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About DDDB
Our coalition consists of 21 community organizations and there are 51 community organizations formally aligned in opposition to the Ratner plan.

DDDB is a volunteer-run organization. We have over 5,000 subscribers to our email newsletter, and 7,000 petition signers. Over 800 volunteers have registered with DDDB to form our various teams, task-forces and committees and we have over 150 block captains. We have a 20 person volunteer legal team of local lawyers supplementing our retained attorneys.

We are funded entirely by individual donations from the community at large and through various fundraising events we and supporters have organized.

We have the financial support of well over 3,500 individual donors.

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"Why should people get to see plans? This isn't a public project."
Bruce Ratner in Crain's Nov. 8, 2009

20 Foot Ratner Arena Setback is a Security Flaw

Late Wednesday afternoon in a post on its City Room blog strangely headlind "Putting the Atlantic Yards Arena in a Secure Place," the NY Times revealed that Bruce Ratner's Atlantic Yards arena would be setback only 20 feet from Atlantic and Flatbush Avenues.

This short distance was misreported two weeks ago (as we pointed out and as in clear in renderings) in an article in the Times's print newspaper which stated definitively, but incorrectly, that Ratner's arena would be setback 75 feet from Atlantic Avenue and 150 feet from Flatbush Avenue.

Today the Times published a version of the story in its print edition, headlined: "A Brooklyn Arena and the Street: What’s the Right Distance?"

Why does the 20 foot setback of the arena from the two major arteries of Atlantic and Flatbush matter? Because in mid-October, two weeks before the grand-opening of Newark's new Prudential Center arena, Newark police officials realized that the new arena was too close to the streets abutting it, and those streets would have to be closed during arena events for terrorism protection. "You can't construct an arena and put it right against a street in a post 9/11 world," Newark Police Director Garry McCarthy told the Star Ledger.

The streets in Newark are about 25 feet from the arena.

What does the NYPD have to say about the key question: How is Brooklyn different than Newark? Well, it's a secret, says the Times:
...That is the same distance as the arena in Newark. This new information prompted another question: What makes the Atlantic Yards arena sufficiently different from the Newark arena that it will not require street closings?

That, Mr. Riegelhaupt said, was a security question to be directed to the Police Department. The Police Department has said that it does not comment on such matters. The department’s security analysis, which found that the arena was safe and streets need not be closed on game days, would stand.

That is wrong. The security analysis cannot stand as is, without independent study of the NYPD's decisions on this issue, which are still be made in a box.

Why did it take the passage of nearly one year since the project's political approval for Ratner to reveal that his arena is too close to the street? Why was this not revealed in the Environmental Impact Statement? Did the NYPD and Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) know about these insufficient setbacks when their Board approved the proposal in December 2006? If they did know, why have they been so grossly irresponsible to the public by hiding it? And if they didn't know until reading the Times' article, why have they been so grossly irresponsible to the public and what are they going to do about it now that it has been revealed? Is it possible that the ESDC's official line in the Environmental Impact Statement—that a terrorist bomb attack is "not a reasonable worst case scenario" worthy of analysis—was based upon no knowledge of the inadequate distance between the arena and the streets?

Are Albany, Spitzer, the ESDC, and the Bloomberg Administration so in thrall to Forest City Ratner that they would ignore what any independent security expert would tell us, which is that: It's a security flaw and problem to have a glass-walled arena, 20 feet from major streets, surrounded by glass-walled skysrapers.

As the eight elected officials wrote to Spitzer and Bloomberg nearly one month ago, there needs to be an independent security study of the Atlantic Yards project.

With this newly revealed information it's time for Governor Spitzer and Mayor Bloomberg to stop ignoring the situation, and at the very least, answer this question: the Ratner arena is 20 feet from the streets, the Newark arena is 25 feet from the streets and they are closing the streets, yet the NYPD says they don't plan on closing streets abutting Ratner's arena. How, exactly, is the situation in Brooklyn different than that in Newark?

Not to answer this question would be grossly irresponsible.

Some clarifications are needed for this passage in the Times article:
...Lately, months after the project near Downtown Brooklyn was approved and preliminary site work began, another question has arisen: How far will the project’s basketball arena be from the street?

The arena’s precise location matters because elected officials and opponents of the $4 billion project have raised questions about security at the site based on how far the arena is set back from the roadway. In Newark, where a new arena recently opened, the city decided at the last minute that at 20 feet from the curb, the arena was too close to the street for comfort, so now Newark closes streets around its arena during events as a precaution against truck-driving terrorists.

The critics characterized any street closings in Brooklyn as potentially disastrous. This is because the arena is set to be built at the intersection of two of Brooklyn’s main arteries, Flatbush and Atlantic Avenues, an area that is already a congestion choke-point even before a single brick has been laid for the project. Atlantic Yards is slated to include more than 6,000 apartments and a few million square feet of commercial space, in addition to the 18,000-seat arena...
The request and concern for basic answers to basic questions regarding Atlantic Yards and security, including street setbacks, have been asked by project opponents and critics for years. On July 6, 2005 DDDB issued a white paper, which raised this issue and many others, headlined: "Terrorism, Security and the Proposed Brooklyn Atlantic Yards High Rise and Arena Development Project." The questions are not new. What's new is that finally someone has answered one of the questions and a newspaper has reported it.

It is not only critics who characterized closing Atlantic and Flatbush as "disastrous." Anyone with eyes, who can see the current choke point that intersection is, would know that closing the streets would be a traffic nightmare--a traffic impossibility.

Posted: 11.24.07
DDDB.net en español.
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Eminent Domain Case
Goldstein et al v. ESDC
[All case files]

November 24, 2009
Court of Appeals

[See ownership map]

EIS Lawsuit

DDDB et al v ESDC et al
Click for a summary of the lawsuit seeking to annul the review and approval the Atlantic Yards project.

Appeal briefs are here.

Appellate Divsion
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What would Atlantic Yards Look like?...
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Atlantic Yards
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-No Land Grab.org

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-A Child Grows in Bklyn
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