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Thursday, January 7, 2010

RIOC Proposing To Reroute Southbound Roosevelt Island Red Bus Traffic - Presentation Made At Last Night's RIRA Meeting

Image of RIOC VP Of Operations Fernando Martinez Addressing RIRA

Last night's Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Meeting began with a presentation by RIOC's VP of Operations Fernando Martinez describing a proposed plan to reroute the Roosevelt Island southbound Red Bus to the East Channel (Queens Side) Road when it passes the Blackwell Turnaround in Southtown replacing the current West Channel route. Mr. Martinez explained the reason for this change is due to safety issues caused by a "blind spot" at the current subway Red Bus stop as riders exit the back of the bus and cross the street to the subway station not seeing oncoming northbound traffic. Mr. Martinez said that during the last two years there have been 3 pedestrian and one vehicular accident at this spot.

According to the proposed new Red Bus route, after the Southbound Red Bus passes Blackwell House it will make a left around the turnaround to the East Channel and stop at Riverwalk Commons near the Bar & Grill. It will then travel along Main Street and stop opposite the current Tram stop and continue on its way to the subway. Below is a diagram detailing new route provided by Mr. Martinez. Click on image for larger picture.
After the presentation, there was a productive question and answer period between Mr. Martinez and RIRA Council Members. Some members favored this new route and others had additional thoughts and suggestions. One suggestion was to keep the existing route but move the current subway bus stop further north to remove the "blind spot" safety problem and/or place a Public Safety officer at the bus stop to direct traffic during rush hours which would also eliminate the "blind spot" issue. Another suggestion was to just ban private cars from using the West Channel during rush hours by directing them to the East Channel road.

One Council Member was concerned about what he sees as a long walk from the proposed new East Channel bus stop to the subway in the rain and wanted RIOC to build a canopy along the Riverwalk Commons to keep riders dry in this event. A fellow Council Member suggested an umbrella would solve that problem.

Mr. Martinez made an excellent presentation whether you agree with the proposal or not. He and the current RIOC administration should be acknowledged for involving the Roosevelt Island community through our elected representatives at RIRA in this planning process.

10 comments :

Anonymous said...

I like this idea. I would suggest to turn the street that goes by the tram into a transit only zone, though. No cars allowed since folks will have to cross the street to get to the bus. Cars can use alternate routes to get from the east to the west. That implies that Main Street needs to be made one-way for everybody from the round-about on southward.

Anonymous said...

How about turning the tram station area into a Roosevelt Island transit center? An underground passage can be built to bring us to the subway and a bridge can bring passengers safely across the street to board the red bus.

Anonymous said...

I think it's nice to see RIOC and RIRA getting along on issues of mutual concern. This is a great idea and the safety of our residents should always be important. I was there when a woman got hit and had to be taken to the hospital. Good job by all involved.

Anonymous said...

Where would the buses wait for the Tram? The South lane running along the tram plaza is two lanes while the Northern lane is a single. Would the bus clog the turnabout, wait at new bus stop 1, or would the bus no longer be tied to the tram schedule?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Would suggest RIOC at least try
limit the West Road from Blackwell Circle to the Tram to buses (Red and City) and direct private cars and ALL trucks to use the East Road going both to and from the Tram Plaza. All that would take is a couple of signs and a PSD officers until the change is established.
Prolonging the bus route to the Tram via East Road and Tramway Plaza will delay subway commuters from Manhattan Park and the Octagon

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Ummmm... There's no need for a long walk to the subway, just wait another two stops and ta-da, you're at the subway.

Anonymous said...

I was at the RIRA meeting and thought the presentation was excellent and that the idea is a very good one. Pedestrian Safety being the first priority, followed by potential parking spaces in that area to help the businesses and last but not least, because of the new bus route that would include a few new stops around Southtown.

Anonymous said...

Yes, good idea indeed. No bottle neck at the Turn-around and we sure could use more parking. Hopefully, the Meters there will allow sufficient time for someone to get a bite to eat at one of the restuarants or enough time to shop at Duane Reade.