Much has been made about the fact that the new World Trade Center complex will re-connect Greenwich Street, restoring the street grid that was lost with the original superblock, but the plan isn't exactly what it seems. Greenwich Street, along with all other streets surrounding and bisecting the 16-acre site, would be part of a "secure zone" patrolled by the NYPD. Pedestrians and cyclists would be free to move through as they pleased, but road barriers and security check points would strictly limit vehicular access. Residents in the area say that the plan would put the site in "fortresslike isolation," and, according to the Times, they plan to sue the NYPD to stop the plan. They allege that the proposal, which was detailed in an 834-page environmental impact study, "failed to explain and generally suppressed the NYPD's rationale for critical aspects of the plan based on a purported need for secrecy."
Twelve residents and one shop owner plan to file their complaint tomorrow in the Manhattan Supreme Court, alleging that the impact statement "was flawed by faulty analysis and its rejection of alternative measures." The proposal would require all vehicles wanting to pass through the site to be screened and some would be searched. Drivers who need to regularly access the site, even residents who just need to pass through to get to their homes, could enroll in a "Trusted Access Program," and the perimeter would be lined with three-foot tall barriers and 11-foot-tall guard booths with long sally ports. All of these features would be designed by Grimshaw Architects, the same firm that created the new newsstands and bus shelters.
· Residents Suing to Stop 'Fortresslike' Security Plan for World Trade Center [NYT]
· All World Trade Center coverage [Curbed]