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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.


June 23, 2011 - 7:55am

In a second WPIX channel 11 report on rodent problems in our neighborhood, reporter Monica Morales interviews residents, a construction boss and shows some problem areas.



June 21, 2011 - 8:45am

The biggest change last announced last week as part of the traffic plan developed by Sam Schwartz was the re-engineering of the intersection of Fourth, Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues, which seeks to untangle the knot of traffic that regularly forms when three of Brooklyn’s busiest traffic arteries converge.  Sam Schwartz’s plan removes the northbound lanes of Fourth Avenue between Atlantic and Flatbush, the shortest side of the triangle. Cars going north down Fourth to Flatbush will now get diverted west on to Atlantic and will then turn right on to Third Avenue in order to reach Flatbush - to get to Lafayette.   The changes are intended to keep cars moving, prevent them from getting stuck in the intersections and increase pedestrian safety.  But in the estimation of many living on or around Third Avenue in Boerum Hill, the plan solves one set of problems by creating another.



June 21, 2011 - 8:25am

"Rats can be a property, block or neighborhood problem and require a coordinated response:  property owners, tenants, businesses and government need to work together.  Everyone has a part to play."

New York City Department of Health, Pest Control Services

 

The following is a photo essay from Sunday June 19th showing current potential sources of food for rodents inside and in the vicinity of the Atlantic Yards Project footprint:

The 6th Avenue entrance to the arena block construction site at Pacific Street, Sunday June 19th



June 19, 2011 - 10:06pm

At Council Member Letitia James' initiative, a meeting addressing the rodent problem in the vicinity of the Atlantic Yards site is to take place this coming Thursday.

Many residents believe construction at the Atlantic Yards site is the origin of the problem, through a combination of disrupted nests, neglected abatement and new food sources.  Sources for food and water that sustain the rodents are also available in the nearby residential community, most particularly as a result of improperly contained garbage.   The problem cannot be fully addressed unless the many contributing factors are addressed.

Time:  Thursday, June 23rd, 6 to 7 pm

Place:  Soapbox Gallery, 636 Dean Street  (please note this is a new location)

Sponsors:  Council Member Letitia James, Dean Street Block Association, 6th Avenue to Vanderbilt

Invited:  NYC Department of Health, NYC Department of Sanitation, Empire State Development Corporation, Forest City Ratner Corporation

All are welcome.  Tell your friends and neighbors.



June 17, 2011 - 8:49am

More on the Sam Schwartz presentation.  Below is the response to the press from BrooklynSpeaks, whose members include the sponsors of Atlantic Yards Watch.   And, in case you missed any of the details, Norman Oder of Atlantic Yards Report has video and a thorough recounting of the meeting.

 

A Private Developer’s Traffic Plan Won’t Work for Brooklyn

Coordinated efforts by State and City Government are necessary
to avert traffic disaster when Barclays Center opens
 
This evening at 6:30 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.



June 13, 2011 - 7:11pm

This Tuesday, June 14, Forest City Ratner will present to the public the long- awaited plan to manage traffic resulting from the 19,000 visitors anticipated to come to the Barclay's Arena.  The plan was created by traffic consultant Sam Schwartz and can be viewed here at the ESDC website.  The public presentation will be held at Brooklyn Borough Hall, (209 Joralemon Street), from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.

Tuesday night will be an opportunity for the public to ask questions, and hopefully get answers, but it is not an opportunity for input from local stakeholders. The plan itself is a fait accompli, approved by ESDC and NYC DOT before the public - and even our elected officials - had a chance to weigh in.

What will you hear on Tuesday night?  The plan largely focuses on untying the knot of traffic at the triangle of Flatbush, Atlantic and Fourth Avenues.  But for those living in the immediate vicinity of the project, many questions are left unanswered. The plan does not address many of the traffic and pedestrian impacts that will result from 19,000 arena patrons coming to the site. Many of the roadway and sidewalk changes outlined in the FEIS are absent from the plan, having either been rejected with no explanation, or put off into the future. It also fails to include emergency egress or security, issues that greatly concern the surrounding neighborhood.

