Paper trail shows a lack of LIRR openness on bollards

The Brooklyn Paper
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Newly obtained blueprints reveal that city officials were considering building the tomb-like bollards at the Long Island Railroad terminal at Atlantic Avenue and Hanson Place in 2005 — though at least two renderings were subsequently released to the public without those drastic security measures.

The documents, obtained under the Freedom of Information Law, show that the architectural firm on the project, John di Domenico and Partners, along with the Long Island Rail Road, were exchanging plans for the large security barriers and stone benches in May, 2005 — almost five years before those much-criticized barricades would be unveiled to the public.

The blueprints depicted blocks roughly four feet by three feet made of granite, steel, neoprene and mortar.

In total, the 14 bollards cost $1.5 million according to the Long Island Railroad — only a small part of the overall $106-million project.

But the blueprints also contradict a statement made by LIRR President Helena Williams to a Brooklyn Paper reporter on the day of the terminal’s opening this year, when she said that the bollards were not part of the design when construction began in earnest in 2005.

One rendering, which first surfaced in 2008 — though sources say it predates the summer of 2006 — depicts a gorgeous LIRR terminal without any bollards at all.

Another, released in 2007, depicts an entrance ringed by knee-high benches.

The reality at the entrance is quite different: The actual bollards are 50 to 52- inches high, and in some places, a mere 36-inches apart. They are massive and resemble ancient Egyptian sarcophagi.

Neither the LIRR nor a spokeswoman for di Domenico was able to confirm the dates the two renderings were released.

The security measures — as well as the lack of clarity about how the measurements of the bollards were determined — have raised concerns that the nearby Barclays Center will also be ringed by mega-bollards without any public input.

After The Brooklyn Paper requested the full internal discussion over security at Atlantic Yards, state authorities released what they are still claiming is the extent of the discussion: two e-mails regarding external security.

The text of those e-mails were blacked out.

And the information blackout continues.

Updated 5:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Paul from Park Slope says:
So how does it feel to be treated like you're Norman Oder? This sort of flagrant defiance of the FOIL process and the sham transparency acts should be prosecuted, plain and simple.
March 22, 2010, 7:57 am
SPC from Bay Ridge says:
Who cares?
March 22, 2010, 11:30 am
Andrew from Williamsburg says:
Those bollards are beautiful. Why the complaints? It adds a dramatic and sculptural urban space to what would otherwise be a rather boring corner plaza. I say, nice work. What would you rather have? Boring ugly cookie-cutter benches? Boring ugly planters? Come on people...
March 22, 2010, 1:16 pm

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