The MTA’s decision to remove the controversial ring of “Egyptian tombs” around its Long Island Rail Road terminal at Atlantic and Flatbush avenues begins the final chapter on a long and painful saga. Here’s a timeline to recall the entire debacle:
• 2002: The Long Island Rail Road releases a rendering of architect John di Domenico’s design for its new Atlantic Terminal. It shows no security perimeter at all.
• January, 2010: The LIRR opens the airy new $106-million terminal, which is now ringed by massive coffin-like granite blocks. Critics immediately call for their removal. One writer likens them to “monuments to fear and paranoia.” The LIRR defends them as necessary, and mandated by NYPD guidelines.
• January, 2010: The Brooklyn Paper reveals that the bollards exceed NYPD guidelines.
• March, 2010: A former Marine and terrorism expert calls the bollards “overkill, excessive and ugly.”
• August, 2011: The LIRR quietly tells The Paper that it will remove the granite sarcophagi next year.
— Gersh Kuntzman
©2011 Community News Group
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