Beer on Bruce? Could be, if you take the subway

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Take the train to a Nets game — and get a free beer!

It’s one idea being floated by transportation advocates as an incentive to get future Barclays Center ticketholders to take the subway and regional rail to the arena instead of driving and parking on congested Prospect Heights and Fort Greene streets.

“Give people a free beer — they’re not driving!” said Tri-State Transportation Campaign’s Ryan Lynch.

Lynch, invited by the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council to present suggestions for easing traffic at Atlantic Yards, demanded that the arena’s developer, Forest City Ratner, commit to subsidize mass transit for game nights such as including mass transit fares into ticket prices and urging additional trains on game nights.”

“There needs to be more incentives from the developer and events promoters to encourage event-goers to get on mass transit,” said Lynch. “You could show your Metrocard or LIRR ticket and get a discount at the concession stand.”

A spokesman for Forest City Ratner said that the company would be open to considering a variety of alternate transit plans, though he wouldn’t commit to free beer (damn him!).

“We’re working on a fully integrated transportation plan that will look at a variety of ways of using mass transit instead of driving to the arena on game nights or event nights,” said the spokesman, Joe DePlasco.

Thousands of cars will flood streets surrounding the Atlantic Yards footprint on game nights — which has alarmed residents concerned about traffic and pedestrian safety after games.

And Atlantic Avenue and Fourth Avenue are among the most dangerous streets in Brooklyn — so far this year there have been nine fatalities on Atlantic Avenue and six on Fourth Avenue in the past year, Lynch said.

A new parking lot built by Forest City will contain 1,100 parking spaces, but residents insisted that other measures need to be taken to prevent thousands more cars circling around the neighborhood’s side streets for temporary parking or encourage fans to abandon their cars entirely.

The obvious solution is an expansion of subway, rail and bus service on game days, but activists don’t believe that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will add capacity.

“It’s an inconsiste­ncy,” said Atlantic Yards activist Lucy Koteen. “This is a mass transit development that’s by the train, but trains and buses are being cut, and they make these gigantic parking lots. Clearly people are going to drive.”

Councilwoman Tish James (D–Fort Greene) has floated a number of ideas to calm traffic in the low-rise neighborhood that surrounds the Barclays Center, which is under construction near the corner of Atlantic and Flatbush avenues.

She has floated the idea of expanded medians, new pedestrian street plazas, crossing lights that count down and synchronized traffic lights.

“We’ve had a number of accidents at Atlantic Avenue and a few cyclists killed and some terrible car accidents,” said James. “I’ve attended a number of funerals and memorials. [Any solution] must include cyclists.”

Other proposals include a new residential permit parking system to discourage out-of-neighborhood Nets fans from driving to the games, park-and-ride programs, East River bridge tolls, ferry service from Staten Island, and even new bicycle racks on Atlantic Avenue.

Construction at the arena began in earnest late last month when the building’s first steel girders rose on the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic Avenue. The project is expected to be completed by summer 2012.

Updated 5:22 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

boof from brooklyn says:
There should be a toll on the East River bridges, and it should be double the Battery Tunnel. Why are we cramming cars through our neighborhood when they could be using a highway-connected solution?
Dec. 10, 2010, 9:37 am
Gib Veconi from Prospect Heights says:
The article says, "A new parking garage built by Forest City will contain 1,100 parking spaces" but in fact what is planned by FCR is a surface parking lot of 1,100 spaces covering the block between Dean, Pacific, Vanderbilt and Carlton. To see what this will look like, visit
Dec. 10, 2010, 10:16 am
improved prospect from Prospect Heights says:
Forest City Ratner is not making an 1100 car parking garage as this report states. It is making an 1100 car surface parking lot. The lot will not alleviate traffic and parking conditions in the neighborhoods around the site. It will make matters far worse because it will induce arena patrons to drive to the site.

The lot is called "temporary" but it may be in place for twenty five years or more. Even so, FCRC claims the lot does not have to meet the landscape standards New York City has set for every new large scale surface parking lot. The regulations include one tree inside the lot per eight parking spaces.
Dec. 10, 2010, 11:52 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Don't be surprised if it will end up staying that way. Ratner never had the intent to build the rest of it, and there is a reason why he will most likely not even include the affordable housing until the very end assuming he even gets there. As for claiming that giving them a beer for using the subway instead, I find that a bad idea, because they could get drunk and wind up hurting themselves. Although the place is located near a transit hub, it's about 20 blocks from a highway in which traffic to and from the events there will not be residual, and people will be caught for blocks when trying to go to and from the BQE from either Atlantic or Flatbush Avenues, and the Prospect Expwy isn't near this area either. Keep in mind that despite the transit, there will always be a good percentage of those that will drive to games, which is the reason why so many sports facilities are located near highways, which is to keep traffic residual to just them rather than making other areas affected by this. There was a reason why Robert Moses didn't want a stadium there originally for the Dodgers, and that was on the traffic area, so I don't see why there needs to be a need for an arena in this area today.
Dec. 10, 2010, 4:18 pm
Danny G from Queens says:
Simple solution is cheap beer and expensive parking. Moderately difficult solution is cheap beer, expensive parking, and a breathalyzer test to get out of the lot.
Dec. 10, 2010, 4:55 pm
Adrian from Prospect Heights says:
I love that in the pic the architects Photoshopped in a kid on a bicycle with training wheels. Did they ever visit that intersection in person?
Dec. 10, 2010, 7:41 pm
common sense from bay ridge says:
Very few people drive to events at MSG, and I'll bet that not too many people will drive to Barclays Center either. That said, free beer is never a bad idea.
Dec. 10, 2010, 8:49 pm
improved prospect from Prospect Heights says:
Common Sense-
The idea should be to structure the traffic and parking plan to achieve exactly that -- an environment in which very few arena patrons choose to drive. The problem is that the traffic and parking plan for Barclays Center is controlled largely by Forest City Ratner and the Nets. Both have a financial stake in the creation of parking and are using guaranteed parking as a way to sell tickets.
Dec. 11, 2010, 9:36 am
common sense from bay ridge says:
@ip: I am also assuming that Ratner and co. plan to gouge their customers for parking, probably in the $20-30 range. Between the cost, the traffic, and the plentiful mass transit options, there will be plenty of incentive to not drive to events at Barclays.

