Don't shoot me, but what about parking?
The plan ignores many realities in Gowanus, including parking needs. With more people, come more cars: PLAIN AND SIMPLE, no matter how many use public transportation. A search of the complete proposal mentions "parking" 35 times. More than half of those references are included in language similar to this: "Alleviate unnecessarily high parking requirements for new construction and enlargements."
As a lifelong resident of this area, parking used to be simple to understand. If you moved your car from a Gowanus spot during the workday, you wouldn't be able to get a parking spot until the factories closed at 3-5pm. But after 5, and on weekends, no worries. Heck, we'd have weekends where there were no cars on 2nd avenue at all. Since the residential development began on 4th Avenue, losing spots to bioswales/ CitiBike, and the changes in the mixed commercial/industrial use blocks, including the Parole Center, parking is a nightmare ALL THE TIME and it is impacting residents and businesses alike. We've lost many wonderful, long-time, businesses in Gowanus to parking problems.
Why should we care about cars and parking? Because: parking availability means jobs for our industrial friends in Gowanus, cars & parking mean jobs for many blue collar workers, cars mean mobility for our disabled residents, cars help keep our older residents more engaged and active, and, essentially, cars, and more parking, make it easier to live here. We pay a premium to live in Brooklyn, and that premium has been growing exponentially lately. Parking is a commodity, and it's becoming reserved for the affluent in our community, and that's not fair.
I am ALL for more people coming to Gowanus, for many reasons. I am privileged to live my life here, and raise my family here, but let's be real. Unless we make a REAL plan for PUBLIC SCHOOLS, PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, PUBLIC PARKING, and SOLVING THE RAIN WATER/SEWAGE RUN OFF PROBLEM, bringing more people to Gowanus is just going to make it a mess. This plan helps make a lot of money for a small group of people, at the expense of many more.