Earlier this morning we noted that the Rooftop Films screenings taking place in the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel this weekend were shut down by the FDNY. Until now, Bob Diamond—who discovered the tunnel decades ago—has been allowed to give underground tours to the public. This afternoon, he told us that those days might be over. Here's what he had to say about the future of the tunnel:
There is a good chance future tours may be permanently canceled, and I lay the responsibility with Marco Esposito at DOT, along with a Chief Martorana purportedly of FDNY. Further, I believe these actions on the City's part are purely politically motivated for some reason unknown to me.
I lay this entire debacle at the feet of Mayor Bloomberg, and his administration. The Mayor has a fairly hands off way of dealing with governmental issues—except for the ones that happen to pique his personal interest—and his Commissioners work the same way. If it doesn't involve a bike lane, DOT has no leadership and no policy.
Diamond seems suspicious if Chief Martorana is actually a part of the FDNY, saying his threat to arrest those entering the tunnel "came about 2 hours after a flurry of peculiar phone calls and emails to me from DOT." As we noted earlier, in his effort to access currently closed off parts of the tunnel, Diamond has been stuck in red tape and seeking a city official to get behind his effort.