Barclays Center Mass Transit and Parking

A rail solution for Nets games

The Brooklyn Paper
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Nets fans will get twice as much railway service and about half as many parking spots at the soon-to-open Barclays Center under a plan to box-out street-clogging drivers from neighborhoods near the arena.

The Long Island Rail Road will increase the number of Jamaica Station-bound trains from four to eight between 10 pm and midnight on game nights to keep fans on the rails instead of behind the wheel, transportation officials say.

The added “game trains” — funded by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s operational budget — will arrive every 15 minutes and hold roughly 1,000 passengers each, said Charlie McKiernan, a service planner for the Long Island Rail Road.

The MTA will also add four to seven “gap trains” — essentially on-call subway trains — on the Q and 4 lines to in an attempt to prevent post-game gridlock in Prospect Heights, Park Slope, Fort Greene, and other neighborhoods by getting arena-goers to use mass transit.

Stadium builders also say they will cut the number of on-site parking spaces from 1,000 to 541 and provide shuttle bus service on Atlantic Avenue to more distant parking lots. Bike-loving hoops fans will get 400 racks to stow their two-wheelers.

It’s all part of a long-awaited Barclays Center traffic plan released on Tuesday by arena developer Forest City Ratner, transportation consultant Sam Schwartz, and the city that aims to use “marketing and incentives” to convince fans that public transit is the best way to get to the game.

“The message is: Don’t even think about driving,” Schwartz said. “We’re getting people out of cars.”

He added that Nets tickets will be emblazoned with mass transit directions but no info about how to drive to the stadium or park a car.

But Forest City Ratner also said it has abandoned a plan announced last year to offer free subway rides to ticket-holders on game nights, saying technological glitches are standing in the way.

“We did look at that but the technology isn’t there,” Schwartz said.

He said there’s no way to track MetroCards in order to ensure the passes distributed with tickets would actually be used to travel to Barclays Center events.

Planners also considered offering discounted tickets to mass transit riders, but said studies showed many game-goers already have unlimited MetroCards, indicating it wouldn’t be a real incentive, he said.

Some residents said simply adding more trains won’t be enough to deter drivers — and that disincentives are needed, too.

“You need a driving surcharge and high parking rates,” said Gib Veconi of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council. “[The plan] seems like a lot of marketing without much substance.”

Others neighbors were more upset by the notion of using the MTA’s money — not Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner’s — to provide extra service at Nets games.

“You’re putting a lot of subsidies into a private entity,” said Michael White, a Brooklyn Heights resident. “But is it good for the neighborho­od?”

Craig Hammerman of Community Board 6 encouraged neighbors to take advantage of the still-in-the-works transportation plan by weighing in online during a 30-day review process.

“I challenge the community to come up with its own solutions,” he said.

Updated 5:33 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Norman Oder says:
More extensive coverage, with video, here:

Do note that the Transportation Demand Management plan was originally due in December.
May 23, 2012, 12:09 pm
Norman Oder says:
More extensive coverage, with video, here:

Do note that the Transportation Demand Management plan was originally due in December.
May 23, 2012, 12:09 pm
Queen Bloomberg$ from Boston, MA says:
What an idiot Gridlock Sam. Your traffic plan will fail. People will still drive and it is faster then taking train, bus, bike even walk. One solution, use eminent domain to tear down the building around the center a build a huge parking lot building for more then measly 550 cars.
May 23, 2012, 12:15 pm
Charles from Bklyn says:
So tax payers are going to pay for transportation for Net fans. Terrific! Way to shift the cost burden, again. Oh, and the community should figure our the transportation issue for Barclay center? Didn't know we were now being listened to. Thks CB6! While we are at it, lets eminent domain the entire Park Slope area and give all the middle class land to the rich. People in PS are well off, but certainly not enough to justify keeping their homes under Kelo, and especially when there are rich people and developers who want the valuable space for their own benefit. If you let them take, they will come back later and take more. This whole development is an absurd tragedy, and the community is being forced to eat it.
May 23, 2012, 12:31 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
Are they providing a huge, underground tunnel from Barclays Center to the Atlantic Terminal across the street? Are they building massive pedestrian overpasses across Atlantic and Flatbush? To my knowledge, they are not.

So what you'll have is tens of thousands of people disgorging from the stadium at once, trying to cross Atlantic and Flatbush to the public transportation, and turning the Atlantic/Flatbush intersection, which is already a clusterf***, into a giga huge clusterf*** X 10^100.

