In July, Forest City Ratner submitted to the NYC Department of Transportation plans to install 206 bollards on the sidewalks surrounding the Barclays Center arena. The plans appear to mirror the renderings of Barclays Center submitted by ESDC in December 2010 with its response to a State Supreme Court remand order. However, the plans reveal for the first time that several sidewalks surrounding the arena, including one in front of an arena entrance on Dean Street, will have narrower effective widths than were analyzed for the 2006 environmental impact statement under which the project was approved.
Some steps directed to addressing the rodent problem are underway; in the meantime stories in the press continue
Forest City Ratner Company will begin its distribution of garbage cans with lids to local residents this week. The BrooklynPaper reports 172 Rubbermaid wheeled cans will be distributed at a cost to FCRC of $32 each. At the last District Service Cabinet FCRC also said they would add 16 new trash receptacles to the construction site for worker's food waste, and add four new workers to empty those receptacles regularly and do a limited perimeter sweep. In addition contractors have apparently added between 180 to 220 bait traps inside the construction site.
Based on regular observation, the construction site is generally cleaner than before attention was drawn to the rodent problem, such as when this linked photo portrait was taken June 21st. But garbage can still be found in the 22 acre footprint of the project. The photo below from August 4th shows trash including food waste located mostly inside the railyard work area just east of the 6th Avenue Bridge.
Nine violations by trucks of the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments, Barclays Center Truck Rules and Requirements and/or NYC law are documented today before noon
Nine violations by trucks of the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments, Barclays Center Truck Rules and Requirements, and/or NYC law were documented before noon today. The filer was stationary and only captured those incidents within the visual range of his/her location. The times below are from the incident reports.
1). 5:50 am
A flatbed truck delivering steel idles under the windows of Newswalk's residences on Pacific Street between Carlton and 6th Avenues. The Barclays Center truck rules require trucks to wait on Pacific Street between Carlton and Vanderbilt and advance under the guidance of a flagger at Carlton and Pacific Street. They are not allowed to wait in this location.
The report states the truck idled for over an hour and that the driver ignored a request to move from a resident. The photo below apparently shows an Atlantic Yards worker documenting the truck with a cell phone camera.
In the last two weeks, this website has received incident reports related to adverse impacts on air quality from mechanical demolition, loading of trucks without spraying, an uncovered pile -- one of a number -- on site, jackhammering of a retaining wall, idling trucks, and now again from the Casagrande drill.
The use of Casagrande drills have instigated complaints from nearby residents related to noise, vibrations and air quality. After striking video documentation of dust spewing from the drill was sent to ESD in April, the drill was apparently modified. In June, mud spewed from the drill injuring two pedestrians outside the construction site and damaging seven cars.
Today, one of the drills released what appears to be smoke into the air. The two videos below were submitted with an incident report which identifies the incident as occurring at 9:23 this morning.
FCRC to offer free lidded garbage cans to a set of residents near the project footprint; a rodent forum is scheduled for August 17th
Forest City Ratner Companies is to provide lidded garbage cans to tenants, property owners, and superintendents of buildings near Atlantic Yards. The area the cans will be provided extends from the south side of Atlantic Avenue to the south side of Bergen Street, and from the east side of Vanderbilt Avenue to the east side of 4th Avenue. Only buildings with 12 units or less are eligible.
The map below shows the distribution area which is located largely to the south of the project. The "pick up site" for the free cans is Forest City Ratner's Community Liaison Office.
In addition, Empire State Development and the New York City Departments of Health and Sanitation will host an educational forum at the Pacific Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library on Wednesday, August 17th from 6-8 pm. At the forum experts will offer strategies for rodent prevention and answer questions.
The distribution of free garbage cans was first proposed by FCRC at the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet July 14th following community complaints and press reports about problems with rodents in the vicinity of project construction. The cans are one component of a multifaceted approach to reducing the rodent population outside the project footprint. Along with encouraging prevention inside the project footprint, the Departments of Health and Sanitation will be inspecting the community to identify existing problems.
As trucks continue to violate Atlantic Yards environmental commitments and NYC law, signs emerge that methods for coordinating trucks are changing
Construction trucks at the Atlantic Yards construction site have repeatedly violated the Amended Memorandum of Environmental Commitments, Barclays Center Truck Rules and Requirements and NYC law. Clarification of truck routes and enforcement were on the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet agenda July 14th, but the meeting ended before the subject was covered.
