NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Security over style — that’s the argument NYPD officials are making as they plan to install barricades and barriers in the area surrounding One World Trade Center.
What’s being lost, critics said, is a chance to restore a vibrant streetscape. They said the mistakes made 50 years ago that left the Twin Towers isolated from the city’s streets are being repeated.
The NYPD and other officials say security concerns must be addressed and their plan will make these streets more pedestrian and bike friendly. The Department’s post-construction security plan, which will cost an estimated $40 million, calls for multiple streets closed to most through traffic, just four entry checkpoints and five exit points over the entire 16-acre site.
Police will man security booths. Road barriers will go up, similar to those near the New York Stock Exchange and concrete bollards will be everywhere.
“The reason for that is we want to keep a car bomb off the site,” NYPD Deputy Commissioner Richard Daddario said.
Daddario laid out the plans for CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis, calling them necessary, safer, and, most importantly, pedestrian friendly.
“It will not be a fortress like environment. It will be a very open environment,” Daddario said.
But that’s exactly what many who live and own businesses around the World Trade Center said they fear — a frozen security fortress, turning tourists, residents, and money away, in the face of barricades and roadblocks.
The idea of 11-foot-high guard posts and pop-up barricades of the type you see around the stock exchange and One Police Plaza generated some anger in the neighborhood.
“It’s ugly and we understand it will not look like that here,” Cathy Hughes said.
Hughes chairs the area community board and said though the plans have not been finalized, she’s been promised an open World Trade Center feel.
“We are all looking forward to the security fences going down, being able to walk again around the World Trade Center site,” Hughes said.
With two kids, “Aliza” said she is willing to go along.
“I’m okay with it, different than all for it, I’m okay with it. I support it. If there’s a reason for it, I don’t think they’d do it if there wasn’t a reason,” she told WCBS 880 reporter Paul Murnane.
“Sarah” said she’d wait and see.
“I do trust them that they’ll take all the measures that are necessary and if they really feel that is what we need to do, then I think that’s fine,” she said. “We’ll just have to suck it up.”
Many others welcomed the security.
“I think it should be more secure. Coming from Oklahoma City, I think it should be more security,” tourist Cathy Wedman said.
“We’re gonna have to walk for freedom, but we need the security,” added Yvette Pinto of East New York.
Greenwich and Fulton Streets would again crisscross the World Trade Center site, but the plan is to close those streets to everyday traffic.
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