.

Construction workers park illegally on sidewalks, in bus lanes and ignore parking regulations on Pacific Street, 6th Avenue, Dean Street and Atlantic Avenue.  An estimated 20 to 30 construction worker cars parked illegally in the immediate area daily during the work week.  Free parking for up to 40 construction worker cars is already provided inside the footprint by FCRC to construction workers on several locations on block 1129 and at the former location of the Carlton Avenue Bridge between blocks 1121 and 1120.

A month ago, Dean Street Block Association, 6th Avenue to Vanderbilt did a survey together with Transportation Alternatives of parking in the vicinity of the 78th Precinct primarily focused on precinct employees.  Of the 87 cars observed, all but four were parked illegally.  (Those three were legal placards used legally).  Of the other 83, 12 had some form of construction gear (a hard hat, goggles, a vest, etc) in the dashboard;  11 or so had a phony placard, and around 35 had nothing at all -- they were just illegally parked.  The remainder had placards, but were parked illegally (on the sidewalk, in fires zones, in front of hydrants, etc).



July 6, 2011 - 12:42pm

A Canadian truck carrying prefabricated Barclays Center seating blocked the Dean Street bicycle lane at Vanderbilt Avenue for over an hour last night. The truck was headed to block 1129 where the seating is stored before being installed in the arena.

According to the local resident who supplied the video above, he first encountered the truck in the location shown in the video around 6:00 pm.  The video was filmed over an hour later when he returned from dinner.  At both times the truck was idling and sitting in the same place in the bicycle lane.  

The truck was apparently violating NYC law.  Not only is Dean Street not a NYCDOT designated truck route, in NYC trucks are only allowed to idle for 3 minutes.  Blocking a bicycle lane is also not allowed.

The truck with Ontario license plates was associated with Active Transport Incorporated.  According to the company, which is located in Milton, Ontario, it ships Barclays Center seats from Canada where they are prefabricated to Brooklyn.   The company specializes in transporting large, difficult to move objects and equipment.

In a related story, the construction alert forwarded to the community yesterday by the ESDC states Hunt has now "demobilized" the access ramp at Dean Street and Flatbush Avenue.  It was opened earlier this year to accommodate trucks while the Pacific Street ramp was temporarily closed.  In the last construction alert Hunt detailed they would both remain open at the same time for an indeterminate period.



July 3, 2011 - 2:40pm

Besides recent complaints about truck traffic on Dean Street, this website has received multiple truck related complaints in the last two weeks including a flat bed truck idling twice in two consecutive days on Pacific Street between Underhill and Vanderbilt Avenues and cement trucks lining Dean Street between 5th and Flatbush Avenues.  Another complaint located a stationary truck near an accident at Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues.

Lack of clarity about truck routes, rules and requirements may lead to unnecessary impacts for the local community.  Current Barclays Center Delivery Truck Rules and Requirements rule out queing anywhere except Pacific Street from Vanderbilt to Carlton.  

For months the truck requirements on the ESDC website have been out of date, and the information in the construction alerts released every two weeks has had little useful relationship to the actual configuration of truck entrances around the perimeter of the project.  This is true because the information provided is narrowly focused on Barclays Center work, (not transit work, infrastructure work, the rebuilding of the Carlton Avenue Bridge, or work inside the railyard), and even in that case no information has been provided about routes out of the arena block. There are now roughly eleven entrances to the site, and 24 hour deliveries. Even details about flaggers are out of date.

In the narrow case of the work on the Barclays Center,  a revised truck route was announced months ago due to the temporary closure of the ramp into the arena block at Pacific Street.  This revised route was anticipated to be used until June with the reopening of the Pacific Street ramp.  The Pacific Street ramp has now been reopened, but Barclays Center contractor Hunt has extended the period the Dean Street entrances are to be used, therefore expanding and extending the dispersal of construction trucks in the neighborhood.  

The punitive measures detailed in the requirements posted on the ESDC website in the Barclays Center Delivery Truck Rules and Requirements sound significant: "Failure to comply with these requirements will result in the non-compliant driver, and/or firm, being denied access to the site for the duration of the project."  However, if the routes, rules and requirements do not reflect actual conditions on the site they will leave those responsible for enforcement confused, and as a result the requirements will become toothless.



July 2, 2011 - 2:52pm

(The text in italics has been updated since the original post).

Barclays Center contractors have created a large stockpile for dirt at the intersection of Dean Street and Carlton Avenue.  The photo on the right was taken Friday, July 1st.  The mound, mostly uncovered for much of last week, is across the street from homes on Dean Street and Carlton Avenue.  As of Sunday, July 3rd the covering has been extended to cover the top of the pile.  The issue was first brought to the attention of this website by an incident report filed Tuesday, June 28th.

