Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz is calling for a traffic study of the streets around the nine-story office building proposed for 1501 Sheepshead Bay Road in advance of a Community Board 15 meeting voting on the plans. We first told you about the building last week, which is raising questions as they seek to reduce required parking, and the parking they do plan has some interesting quirks. In his press release, the Assemblyman offers some pretty harsh words for the developer, saying there’s no room for a building of its scale, and questions the developer’s veracity.
Here’s the release:
Assemblyman Cymbrowitz has called on the NYC Department of Transportation to conduct a comprehensive traffic study before a developer is allowed to break ground on a nine story multi-use building, at 1501 Sheepshead Bay Road, that would stretch from Sheepshead Bay Road to Avenue Z, next to the subway tracks. While the building may be built as of right under zoning rules, 178 off street parking spaces are required. The developer plans to appeal to Community Board 15, at its May 25th meeting, for a special permit that would reduce the required number of parking spaces to 101.
“There’s literally no room on Sheepshead Bay Road for this building when you consider the congestion that it will generate. This area is already clogged with three bus lines, trucks making deliveries to the stores along Sheepshead Bay Road, shoppers looking for parking spaces and livery cabs jockeying for fares. Adding hundreds of cars to this mix, plus ambulettes and livery cabs dropping off and picking up patients and this street scene will become one of perpetual gridlock,” Cymbrowitz stated.
Cymbrowitz was critical of the developer’s environmental assessment statement which stated that this project will have no impact on surrounding traffic and parking. “Who does he think he is fooling? If he can make such an inaccurate claim on an official government form, I have to ask what other erroneous or false information is he providing to government agencies?”
Assemblyman Cymbrowitz requested the traffic study, at a meeting with Brooklyn Traffic Commissioner Joseph Palmieri, on Friday, May 21, 2010, because even if every required off-street parking space was provided, he was still concerned about the safety and viability of the project. “How can over 100 cars be parked on upper floors with only one elevator? Obviously, vehicles are not only going to queue up on Avenue Z, clogging the traffic lane, but will probably end up on the sidewalk, only a few feet away from a very busy bus stop. Just having this heavily used garage’s entrance so close to where hundreds of bus riders wait every day, poses a serious danger.”
With over 25 years of experience as a builder of not-for-profit housing, Cymbrowitz realized that even though the City’s zoning regulations may allow this building, the law requires an environmental assessment. “Since this building will house numerous businesses, including medical offices, a traffic study is needed for the City and State regulators to evaluate the project,” Cymbrowitz explained.
The number of parking spaces was increased because the developer failed to provide the mandated number of parking spaces for another building he owns, a block and a half away, at 1401 Sheepshead Bay Road. Zoning rules allow the developer to makeup for this shortfall by adding the missing 69 spaces to the 1501 Sheepshead Bay Road property.
“Our zoning and environmental laws were created for a purpose. We have to be sure that these laws are enforced. The residents of this community must be spared from the consequences of inappropriate development. This is why we must forcibly make our collective opposition to this project known,” Cymbrowitz concluded.