Tuesday, August 23, 2011

DOT extends deadline one month to comment on bollard plan; Rosner argues that security study needed before plan approval

This morning, I reported that Community Boards 2 and 6, which cover the Community Districts where bollards would be placed around the Atlantic Yards arena and plaza, had not seen the bollard plan filed in July, because it had been mistakenly sent to Community Board 8.

Robert Perris, District Manager of Community Board 2, had expressed dismay, given that the deadline for comment was August 25, leaving the board's Land Use Committee without an opportunity to examine and perhaps comment on such a plan.

Today Perris reports that the Department of Transportation Office of Franchises, Concessions and Consents sent the petition for revocable consent and related drawings to CBs 2 and 6, with a September 22 deadline for comment.

(Comments should be sent to Emma Berenblit, director, at eberenblit@dot.nyc.gov.)

New concern about security

In a commentary posted on No Land Grab, Full Security Study Needed Before Approval of Bollard Plan, Alan Rosner, who co-authored a white paper on arena security and terrorism issues in 2005, wrote:
In 2005, Forest City Ratner paid for a private security study. In 2006, the Empire State Development Corporation used that study to assert that closed-circuit television, along with private security guards, would meet all the security needs of the proposed sports arena. That claim, and the claim that the threat of terrorism did not warrant study in the Environmental Impact Statement, was successfully defended in court by Forest City and the ESDC.

If bollards are now suddenly required, it is only because this is a sports arena hard by Brooklyn’s largest transit hub. Yet in today’s environment, vehicle-stopping bollards are useless if a truck bomb gets too close to its target. How close is what matters most, and the design of the Barclays Center violates the city’s and every Federal agency’s standards on “close."

Just two weeks before Newark’s Prudential Arena opened in 2007, that city ordered street closings for every hockey game. Brooklyn’s busiest intersections can’t just be closed when games are played because of some last-minute, legally imposed-but-otherwise-belated security measures. Now is the time for a comprehensive look at the whole issue based on readily available New York City standards.
Rosner, writing before news surfaced of the one-month extension, asked for the DOT to delay approval of the bollard plan. For the full commentary, go here.


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