Friday, February 1, 2008

Pedestrian Bridge from Roosevelt Island to Manhattan - Can It Solve Roosevelt Island's Transportation Problems?

Since it is Friday it must mean another weekend without full F Train subway service for Roosevelt Island. Just like last weekend and the three prior, there will be no Queens bound F Trains stopping at Roosevelt Island but there will be Manhattan bound F trains service from Roosevelt Island. Hopefully, this will be the last weekend of F train service interruptions for Roosevelt Island. Unfortunately that will probably not be the case.

Roosevelt Islanders continue to need alternative transportation means for getting on and off the Island because of the inadequacy of Subway service and the planned shutdown of the Roosevelt Island Tram for at least 7 months in early 2009. Is a pedestrian bridge stretching over the East River from Roosevelt Island to Manhattan at all feasible as a way of transporting people on and off Roosevelt Island? It at first seems unlikely but yesterday Curbed speculated of a pedestrian bridge from Brooklyn to Manhattan, designed by architect Rafael Vinoly, that was considered and rejected for the Domino waterfront development in Williamsburg. Why a pedestrian bridge is needed there when the area already has the Williamsburg Bridge is unclear to me but that is beside the point for Roosevelt Islanders.

Remember the proposed Trilogy skyscraper project, lovingly referred to as the Roosevelt Island Tower of Death by our friends at Curbed, that was developed by some Italian students from this earlier post. Though only an academic study, it included a pedestrian bridge from Southpoint Park over the East River to Manhattan. Watch the video and see for yourself. Pretty Cool!

Roosevelt Island's Tower of Death Pedestrian Bridge now joins the Chinese Rope Bridge, Peru's Urubamba River Crossing Box and Japanese Sling Shot as potential alternative transportation methods for getting Roosevelt Islanders over the East River in an emergency or as an alternative to the subway when the Tram is shut down next year for at least 7 months for repairs.

Here is the MTA F Train weekend subway advisory.

Queens-bound trains run on the V from 47-50 Sts to Roosevelt Av
Weekends until Feb 4
12:01 AM Sat to 5 AM Mon

How does this affect my trip?
~~ For service to 57 St, take the F to 5 Av-53 St and walk.

~~ For service to Lexington Av-63 St, take the F to Lexington-53 St and transfer to an uptown 4 or 6 to 59 St and walk.

~~ For service to Roosevelt Island and 21-St Queensbridge, take the F to Roosevelt Av and transfer to a Manhattan-bound F.

~~ For service from 57 St, Lexington Av-63 St, Roosevelt Island, and 21 St-Queensbridge, take a downtown F to 47-50 Sts and transfer to a Queens-bound F.

Why is service being changed?
We are making electrical improvements to ensure that trains continue
to operate safely along the F line.

UPDATE 1:35 - Roosevelt Island 360 has more on pedestrian bridge for Roosevelt Island.
The answer whether Roosevelt Island can build a footbridge similar in features to the Ward’s Island Bridge is probably not. But the idea in concept would work. A foot bridge that would include a central section that would raise and lower to let passing vessels pass under it as they journey up and down the West Channel of the East River.


Anonymous said...

It's too bad the elevator to the Queensborough Bridge was taken down. Maybe it could be reconstructed. That would be perfect, at least when it's not too cold.

Anonymous said...

Why just a pedestrian bridge?
Why not the 'real' one.....I was always wondering why no person, no offical representative ever explored this posibility (as far as I know)