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January 10, 2008

Public sees new face of Atlantic Yards

The Brooklyn Paper
By Mike McLaughlin


The state’s newly appointed Atlantic Yards ombudsman met with the public for the first time and promptly squelched lingering fears about future traffic disruptions and security threats at the proposed basketball arena.

Ombudsman Forrest Taylor countered persistent concerns that securing the arena will require street closings — as a similar new arena did last year in Newark — by saying that it won’t happen in Brooklyn.
As ombudsman for the biggest — and arguably most controversial — development in Brooklyn history, Taylor’s job is to smooth relations between the affected communities and the state and developer Forest City Ratner, something he seemed eager to get to.

“I recognize there’s going to be some misery,” said Taylor, and “to the best of my ability I’m trying to lower that misery [for the public].”

One of the first mini-crises Taylor tried to fend off in his calm, casual persona was the Jan. 16 two-year shutdown of the Carlton Avenue bridge, a main link between Prospect Heights and Fort Greene.

Taylor sounded testy after repeated questions about the bridge and said he had met with high-level FDNY officials who assured him the fire station on Dean Street would be properly informed in time for the bridge closing. He admitted that he did not visit the firehouse.


Posted by lumi at January 10, 2008 8:14 PM