The most important thing that needs to be done is for LIRR to expand their evening service out of Atlantic Terminal to minimize the amount of people driving in from Queens and LI. People from Brooklyn and Manhattan have an easy subway ride, and people from the hinterlands of SI can park somewhere between Bay Ridge and Park Slope and jump on the subway.

All that said, it's a good idea to offer something extra to fans that take mass transit.
Dec. 11, 2010, 11:42 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Nice try common sense, but there will always be fans who drives. It's been said that the garages near MSG have been known to actually raise their rates whenever the Knicks, Rangers, or Liberty happen to make the playoffs. BTW, MSG has no official lot except for players, coaches, and press. Even with the transit, there is still a number of those that will take taxis. If you didn't notice, there are taxi stands on both 7th and 8th Avenues where MSG is. People who don't live near great transit will drive, and the location of Barclay's Center will make it a nightmare, which is the same reason why Robert Moses didn't want Walter O'Malley to have a new stadium for the Dodgers there.
Dec. 11, 2010, 6:09 pm
common sense from bay ridge says:
@TB: The reason why the arena is where it is, and why O'Malley wanted to build the baseball stadium there is because there are 10 subways lines and the LIRR right there. That is exactly the kind of location where arenas and stadiums should be located. Those who drive to Barclays will be pissing into the wind, and will give up soon enough.
Dec. 11, 2010, 9:58 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Nobody is denying the transit hub by it common sense, it's the fact that there is still good precentage of people that drive to sporting events despite all that. MSG, which is the home of the Knicks, Liberty, and Rangers, is served by 6 subway lines (A, C, E, 1, 2, 3), just about every line of the LIRR (except for the Atlantic Avenue Line), NJ Transit, and even Amtrak, but is also withing a few blocks of the West Side Hwy (NY 9A) and even the Lincoln Tunnel (I-495). Citifield, the home of the Mets, is served by one subway line (7) and and one line of the LIRR (Pt Washington), but is also off of the LIE (I-495), Van Wyck Expwy (I-678), and the GCP. The new Yankee Stadium, where the Yankees are now, is served by three subway lines (B, D, 4) and just about every line of Metro North RR (Hudson Line on normal days), but is also by the Major Deegan Expwy (I-87). Even the new Prudential Center, where the Nets are now, does have just about every line of NJ Transit, PATH, and even the Newark City Subway, it's also very close to the NJ Tpk, Newark Bay Extension (I-78), Essex Freeway (I-280), and the McCarther Hwy (NJ 21). Note that all of these places aren't just by areas served by mass transit, but also by highways as well. The idea of this durring the postwar era was to keep traffic residual to just them and not have them spill out into local areas, which will be the case if that arena is built. Don't make that claim that people will not drive to events when they will, so easy highway access is needed and that location will only make the traffic there to what's already a congested area right now.
Dec. 12, 2010, 10:49 pm
common sense from bay ridge says:
The only comparison to make is to MSG, which is 4 avenues away from 9A, and has a speed limit 5mph higher than 4th Avenue. Barclays is actually closer to the BQE than MSG is to any highway.

Building an arena at a transit hub is a great way to encourage mass transit use, and should be a model for all big cities to follow.
Dec. 13, 2010, 9:28 am
common sense from bay ridge says:
meant to say "9A, which has a speed limit"
Dec. 13, 2010, 9:30 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Actually, 4th Avenue isn't a highway, it's a major thoroughfare. This isn't the same thing as a highway, they just happen to be wide roads otherwise known a boulevards. The West Side (or Joe Dimaggio) Hwy is considered an actual highway. If you look at a map, the BQE is nowhere near that plot of land. It will take up to 20 blocks to reach it to get to either the Atlantic or Flatbush Avenue exits. If you don't believe me, then look at it on Google Map and we will see who is telling the truth here. BTW, MSG is already right by the Lincoln Tunnel as shown on maps. Just to let you know, if Yankee Stadium really does have the tranist, then why the Major Deegan Expwy near it always in gridlock whenever there is a Yankees game there? Whatever happened to use mass transit? Another thing is that the Yankees have a number of parking lots and garages as well, but they chose a the site of an actual park just to build their current stadium. That also discourages taking transit, because they have parking. MSG and Prudential Center are the only professional sports facilities in the NY metro to not have their own parking, while all others do. Even other cities have many of their sports facilities by highways, but they still give transit to them as well. Again, the reason for those locations is to keep traffic residual to just them.
Dec. 13, 2010, 11:26 am
stephen from flushing says:
just wanted to put in my 2 cents worth. Naming rights are the modern-day version of the world's oldest profession (and I am not talking about baking). I will never go to this center, as I boycott as many johns' products as I can. So, it's not just about going to a stadium, I also do not buy their stuff.
Jan. 23, 2011, 3:58 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: