A new study by the city Department of Transportation says there’s plenty of parking around the soon-to-be-opened Barclays Center, and that residential parking permits won’t be needed.
The July 6 DOT report gave Yankee Stadium in The Bronx as an example of why permit parking would not be necessary in the Brooklyn neighborhoods surrounding the 18,000-seat arena.
"Most fans who drive to games at Yankee Stadium park off-street. Of the 10 percent of fans who park on-street, most park in an area within a few blocks of the stadium. Throughout most of the area around Yankee Stadium, parking occupancies remain low enough that residents generally have spaces available to them during Yankee games," the report says.
Parking will be less of an issue at Barclays Center because it “will have a smaller seating capacity and even better transit accessibility," the report said.
The study looked at the 4,896 on-street parking spaces closest to Yankee Stadium, and found that occupancies only increase 10 percent during game days—the reason being that most fans use the parking lot.
At Barclays Center, the report found that 24 percent of 9,395 available spaces within a half-mile radius of the arena would be available during events.
DOT officials also argued that administering a residential parking permit program, aka RPP, would be expensive, and that residents might contest being charged for the permits since they would not guarantee a spot.
Finally, the report said permits would inconvenience "non-residents who drive to the area and contribute to the neighborhood’s economic and social vitality."
Tom Boast, vice president of the Prospect Heights Neighborhood Development Council, an organization that has long supported residential parking permits, said the point was not to guarantee parking for residents, but to discourage people from driving to the arena.
"We still don’t see any disincentives to drive," he said. "At every turn, there’s more incentives to drive. ... When you read the study that’s your conclusion: 'Oh, there’s free parking there.'"
In addition, he doesn't think Yankee Stadium is a good comparison, because parking garages around Yankee Stadium are much closer than the ones identified by the and while people might be willing to walk from a garage to a summer baseball game, they would be less likely to do so for a basketball game on a cold winter night.
"It's pretty disappointing because it seemed to be such a dismissal of RPP as a consideration," he said.
The DOT study concluded that "curb regulations and game and event day traffic management" would be a better way of "ensuring safety and limiting quality of life impacts of game day parking," but Boast noted that the study didn't give any indication of how it would implement those strategies.
"They haven’t advanced the ball at all," he said.
But while residential parking permits have strong support among area civic groups, not all community members are as enthusiastic.
Eustace L. Greaves Jr. who owns on Bergen Street at Vanderbilt Avenue said he was worried a residential parking permit program might not provide permits for business owners.
"Many of us are in the neighborhood much more during the day than people who live here," he said. "I would like to know that our vehicles wouldn’t be kicked out of the neighborhood because we’re not residents."
"It’s all in the implementation," he added. "Do we take into the needs of the business community into account or not?"
DOT officials promised Boast and other PHNDC members that it would review the situation once the arena opens in September, Boast said.