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November 30, 2007

Officials redouble call for AY security study, warn that street closings would unleash a “tsunami”

Atlantic Yards Report

Here is coverage of yesterday's Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods press conference calling for an independent review of Atlantic Yards security issues.

Elected officials and community activists yesterday again called for an independent study of Atlantic Yards security, given the belated revelation last week, thanks to the New York Times, that parts of the planned Atlantic Yards arena would be only 20 feet from Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues.

City and state officials, along with developer Forest City Ratner, have not been willing to explain why the facility would be safer than the Prudential Center in Newark, where two adjacent blocks are closed during (and before/after) events because the arena was deemed too close to the street.

A stern quote from Councilman Bill de Blasio:

“The ball game’s not over,” he said, noting that subsidies and other issues must be resolved for the project to move forward. If the developer doesn’t behave more transparently, “then the future of their project is in danger,” he warned.

Councilwoman Letitia James emphasized the need for an independent security review:

“The project has been shrouded in secrecy from Day One,” declared James, the staunchest political opponent of the project. Acknowledging concerns that too much disclosure could compromise security—the blanket explanation for the cap on public discussion—she suggested that documents could be redacted so some information emerges.

If no independent study is ordered, James said, she will again ask for a hearing on the project before the Council’s transportation committee. Then she topped Yassky's formulation, deeming that the closure of streets near and at a notoriously congested intersection would yield a “tsunami.”

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Posted by steve at November 30, 2007 7:55 AM