Brooklyn Traffic

Foes of the Brooklyn Nets arena have had a hard time linking it to the West Side stadium fight or turning it into a West Side-style showdown. After all, the arena is smaller, the project includes lots of sub-market-rate housing, and the dynamic of who in the neighborhood supports it is complicated. (And it doesn’t piss off Cablevision, but that’s another story.)

The wonky wing of the Nets opposition, though, makes an interesting case about how much traffic the Ratner project and a host of other developments are going to bring to downtown Brooklyn in a letter to Gifford Miller from consultant Brian Ketcham, obtained by the Politicker, and set to be released later today.

“What this means for Downtown Brooklyn is that, when fully built out, traffic in Downtown could be more than double what exists today. And, with the completion of the Nets Arena, this traffic could concentrate at Atlantic Center.

“Brooklyn got a taste of this problem on Christmas Eve, 2004, when traffic in and around Atlantic Center ground to a halt, gridlocked for up to half a mile radius of the new Target Store at Atlantic Center. Traffic was stopped for about 6 hours.”

It’s hard to argue against the consultant’s point that traffic should be planned for, and he seems to have caught the city understating the likely new traffic.

But on the other hand, it’s been pointed out to us that traffic is largely self-regulating — if there’s too much, people take the subway. And ultimately, there’s a case to be made that traffic is preferable to the lack of traffic generated by the lack of a real Brooklyn business district.