Since Saturday July 30th, this website has received ten more incident reports, (all public here), related either to trucks driving the wrong route, driving against traffic, waiting in travel lanes or bus stops, leaving the construction site uncovered, or idling. Among the streets documented on this website impacted by insufficient coordination of delivery trailers and trucks are Atlantic Avenue, Pacific Street between Carlton and 6th Avenues, Carlton Avenue between Dean and Pacific Streets, Dean Street, South Portland Avenue, and Clermont Avenue.
The photo above shows cement trucks with mud covered wheels adjusting their positions inside the arena block by shutting traffic down on Atlantic Avenue. The picture below shows a dump truck likely associated with Carlton Avenue Bridge work because it originated at the railyard entrance on Atlantic Avenue near Carlton, turning down Clermont Avenue. Clermont Avenue is not a designated truck route.
With demolition of a family shelter, the last existing residences in this phase of property condemnations will be eliminated
Forest City Ratner Company is in the process of demolishing 603 Dean Street, one half of the 94 unit residential family shelter formerly known as the Pacific Dean Annex. The shelter's residences are the last to be demolished in the project footprint during this phase of the project. In 2009 the project was changed so that property would be acquired by the State and FCRC in at least two phases. The completion of the condemnation process for three small, still inhabited residential buildings on Dean Street will not occur until some unscheduled time in the future.
In the 2006 FEIS, the ESDC estimated 171 residential units and 410 residents would be directly displaced by the project. That number did not include the shelter's family residences.
The shelter is located on block 1129 which is part of the project's second phase. It is being demolished to make way first for construction staging, and later an accessory interim surface parking lot for the Barclays Center anticipated to have as many as 1100 spaces.
FCRC states their long term plans are to build housing on the shelter's current location. Currently the developer has no financing for any housing, and the project agreements give the developer at least 25 years to complete the project's second phase.
During an overlapping period this morning, a major piece of Sam Schwartz's traffic mitigation plan was tested against weekday traffic for the first time, a job action disrupted construction work at the arena, and a lane of traffic on Atlantic Avenue was closed in order to conduct random radiation tests.
As the picture to the right shows, weekday drivers traveling northbound on 4th Avenue Monday discovered they can no longer continue on 4th Avenue between Atlantic and Flatbush. Instead they are now expected to turn left on Atlantic to 3rd Avenue where they can continue north, or turn right onto Pacific Street which is now one lane eastbound.
The traffic mitigations are being put in place at this time because traffic levels are lower than at other times of the year. The changes in traffic patterns, (actually implemented Saturday), are forced into being by temporary obstructions that will soon be turned into a permanent extended plaza on 4th Avenue between Atlantic and Flatbush, and a "neck-down" at Pacific and Flatbush.
Incident Report Saturday documents steel deliveries to Barclays Center that ignore ESDC's published truck regulations and appear to violate NYC law
The video above from Saturday shows a Barclays Center construction-related truck disobeying both NYC traffic laws and the ESDC's published truck rules on Pacific Street between 6th Avenue and Carlton. The truck crosses the 6th Avenue intersection while the north/south traffic on 6th Avenue has a green light, attaches a load waiting in the travel lane and then drives against traffic to block 1129.
This one truck trip is part of a series of steel deliveries on Saturday that were not consistent with either the Barclays Center Truck Rules and Requirements made public by the ESDC, or NYC traffic law.
Besides the type of violations shown in the video above, two incident reports filed on this website supported by video and photography state the trucks idled on Pacific Street for "hours." Driving against traffic, using a travel lane as a staging area without permission from DOT, and idling for more than 3 minutes are all against NYC law.
The Barclays Center truck rules require trucks to enter Pacific Street from Vanderbilt Avenue and wait on Pacific Street between Vanderbilt and Carlton until signaled by a flagger to advance. On Saturday no flagger was present at that intersection and the trucks entered against the traffic into Pacific Street from 6th Avenue.
Erin Durkin in the Daily News has followed up on her article from earlier this month about illegal construction worker parking. She reports the police have issued 69 summonses in the last two weeks in the blocks around the site. She quotes a NYPD spokesman as saying the violations "run the gamut," of the type of violations this website has highlighted.
Regular visitors to Pacific Street or 6th Avenue will see a discernible difference with few cars parked on sidewalks or in violation of parking regulations. Illegal construction worker parking has largely been cleared away from those areas. Other areas such as inside the MPT zone on Atlantic Avenue continue to be used by construction workers. Illegal city employee parking, especially related to the 78th Precinct, also continues.
As part of what will be an ongoing initiative Atlantic Yards Watch will post a review of existing construction worker parking strategies in a few weeks.