Wednesday, November 02, 2005

DEIS: Parking concerns; Justification for new parking


Draft EIS states:

Parking for the existing stadium is insufficient, widely scattered, and has spilled over into the surrounding neighborhood. There are only 7,079 parking spaces currently available for Yankee Stadium patrons in surface lots and garages within an approximate ½-mile radius of the existing stadium. The proposed project would displace approximately 1,350 parking spaces in existing lots.

In response to the proposed stadium’s parking need, the proposed project would develop four new parking garages containing approximately 5,254 spaces and would add spaces in existing and expanded surface parking lots, bringing the total number of spaces available for Yankee Stadium patrons to 10,101, for a net increase of 3,022 off-street spaces.

Proposed parking would reduce the spill-over conditions on local streets that presently exist.

The current off-street parking space inventory is 7,079. Of these, approximately 3,500 are located within a ¼-mile (a 10-minute walk) of the stadium. These spaces are filled whenever game attendance reaches approximately 15,000. All spaces are filled when game attendance reaches approximately 30,000, a level that has been exceeded regularly in recent years at Yankees home games. Overflow parking is accommodated, when possible, in the Bronx Terminal Market south of the stadium, and along public streets.

Decreased traffic circulation on local streets in search of available parking spaces and less parking on the local streets themselves would provide a benefit to the local community.


The applicants are making the argument that since people cannot park with a great deal of ease when going to a game, the only solution is to increase parking. However, that is not likely to solve the problem.If parking gets easier to find, more people will likely drive to the games. Instead, the Yankees and the City should look to solve the problem by getting more people to use public transit to get to the games: either by subway, bus, ferry or by providing a new Metro-North station at the stadium and enhanced service to the nearby Melrose station.

In addition, providing more parking will likely create an “induced demand” effect where more people start driving to the games simply because parking is easier to find. During the public hearing for the Draft Scope of Work, several people asked that this common traffic phenomenon be explored and examined in the draft EIS. While the Final Scope of Work states on page A-15 “The DEIS will address the issues of modal split and induced demand” in response to community concern, the issue was not, in fact, addressed at all in the DEIS. This breach of protocol has resulted in an incomplete DEIS document which should not have been accepted as complete by NYCDPR.

Simply throwing more parking into the equation is a dated urban planning principle that was innovative in the 1950’s. In the 21 st Century, we need different solutions – solutions that will cut down on energy and pollution. Doing so, will also cut down on traffic circulation on local streets and illegal parking, which the applicants claim as project goals.


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