Specifically, they expressed concerns that its basketball arena, in light of the revelation that portions of the glass-walled arena and other adjacent glass-walled buildings, would lie a mere 20 feet from heavily trafficked Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues. Newark police officials recently mandated the closing of streets adjacent to that city’s new Prudential Center during arena events; those streets are approximately 25 feet from that arena’s walls.
In addition, Millman joined her colleagues in a letter sent to the Governor and Mayor asking for a security review of Atlantic Yards.
I join my colleagues to call on the NYPD, in conjunction with the NYS Office of Homeland Security, to conduct an independent security and project design study for the Atlantic Yards Arena. This study must be undertaken as soon as possible. We’ve asked for this study in 2005 only to be completely ignored. We are here today to make sure our voices are heard loud and clear.
The sense of urgency we are trying to impress upon the NYPD comes from the recent developments in Newark, New Jersey. We need the NYPD to be proactive and provide the developer with ample notice, before significant construction begins, to make any necessary changes to the design to ensure public safety. It is not acceptable to wait until the last minute, as was done in Newark, to announce street closings. The location of Atlantic Yards at a major transportation hub does not allow for such street closings.
We are not trying to micro-manage the NYPD or get into the security business. We know how hard the NYPD works to protect our city. We are just asking the NYPD to conduct an independent study much like the one conducted for the Freedom Tower at Ground Zero.