Today’s news:

Barclays Center traffic changes screwed Boerum Hill, residents say

The Brooklyn Paper

The city’s efforts to tinker with the traffic flow around the Barclays Center to reduce congestion near the under-construction arena have not only failed, area residents say — they’ve actually made things worse on Third Avenue in Boerum Hill.

The city started tinkering with the traffic lights on Third Avenue between Atlantic and Flatbush avenues in August, when traffic on the stretch increased after changes were made to traffic flow to accommodate the coming Prospect Heights arena.

Residents said that the adjustments — including shunting Flatbush Avenue-bound Fourth Avenue traffic to Pacific Street or Third Avenue — has resulted in massive backups not only on Pacific Street, but all the way to State and Schermerhorn streets.

“In order to cross, you really have to weave in and out of traffic,” said Martha Kamber, the executive director of the YWCA on Third Avenue. “There’s also a lot of honking and cars regularly run red lights. It’s very messy.”

In hopes of a quick fix, the city increased the length of green lights and installed new left-turn signs on Third Avenue at Flatbush Avenue for drivers headed towards Downtown and the Manhattan Bridge.

“We will continue to monitor the area and address any concerns,” said Department of Transportation spokesman Monty Dean.

There may simply be nothing that the city can do, given the amout of traffic that is trying to get into and around Downtown.

The Atlantic Yards project’s environmental impact statement estimated that nearly 3,000 cars and 80 trucks will come and go from the site, mainly before and after basketball games. To accommodate them, traffic engineer Sam Schwartz devised the so-called “Fourth-to-Flatbush two-step,” closing Fourth Avenue north of Atlantic Avenue, and redirecting all of that Flatbush-bound traffic to Pacific Street or Third Avenue.

He argued that the changes would discourage arena-goers from driving to the Barclays Center, and reduce the perpetually clogged intersection of Atlantic, Flatbush and Fourth avenues.

But Schwartz also warned that the changes would re-direct traffic up Third Avenue — and residents say that’s exactly what’s happened.

“As soon as they closed Fourth Avenue, all the cars started coming through here,” said Judie Stuart, who lives on Third Avenue. “Now it’s crazy.”

Reach reporter Daniel Bush at or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow him at

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trans alt from my bike says:
Good. The more miserable the drivers are, the better. Eventually, they will give up and go away.

I sure have no problem riding past all the gridlock there on my bike.
Dec. 16, 2011, 9:29 am
S from PPW says:
You can't blame the red light running drivers on the Barclays Center. Drivers run red lights in just about every corner of this city and the NYPD does nothing to stop them.
Dec. 16, 2011, 11:24 am
Burns from Ditmas Park says:
Who is "Residents say..."??

The two cranky people mentioned in the article? Or has there been a proper survey of dozens (that you forgot to mention)? Or, perhaps, is this fine paper simply trying to stir up controversy about an ongoing process that the city is monitoring and continually tweaking? Hmm?
Dec. 16, 2011, 11:49 am
In The Slope from Park Slope says:
@ Burns: the "city monitoring & tweaking?"......

How uninformed you are.... It’s NYS (ESDC) not the city…. The so called “traffic plan” is from a contractor (Gridlock Sam) paid for by FCR/Barclay’s Arena…. The city may have reviewed this first ‘cut’ but the ESDC/NYS is responsible for it…. The final plan has yet been released to the public for any comment yet, maybe sometime next year…..
You can read/view pictures/video’s here to see how much the Barclays Arena treat the NABE…..
Dec. 16, 2011, 12:08 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Sarcastic or not, trans alt said it best.
Dec. 16, 2011, 1:45 pm
AAA from USA says:
Yeah, the more "trans alt" tries to parody and demonize an organization he clearly hates, the more he actually makes TA's point!
Dec. 16, 2011, 2:33 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
When some were thinking that having an arena would be good idea, I take it that they never understood the impact it would make there. The fact that it's placed for from a major highway would actually lead to a lot of traffic in the surrounding areas. That was the reason why they were placed by them to begin with so that the traffic will remain residual, and just look at where many of the major sports facilities in this area or even across the country are.
Dec. 16, 2011, 4:01 pm
Fuzzbee from Prospect Heights says:
I no like this kind of taslk with does people round here no more. i'm liking basketball a buncho. what are you people jerks?
Dec. 16, 2011, 5:46 pm
Friday says:
Well if they don't like it, they can move. What did they expect?
Guess what? The arena is not finished, so you ain't seen nothing yet. Wait till they get drunk at the games, the concerts and the bars and start : pissing on your stoop and throwing up in your flower gardens ; throwing frankfuter wrappers and pretzels and garbage all over the ground...and selling meth.

