Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Reopening Lady Liberty's Crown

As a kid growing up in New York, it was neat to go up into the crown of the Statue of Liberty -- although I was always disappointed that I could not climb up to the torch.

How sad it must be for kids growing up today, not to be able to climb even to the crown. It seems to me that if the concerns are related to public safety and terrorism, it ought to be possible to open the crown to (at least) a limited number of peopel a day. That's the same policy that governs access to the Capitol.

Rep. Anthony Weiner is trying to prod the Park Service into studying the issue further:

The House on Tuesday prodded parks officials to reopen the crown of the Statue of Liberty to the public -- a step the government says is too dangerous.

Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., for the second year in a row added an amendment to a spending bill giving the National Park Service $1 million to study how to safely reopen the staircase to the statue's crown -- something prohibited since the 2001 terror attacks.

"I'm not going to stop pushing on it and I think it's reasonable to expect that sooner or later they're going to have to answer," he said.

Tuesday's amendment, passed Tuesday by voice vote, does not force the park service to reopen the statue, and the agency has claimed the tightly packed, 168-step spiral metal staircase is a fire hazard and a terror risk.

Tourists are now allowed only as far as the pedestal, at Lady Liberty's toes.

No comments: