Nosy Neighbor: Why are there still police barricades up at the 9/11 Memorial?

C. wrote to ask: Why are there still police barricades circling the 9/11 Memorial Plaza?

The answer, according to the comms department of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, is to curb the spread of covid. The only entrance is at Greenwich and what would be the equivalent of Dey; the exit is on the south size of the plaza. Hours are 10a to 5p daily; the museum is open Thursday–Monday, 10a to 5p.

“The barricades help our team on the ground ensure mask wearing is in place and good traffic flow to curb the chances of COVID-19 spread…As a private institution, not a city park, we developed our own health and safety plan based off of guidelines to ensure social distancing, mask wearing in public and adequate traffic flow. At the heart of these regulations is the desire to provide a meaningful experience to visitors at a sacred site, while guaranteeing we are doing everything possible to protect their health and safety and that of our staff’s.”

She added: “We are particularly mindful of this because of the health sensitivity of our community. Really want to make sure that those with 9/11 health effects can safely visit the Memorial and pay homage at the names.”

I thought the plaza was public space, but I was wrong. “While the Memorial and the Museum are located on property owned by the Port Authority, the organization leases the site, allowing private control over the space. You can read more about that here if you like.”

My two cents: Hopefully there is a better balance to strike between the memorial’s community, which may have health risks, and the local community. The barriers there are contributing to the feeling that we are living in a continued lockdown state. Opening the plaza would go a long way to making us all feel like we are getting back to normal.

Recent Nosy Neighbors:



  1. A NYC infection rate under 2% (it’s at 6% now) would “go a long way to make us feel like we’re getting back to normal.”

    Crowds of people from states or countries with even higher infection rates? Not so much.

  2. I understand their desire to de-density the site, but I also agree the optics right now look awful. It’s hard to tell the difference between now and when they originally put up the fence to completely close the site last year. Maybe they could make a small investment into improved fencing, or cloth/vinyl covers for the current fence, to make it look less hostile… they have no shortage of cash funds and the current state is ugly. The fence isn’t even kept straight most of the time, it’s usually crooked

  3. Over the weekend, city employees became eligible for vaccines b/c they are due to report back to work in office on 5/3. All city agencies are working on their plans for reopening offices and will have to submit to city hall for approval for next couple of weeks. Putting the plane together and land at the same time.

  4. Better it looks like this than worrying about Covid
    transmission, right?
    Just think, if you were living mask free in Florida,
    then you’d have a real reason to complain (and it
    wouldn’t be about optics).