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Live Blog: Barclays Center Operations Round Table Discussion at Borough Hall

Get the blow-by-blow of Tuesday night's discussion on plans for security, sanitation and the arena parking lot.

 

Welcome to the live blog of Tuesday night's round table meeting between state and Barclays Center officials and community organizations on the subect of the plan for security, sanitation and parking once the 19,000-seat arena opens Sept. 28.

6:23 p.m.: Empire State Development Corporation head Kenneth Adams says that he will soon create a Barclays Center quality of life committee. Any Barclays-area resident can apply to join the committee by contacting Arana Hankin at atlanticyards@esd.ny.gov or (212) 803-3766.

6:35 p.m.: John Sparks, Barclays Center's head, is going over the season calendar: 82 NBA games, 41 at home. Starts in mid-October. We're forecasting to do 225 events. There will be hockey at  a pre-season event. There will be two ice shows, about 50 concerts, and 26 games of college basketball including the "Barclays Classic" triple header. The Ringling Bros. Circus will also perform. There will be between 14 and 25 boxing events. 

6:40 p.m.: Barclays officials are working with the Department of Sanitation to make sure the area around the arena will be kept clean. Sparks also notes that they take security very seriously because one bad patron can affect the experience of all the "guests."

After every event, Barclays staff does a postmortum where they solicit feedback from state and city agencies as well as the community. "Our motto is, 'We're only as good as our last event,'" he said.

"Dialogue is key to us. ... We seek out advice to do the job better than we have been doing," Sparks said. 

6:44 p.m.: David Anderson, vice president of guest services at Barclays is now discussing patron code of conduct. The arena will not allow smoking, bottles and cans, skateboards and other items inside the building.

Anderson and Sparks before him referred several times to how important the "guest experience" is." But I think people here are more concerned with the experience of the residents. 

6:59 p.m.: Robert Sena, Barclays' head of security, notes that weapons will not be allowed into the arena. Oh good ...

Barclays has been working with the NYPD and other city agencies on plans for emergency situations, Sena said. 

There will be a first-aid staff at the arena and an ambulance at the arena, he said. 

There will also be a no re-entry policy, which I guess means that people won't be taking smoking breaks outside the building. 

Sena is still discussing security inside the arena as it pertains to "guest experience." Hopefully we'll get to security outside the arena soon. 

There will be metal detector at the entrances and security cameras inside.  People are looking pretty bored.

"We take security very seriously. Just because something is not in the building doesn't mean that I won't get involved," he said.

7:09 p.m.: John Sparks: many of us have been trained in security in terms of catastrophic events. Some of us are graduates of the FBI Academy.  

7:11 p.m.: Steven Rosebrook, vice president of operations at the Barclays Center says there will be no staging of trucks and all deliveries will be planned. When shows arrive and need to unload their many, many trailors of sets and costumes, they will unload at the Navy Yards, then out the stuff in smaller trucks and drive it over.

Sanitation: Outside the arena block we are still working with the city's Department of Sanitation to outline the roles and responsibility for cleaning outside the block. It's in everyone's best interest to keep the area outside the arena clean. For example, they are aware that Dean and Pacific Streets between Sixth and Carlton (the path between the arena and the parking lot) will need extra cleaning. But who is responsible for doing it is still undetermined.

7:20 p.m.: Now discussing the surface parking lot. Jane Marshall, of Forest City Ratner, showed renderings of the lot, which I will upload later this evening. There will be landscaping in the lot and bushes/trees partially screening the lot. 

Brian Collins, who is in charge of the surface lot, makes the following point:

- there will be spaces reserved and a discount for HOV parking

- The lot will be used for Barclays events, for 24 police cars, and for construction workers where there are no events going on. 

- Most of the cars parking in the lot will have paid in advance.

- There will be traffic direction people standing on Pacific Street before and after events.

- There will be four exits from the lot: two on Pacific Street, one on Dean Street and one on Vanderbilt. No cars will exit on Carlton. 

 

7:30 p.m. Questions

Gib Veconi of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council: Will cars be required to make only a right turn out of the lot on Vanderbilt?

Collins: Yes, we don't want cars crossing traffic going two ways.

Veconi: But that steers all the cars into Prospect Heights. Is there any way to steer cars to Atlantic Avenue and keep them out of the residential side streets?

Collins: That's a good point. Our goal is to get the lot emptied as quickly as possible. But if the traffic planners decide to close the Vanderbilt exit we will work with it. That exit is not very important.

Jim Vogel of state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery's Office: Will a third party contractor he hired to clean the blocks around the arena?

Steven Rosebrook: We've had deep discussions about cleaning Dean and Pacific Street between the arena and the parking lot, but nothing has been solidified yet. 

7:45 p.m. Peter Krashes, president, Dean Street Block Association: we hope you will make yourselves available to the community for regular conversations. Are you amenable to that?

Ashley Cotton, Barclays vice president of external affairs: Yes, you can call me any time. 

Peter Krashes: NYC DOT standards for a parking lot is different than your plans for the lot. For example it requires trees and medians.

