Monday, October 15, 2007

You can't construct an arena and put it right against a street in a post 9/11 world....

...Unless you live in the fantasy world of Bruce Ratner/Forest City/ESDC, where demapping city streets is good urban planning and luxury condos are affordable housing. Prior to the Walkathon, DDDB et al had a press conference, calling attention to the matter:

BROOKLYN, NY — Just two weeks before the grand opening of the Newark Prudential Center arena on October 25th, that city’s police department has mandated the closure of at least two streets abutting the new arena as an anti-terrorism measure during arena events. Newark Police Director Garry McCarthy told the Newark Star-Ledger, "You can't construct an arena and put it right against a street in a post 9/11 world. So we're playing catch-up and taking measures to make sure it's safe."

“The terror risk for Forest City Ratner’s (FCR) planned Atlantic Yards project in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn is potentially far greater than that faced by the Newark arena, and there is no reason that Brooklyn should play catch-up sometime down the road. The time for a review of the impacts of a terrorist threat against Atlantic Yards and a state hearing on the issue is now,” said Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn (DDDB) spokesman Daniel Goldstein. “We call on Governor Spitzer’s ‘homeland security czar,’ Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Michael Balboni, to address the need for and testify at such a hearing on Atlantic Yards terrorism security issues, and for Governor Spitzer’s ESDC to learn from Newark’s lack of planning and initiate a proper review of Atlantic Yards and terrorism security.”
Well said Mr. Goldstein, but as we know Spitzer's idea of homeland security is allowing illegal aliens to obtain driver's licenses (which makes renting vans and packing them with explosives even easier). The boilerplate Forest City Spin:

"From the start, Forest City Ratner has worked very closely with security experts on Atlantic Yards, and the top police, fire and security experts in the City have reviewed and approved our comprehensive plan. Anyone who has any experience in security knows that you do not discuss sensitive security matters in public for very obvious reasons," he said.

Wow Bruce, you have some super-secret invention or security measure that's going to 'mitigate' glass walled arenas by busy city streets? You may want to let the Newark Police Department in on it, because they are taking the very public measure of closing streets close to the arena. What is your plan Bruce, shut down Atlantic and Flatbush?

In the same way Ratner/FCR showed fake interest in the community, in affordable housing, or anything else but lining their own pockets, I can safely predict they will show fake concern with security.
Post 9-11 ignoring security is something like ignoring lifeboat for passenger ratio after Titanic, but right now, it is quite likely that Forest City and their minions for hire at the ESDC are not working on improving security but on improving the appearance of security, and finding a legal loophole that allows them to technically say they are addressing security without having to do anything that will get in the way of maximizing profit.


bobbo said...

Desperation breeds greater desperation. When was the last time a terrorist group attacked a sports facility? How many times have they tried? Which terrorist groups have planned for such an attack? Why haven't they succeeded?

More than 600 people have died in attacks on mass transit systems since 9-11. Should we avoid the subways?

Selling fear is usually associated with facism.

The KnickerBlogger said...

Hmmm 1972 Munich comes to mind, but one might have asked, circa 2000, when was the last time a terrorist flew a plane into a building.

But your question is a false one. The real question to ask is when is the last time a terrorist tried to use a steel and glass structure as a shrapnel in a high traffic district in hopes of inflicting maximum casualties. The answer is plenty, the latest and greatest being the docklands, which, if it went off at the right time would have killed thousands.

To answer your question no we should avoid them but we should take reasonable security measures and not to intentionally build things that are open to attack.

your last comment makes you sound like a college student who just read Ayn Rand, get back to me in 10 years when you can think beyond sloganeering.

Anonymous said...

hey, Bobbo:

the Dept of Homeland Security considers all sports arenas primary terrorist targets (per their published
National Planning Scenarios).

now, you and I might not like the DHS or question their national planning scenario, but it does exist, and if FCR/ESDC are ignoring it doesn't the public deserve to know why; or if FCR/ESDC are not ignoring it, doesn't the public deserve to know what measures they plan to take -- like street closings, for example?

Yes, Bobbo, the public does.

Certainly the public deserves more than your purposeful misunderstanding of the issue.

Anonymous said...

Hey Bobo waht I call associated with fascism is taking people's private property and giving it to a private developer for his own profit.