I've avoid the area. Not missing much. Don't intend on going to any concerts or ball games.

Don't-cha just looooove the new Brooklyn?
Dec. 16, 2011, 6:29 pm
Greg from Park Slope says:
I ride my bike each morning and now totally avoid that area it is so bad. The cars are constantly backed up with no regard for bikes. There is no bike lane going into downtown and that direction is horrendous. It's a mess and imagine what it will be like with a game or concert at the arena. Sigh
Dec. 16, 2011, 9 pm
Bill from Park Slope says:

Eminent domain to snarl Brooklyn forever.

Dec. 16, 2011, 10:28 pm
Ally McBoner from Fort Hamilton says:
I Think that Chaz really summed it up.
Dec. 17, 2011, 4:28 am
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Very good, Tal.

What should we do now?
Dec. 17, 2011, 9:09 am
told you so from brooklyn heights says:
What Sam Schwartz and EDC did NOT do was run an analytical traffic simulation model; he ran a simple animation demonstrating his plan. That simple tool would have likely showed traffic queuing back along 3rd Avenue from Flatbush. That analysis has to be done, irrespective what anyone may speculate it may show. And if it shows what we now all see, demand EDC to create another traffic improvement scheme.
Dec. 17, 2011, 11:58 am
told you so from brooklyn heights says:
What Sam Schwartz and EDC did NOT do was run an analytical traffic simulation model; he ran a simple animation demonstrating his plan. That simple tool would have likely showed traffic queuing back along 3rd Avenue from Flatbush. That analysis has to be done, irrespective what anyone may speculate it may show. And if it shows what we now all see, demand EDC to create another traffic improvement scheme.
Dec. 17, 2011, 11:58 am
told you so from brooklyn heights says:
What Sam Schwartz and EDC did NOT do was run an analytical traffic simulation model; he ran a simple animation demonstrating his plan. That simple tool would have likely showed traffic queuing back along 3rd Avenue from Flatbush. That analysis has to be done, irrespective what anyone may speculate it may show. And if it shows what we now all see, demand EDC to create another traffic improvement scheme.
Dec. 17, 2011, 11:58 am
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Trans Alt, is that you on the sidewalk?
Dec. 17, 2011, 4:18 pm
Boerum Hiller from Boerum Hill says:
This is what happens when money talks. The Ratner family now has control of 22 acres of Brooklyn real estate because several governors and other politicians and judges have agreed to it. Not the People. Of course there wasn't any analysis of the traffic because it would show how bad it was and probably affect the EPAs assessment of the areas air pollutions putting the Federal Government in on the game. There is no logic or reason to the traffic flow unless it's to create more real estate available for commercial development 10 years from now after the neighborhood's residents have left and property values have dropped.
Dec. 17, 2011, 6:36 pm
Baby from Hootersberry Park says:
Chaz says it true! Go Mr. Anuspoo!
Dec. 17, 2011, 6:39 pm
ty from pps says:
Boerum, or folks that don't need to drive can stop driving because it's absurd.
Dec. 18, 2011, 10:31 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Friday, those people have been living there for generations, so they have every right to complain about this. Imagine if this was in your neighborhood. Would you be complaining about the traffic then or just accept it? Try walking in someone else's shoes for a moment and then see why they are like this. Overall, if you didn't want this traffic, you should have fought the project back when it was still just an idea.
Dec. 18, 2011, 1:47 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

We were.
Dec. 18, 2011, 3:45 pm
Another Toldja So from Downtown says:
Yeah, and where were all these people when the fight against this disaster was going on? DDDB had the right idea: this kind of corruption has to be stopped in its tracks, and the ONLY politicians they could find to stand up against it were Tish James and Velmanette Montgomery. The rest stayed on the fence and took Ratner's campaign cash. Jeffries, Adams, Golden, Markowitz, etc. And now what are they doing to help? BIG. FAT. NOTHIN.