Arana Hankin of the ESDC: We're not subject to city regulations. Also this is a temporary lot. If we plant trees we will only have to rip them up in about six years. If we put in trees and medians, it will reduce the number of spaces and require us to . 

Peter Krashes: The lot is going to add more cars and pedestrians on Dean Street than anticipated. We're looking a a huge unaticipated delay for cars on Carlton Avenue, more pedestrians. How can the community support something the effects for which haven't been assessed? 

Vanderbilt Avenue is one lane Northound between Dean and Pacific Street. Make sure you're looking at the facts on the ground.

What is the plan for screening the broadcast lot from the community?

Jane Marshall: We're partnered with an arts group that will find artists to produce artwork that will be hung on the 8-foot wire mesh fence for that lot. We are paying for the artwork. 

The parking lot will be surrounded by a McNichols fence. It's not a chainlink fense. It's a steel mesh fence that is actually quite attractive. There will be evergreen shrubs planing at the perimiter of the fence. 

Another resident: Will the loading dock be closed overnight?

John Sparks: We will use it when we need it to load and unload shows, but we generally will not use the loading dock overnight. 

Wayne Bailey, Community Board 8 and Newswalk resident: We have six glass doors that open onto Pacific Street. We would like someone from Barclays to look at our building and discuss what security plans need to be made in order to prevent arena patrons from coming into our building.

Ashley Cotton: We have come and looked at your building. We are happy to answer questions and hear suggestions.

Area Resident: Let's say that the arena opened tomorrow and you really planned it well. But based on your experience with other arena openings, what issues do you think might be problematic after the arena opens?

Ashley Cotton: Trash, traffic issues, security and noise are issues we are concerned about. 

John Sparks: These issues keep me up at night. We will put our procedures into our contracts with the artists and have ramifications if they don't follow our policies. 

Alfred Chiodo from Councilwoman Letitia James' office: The arena will be opening in stages. There will be a lot of traffic problems as the arena opens, but we will work them out. I vote for a brick wall with ivy for the parking lot. Also, if we could limit sales of alcohol, that will be helpful. 

8:11 p.m. Alan Rossner from Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn: The arena is several feet closer to the street than planned when it was approved in 2006. That makes the arena more vulnerable to attack. We request that all street-level glass be eliminated.

Jane Marshall: "Everything was studied. It's all done. You keep asking about this and I want you to know that it's safe."

A resident from a community garden across the street from the arena (on Pacific Street at Flatbush): How will the code of conduct apply to the areas around the arena? If we notice something is going wrong in our little garden are we going to be be able to reach out to you and get assistance with that?

Ashley Cotton: Yes, there will be a community liason you can reach out to.

Steven Bonano, in charge of security and a former career NYPD officer: If there is a problem, I will reach out to the 78th Precinct and they will take care of it. 

Peter Krashes: We are concerned that area residents are going to be responsible for cleaning up the streets after messes from arena patrons and that's not fair. What will happen if arena patrons cause damage on the streets around the arena? Will the arena take responsibility?

Steven Bonano: No it's an NYPD issue. Whatever precinct is put in charge of the arena will get additional officers. "It's not that you're getting less you're getting more."

Note: Bonaro said that either the 78th Precinct (Park Slope) or the 88th (Fort Greene) will be in charge of the arena. So I guess the 77th (Prospect/Crown Heights) is ruled out.

8:25 p.m. Sandy Balboza of the Atlantic Avenue Betterment Association asked if Barclays will detain drunk patrons before they leave the arena.

Bonaro: Yes. They will either be turned over to a responsible party or detained.

Area Resident: Will Barclays pay for the extra police that are needed?

Ashley Cotton: No. The city is encouraging this kind of growth and the city needs to adjust to the changes. This happens all the time with new housing. 

Alan Rossner: Is there technology you can use at the parking lot to make sure drivers down't leave the lot drunk? 

Collins: No.

Gib Veconi: What sort of change in structure will the ESDC support for governance of the Atlantic Yards Development? 

ESDC head Ken Adams: We supported Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries' legislation to make it more like how oversight of other projects functions. The governing body would be a subsidiary of the ESDC that would structure under the ESDC that would include community members. 

Veconi: When will we see a revised environmental impact statement now that the court has rejected the appeal?

Adams: We will get working on it.

Adams: One observation I would like to share is that the off-loading and on-loading for shows is a unique situation since there is no adjacent large parking lot like most arenas have.

When Justin Bieber has a show with his 26 trailors, they will be directed to the Navy Yard. Unload there, drive the stuff over to the arena and then do the reverse after the show. To me I am struck by the uniqueness of those operations and the challenge of that. Anything we at ESDC can do to help you with that we will.

The meeting adjourned at 8:38 p.m. 

Norman Oder June 27, 2012 at 02:42 AM
Here's a bit more on the lawsuit hardly discussed, and developer Forest City Ratner's resistance to a potential governance entity: http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2012/06/at-meeting-on-arena-operations-shadow.html
poppy June 27, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Ratner's where the hell are the 17,000 jobs lier 1,000 jobs dont = 17,000 lies
Norman Oder June 27, 2012 at 11:17 AM
More coverage here, including community concerns: http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/2012/06/at-belated-meeting-on-arena-operations.html

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