PROSPECT HEIGHTS — With the decision looming about whether to have the Democratic National Convention in Brooklyn, some residents living around the Barclays Center are telling the mayor: not in my backyard — without careful planning, that is.
Five civic groups in Prospect Heights, including two block associations and the North Flatbush Business Improvement District, have banded together to create the “Barclays Center Impact Zone Alliance” to put pressure on the city when it comes to “large-scale events,” with a particular focus on a possible presidential convention in Brooklyn in 2016, they announced Wednesday.
“It’s just a continuous pile-on for the residents here,” said Wayne Bailey, who's president of the 78th Precinct community council, a member of the Dean Street Block Association and a local community board member.
Now, the group said they want a little more planning if the DNC ends up in the borough.
“The community has some very valid concerns and they want the mayor’s office to be a little more engaged,” he said. “What the impacted communities are asking for is only the things that the city can control.”
Those requests include fewer traffic and parking restrictions, support for affected local business and better communication, he said. Security surrounding a potential presidential convention at the arena is a worry, too, he said, given the intense restrictions placed on portions of Charlotte, N.C., during the 2012 convention.
The mayor's office said it will name a community liaison to address local concerns if New York is selected as the 2016 host city.
“For months, the administration has been engaging with residents, business owners, elected officials, community and civic leaders and organizations, including the Barclays Center Impact Zone Alliance. Mayor Bill de Blasio has been clear that this will be a collaborative process and our door remains open," said spokeswoman Marti Adams.
The Alliance said the mayor's office has been “very attentive” about their concerns in previous meetings on the subject. But as the decision for the 2016 convention draws nearer, Bailey said the group wants to “go on the record” about the potential impact.
“These events are going to happen one way or the other… we’re not asking for anything out of the extraordinary," he said. "But what we’re saying is, let’s spread the impact."