A second smaller pile on block 1129 has been left uncovered as of Sunday, July 3rd.

It is unclear why this stockpile and the procedure it is associated with are located so close to residences. 

The pile appears to violate numerous commitments as detailed in the Amended Environmental Commitments Memo.  Dirt was visibly blowing off the pile on Friday, July 1st.  

The pile is one element of a multi-step process which apparently involves sifting gravel from the Barclays Center construction site in order to clean or reuse it.  Dirt is brought from the arena block to block 1129 via Dean Street, unloaded and eventually sifted at the location of the pile.  It is then removed by truck, possibly back to the arena block for reuse.  No wetting was visible during this process July 1st.  If the pile was sprayed with a suppressing agent, it was inadequate to the purpose. 

The Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments states "all stockpiled dry materials (e.g., sand, aggregate) shall be water-misted; sprayed with non-hazardous, biodegradable suppressing agent; covered; or otherwise enclosed."  It also states "loading of any dry material which may release dust from trucks shall be accompanied by manual water spraying of the material," and that "a washing station shall be constructed for all truck exits."  None of these commitments appear to be met in this case.

This process may also be the reason construction trucks associated with Laquila filled with gravel have been leaving the construction site and traveling down Dean Street passed Dean Playground.  Dean Street and Carlton Avenues are not designated truck routes.



July 2, 2011 - 2:07pm

 

Illegal Atlantic Yards construction truck on Dean from tracy collins on Vimeo.

In the last week construction trucks have been sighted regularly on Dean Street between 6th and Vanderbilt Avenues.  A resident of Carlton Avenue from Dean to Pacific Streets also states trucks have lined up there early in the morning.

The trucks on Dean Street largely appear to be associated with Laquila, a contractor working on Barclays Center.  Many trucks are loaded with gravel and travel past Dean Playground, down Dean Street to Vanderbilt, turn left on Vanderbilt and left again into the former Pacific Street.  They may be delivering gravel to a site on block 1129 where the gravel is sifted and loaded back on trucks.

According to a driver interrupted mid-trip at the intersection of Dean Street and Carlton Avenue on Friday July 1st, no information has been provided to Laquila drivers about the routes to take from the arena block.



June 24, 2011 - 2:52pm

A meeting held Thursday night to address the rodent problem in the vicinity of Atlantic Yards sponsored by Council Member Letitia James and the Dean Street Block Association, 6th Avenue to Vanderbilt drew between 60 and 70 residents.

Also attending were representatives from the NYC Departments of Health and Sanitation and the ESDC's Atlantic Yards Project Director Arana Hankin.

Although fliers for the meeting were focused in the area of Prospect Heights that is close to Atlantic Yards, residents from Fort Greene and Boerum Hill also attended and spoke of increased rodent problems in areas of their neighborhoods near the project.



June 23, 2011 - 11:05am

Thomas Tracy reports today in the Brooklyn Paper that a drill driving piles immediately adjacent to Vanderbilt Avenue in block 1121 "sent egg-sized chunks of packed dirt and small stones raining down on unsuspecting pedestrians and commuters at the corner of Vanderbilt and Atlantic Avenues on June 21- leaving two injuries and more than seven damaged cars."

The drill in question is of the same type and doing the same type of work reported to be spewing dust several months ago on this website.  These types of drills at the site have been the source of community complaints for some time, particularly for the dust and noise they cause.  A video in our report from April 6th shows a malfunctioning Casagrande drill spewing dust one block west from the most recent incident.  

The AY Construction Alert from June 20th to July 31st describes the work as taking place to install a line of 17 drilled piles located in what used to be the BP gas station at the intersection of Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues.  The work taking place is over a tunnel leading into the LIRR railyard at the easternmost part of the project.  The work is anticipated to take place for two months.

For approximately three weeks a travel lane and sidewalk on Vanderbilt have been closed, and a bicycle lane moved, to accommodate the affects of the drill that caused the accident.  Workers have been observed sweeping the lane and sidewalk over the last week.  The photo to the left was taken June 8th.  The two cones to the right in the photo delineate the temporary path of the bicycle lane.

The effort to shift cars, bicycles and pedestrians out of harm's way by moving the lanes on Vanderbilt may be part of what is referred to as the MPT or Maintenance and Protection of Traffic Plan for the project which is particularly important during the construction period.  Although lane closures for construction work are generally detailed to the public in the AY Construction Alerts or related supplements, this writer can find no details of these particular changes outlined in the documents.