Under a-taxi! Barclays Center cabs turn streets into parking lot, neighbors say

The Brooklyn Paper
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Read their lips: no more taxis!

Neighbors of the newly opened Barclays Center say chauffeured Towncars, SUVs, and stretch limos take up nearly every inch of curb space around the arena during concerts and Nets games — turning their streets into a de facto parking lot until stadium VIPs call it a night.

“Residents are trying to do everything they can to park, and they’re upset that they’re getting tickets for parking illegally while limousines can break the same rules,” said Peter Krashes, the president of the Dean Street Block Association.

Krashes says the so-called “black cars” park in front of fire hydrants or idle in illegal spaces near the arena until clients are ready to leave.

Neighbors claim cops do little to enforce the rules of the road — and police in the community say hired cars are a real issue.

“Black cars have been a problem,” said 78th Precinct deputy inspector Michael Ameri, who noted his officers are already stretched thin focusing on safety issues around the arena. “We really have to work on staging black cars.”

A Nov. 14 visit by a reporter and a photographer for this newspaper confirmed that black cars of all types idle and park illegally on Bergen Street, Sixth Avenue, Fourth Avenue, and Pacific Street.

Hired drivers say cops typically look the other way when they park in front of hydrants or in other illegal spaces, but move their cars upon police request.

That said, the cabbies prefer to keep the taxies warm and at the ready.

“An honest cop will give us a pass,” said a driver whose limo was parked on Fourth Avenue and claimed that only “brownies” — a pejorative expression for traffic enforcement officers — give tickets for such offenses.

Representatives from the Barclays Center promised they were investigating neighbors’ concerns, and the city says it anticipated an increase in black cabs and has been working with developer Forest City Ratner since before the arena opened.

“We are continuing to review all enforcement of street regulations and working with agencies to coordinate transportation initiatives and responses based on on-going operations,” said Barclays Center spokesman Joe DePlasco.

To keep idling black cabs from turning neighborhood streets into a parking lot, the Department of Transportation says it will create an experimental “staging area” for hired cars on the south side of Atlantic Avenue between Sixth and Vanderbilt avenues.

“There will be little community impact as this block is currently under-utilized,” a spokesman from the Department of Transportation said.

No black cars were parked on that stretch of Atlantic Avenue when the legendary rockers The Who played last week — and neighbors aren’t happy to see the row of parking spaces go to cabbies during coveted evening hours.

“What are we doing, giving free parking to limos?” said Gib Veconi, who lives on Park Place near the arena and wrote a piece about the limos for the Atlantic Yards Watch blog. “[This is] more public space for the benefit of the Barclays Center.”

Drivers said it would take them as long as 10 minutes to get from Atlantic Avenue to the arena’s main entrance after an event — enough of a delay to potentially tick off their clients.

“When they build a stadium like this and put it in a residential area, we don’t know what to do,” said Armando Lombardo, a limo driver who brought four fans from Westchester to The Who concert. “Where do we go?”

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at
Updated 5:37 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

mike from GP says:
“When they build a stadium like this and put it in a residential area, we don’t know what to do,” said Armando Lombardo, a limo driver who brought four fans from Westchester to The Who concert. “Where do we go?”'

You don't go. Your clients should use the train.

“An honest cop will give us a pass,” said a driver whose limo was parked on Fourth Avenue and claimed that only “brownies” — a pejorative expression for traffic enforcement officers — give tickets for such offenses.

You mean a dishonest cop.
Nov. 21, 2012, 7:36 am
Steve from Park SLope says:
Brutally weird that the police express concern about the limos comfort. There is a parking lot just for them, you know! At the Meadowlands limos pay $50 to wait in the limo lot and they should do the same here. End of story.

A full 20 were parked around the 5 sides of St. Marks/Bergen/5th Ave/Flatbush a few weeks ago at one time. Kind of amazing.

Sure wish we citizens could park like that. WOuld make life easier knowing the police would leave us alone....
Nov. 21, 2012, 7:51 am
Peter from Park Slope says:
Ratner owns the parking garage by the Pathmark, across the street from the stadium. Put 'em there.
Nov. 21, 2012, 9:46 am
James McQueen from Tribeca says:
The train? hahahahhahha. ew.

You people complain about everything. I have a car, I have a driver and he'll idle wherever he sees fit. That's the reality of living in New York. Drivers idle. Get over it.
Nov. 21, 2012, 10:25 am
Noah from Fort Greene says:
Parking violations and a lack of parking for the community are problems, but environmental and air-quality concerns should be foremost here.

It is illegal to idle the engine of a non-emergency vehicle for longer than 3 minutes in New York City.

The police may give a pass to delivery trucks or the odd cab on a street corner, but it should be strictly enforced in a place like this, where hundreds of drivers "keeping it warm" while they wait for hours creates an atmospheric disaster. Asthma rates go up, children are developmentally delayed, etc.

Not to mention, if cops started enforcing this, the drivers would find somewhere else to go, freeing up the streets.
Nov. 21, 2012, 10:53 am
john from parks slope says:
hey James, then perhaps the barclay center should have gone to tribeca...then you could have walked. what a schmuck.
Nov. 21, 2012, 11:14 am
boof from brooklyn says:
“An honest cop will give us a pass."

