Draft Security Plans for the World Trade Center Modeled Off London's Ring of Steel

By Matthew Harwood

The New York Daily News reported yesterday that draft security proposals for the new World Trade Center (WTC) site would create a traffic nightmare for lower Manhattan.

Some 25 impregnable barriers and 13 guard booths would encircle the World Trade Center footprint under a draft plan circulated in late February.

At least 24 blocks on eight major streets would be closed or restricted to traffic under the proposal, which has been reviewed in City Hall and at 1 Police Plaza and is still being revised .... The draft plan is modeled after London's Ring of Steel, a maze of narrowed roads in the city's financial district with limited entry points that force vehicles into chokepoints that cops can easily cordon off.

According to the report, anyone needing to drive a vehicle into the WTC complex will have to register with the police and be  awarded "trusted driver" status. Nevertheless, trusted drivers, says the Daily News, will find themselves constantly tracked.

Electronic transponders would be attached to their vehicles to allow constant monitoring - and they'd have access to "trusted vehicle lanes" on Church St. separated from other traffic by "raised island dividers," the draft shows.

Traffic moving north up one of the city's busiest streets that runs next to the WTC site will have to stop first at a "credentialing zone" and then at a "sally port," an enclosure which allows officers to check underneath and inside of vehicles for explosives and other dangerous materials. (To see what a sally port looks like, click here.)

City officials quoted in the story told the Daily News that New York City is committed to securing the new WTC site as openly as possible.




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