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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.

September 24, 2012 - 1:31pm

Can Atlantic Yards Watch be a model for other communities dealing with giant development projects and limited oversight? This week in Austin, AYW makes an appearance at the SXSW Eco conference in a session entitled, "Digital Strategies for Environmental Guerrillas," presented by PHNDC's Gib Veconi. The session will take place on Thursday, October 4 at 11:15SAM CST at the AT&T Conference Center (and may also be available streaming online—check back for details).


September 17, 2012 - 12:50pm

In what is something of a surprise, the facade of Barclays Center is to be illuminated by multi-colored LED lights set in between the body of the arena building and the metal shell designed by SHoP Architects.  The lights will shine from each of the slots in the rusted steel exterior.  The colors of the lights are variable.  So far we have witnessed purple, white, green and blue being tested. 

September 16, 2012 - 11:29pm

Over the last month changes to the way truck deliveries take place at Barclays Center have increased meaningfully the number of violations of NYC law, the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments and Barclays Center Truck Delivery Rules and Requirements.  With apparently no enforcement taking place, the consequence is a wide range of adverse impacts on the community: trucks idling for long periods; use of unauthorized truck routes; and blocking of bus lanes, bike lanes, no standing zones and travel lanes.   Travel and the quality of life on Dean Street between Flatbush and 6th Avenue is particularly affected.

August 30, 2012 - 4:27pm

The Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, the Boerum Hill Association and the Park Slope Civic Council have released a proposed Neighborhood Protection Plan (NPP) that addresses many of the concerns community members anticipate after the opening of the Barclays Center arena.

On Wednesday, September 5, the groups will host a meeting to review where the goals of the NPP now stand. They will be joined by Forest City Ratner executives Ashley Cotton (Vice President for External Affairs) and Jane Marshall (Senior Vice President) for a discussion about protecting the quality of life of those living near Barclays Center. Issues include crowd control, safety, clean streets and sidewalks, traffic, parking and more. The public is encouraged to bring their questions and concerns.

When:  Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 7:00pm
Where: Iglesia Latina Evengelica, 
 506 Bergen St.  (between 6th and Carlton Avenues)

August 13, 2012 - 9:13pm

An existing area of greenery planted and maintained by community members was removed yesterday by FCRC.  To the left above is the work in progress on Carlton Avenue between Pacific and Dean Streets.  To the right is the former appearance of the block.  The sidewalk forms the western perimeter of what will be the new arena patron parking lot.

If the plantings had been allowed to remain, the area may have been the single place around the arena patron parking lot to meet the 7 foot landscaped perimeter standard required of other parking lots in NYC.  Instead, the landscaped perimeter will apparently be reduced to 4 feet on Carlton Avenue like the other sidewalks surrounding the lot.

July 5, 2012 - 10:53am

An analysis of documents submitted by the environmental consultant HDR retained by ESDC to monitor compliance with Atlantic Yards' noise and air quality protocols has found that the agency has been advised of significant areas of non-compliance on an ongoing basis since construction began in 2010. The analysis is contained in a report prepared for AYW by Sandstone Environmental Associates of Metuchen, NJ. Sandstone also found that some air and noise mitigations originally planned were likely inadequate, several planned mitigations were implemented late or not at all, and others that had been implemented unevenly were not being enforced either by FCRC, ESDC or City agencies.  

Among specific examples are the following:

  • Dust suppression protocols are often violated. Too few air quality monitors are being used given the scale of the site, and those that have been deployed are not used during extended hours construction.
  • The 3/4" plywood being used for construction fencing does not have sufficient noise attenuation properties to shield nearby residences.
  • The model of double-pane windows offered as a noise mitigation for nearby buildings may not have an attentuation rating sufficient to insulate residences from construction noise.
  • Construction equipment that did not meet the project's stated air quality standards has been allowed to remain in service on the site for months while compliant equipment was waiting to be received.
  • The ConEd power grid required for use of electrical, rather than diesel, equipment and generators was installed more than ten months late after construction activity had peaked, and then was largely not utilized by contractors.
  • Use of unauthorized truck routes by contractors is pervasive, with little or no enforcement by ESDC and the City.
  • Extended hours and nighttime construction work is routinely scheduled much more frequently than disclosed and committed in Atlantic Yards' Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).

