Yesterday Park Slope Patch reported on this really bad idea Assemblyman Jim Brennan is floating to force Ratner to provide more arena parking than the 1,100 spot surface parking lot the developer is already planning.
Brennan to Push for More Atlantic Yards Parking
Assemblymember Jim Brennan plans to introduce legislation to force Barclays Center developer Bruce Ratner to provide more parking.
Park Slope Patch, by Kristen V. Brown
Those already drafting their contingency plans for a parking nightmare once Barclays Arena opens may soon have something to look forward to.
While the Department of Transportation is still only "considering" residential parking permits to cope with the impending parking pain once the 18,000-seat arena opens for the 2012 basketball season, Assemblymember Jim Brennan is drafting his own plan to keep game-goers from taking up precious neighborhood parking spaces.
Brennan is gearing up to introduce legislation that would "compel Ratner to provide more parking," he said last week.
Brennan said that the 1,100 parking spaces Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner plans to provide for the arena is insufficient given the size of the space. Residents have long worried that on game days, parking in the neighborhood will be nearly impossible and have pressed the city to initiate residential parking permits.
"We're going to force them to provide more off-street parking," said Brennan. "There is no reason that Forest City Ratner should be allowed to not provide parking."
NoLandGrab comments: Actually, there is every reason that Forest City Ratner should be allowed to not provide parking. If you build it, they will drive [PDF].
Today Streetsblog followed up with the legislator's staff, District Leader JoAnne Simon and the experts (it doesn't take one) who explain how bad an idea more parking would be:
Jim Brennan Wants to Force Ratner to Build More Atlantic Yards Parking
by Noah Kazis
...Tonice Sgrignoli, a legislative aide for Brennan, said the legislation is still being researched and no details are available at this point. According to Sgrignoli, ESDC eliminated a requirement to build underground off-street parking that had been in an earlier agreement with Forest City Ratner and this legislation would likely undo that change.
When Streetsblog asked why Brennan thought that Atlantic Yards should have more parking in the first place, Sgrignoli replied that “Anyone who’s ever tried to drive a car and park it in that area will understand why it’s important to provide parking.”
Hopefully, Brennan himself has a more sophisticated understanding of parking policy. As former Boerum Hill Association president Jo Ann Simon said, no conceivable amount of off-street parking is going to free up on-street spaces so long as they are cheaper than going to a garage and available to anybody. “If people drive there, they will always try and find something free on the street,” she said. What happens on-street — many in the area, including Simon, have long pushed for residential parking permits — Simon said, “is entirely irrelevant to whether there should be more off-street parking to serve the arena.”
Simon’s argument is borne out by the reality at Yankee Stadium. There, despite a whopping 9,000 off-street spaces, area residents still complain that on-street parking is impossible on game day, according to a Crain’s report.
Moreover, building extra parking will simply mean that more people are able to drive to the area instead. “Brennan’s proposal to compel more off-street parking in one of New York City’s most transit-accessible locations betrays a terrible lack of understanding regarding transportation and mobility,” said University of Pennsylvania parking expert Rachel Weinberger. “His idea will invite more traffic through his district, more traffic in adjoining districts, and by requiring all of that parking, other development is preempted.”
Agreed Simon, “You induce drivers if there is parking there.”
Steven Higashide of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, which has analyzed the plans for Atlantic Yards and is a member of the Brooklyn Speaks coalition, said that underground parking had been a part of the Atlantic Yards plans, but was removed when the amount of development planned was scaled back.
“The only way Atlantic Yards can become part of a vibrant urban fabric is if the city and developer work to reduce driving to the site,” said Higashide. “Providing hundreds or thousands of extra parking spaces won't do that.”