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‘State’ of security at Atlantic Yards? ESDC won’t tell us

The Brooklyn Paper
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Everyone’s been talking about the drastic security measures at the new $106-million Long Island Rail Road Terminal on Flatbush Avenue — but state officials still won’t talk about whether a similar security blanket will envelop the proposed Barclays Center across the street.

Current renderings of Bruce Ratner’s basketball arena near the corner of Flatbush and Atlantic avenues show a line of thin, metal, waist-high security bollards — quite unlike the massive tomb-like blocks that wall off the entrance to the new LIRR terminal.

Much smaller, bench-like bollards were in earlier renderings of the terminal, but were dramatically enlarged after secret discussions among the LIRR, its architect and the NYPD, officials confirmed.

Atlantic Yards watchers think the same thing will happen if the Barclays Center is built, but the Empire State Development Corporation won’t talk.

“We are working with the developer and the NYPD on the specific security arrangemen­ts,” said spokesman Warner Johnston. “However, it is our policy to not speak on specific security measures under considerat­ion.”

That policy violates the spirit of the Freedom of Information Law and, as such, The Brooklyn Paper has filed a FOIL request for information about the state’s security plans.

The ESDC is a public agency. And its internal machinations over security at Atlantic Yards will play a huge role in determining the final aesthetic of a building that was once proposed to be an architectural marvel.

Since Ratner fired his original starchitect Frank Gehry, the building has been “value engineered” to be less flamboyant. Manhattan-based SHoP Architects is now in charge of the less-ambitious, though still-striking, re-design.

When Gehry was still the designer-in-chief, an NYPD spokesman famously said in 2007 that bollards would not be needed.

Perhaps our request will reveal if that’s still the case.

Today’s news:
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Reader Feedback

Chewnasha from Bed Stuy says:
I hope that extensive security is installed in this arena. A beautiful spot like this is just like candy for terrorists. Maybe there should be baracades a few blocks away to keep dangerous types away from it. This is a real jewel, we will have to protect it better than we have protected other places in the past.
I read about full body scanning that will be implemented in the airports and I think that's exactly what is needed at this center.
Jan. 15, 2010, 9:23 am
ch from bh says:
I wonder if Princess Marty knows what security they'll put around Prince Ratner's pretty new castle.
Jan. 15, 2010, 10:31 am
Steve from Slope says:
I can't believe I am saying this but I think the ESDC is being reasonable by rejecting your request for information on their security arrangements.

That being said, I am sure they are rejecting your request because:

- they do not have the necessary competence to make such plans
- and their current plans are completely inadequate

While compliance with FOIL would reveal the agency's incompetence and thereby serve the public interest, it appears to be an unfortunate catch-22. I don't see how they can reveal their plans without making them pointless.

Am I wrong?
Jan. 15, 2010, 11:35 am
al pankin from downtown says:
what were they thinking when those granite coffins were ordered? even Bruce Ratners courthouse on Jay street has good looking bollards...
Man, they are U G L Y..... go reinvent something better....
Jan. 15, 2010, 5:12 pm
Gaye Leslieq from Bed Stuy/Malcolm X Bvd says:
Gehry's architecture never had any aesthetic value, why shd his boss, Mr. Greedyguts Billionaire Ratner want to spend money on looks! If the Brooklyn Paper really thinks those 10 or 12 or whatever it was blocks of brick (the buildings) were attractive, or the so-called Ms Brooklyn building looked safe (appeared to me to be about to tumble into the street), then you've obviously decided (or been compelled) to praise and support your boss-owner, whatsisface, who takes up a great deal of space in his Brooklyn Papers and Courier Life advertising the New York Post and the Daily News, and appears to be joining Ratner in turning Downtown Brooklyn (as far over as Park Slope) into an annex of Manhattan. Most of us in Brooklyn liked it more or less tha way it was and were glad to see some of the povery areas of the 70s and 80s moving up. We're in Brooklyn because we like Brooklyn and we work hard to make it better not worse. I haven't read the Brooklyn Paper in a month, it's not been delivered anywhere Downtown that I can find. Used to be in the Library and in Signature Bank (25 court). I'm only one reader so I don't expect you to give a .....
Jan. 15, 2010, 5:33 pm
David from FG says:
Those things are so ugly. Seriously, who was the idiot at MTA who thought this massive and ugly granite blocks were a good choice? The most ridiculous part is, they look like thy were custom-made! Ugly and a waste of money.
Jan. 17, 2010, 2:25 am
John from Clinton Hill says:
Unfortunately because of the world we live in, the bollards have to be there. The bollards have to be big and strong enough to stop a large vehicle filled with explosives that could gather enough speed to literally drive directly into the terminal. I know this sounds far fetched but we have enough examples of terrorist activity around the world that makes this scenario more likely than we want to accept. We could debate the look and feel of the bollards but they have to be there.
Jan. 18, 2010, 9:45 am
ab from bed stuy says:
thats because in the original pic they are BENCHES, not bollards
Jan. 18, 2010, 11:42 am
lawyer from Court Street says:
Section 87(2)(f) of Article 6 of the New York State Public Officers Law (the Freedom of Information Law) states that agencies "may deny access to records or portions thereof that...if disclosed could endanger the life or safety of any person."

You aren't going to get anything. Doesn't the Community Newspaper Group have counsel? They could have told you this. Or maybe they did and this is just another example of the bulls#it sensationalistic reporting that the Brooklyn Paper specializes in.
Jan. 18, 2010, 2:03 pm
Turfonsay from Crown Heights says:
Big ups to M. M-witz yo! Keep it real.

You be the stuff dude.
Jan. 18, 2010, 3:21 pm
David from Fort Greene says:
Ab, those are definitely bollards in that picture. Look at they way they are laid out. They were just designed, sensibly, to double as seating.

John, no one is saying there shouldn't be bollards, just that these are way over the top and ugly. There are plenty of examples of bollards all over the city, particularly around the Federal buildings in Downtown, that are quite capable of stopping trucks that are also less intrusive.
Jan. 19, 2010, 3:39 am
Ace from New Utrecht says:
I used the terminal for the first time yesterday. I love that they continued the "endless stairways" theme from the subway portion of Atlantic Pacific. Doesn't anyone involved in the planning/design of these projects ever use public transportation?
Jan. 20, 2010, 9:22 am
Chewnasha from Bed Stuy says:
But can we all get over the politcal correct mumbo jumbo and talk about how racist this project is? I mean I'm black and this just screams to me, Chewnasha they are race-izing you.
Bollards or not, the man is sticking it to us again, and we don't want it. We're balck, we're sick and tired of this, and we want it to end.
Jan. 21, 2010, 9:17 am
Austin from Texas says:
Wink, wink, Chewnasha-----

The modest new terminal cries out for more inside seating. And the gravel "catacomb" sculpture on the higest level may recall the Alhambra, but a mosaic would bring more color and visual excitment. Finally, the exterior needs better lighting.
Jan. 22, 2010, 1:40 pm

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