Saturday, October 13, 2007

Newark Arena Terrorism Boo-Boo Reverberates in Brooklyn

As you may have read, officials in Newark have concluded that their new Prudential Center is extremely vulnerable to terrorism. This is because the glass-clad structure is next to active streets. The conclusion was reached two weeks before the arena is scheduled to open and officials are now scrambling to close streets, including ones that are bound to cause some traffic problems and inconveniences for residents.

Terrorism, of course, is not the only disaster that could befall the Newark Arena. There are many in the community who believe it is a profound misallocation of public resources in a city with deep social, governmental and fiscal problems and others that expect it to be a financial disaster as a one-sport arena that leaves the public highly exposed to losses.

We digress, however. The Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods and Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn will be having a Press Conference with DDDB on Sunday at 12:30, at the beginning of the 3rd annual fundraising WALKATHON. City Council Member Tish James will take part. The CBN writes:
It is well within our mission to keep the community informed about the impacts of Atlantic Yards as they develop. This issue is one of the ones we have included in our Article 78 ( Environmental Impact) lawsuit. The lack of planning for security is a reason for overturning the approvals and remanding the EIS back to the ( NEW ? ) ESDC for additional hearings. This plan for Newark is a 'last minute fix' - we can't have more street closings here, but perhaps more importantly, we can't be hostage to a 'last minute fix' from the people who bring you such a disgraceful plan to begin with!
DDDB, meanwhile, notes:
Speakers at the press conference will discuss how and why the proposed Brooklyn "Atlantic Yards" arena complex is even more of an attractive terror target than the Newark arena and has received poor and inadequate planning review from the Empire State Development Corporation, the city and state of New York.
Concerns about what some people believe is the very real vulnerability of the Barclays Center to a catastrophic terrorist strike because of its vulnerability to truck bombs and its design were not addressed during the environmental review process. In fact, the Empire State Development Corporation's Position was as follows: "Emergency scenarios such as a large-scale terrorist attack similar to the World Trade Center attack, a biological or chemical attack, or a bomb are not considered a reasonable worst-case scenario and are therefore outside of the scope of the EIS."

(EDITORIAL COMMENT ALERT: If that's not the kind of brain-dead thinking that will be at the center of an investigation by a "blue-ribbon" panel looking into what went wrong if a huge truck bomb turns out to be "a reasonable worst-case scenario," we don't know what is. That alone should be enough to send the entire process back to the drawing board because it is indicative of the entire mindset of head-in-the-sand planning that permeated the Atlantic Yards process. In the case of a terrorist act against the arena, it is on par with criminal negligence in public policy and planning. That statement is what, in the investigative stage, is called "a smoking gun.")

You can find more discussion of the issue here and here at Atlantic Yards Report, here at DDDB and here at the Star Ledger. It almost boggles the mind that serious security concerns in Newark were ignored through the entire planning and development process.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I sympathize as much as anyone with the DDDB agenda, but this pisses me off. I'm sorry but adopting the fear agenda as a way to stop the project is retarded and regressively reactionary. The terrorists want to blow up the Nets? Give me a break. And yes, I know Bush/Giuliani want us all to believe that this "new" security culture is a life or death situation but I refuse to buy into it. And it's beneath DDDB to do so as well.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Peregrine said...

Well now it's terrorism.
The desperate ludites who oppose the Atlantic Yards project are now resorting to scare tactics to create negative press.
Seems they have taken a page from our illustrious President in how sell an indefensible bill of goods.
The Atlantic Yards project WILL be built and it will benefit the majority of Brooklynites.

1:08 PM  

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