Below is a copy of an open letter sent to the Mayor and to The New York Times by a local resident. The resident lives near what is now the construction staging area for the project and will soon become a full block of surface parking. It is also currently anticipated to continue as a location for construction staging for 25 years or more. Unlike most arenas and stadiums around the country, the operation of Barclays Center is integrated into a residential community.
April 27, 2012
An open letter to Mayor Bloomberg and the City of New York:
My daughter Chelsea was born December 29, 2010 in the nasty aftermath of the Blizzard that crippled New York. Conquering the obstacles of unplowed Brooklyn streets, we made it to the hospital in one piece and came home with our little girl. We’re New Yorkers and can navigate a difficult situation. However, since bringing her home almost a year and a half ago, her days and nights have been filled with the relentless noise, dust, dirt and vibration of a project that you’ve given your support to: The Atlantic Yards Project.
Our apartment on Carlton Avenue in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn faces the staging area for this development that few have rallied for and many have opposed. Last night at 11:00 pm our entire apartment shook with a force equal to or greater than that of the earthquake that hit this area last summer. This morning tractors were buzzing around at 4:00 a.m. This has become the status quo and I’ve had enough. I’m not opposed to development, but I am most definitely opposed to disrupting the sleep and well being of a community.
I now go to bed at night dreading the inevitable wake ups. My wife and I take sleeping pills in an effort to sleep through the disruptions. We create white noise in the bedrooms to drown out the noise. My blood pressure has gone up in this time and my daughter wakes up crying.
My wife and I have lodged a dozen or so calls to 311, contacted the Atlantic Yards Project, called our Council Member, complained to one of the trucking companies, and logged complaints on a locally run website. Unfortunately, it’s a fruitless effort and I believe our only recourse may be incurring the expense and disruption of packing up my family and moving from a home and neighborhood that we love.
I don’t know why the lives of regular people should be so disrupted night after night, potentially for years to come, to expedite the interests of a few, but I’m hoping you can answer that question. We've all heard the litany of politically tested platitudes that usually surround controversial developments, what can you do to help us out? It’s not right. Chelsea and the rest of us deserve a good night sleep, don’t you think?
Prospect Heights Resident
Wednesday night, five and a half years after the project was approved and construction work began, ESDC Chairman Ken Adams told an assembled group of representatives from local civic organizations that ESDC is again looking at options for an oversight entity. Many community members believe a lack of adequate oversight has enabled the developer over time to flout and/or delay compliance with the environmental commitments stipulated in the Project Agreements.
Adams also stated Carlo Scissura from the Borough President's Office is developing a "Quality of Life" committee to deal with operational issues for the arena. The operational and transportation demand management plans so critical to the community near the site were promised to be made public in December 2011/January 2012. Plans for TDM are now promised May 22nd. No date has been scheduled to deliver plans for the operation of the arena, meaning details about the operation of the loading dock, the satellite uplink parking lot and security may not be provided for some time.