And somehow, when Sam Schwartz's genius plan creates this disaster using yet more taxpayer dollars, that the NYC taxpayers will be on the hook for a THIRD time to fix it. And I'm sure that fix will prove even more retarded than the first two ideas, which were building the stadium in the first place and this scheme.
May 23, 2012, 12:51 pm
jay from pslope says:
The Brooklyn Nets (what a lame name by the way) are gonna sort of be a regional draw, people from New Jersey and other far away areas will be coming in, and they are NOT going to take 2 buses and three trains to get there, they WILL drive,and its really too bad that the arena people seem to be in such denial about that.
These drivers are not going to park around the arena, they will park 8 -20 blocks away and cause problems in other areas of Brooklyn. If you need proof, just look at the parking deck that was built at Yankee stadium, no one uses it, it sits empty. Why is Brooklyn going to be any different?
What about all of the other events that are not on game nights? Is the MTA gonna run Bieber and "Babs" express trains? Guessing no?
The arena is a reality, and there will be somethings about it that I like, I can't deny that, and we are going to have to live with it, but at the least, could we please have someone who is NOT a delusional idiot planning this stuff?
Seriously, what in the world are they thinking? Have they been to this intersection and looked at it? Its a freaking traffic jam at 8 am on a Sunday morning, it can't even handle the grocery store traffic, let alone when something "big" is going on.
With all the unemployed people out there I would think we could get some one smarter who can come up with something better that this.
400 spots for bikes, what people from New Jersey are going to ride a bike in? With their kids? In winter? Get real.
And Craig Hammerman, why is it that the "community" has to solve this problem? The community was cut out of the process and screwed by the process and now its some how their responsibility to fix these fools mess ups? Where were you Craig Hammerman? What an insult.
What, just now "someone" figured out that a few months before it opens that there is a problem? UGGGGGHHH!!!
May 23, 2012, 12:57 pm
ty from pps says:
Upwards of 30 to 40,000 people went to the Googa Mooga festival this past weekend at Prospect Park. There was also the annual 5th Avenue Street Fair in Park Slope on Sunday with thousands and thousands of people (and parking removed from the entire stretch of the avenue).

Guess what?! People were told "leave you car at home and come by public transportation." Largely, this is exactly what happened!! Why was there not a shortage of attendees at the Food festival at the park? The folks the "needed" to drive either didn't come or they parked miles away from the event.

Tell Nets fans and concert goers to come by public transportation... If they don't listen they will quickly learn.
May 23, 2012, 1:36 pm
Jay from pslope says:
ty not really the same thing and not a fair comparison, First, you are talking about a huge park and an entire Ave vs. one intersection which is already a night mare.
Second, people are not driving or even coming from Westchester to go to the 5th ave craptacular street meat festival, but they will for the Nets Games.
Most of the people who go to the thing on 5th ave are people from the hood, its not an attraction that even brings people in from around Brooklyn to attend, let alone form other places.
As for the Googa Mooga thing, again, that took place in a big park and was over two days, there may have been 30-40k there, but they were never there all at the same time.
Also, I could be wrong here, but I don't think people from New Jersey were driving in for the Googa Mooga either, it seemed to me to be much more of a local event that would be a Nets game.
But maybe you are right and people will come in the middle of winter from New Jersey by taking the NJ train in and then switching to a subway train to get to Brooklyn. I doubt it, but maybe you will be right.
May 23, 2012, 2:10 pm
common sense from bay ridge says:
Almost no one from NJ went to see the Nets when they were playing there. I doubt many will come to Brooklyn to see them, parking or not.
May 23, 2012, 2:20 pm
NoParkSlope from NPS says:
Let's get someone to hack the EasyPass system to not lift the toll gates for NJ drivers.
May 23, 2012, 2:28 pm
MrArtTuro from AllOver says:
Jay from pslope I could not agree with you more. Another bait and switch from the RATner Developers. First they will provide parking; then OOPS nope onoly 500 for the 19,000. Oh yes, the people going to the arena to pay $100 to $400(approx.), Oh yes, they are going to love to leave the Lexus at home and rough it onthe train or gawd forbid the bus. It was a horrid place for the arena and the problems and hubris is evident and will grow.
May 23, 2012, 3:24 pm
sid from boerum hill says:
do you really think the guy from NJ with the Lexus is going to park on the street? but the Yankee stadium is a good idea of what happens...and its not the middle class and up neighborhood that Ay is....
May 23, 2012, 3:59 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
"Nets fans will get twice as much railway service" until they don't, because the first thing that gets cut is public transport.

With parking spaces the market will decide.

