Downtown Alliance Says Terror Trials Don’t Belong in Lower Manhattan

Downtown Alliance Says Terror Trials Don’t Belong in Lower Manhattan

The Alliance for Downtown New York is troubled and disappointed by the U.S. Justice Department’s decision to try Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other 9/11 terror
suspects in Lower Manhattan. For a community that has suffered much since 2001, a new round of terror trials will mean more street closures, more vehicle checks and more securityminded restrictions stemming from a raised terrorism threat level.

This isn’t what Lower Manhattan needs. Downtown has spent 8½ years recovering from the single worst day in the city’s history. Its success has been stunning. Since 9/11, Downtown has more than doubled its residential population. It has amassed a sparkling new array of retail and restaurant amenities. It is opening new schools and hotels. It has dramatically expanded its arts programming. Yet this sustained progress has been saddled with some epic inconveniences. Downtown already copes with a permanent police checkpoint on Broadway and security-based street closures elsewhere. Residents, small-business people and commercial tenants face significant hardships as the temporary fallout from growth and renewal make some streetscapes
less welcoming than others.

“The community has suffered enough,” said Robert R. Douglass, Chairman of the Downtown Alliance. “Within a few awful hours on the morning of 9/11, Lower Manhattan lost 2,749 lives, 60,000 jobs and 13 million square feet of office space. Twenty-thousand residents were temporarily displaced from their homes. The community continues to build back with boldness, confidence and an abiding faith in the future.”

Years of expensive terror trials with heightened security alerts will only make rebuilding more difficult, while slowing recovery. The Downtown Alliance urges the Justice Department to rethink its decision to try these defendants in our midst.