June 18, 2012 - 10:13pm


Atlantic Yards Watch's webcam facing Barclays Center captured the photo above at 2:25 PM.  From the photo is not possible to tell whether the lightning is striking the arena or hitting an area on the horizon behind it.

June 18, 2012 - 11:09am

The New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (NYASLA), an organization of landscape architects in New York City, Long Island and Westchester, has submitted a letter to ESDC CEO Kenneth Adams about the plans for the surface parking lot for Barclays Center patrons on block 1129.  NYSLA expresses "dissatisfaction" with the proposed plans, and calls for a more sustainable plan that benefits NYC "through vegetation, shade, a minimized carbon footprint, stormwater management and pervious parking surface materials."  The heart of their recommendations is that the lot meet NYC DCP standards, and that it be constructed using green technology.  

The group writes that it finds the proposed design "troubling, potentially dangerous to long-term public health, averse to maintaining environmental quality and inconsistent with NYC’s intent to strengthen the economy, combat climate change and enhance quality of life through thoughtful and environmentally beneficial design."  

The use of block 1129 for an interim surface parking lot is a contentious piece of the Atlantic Yards plan. In 2009, the Project's plans were changed and the delivery date of the housing and open space on block 1129 was extended to 25 years or more, meaning the surface parking lot could be in place for decades rather than the few years originally intended. 

June 17, 2012 - 11:23am

Update June 18:  DOB has amended the full stop work order on the site to allow the approved work of grading and removal of minor construction debris.  Since the installation of the retaining tanks has not been approved yet, the stop work order will remain in place for that work. We will post further information when it is provided.

The Department of Buildings has issued a stop work order for construction on block 1129.  The stop work order is dated June 15th and describes the violations as "various."  The address cited is 583 Dean Street, which is the address under which FCRC has submitted the plans for the surface parking lot on block 1129.  The order states the work on the "full site" is to be stopped "except to make site safe."  

Community members have complained about the work on the block 1129 for multiple reasons, most seriously recently for vibrations on buildings in the historic district along Carlton Avenue.  Several incident reports from that area have been filed on this website about vibrations over the last several weeks, including a ceiling collapse.

The only work currently approved in relation to the implementation of the lot is grading and minor removal of construction debris.  The plans for the detention system to be used for handling the storm water runoff from the lot and the plans for the lot including fencing are listed as "disapproved" on the DOB website.

The work on the lot for the last month has appeared to exceed the scope and impact of the approved work.  This week excavations at least 20 feet deep were made.  What appears to be tanks for the detention system have been placed along Carlton Avenue.

June 17, 2012 - 9:31am

24-hour work to move LIRR operations from the southern to the northern half of Vanderbilt Railyards (referred to as the "cutover" in ESDC's Atlantic Yards construction alerts) is causing consternation among residents.  AYW has received several complaints about jackhammers, saws, and the persistent beeping of reversing construction vehicles.  One resident describes "jackhammering, tons of noise."

The video to the right is a of a worker using a saw on LIRR's tracks at 2 AM.  The filer of the incident report that includes the video has a decibel meter and reports a 120 db level.  No steps to attenuate the noise are visible in the video.

The use of noisy equipment like saws and jackhammers is not specified in the most recent construction alert.  The alert warns the community about the intermittent use of the LIRR railyard's lights all night, and that from 3:30 PM to 1:00 PM "loud banging noises by dump trucks will occur as they empty their loads of stone in the east yard between Carlton and Vanderbilt Avenues." But it does not describe jackhammering or the use of saws, and the noisy work described ends at 1:00 AM, not the later hours that the incident reports from nearby residents describe.