More wishful thinking from public planners who will be long gone when the reality hits!
May 23, 2012, 4:24 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
I just read on the Post that free rides given to season subscribers who either bought for the next or just renewed will not be given to them. Just another broken promise from Ratner. Then again, did anyone actually think that they were actually going to be getting this? I doubt that even the MTA was against that, because they will be losing a lot of money in that. Still, there will be many driving, and this arena is already near the borough's most busiest traffic intersection. Seriously, if it could barley handle the traffic now, which is before the arena even got built, then what makes anyone think it can handle it after the arena is completed and open to business? Again, it just showed how Ratner got his way just for having friends in high places. Perhaps, now is the time for me to say this, "I told you so!"
May 23, 2012, 4:57 pm
Allison from Prospect Heights says:
Ratner is a piece if sh*t who has continually shifted his position further and further away from what he committed to do. He's another corporate welfare whore that ought to be locked away in some cell to rot.
May 23, 2012, 5:15 pm
ty from pps says:
Bunch o' whiners you all are... it's a friggin' arena. Cities have these. And an arena that is placed at a MAJOR transit hub for subways, commuter rail and buses! Maybe your car-addled minds can't quite figure this out, but this is appropriate.

Would I rather go to an arena (for a concert or sporting event) that is easily accessible by any number of modes of transit... including bike and walking... or do I want to go to an arena that is placed out of reach of anything but "convenient" driving?

WHY O' WHY does everything have to cater to people in cars?! What happens if those 1,000 people don't go to the events at Barclay's because they know "parking is impossible"?? Do you not think Barbara Streisand and Justin Bieber won't sell all of their tickets?! Do we really want all of those jackasses drunk driving after the game?
May 23, 2012, 8:07 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
I guess there are some people who will still insist on driving to these games. Maybe they think Sam Schwartz and Ratner are kidding? Maybe they think they have special talents to unearth parking spaces? And maybe they'll miss the first half of them because they thought Sam Schwartz was kidding. Heh.

I will say it again, louder: HEH!
May 23, 2012, 8:14 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
By such logic, many should be taking mass transit to Mets and Yankees games, which many still don't despite it being available for them. The current Yankee Stadium has three subway lines and a commuter rail stop yet the Major Deegan Expressway is a nightmare before and after games. Meanwhile, Citifield has both a subway and a commuter rail stop, but LI Expressway, Van Wyck Expressway, and Grand Central Parkway are always packed before and after games as well. Why aren't they taking mass transit? It could be because where they come from, it's not that available for them. Also, many subway and commuter rail lines tend to be sporadic after 10 PM, so for some, they would be better off driving. BTW, many NYC area commuter rail lines shut down late at night, so they would be stranded if not driving. Even when O'Malley, who owned the Dodgers at the time, was told it was a bad idea to place a stadium there due to the heavy traffic that was there. Why build an arena there now when there wasn't a need then? Are times different now than they were then? One other thing, much of NYC are long time Knicks fans that will probably never convert to the Nets, and I am just talking about Brooklyn alone here.
May 23, 2012, 8:56 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- Wow. Talk about missing the point.

Not to mention -- What do you think the % of people driving to Yankee Stadium or Citi Field is?? Remember these stadiums hold 52,000 and 42,000, respectively. Compare that to 14,000 at Barclay's Arena.

10% of 52,000 is 5,200.
10% of 14,000 is 1,400

Why are you trying to compare a 14,000 seat arena with a stadium 4X as large?

Madison Square Garden holds 20,000 -- how much parking does MSG have??! I think the number is 0 spaces. Hmm... what *does* MSG have? Oh, right. A major public transit hub!
May 23, 2012, 9:14 pm
ty from pps says:
Also, Tal, what exactly do you base this on?

"Also, many subway and commuter rail lines tend to be sporadic after 10 PM, so for some, they would be better off driving. BTW, many NYC area commuter rail lines shut down late at night, so they would be stranded if not driving."

Take away the extra dumb parts of that, what is you source of information here?
May 23, 2012, 9:18 pm
ty from pps says:
I'll help you... the Yankee Stadium garage has 9,000 spots. On game days, only 3,500 are filled. 38%.

Put 3 people in every car. That's about 10,000 people. Do the other 40,000 Yankees fans magically appear? Do they fall from the sky? Wait, is Yankee Stadium only a quarter full on game days?!

Right. They use public transportation.
May 23, 2012, 9:23 pm
Mark from used to be in PS says:

No Nets fans from outside of the 5 boros will be taking mass transit to see the Nets. ESPECIALLY from NJ. People from NJ can take NJTransit directly to the Garden. Not so with the Barclay Center.

