Letters to the Editor
Silverstein deserves apology
To The Editor:
In your last issue, Port Authority executive director Chris Ward suggested some of the office towers completion at the World Trade Center site may be delayed until the economy is more robust (news article, Jan. 16 22, Port: Recession could change W.T.C. timeline). Wasnt it only a few years ago when then Gov. Pataki and the Port Authority heavy handedly threatened to strip the ground lease for the site from Larry Silverstein in part because he dared to suggest that each tower be completed only after sufficient space was rented? As the only legitimate real estate executive involved in the entire project, he understood market conditions and variables. I dont believe Mr. Ward was involved at that time with this decision, but shouldnt someone in the P.A., or Gov. Pattersons office, apologize to Mr. Silverstein for all he was unfairly put through?
Battery Park City resident
To The Editor:
At last Fridays hearing of the City Councils Fire and Criminal Justice Services Committee, F.D.N.Y. Commissioner Scoppetta revealed that agencies charged with overlapping safety responsibilities had failed to speak with each other in making service cutbacks affecting the public safety. During a fiscal crisis it is especially critical that city agencies coordinate with each other.
Scoppetta testified that he had no conversations with counter-terrorism officials before deciding to disband a fire company in the Financial District which had just received $1 million worth of decontamination equipment and specialized training. Commissioner Scoppetta also testified that in planning for Lower Manhattans fire protection he had not consulted with the head of the Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center, whose job is supposed to include planning for the effects of upcoming construction street closures, which will obviously affect response times. Such mismanagement jeopardizes public safety and wastes vital city resources. Mayor Bloomberg should live up to his managerial reputation by putting fire protection reductions in the Financial District and elsewhere on hold and then calling in his commissioners together to come up with a coordinated plan that adequately protects the public in the most cost-effective way possible.
Alan J. Gerson
Councilmember of the First District
To The Editor:
Re Bridge, brides, bottlenecks raise Chatham Square scare (news article, Jan. 16 22):
A simpler and more rational intersection at Chatham Square, as you paraphrased Shin-Pei Tsay of Transportation Alternatives, should be the first consideration in any redesign of the square a necessary but not sufficient condition for the project. However, the city is about to start the project and, as Community Board 3s traffic engineer Brian Ketcham reports, the city has done no pedestrian or safety analysis of either the current configuration or the proposed configuration. It also has done only a sunny day analysis of motor vehicle traffic. It has done no analysis of the impact of the four-year project on the economic environment of Chinatown. In short, the city is jumping into this project essentially blind.
As someone who has grown up in the Chatham Square area, I am intimately familiar with its usage patterns and I believe that the proposed plan might have simpler intersections, but is not rational for the area. After all, the simplest design is no intersection at all but the ramifications of doing that would give the city reason to pause and perhaps even think. The fact is the city is proposing taking away key crosswalks which would force school children heading to P.S. 1 to cross more and busier streets. Unless one knows and cares about the children, the seniors, the people who have to cross these rational intersections, one cannot make a balanced and informed decision about the proposed configuration. The traffic resulting from the redesign would not only be worse in the heavily utilized southbound Bowery-Worth St. route, but probably less able to take spikes in traffic, lane work, or other unexpected conditions.
Transportation Alternatives obviously has a better track record than Chinatown residents of getting the city to listen to their concerns. I encourage them to work with Chinatown residents to convince the city to abandon faulty plans in favor of ones that would work better for the local and general population. Otherwise, they are simply signing off on the moral equivalent of the Gowanus Expressway through the historic heart of Chinatown.
Member of the C.B. 3 Chatham Square Task Force and the Chatham Green board
Security, not greed
To The Editor:
Re Southbridge majority (Letter by Michael Wishner, Jan. 16 -22):
Thank you Mr. Wishner. Your editorial reply was a bulls-eye. Myself and others here at Southbridge think its unfair for Geraldine Lipschutz to constantly belittle her Southbridge neighbors with the greed card. Its true a few residents may be show me the money, but the majority are like Mr. Wishner, who wrote eloquently that he wants to know I have security and peace of mind knowing I have outs in case of an emergency. I believe Mr. Wishner speaks for the Southbridge majority.
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