So, you know how every time you've walked past Barclays Center — you should really check it out, by the way, if you haven't been by recently; we were there yesterday and were jaw-dropped about how far along they are — you've wondered, Wait ... where are the parking spaces? Well, that was the subject of a public meeting last night hosted by the Nets called "Barclays Center Traffic Mitigation Plan Public Meeting." Gridlock Sam was there. Brooklyn blogs live-blogged it. It was kind of a big deal.
The Nets' message was clear and plain: Do not drive your car to our arena. Gridlock Sam — we love Gridlock Sam so much; there's a self-seriousness to his work that's both ridiculous and admirable — flat-out said, "Don't even think of driving to the arena. We will maximize transit and encourage sustainable transportation choices. We also will do our best to reduce the impact of people coming to the arena to people in the community." They're really quite serious about discouraging driving. There will be only 500 allotted parking spots near the arena, with 500 more — get this — for people who are redirected off the BQE and parked in a lot so far away that they will be bussed to the arena. They really don't want you to drive.
They're making up for it with endless public-transportation options, from a new LIRR stop to empty buses being available and waiting after games to extra Q and 4 trains running postgame. (By the way, the Atlantic Avenue station is now going to be called Atlantic Avenue–Barclays Center.) There are also 400 parking spots for bikes, a very Brooklyn thing, though our hunch is that lot is never more than half-full. (Possible exception: the Sounds of Reggae show in December.) One question that didn't come up last night — but our discussions with traffic experts for an ongoing magazine story about the Barclays Center have revealed to be important — is what time, precisely, ordinary events at the Barclays Center will start. If tip-off is at 7:30 — like it typically is for Knicks home games — that can make a dramatic difference, because that makes it more likely that those working in the area during the day are out of the way. But still: 500-some-odd spots near the arena seems destined to have a bunch of dopes driving around Park Slope looking for spots. Even here, to quote Singles, people love their cars.
Other tidbits from the live-blog:
- The once-promised "Netrocards," which were going to give people free subway rides to games, aren't happening anymore.
- They sort of addressed the Classon Avenue problem, which basically will happens when savvy drivers use that shortcut to get to the BQE faster. That'll work if one or two people do it but will be a clusterphooey of dramatic proportions if everybody does. They essentially said, "If it turns out to be a problem, we'll address it." Here's guessing it'll be a problem.
- They will indeed be walking animals to the arena in the middle of the night when the circus comes, like they do at the Garden. We are totally staying up for that.