A guy from the suburbs that wants to take his kids to a Nets game isn't going to sit on mass transit for 2 hours. He's going to show up in his Escalade looking for parking. Even those from LI that can get the LIRR right to Atlantic Terminal.
May 23, 2012, 9:40 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, you didn't answer why the surrounding highways near both the stadiums of the Mets and Yankees are so packed despite having transit options during games. Unfortunately, most will only take mass transit if they are attending by themselves, otherwise they will drive. I take it you have never taken the subway or any commuter trains on late nights, because they actually do run that way, and that was found out on the MTA's website. Either way, I highly doubt that the MTA will provide extra trains as if they don't already do that for the others ones. To answer about MSG, I won't argue that they have 6 subway lines, just about every line of the LIRR and NJ Transit, and even Amtrak there, but there are still a proportion of people who go there that are driving or taking taxis there. The only difference here is that being in Manhattan, space is very limited, and there was never any room to place its own parking. For the most part, the teams there just take one of the nearby garages and use them hence none of them are the official parking garage of MSG. Nevertheless, only on LIRR stops at the arena and that is the Atlantic Avenue Line, but it can only be accessed from the Jamaica Station when coming from anywhere else, and it doesn't even stop at NY-Penn Station, plus most coming from LI will have to switch at Jamaica making them take two trains to get there. Bottom line, Ratner broke more promises, especially with those free rides that he said he would give subscribers who either joined or renewed for the next season.
May 23, 2012, 10:34 pm
Bethany from Bay Ridge says:
I imagine the fact that Yankee stadium and Shea Stadium are in bad neighborhoods and not very centrally located also affects whether people drive or take public tranist to them.
It strikes me as kind of absurd to take a car to a place that will be so bombarded with traffic.
May 24, 2012, 3:34 am
ty from pps says:
Mark -- That's true, these idiots will always want to take their Escalade.... until they try it. Perhaps the second time they'll reconsider. And take the many many easy transit options.

(Tal -- your comment is just pointless.)
May 24, 2012, 7:56 am
Scott from Park Slope says:
I think you guys predicting people driving to the games are right, they'll drive no matter what, no matter how many mass transit options are presented to them. What I'm wondering is, how far will the ripple effect from displaced parking extend? I'm two subway stops from the stadium, but I'm expecting we're gonna feel it here, too.
May 24, 2012, 10:35 am
common sense from bay ridge says:
Scott, they may drive once, but not too many will do it twice.
May 24, 2012, 10:52 am
benti from brooklyn says:
We MUST STOP using Public money to Fund Private Enterprise...period.
May 25, 2012, 8:37 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, I have said these things at many hearings involving the AY as well as in my testimony that was sent to the ESDC. Those that I have actually met applauded me and did NOT call it pointless. The only reason you say it mainly has to do with the fact that you just hide behind a faceless message board. BTW, some of that was already mentioned by the South Oxford Block Association, and if you don't believe me, then go over to their website and read what they had to say on the section where they respond to the supports, because it's all answered there. Overall, there will always be a group of people who will drive to games, and the reason why so many major professional sports facilities are built near major highways had to with making sure that traffic would be residual and not spread into surrounding areas. However, this arena isn't near a major highway, so the neighborhoods around it have every reason to be concerned about the traffic that will be there, because it will affect them in a big way.
May 25, 2012, 2:20 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
"We MUST STOP using Public money to Fund Private Enterprise...period."

I have been saying that for years myself, and I too am no fan of corporate welfare when taxpayer dollars should be going to helping what the public needs rather than making a rich man feel richer.
May 25, 2012, 2:22 pm
Peter Smith from Clinton Hill says:

I commend the ESD for releasing what appears to be a thoughtful, though flawed, transportation study regarding the Barclay Center.

1) I have done a rough calculation of the possible number of additional cars and taxis the study projects for an event where the center is at 18,000 capacity. I estimate a maximum of from 812 per hour pre-game (assuming four passengers per vehicle), to 7,416 postgame if each carries only 1 passenger. Admittedly this is a wide range. However I would anticipate in the middle of the range perhaps 1,000 to 3,000 cars per hour will converge on the area.

2) The transport study focused on 41 intersections, mostly on the western and eastern approaches to the center. However as most Brooklyn motorists would tell you, from the BQE it is common to approach downtown from the north along Franklin, Washington, Clinton, DeKalb and Vanderbilt avenues. As center-goers become more familiar with Brooklyn streets I would expect these routes, not mentioned in the impact study, will receive overflow traffic. These are core residential areas where additional traffic would be disruptive and destructive.