That's a funny term for a police officer who won't enforce the law.
Nov. 21, 2012, 2:31 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Unfortunately, the Brooklyn Paper is too little too late on this. Websites such as the Atlantic Yards Report and the more recently founded Atlantic Yards Watch have been covering this issue months before this paper finally covers it. They knew that this was coming when everyone before just thought it was nothing more than a joke. I still don't buy what those representatives from the arena are saying as if they even cared to begin with when what really mattered to them was getting the arena built regardless of any concerns. It was concerns like this that created those against building the arena to begin with, and the violations will just continue. So much for saying that many will just use the subway or the LIRR. Don't look at me, because I was originally against it and knew that this was coming.
Nov. 21, 2012, 2:53 pm
Mom from Clinton Hill says:
There was never a plan to deal with traffic caused by the arena and there was never any environmental review or ULURP, so big surprise that cars are causing a hassle around the arena. Way to go ESDC!
Nov. 21, 2012, 5:32 pm
Tom from Sunset Park says:
Was the Barclays' lot filled while all these limos were on the street? I heard Sam Schwartz, who designed the traffic plan for Ratner, say that the lot has been empty because the fans have been scared out of their cars.
Nov. 21, 2012, 6:14 pm
Get real from bkyn heights says:
I read so many complaints from people in this area , is anybody there older than 10 years old ? get over it ,you live in one big expensive sewer, you are not in some little cute place , this is a big ugly city .did you really think that anybody realy cares about what you think ?
Nov. 21, 2012, 10:36 pm
Or from Yellow Hook says:
Let them take bikes!
Nov. 22, 2012, 8:48 am
common sense from bay ridge says:
Poor car hating fanatics don't realize that cars are allwed to stand in front of hydrants, as long as licensed driver is in car to move it in case of emergency.

Go complain to T.A. and try and get the law changed while the Emporer and his lackey JSK are still in charge.
Nov. 22, 2012, 9:55 am
mike from GP says:
common sense --

Actually, you cannot stand in front of a hydrant at night (illegal). And the 3 minute idling rule also applies.
Nov. 22, 2012, 10:10 am
Jooltman from Park Slope says:
Anyone who thinks that "honest" cops should enforce the vehiculsr laws -- idling, speeding, yielding to pedestrians, not blocking the box -- that are their job to enforce because they keep people SAFE should attend the 78th Precinct Community Council meeting this coming Tuesday evening and let Captain America know. NYPD seems to have forgotten this is their primary duty, not making sure bigwigs have easy access to their Barclays shows.
Nov. 22, 2012, 11:38 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Anyone who thinks those who are complaining are just a bunch of complainers has probably been living under a rock or doesn't live anywhere near this area. I do suggest that a lot of the deniers to read the Atlantic Yards Report, which has done a lot more coverage than just about any paper covering this, and this one is no acception to the rule. Another website that has been covering this has been is known as the Atlantic Yards Watch, which is looking at all the laws that are being broken around the arena. Those that opposed it knew what the impacts, and now they can say that they told you so. Of course trying to fight it now is just too little too late, especially when many had the chance to stop this plan from being built when they had they chance, but thought it was just an overreaction at the time.
Nov. 22, 2012, 1:13 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
If you think the idling is bad wait until you see the arena costing the city and state even more in debt from this Daily News article on it.
Nov. 23, 2012, 5:57 pm
Sacrmaento Taxi from Sacramento Ca says:
Cities are so loyal to the limousine companies if there are regular taxi parked city come behind them very quick.
Nov. 24, 2012, 1:32 am
Boris from Brighton Beach says:
Poor stooges!

You fight cars, you promote bikes, and suddenly the Nomenklatura park their limousines in these places.

You fools helped this happen - instead of promoting parking lots, you thought that everyone would take the subway or pedal a bike.

Nice work comrade - the Nomenlatura thank you while sitting in their warm cars sipping cocktails!

I thought I came here to get away from this.
Nov. 24, 2012, 10:17 am
mike from GP says:
Uhh, Boris, building parking lots generates car traffic. This is a city, not the exurbs, so there'd never been enough parking spaces for the generated demand (you'd have to pave over the entire neighborhood). We'd be in a worse situation than we are now if they'd have built parking lots.
Nov. 24, 2012, 10:56 am
Boris from Brighton Beach says:
Mike - you already have the car traffic. A car in a parking lot does not cause a traffic jam and it is not idling.

But of course there are special reserved spaces for the Commisars and their limousines! And still you read your five year plan to eliminate cars. Foolish dreamer.
Nov. 24, 2012, 11:13 am
mike from GP says:
The availability of parking spots, particular underpriced ones, certainly does generate traffic, since after a while, drivers will know that parking is available. For anybody who's studied parking, this is a well-documented phenomenon, and is very similar to why expanded highway capacity only leads to more traffic generation.

It's uncontroversial to people who study this stuff, but for some reason it rarely filters down to elected officials or the populace as a whole.

Not sure what you're talking about 5 year plans to eliminate cars. The Communist reference is noted, but really doesn't make any sense to me. Free/cheap parking, the situation now, is actually most akin to communism.
Nov. 24, 2012, 3:01 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Knowing Ratner, he does have friends in high places. In other words, he can get the city and even the state to overlook the problems and give him a free pass. If anything, he will make the city and state taxpayers pay the fines rather than it coming from him or his cronies. Ratner must be so happy that he knows a guy who knows a guy and so on.
Nov. 24, 2012, 6:01 pm
Boris from Brighton Beach says:
Mike you speak of "studies" (five year plan) I point to reality.

Study your plan, then look out the window.

If you want to study, study history. You will learn.
Nov. 25, 2012, 9:09 am
mike from GP says:
Sure, whatever, Boris.
Nov. 25, 2012, 1:38 pm
brooklyn from parkslope says:
people with money complaining?? just find a lot and pay your way...nothings talks..—— walks
Nov. 28, 2012, 8:03 pm

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