Yesterday, people critical of developer Bruce Ratner's massive, billion dollar Atlantic Yards project held the Third Annual Walk Don't Destroy Walkathon. And leading opponent Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn held a press conference asking a new question that goes beyond eminent domain and the size and scale of the plan. Now the question is whether the Atlantic Yards will be safe from a terror risk.
Earlier this week, Newark Police Director - and former NYPD chief - Garry McCarthy explained how the police were closing two streets around Newark's new Prudential Center, saying, "You can't construct an arena and put it right against a street in a post 9/11 world. So we're playing catch-up and taking measures to make sure it's safe." DDDB now questions why the Atlantic Yards' Environmental Impact Statement did not consider a terrorist attack, when the project has a multitude of glass-walled structures in a busy part of Brooklyn. From DDDB spokesman Daniel Goldstein:
The terror risk for Forest City Ratner’s (FCR) planned Atlantic Yards project in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn is potentially far greater than that faced by the Newark arena, and there is no reason that Brooklyn should play catch-up sometime down the road. The time for a review of the impacts of a terrorist threat against Atlantic Yards and a state hearing on the issue is now.
We call on Governor Spitzer’s ‘homeland security czar,’ Deputy Secretary for Public Safety Michael Balboni, to address the need for and testify at such a hearing on Atlantic Yards terrorism security issues, and for Governor Spitzer’s ESDC to learn from Newark’s lack of planning and initiate a proper review of Atlantic Yards and terrorism security.
As for Ratner's company's reaction, a spokesman for Forest City Ratner tells the Daily News they have "worked very closely with security experts on Atlantic Yards."