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NYPD apparently continues to selectively enforce the law; Illegal construction worker parking expands to Atlantic Avenue

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).

The survey paints a picture of current illegal parking conditions, but it also has implications for planners of Atlantic Yards as they determine solutions for removing city employee parking from sidewalks as is anticipated at the time Barclays Center begins operation. Among their choices are creating parking for city employees, (many without legal placards), or getting the NYPD to enforce parking regulations in the area.  

Since the time of the survey, construction workers have actually expanded the locations they park illegally onto Atlantic Avenue, apparently closing off part of a travel lane to create their own free parking lot as the photo to the right from yesterday shows.

The Amended Environmental Commitments Memo details "FCRC shall provide on-site parking for construction workers at levels appropriate in light of the number of workers employed at the site during different stages of construction, to a maximum of 800 spaces.  FCRC shall monitor the work force levels throughout the construction period and shall report to ESDC on a quarterly basis as to the number of on-site spaces and the utilization of such spaces.   The parking facilities shall have perimeter fencing and shall be accessible only during work hours.  Parking fees at rates comparable to commercial off-street facilities in the surrounding area shall be imposed for these spaces.  FCRC shall consult with and obtain the approval of ESDC, such approval not to be unreasonably withheld, prior to reducing the number of construction worker spaces at the Project site as the number of workers changes and permanent parking locations within the Project site become available for construction worker parking."

At a joint meeting of the Dean Street Block Association and Carlton Avenue Association on June 28th covering traffic and pedestrian issues,  the ESDC and FCRC responded to complaints about illegal construction worker parking by saying a formula is being used to determine when the commitments detailed above are to be put in place.  

The formula apparently associates FCRC's obligation to meet their commitment to provide construction worker parking, with the availability of on-street parking in the vicinity of the project as outlined in a study from 2005 included in the project's FEIS.  The ESDC and FCRC committed at the meeting to providing this formula to the meeting organizers.  

During the meeting the ESDC and FCRC said the formula shows not enough workers are on site to necessitate the creation of a construction worker parking lot.  This seems contradicted by the fact construction workers are creating their own illegal on-street parking spaces instead of parking in the available spaces the environmental analysis from 2005 says should exist, and that FCRC is already providing free parking.

It may be the case the free parking FCRC is providing on site for construction workers may not conform to, or even violates, what is outlined in the Amended Environmental Commitments Memo.  FCRC is meant to provide parking at rates commensurate with nearby parking garages in order to avoid creating an artificial incentive for workers to drive to the site.  

If FCRC created parking for a fee and the NYPD provided parking regulation enforcement, the illegal construction worker parking would likely significantly diminish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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