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Neglected fences, not development or artwork, characterize the project's second phase

 

"Works in Progress," Artbridge’s exhibition of 20 digital prints installed in segments along construction fencing circling the arena block, is located on Flatbush Avenue, Dean Street and 6th Avenue.  It will be in place until April or May of next year. 

Artbridge is a non-profit public arts organization that according to its website, "beautifies neighborhoods and communities by transforming overhead construction scaffolding into larger-than-life canvas for the work of local emerging artists."  

The photo to the left shows the exhibition being installed on a portion of the fencing along Dean Street between 6th Avenue and Flatbush Tuesday October 18th.

The effect of the exhibition is enhanced by the active construction of the Barclays Center rising behind as a backdrop. But its total running length is only 425 feet, and it is installed next to the first elements of project construction.  The 22 acre project footprint has approximately 6,000 linear feet of fencing along its perimeter.  

When the exhibition was announced to the public in June, AYW ran a story including a photograph (below, left) of a fence located on Atlantic Avenue at Vanderbilt.  The photo to the right was taken October 8th. 

 

June 2011 October 2011

 

In its report, Combating Graffiti: Reclaiming the Public Spaces of New York, NYPD asks that property owners immediately report graffiti to the police and upon completion of a police report remove it.  The goal is to prevent the long term display of markings and discourage vandalism.  "Experience has shown that prompt clean-up is an effective deterent to the re-occurrence of graffiti."

Formerly the area shown in the photos was a functioning BP gas station.  The lot has now been excavated around a LIRR tunnel that runs beneath the fence.  The area is the eastern-most part of Atlantic Yards and among the last areas scheduled to be developed.  Until it is, the lot will remain an example of how, in some locations, Atlantic Yards has reversed development progress and introduced blight.  

For the short-term, the area is a source of rodent, garbage and graffiti complaints.

 

Second phase perimeter fencing in photos

Perimeter conditions for the project's second phase tend to be worse and less aesthetic than in the arena block. This is due in part to a vacuum in responsibility for maintenance of some Atlantic Yards sidewalks.  In other cases it is because the fencing is temporary and anticipated to be replaced at some point in the future.  

Most won't be replaced by permanent buildings, but instead with more solid fencing to protect the existing community from planned interim uses of the project like arena patron parking and on-going construction staging. The staging will support construction of the project's first phase and LIRR's permanent storage yard.  

For some locations, there simply is no meaningful description of the interim condition, and no hint of how fencing will be changed, so the lifespan of the current fencing is unknown.

The photos that follow show fence conditions in the second phase footprint of the project.  The photos were taken October 8th, 15th and 23rd.

 

This is the other side of the former BP gas station on Vanderbilt Avenue between Pacific Street and Atlantic Avenue.  As has long been the case, garbage is stuffed between the concrete barriers and the temporary wooden fencing.  

Until a building is built here there is no description of what will be located in the area behind the fence.  Currently much of the soil has been removed so this fence or another is likely to be in place for some time.  This area is one of the last to be developed under the current project plan which may take 25 years or more to complete.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garbage caught in fencing between Atlantic Avenue  and Pacific on Vanderbilt Avenue.  Some of the garbage is foodstuffs.  FCRC is required to clean this stretch of sidewalk.

 

 

The fence lining Atlantic Avenue between Vanderbilt and Carlton Avenues. As originally approved in 2006, FCRC was to take control of all of the project footprint at once including this sidewalk, and would have been responsible for custodianship of all sidewalks and all fencing along the project perimeter.  Custodianship includes litter pick-up, graffiti removal, snow shoveling and improving inadequate or damaged sidewalks. 

FCRC "voluntarily" cleans up trash and weeds here, but no entity is currently designated to shovel snow, remove graffiti or improve the sidewalk.  This is because LIRR/MTA still owns the property adjacent to the sidewalks and as a state authority it does not have to obey local laws relevant to sidewalk maintenance.

Because of changes to the project agreements between FCRC, MTA and ESDC in 2009, development here may not be completed here for 25 years or more.

  

The fence lining Atlantic Avenue from 6th Avenue to Carlton.  The building to the rear is the former LIRR stable found eligible for the National Historic Register in the project's FEIS.  

FCRC maintains these sidewalks to the same degree as on Atlantic between Carlton and Vanderbilt Avenues.  Like there, development here may take decades.

 

This fence is on Pacific Street between Carlton and 6th Avenues.  The orange vinyl netting covers one of a number of holes in the chain link cut to enable the monitoring of two buildings (remaining inside the second phase footprint with their original owners) for construction-related vibrations.

Also within the phase 2 footprint, development here is allowed to take decades.

  

This is Sixth Avenue between Dean and Pacific Streets.  The empty lot was created with the demolition of two town houses with Dean Street frontage and is currently being used for 78th Precinct employee parking.  The cars parked on the sidewalk are 78th employee cars parked illegally.  

This is the location of a portion of the building #15 footprint.  Until it is built, it is another area in which development progress has been set back by the project.  The planned interim function of the lot has variously been described as construction staging, an arena broadcast support area, surface parking and NYPD parking.

  

Graffiti on a pre-existing brick fence on Dean Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt Avenues.

 

 

The fence lining Dean Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt.  All but one building holding businesses and residences on this block have been demolished to make room for the block's interim function as an 1,100-space parking lot for arena patrons.  

Like many areas in the project's second phase, the development progress of this block (much of which was the site of the Ward Bread Bakery found eligible for the National Historic Register in the project's FEIS) has been set back by the project.

The fence on this block is to be replaced by a more solid brick fence and narrow planted border with a goal of shielding residences nearby from the arena patron parking.  

  

This is Carlton Avenue between Dean and Pacific Streets.  Using a Citizen's Committee grant, the residents of this block restored bushes lining the project perimeter that had died over the course of the last few years.   They also oversaw the planting of the street trees by the Parks Department.  

Like along Dean Street current plans are to replace this fence with a taller, less transparent fence to protect local residents from the 1100 parking spaces for arena patrons anticipated to be placed here as an "interim" condition. 

In the last few years local civic organizations have overseen the planting of more than 20 street trees on Dean Street, Pacific Street, Carlton and Vanderbilt Avenues in the immediate vicinity of the project site,  primarily across the street.