Friday, October 12, 2007

Atlantic Yards, It's Going to Be A Blast!

From the NJ Ledger on the Newark Stadium:

Newark will shut streets near arena
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Star-Ledger Staff
With two towering glass entranceways, a high-definition scoreboard and a massive video screen visible from Manhattan, the Prudential Center in downtown Newark boasts all the features of a state-of-the-art arena.

Except for one thing: it was built too close to the street.
City officials said yesterday that the arena, due to open Oct. 25, isn't far enough from traffic to protect it from a potential terrorist attack.

To make up for the shortcoming, Newark will outfit surrounding streets with concrete barriers to keep cars and trucks from the entrance at the corner of Edison Place and Mulberry Street.

"You can't construct an arena and put it right against a street in a post 9/11 world," Newark Police Di rector Garry McCarthy said. "So we're playing catch-up and taking measures to make sure it's safe."

You can't construct an arena right up against the street, in the real world, but in Ratner's fantasyland, where luxury condos are affordable housing, sewage pipes have 10Xs their actual capacity, traffic problems solve themselves, and demapping streets is good urban planning, anything is possible!

No sign of any 'catchup' for Bruce Ratner's plan, is there? If putting a stadium so close to a major street is a known issue - and it is now indisputable that it is not, then what does the ESDC propose? Close off the two busiest thoroughfares in Brooklyn before and during games (then how will people get there, the subways are over capacity)? Or just let it go and ask terrorists to just be really nice and not blow up anything?

Maybe have extra police security and surveillance? How much will that cost where it will it be diverted from and who will pay for it? Answer, lots, from neighborhoods that need it, and taxpayers of course who are essentially footing the bill for this whole project. Of course the WTC had extra security too. Knowingly putting up a very unsafe and bad design and then trying to address the problems and risks that design creates is paramount foolishness.

If the state, city and ESDC go ahead with this, with full knowledge they are putting our lives in danger, then they have reneged on their obligations to the public and forfeited whatever trust we have left in them (which isn't much). Essentially they can no longer be trusted or granted authority if our safety is willfully ignored. The question looms even larger, why are they doing this, and the answer just keeps getting uglier and uglier.

Knowingly putting us at risk for a terrorist attack, is this part of the 'public benefit'?


Atlantic Yards Report mentions that Ratner/ESDC (are they really separate entities) argued "The response shifted, as the state and developer emphasized the importance of confidential preparations."

Wow, do they have some super secret plan to protect glass walled arenas flush with busy streets from car bombs? Can they let us in on it? Or maybe just Newark, and the WTC reconstruct, both of which had to take very visible, public measures for security. Again, Ratner/ESDC asks us to 'trust them'. Sorry fat ass, I'd count the spoons after having you for over dinner.

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