Then "Brooklyn Speaks" broke away from the community fight with the fantasy they could negotiate with Ratner! And now they're all upset that the man is still laughing at them! Hoping for scraps from his table, all of them.

Too little too late. And there goes the neighborhood.
Dec. 18, 2011, 4:21 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
For the record, I was always fighting against this from the start. I knew what it was before most did, and that is no lie right there. As a long time Nets fan, I was against the idea of the team moving to Brooklyn, because I felt it was a snub to loyal fans such as myself. Even if I wasn't a Nets fan, I was still against it for the fact that it was abusing eminent domain and corporate welfare, which I find is wrong. If Daughtry Carstarphen really did care about the traffic in her area, she should have said this years ago when it really did matter like at the hearing at the overpacked Kilgord Auditorium back in 2006 when I was there and spoke out against it rather than wait until just now to say this.
Dec. 18, 2011, 5:47 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Thanks Tal.
Dec. 19, 2011, 6:02 am
what about congestion pricing? from boerum hill says:
The problem is that because of the free bridges, we're basically paying people to drive this way. Start charging on the East River Bridges (a lot), and these people will take that battery which is faster anyway.
Dec. 19, 2011, 9:25 am
wkgreen from Park Slope says:
The good news for pedestrians here is that on game day the cars will be so gridlocked that we can all just walk through them.
Dec. 19, 2011, 10 am
S from PPW says:
Start charging on the East River Bridge and hopefully more people will take the subway! This stadium is right on top of at least half a dozen train lines.
Dec. 19, 2011, 12:01 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Congestion pricing will just make it go from bad to worse. Let's not forget that many outer borough residents, workers, and politicians opposed this greatly. If it comes up again, it will lose again. As for saying that this would be by a hub, it's already packed right now at peak hours, and this is without the arena being completed. If you don't believe me, then ask Norman Oder, the writer of the AYR, who is using that station a lot.
Dec. 19, 2011, 2:41 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:

Congestion pricing is opposed by the uninformed The Tea Party.
Dec. 19, 2011, 3:04 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Other Michael, there were many liberals who have opposed it as well and some of them included NYS Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Congressmen Anthony Weiner. Last time I checked, they were hard core liberals and not conservative for one second. If you oppose and are liberal, it's because you feel that it's a regressive tax. Getting back the AY, if you want the Battle for Brooklyn to get nominated for an Oscar, then please give donations, because they need to reach 9 thousand dollars by the end of the month, plus you can get certain prizes depending on how much you give.
Dec. 19, 2011, 6:34 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
OK. You must be wright.
Dec. 19, 2011, 9:59 pm
mike from GP says:
East River bridge tolls would help tremendously. The issue won't go away, and mark my words, we'll have tolls on those bridges once again.
Dec. 19, 2011, 11:41 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
You will lose badly if you bring up congestion pricing or any other type of tolling. How does this help when it's not in Manhattan, which was how it was going to be planned? Either way, nobody is fooled by it, and many see it as an elitist plan. Even James Stuckey, who was Ratner's right hand, couldn't get it passed. Another reason why congestion pricing is opposed so much because some feel that the MTA will misuse later on, so they don't want to take such risks. When Bloomberg leaves, the next mayor that is anti-Bloomberg may undo whatever he wants.
Dec. 20, 2011, 4:11 pm
Other Michael from Park Slope says:
Yes, Tal

We will lose. Or we will win. But you will observe from suburbia.
Dec. 21, 2011, 6:34 pm

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