Volume 22, Number 28 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | November 20 - 26, 2009
Letters to the Editor
To The Editor:
Thank you for your article, “Port may consider early ban on W.T.C. tour buses,” (Nov. 13 - 19).
The recent announcement by Joe Daniels, president of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is considering moving World Trade Center tour bus parking temporarily off site is extremely good news for Community Board 1 members, local residents and safety/security advocates alike.
As the founder and chief technical advisor (respectively) of the Skyscraper Safety Campaign, we testified on this subject at a Nov. 28th, 2006 public hearing at Borough of Manhattan Community College, advocating for an alternative New Jersey drop off point for tour buses and their riders. We also suggested that not only could the PATH trains be used for this purpose, but they could be outfitted with informative television videos, orienting museum patrons for their visit. (It is interesting to note that the only reason ever given for not allowing the New Jersey disembarkation point was the “insurance concerns” of private tour bus operators!)
Since that time, we have floated this idea at W.T.C. Redevelopment Committee Hearings of C.B.1, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the City Council, plus other forums. Yet, even with this hopeful news of Port Authority reconsideration, safety and security issues concerning the proposed underground World Trade Center bus parking areas and delivery tunnel still remain.
Of particular note is the tunnel/bus parking area directly under the Calatrava transit hub; given the nature of this site for another attack, this creates a likely specific target for terrorists. This situation places immense pressure on security personnel at the vehicle screening center to catch every bomb-laden truck and bus; security personnel have to be 100% successful, terrorists only have to be successful once.
It took three years, but the P.A.N.Y.N.J. is finally facing the reality of the situation. For the safety and security of Downtown residents and tourists, it is our ardent hope that the idea of the very expensive underground parking/tunnel and vehicle security screening center will be abandoned altogether and replaced with a plan acceptable to area residents. We can also hope that the City of N.Y. and New York Police Department is working with the P.A.N.Y.N.J. to develop a safer, more secure and less polluting alternative. This is the least that this long-suffering community deserves.
Sally Regenhard and Glenn Corbett
Regenhard is founder of the Skyscraper Safety Campaign and Corbett is an associate professor of fire science at John Jay College in addition to his work with Skyscraper Safety.
Heuss worker remembered
To The Editor:
An extremely sad follow-up to the June closing of John Heuss House ( news article, July 3 – 9, “For homeless, losing center is like losing their home),” the Beaver St. service center for homeless people, was the Oct. 26 death of Tyrell Porter, a principal member of the J.H.H. staff.
A person who is universally admired and respected is indeed rare. During the years that I had some familiarity with John Heuss House, Mr. Porter was the one individual about whom I never heard anyone, staff or clients, express a single complaint.
He was an exceptionally caring and compassionate man and played a major role in the success J.H.H. achieved in helping more than 20,000 homeless people before the Department of Homeless Services mistakenly forced it to close.
Mr. Porter also had a separate career as a highly successful musician. He was a man of many talents who lived a very good life. As is often the case with really outstanding people, he left this world much too early.
From the web:
“City playing prevent defense on school gym?” (news article, posted Nov. 12):
I was more than dismayed to hear that a location has yet to be signed on by the D.O.E. for this gym. We gave Millennium four of these addresses, still on their list, a year ago! It’s appalling that a year has passed and nothing has happened here. And the D.O.E. is talking about banning our bake sales on the premise of health and wellness when our school children have no place to exercise? It’s absurd. What about the value of team sports in general? A gym isn’t a luxury item, it’s a requirement, though you’d never know by looking at our schools.
It should be understood by readers that the 34th floor still remains the best option. The students would have an elevator between classes rather than a subway ride or walk through city streets. Additional consultation is taking place regarding addressing the fire concerns that suddenly appeared (and that did not exist in 2003, seem not to be an issue for other N.Y.C. buildings over 33 stories, and is not an issue on the 13th fl). Also, beside freeing the current “fitness center” as a classroom, the gym could be used as well for other classes.