Here’s what we do know:

1).  The plan outlined by Sam Schwartz for traffic mitigations paints only a partial picture of what streets and sidewalks around the Barclays Center will be like during arena events.  As one example, Sam Schwartz’s presentation includes a clearly drawn arrow showing the route they believe northbound traffic on 4th Avenue will take, but there is no information about traffic and pedestrian circulation around the 1100 space surface lot and the arena.  In another example, we still don’t know the egress plan for the 78h Precinct or the 105 Ladder Company, both across the street from the arena.



June 13, 2011 - 6:45pm

Atlantic Yards Ombudsman Forrest Taylor has left the ESDC for a job at New York State Homes and Community Renewal, (HCR).  Will the ESDC simply refill his seat, or will they reform oversight to improve the way they address impacts from the project?

Forrest Taylor was personally liked by community leaders, who found him sincerely interested in resolving problems.  But Mr. Taylor's position was a difficult one. He was an advocate for the community within an oversight structure that is not transparent and lacks the staff and independent board of other ESDC projects smaller than Atlantic Yards.  Until the appointment of Project Director Arana Hankin in the fall of 2010,  Taylor was the only public employee ever to work full-time on the project. And in an agency that has had six leaders under four governors since Atlantic Yards was announced, Mr. Taylor’s three and a half years with the project represents an unusual example of continuity.

Mr. Taylor's potential often seemed constrained by his situation because his position had little authority or decision-making capacity within the ESDC.   Despite his availability, he was often frustrated by his inability to resolve problems in a way that was satisfactory to the community.  In October 2009, Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries stated " ... the ombudsman system ... is nonfunctional because the higher-ups at ESDC aren't interested in empowering the ombudsman in a manner that would benefit the community."



June 13, 2011 - 6:31pm

A supplemental construction alert today announces that for the week of June 13, 2011 there will be a second shift of construction work on the arena.  The additional hours of the work will be 3:30 pm to 11 pm.  

The alert states the work will include excavation, reinforcing of steel installation, truck elevator pit wall forms and numerous other activities.  

In addition it states that with a few exceptions deliveries will be staged prior to 6 pm.  Site access will be through both the Dean Street and Pacific Street gates.

For additional information, the full supplemental construction alert is attached.



June 12, 2011 - 10:09am

Following the meeting by BrooklynSpeaks about Atlantic Yards governance on Saturday, there are two more Project related meetings as detailed from their announcements this week:

1).  Forum:  Sam Schwartz Traffic Mitigation Plan

Tuesday, June 14 at Brooklyn Borough Hall, (209 Joralemon Street), from 6:30 to 8:00 pm

The public is invited to a fourm sponsored by Empire State Development Coroporation and Community Boards 2, 6, and 8 to discuss the Sam Schwartz traffic mitigation plan that will begin to be implemented July 24th and will be complete before the anticipated opening of the Barclays Center in the fall of 2012.

There will be a presentation detailing the changes and the public will be given the opportunity to ask questions.

2).  Unity 4 Community Meeting -- We Can Do Better Than Than an Arena, A Big Parking Lot

Wednesday, June 15 at Atlantic Commons, (388 Atlantic Avenue between Hoyt and Bond), at 7:00 pm

The meeting will include a presentation by UNITY Plan designers and architects Marshall Brown and Ron Shiffman, a discussion of the current and future status of the site and Q &A with a panel including elected officials.    Your ideas, thoughts and input will be invaluable to the meeting.

The meeting is sponsored by Assemblyman James Brennan, Senator Bill Perkins, Senator Eric Adams, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, Councilmember Letitia James, Councilmember Brad Lander, Councilmember Stephen Levin, District Leader Chris Owens, Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods, Pratt Graduate Center for Planning and the Environment, Park Slope Neighbors, Park Slope Greens, Four Borough Neighborhood Preservation Alliance, Prospect Heights Democrats for Reform, Park Slope Civic Council, Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats



June 11, 2011 - 11:47am

This is the second episode in a series of one-minute, casual, interviews with people who live and work in the neighborhood of the Dean Street Block Association (DSBA), 6th to Vanderbilt Avenues, in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, New York.
 
This episode is an interview with Doug, a 17-year resident of Dean Street.