Traffic, parking top concerns over impending arena opening
by Andrew Pavia
Sep 12, 2012 | 1167 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Community members butted heads with representatives from Forest City Ratner over specifics of the Barclays Center during a meeting Wednesday night at the Latin Evangelical Free Church, only a few blocks from the construction of the new arena.

Neighbors of the arena heard from Jane Marshall, senior vice president, and Ashley Cotton, vice president for External Affairs for Forest City Ratner, about how their lives may be affected once the arena opens.

Topics included trash and snow removal to traffic issues and even noise pollution. One member of the crowd even asked a question regarding runoff of rainwater, which Cotton said was already taken care of by the drainage system.

However, when traffic and parking issues came up, residents shouted and weren’t happy with any answers that either Marshall or Cotton gave them. “It’s going to wreck our neighborhood,” one woman yelled.

When Cotton explained a traffic plan that would include an elaborate route of twist and turns down one-way streets from the Brooklyn Navy Yard to the new arena, one person shouted, “that’s insane.”

One of the most prevalent issues discussed was that of parking. Residents brought up concerns regarding taxis and limos that will double park, people attending events taking up parking in an already crowded area, and even the danger of drunk drivers picking up their cars after events.

The Forest City Ratner representatives said that a study will be conducted by the Department of Transportation to determine solutions.

“You don’t have to do a study,” said one resident. “There’s already no parking.”

Parking wasn't the only issue. Recently, the Barclays Center was granted a 1 a.m. last call for liquor by New York State. The community board and residents of the neighborhood pushed to have last call set at 10 p.m.

However, Cotton made it clear that the 1 a.m. rule would not be in affect every night. She said that the new arena will “follow the rules set by the sport.” For instance in basketball, Cotton said the NBA allows the Barclays Center to serve liquor up to the fourth quarter.

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