3) It is unclear which 9 days the traffic study focused on; it would be good to know whether these were “normal” traffic days.

4) In addition, the concept of using Atlantic Avenue for shuttles from East River parking is sound on paper but flawed in practice. As it is today, without the extra vehicles, Atlantic frequently backs up with traffic from Flatbush Avenue to Court Street or beyond.

5) Will area residents who need or wish to use their cars in the evenings be exempted from the traffic restrictions? If they are not their vehicles will be effectively unusable for large portions of the year.

I believe the plan to restrict vehicle access on event days does not go far enough. It should be agonizing for anyone other than Jason Kidd to drive to the center. Missing the start of the event you paid for, unless you are on public transit, should be a real, ever-present risk.

Perhaps only one exit, on Dean Street, should be permitted for non-VIP traffic. The off-site parking should probably be much more distant than planned, and emphasize locations to the South and East, not the West.

Downtown Brooklyn is not well served by Express buses, and Manhattan-Brooklyn local bus service is essentially non-existent. Adding both these transport modes should be considered strongly.

Local residents who can demonstrate both permanent residency in Brooklyn and car ownership should be able to obtain permits that allow both parking and unrestricted vehicle use. Permit parking is used in some areas of cities such as Philadelphia. Though unpopular with metro area drivers who wish to be able to park for free anywhere, in my opinion it would be a popular approach to generate more support than opposition under the circumstances Brooklyn will confront when the center opens.

Quite honestly, the fate and livability of a unique urban neighborhood hangs in the balance of these decisions.
May 25, 2012, 3:43 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
In reality, this project was never given a true study. The reason for that was because Ratner wanted this to be pushed through as quickly as possible. He felt that any real study before it being built would give the opposition a chance to stop it from ever happening because of the many flaws. Paid supporters usually downplayed anyone who had concerns in believing that they were trying to stop what was being promised as their excuse for supporting it. Honestly, I don't see how this arena will ever be a benefit when other studies such as the Independent Budget Office already found it to be a net money loser. As usual, supporters will never give the claim stating otherwise. Throughout the years, the real story was either never mentioned or buried by the media. I do suggest everyone to see Battle for Brooklyn if not already, because it states the real story of what really happened.
May 25, 2012, 4:05 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal, I admire your zealotry.
May 25, 2012, 7:41 pm
ty from pps says:
Peter Smith -- why exactly are half of the attendees taking cars or taxis????!! Where did you come up with your assumptions for your "rough calculations"?
May 25, 2012, 7:44 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, the real zealots are those who are supporting the project. Every time I ask them to go in depth or prove where Ratner is right, they had the tendency to either sound defensive or just repeat the same things Ratner and his cronies already said, while the rest just either dodged the questions or gave me the cold shoulder. If they are so sure about, then why not just answer the questions? Nevertheless, this is a project that only got its way thanks to having friends in high places. Also, I don't trust what the ESDC had to say about getting to the arena, I will leave that to Oder, because he seems to know it much better and even debunked many of their claims. Still, many do drive games regardless of the transportation that is available, and I already gave the examples, so I will not repeat myself on that.
May 26, 2012, 4:33 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal --
You mean you won't repeat how the highways around Yankee Stadium and Citi Field get jammed (more than the already over-capacity levels) with traffic when there's a game? And people persist on driving because these stadiums are far from the majority of NYC residents and there is easy parking there.

Hmm... seems like an argument for a venue located in a central location, at a MAJOR transit hub and a reason you do NOT want to provide an enormous amount of parking. Right?

Tal, Why do you want to provide incentives to people to drive to a concert or basketball game?
May 26, 2012, 6:59 pm
cameron from prospect heights says:
TRAFFIC!?!?! IN NEW YORK CITY!?!?! WHAT KIND OF SICK PLAN IS THIS!?!?! seriously, if you drive to a nets game youre an idiot. heck i used to go from brooklyn to the meadowlands to catch nets games, and even then I just took a bus from port authority — not all that complicated.

also, the baseball comparisons are ridiculous. not only are we talking about less than a third of the people a yankees game brings in, we're talking about half the nights out of the year. if brooklyn was ever going to have an arena, this was a great spot given the amount of mass transit.

also, why do you care that much if atlantic/flatbush gets a bit more congested? why are you driving around there? this is an example of all the anti-development people just not being able to let go and picking every small thing to gripe about. i honestly never felt one way or another about the arena, but you guys gotta let go. like someone said, it's a reality. it's not the end of the world, it's not all that bad. loosen up and go watch some basketball.
May 30, 2012, 1:19 am

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