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November 6, 2007

The serious street shutdowns outside the Newark arena

NewarkClosings-AYR.jpg Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder took a field trip to the Newark arena last Saturday. Here's what he found.

the two intersecting streets that lead to the main entrance are completely shut down, though emergency vehicles are allowed on both blocks and one partially accommodates some cars heading into a private parking lot.

(Photo at right of four-lane Mulberry Street looking north from Lafayette Street. A police vehicle is parked at left.)

Remember, on Oct. 10, the Newark Star-Ledger reported that city officials were planning to close, or partly close, one or two streets bordering the arena—a decision that caused some consternation, because it was made only two weeks before the arena was to open.

The Star-Ledger reported that "the so-called 'standoff' -- the distance between the building and a potential terrorist threat -- was not sufficient on Edison [Place] and Mulberry [Street]." The solution has been to use concrete "Jersey barriers," like ones used as highway dividers, on both streets.

This raised questions in Brooklyn about whether the streets around the Atlantic Yards arena would have to close, in whole or in part, to protect against potential terrorist attacks, and led to calls for a state hearing on Atlantic Yards security. So far, city and state officials, and developer Forest City Ratner have stressed their extensive security preparations, but have not answered the questions about potential street closings.

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NoLandGrab: Serious security and traffic issues aside, we're impressed that Norman Oder visited the Pru Center arena before Bruce Ratner did.

Posted by lumi at November 6, 2007 6:07 AM