Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Roosevelt Island Red Bus, NYC Q102 and Hospital Bus Route Temporarily Changed During Tram Modernization

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RIOC has decided to change Roosevelt Island Bus routes during the Tram Shutdown. According to RIOC:
Please be advised that RIOC will implement a temporary bus route during the period of the Tram Modernization Project, March 1, 2010 to August 31, 2010. The temporary bus route will only affect the southern portion of Roosevelt Island i.e. around the F Train and Tram Stations. Currently, the RIOC, Coler/Goldwater and Q102 buses travel south on West Drive and then turn east toward the Tram Station. The RIOC bus dwells at the Tram Station, while the Coler/Goldwater and Q102 buses turn right onto East Drive and continue to Goldwater Hospital.

The temporary bus route eliminates south-bound buses on West Drive, as well as the associated bus stops opposite the subway station. Instead, all bus and truck traffic will travel south-bound along East Drive. The RIOC bus will turn west at the fountain and continue to the front of the F Train Station, while the Coler/Goldwater and Q102 buses will turn east at the fountain-continuing south down East Drive toward Goldwater Hospital, and return Northbound as they do now. Please refer to the attached map for further details.

The effective date of the route implementation will be March 1, 2010.
More Roosevelt Island Bus information from RIOC President Steve Shane's 2/25 Report (Item 2B):
... The MTA will continue to operate the Q 102 bus on the Island on its published schedule. Starting in April, there will be a route change to eliminate the alternating loops to Coler and Goldwater for those who would use the Q 102 and its transfer into the Metrocard system. Regular Red Bus service will continue on the Island, but because of the increased construction activity at the Tram site and the elimination of the Tram stop during the outage, all regular Red Bus service will run a continuous loop southbound along the East Drive, stopping at Riverwalk Bar, then looping around to the front of the subway station to resume a northbound run. Those that want to disembark for the subway at Riverwalk Bar may do so; those who want to ride around to the subway may stay on a stop and do so. All southbound buses, including the Octagon Express will make a stop at PS 217 for those wanting to board a bus at the Q102 stop....
RIOC has previously proposed this bus route change, not for Tram related construction reasons but for what are said to be safety reasons. At the January 2010 RIRA meeting:
... 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....
What did the RIRA members think of the bus rerouting plan?
... 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....
So, will this "temporary" East Channel bus route change during the Tram shutdown serve as a test to measure acceptance by Roosevelt Island residents and become the permanent route?


Mike G. said...

I'd guess that the route change will sell a lot more coffee and breakfast sandwiches at the bar & grill, so they're probably for it :)

I don't see why they wouldn't make it permanent. The old drop-off point at the subway did result in mass jaywalking.

The only downside I can see is that once the tram is back up, tram riders would have to cross the street to board the bus, unless the bus loops halfway around the traffic circle, picks up there, then loops around again to continue towards the subway.

Anonymous said...

My bus yesterday morning decided not to stop on the east drive, got stuck behind construction vehicles and took an extra 5 minutes to come back around.

I hope that's not a regular occurrence.

Anonymous said...

I think someone from the RIRA has already suggested the safest and convenient solution to the problem - make the West Channel route for buses only.

Anonymous said...

It is nice that RIOC recognizes that the blind spots on the West Road endangers southbound bus passengers getting off the bus at the Subway Station.

This could be avoided by limiting the West Road to ambulancess and buses only and direct all other traffic to the East Road (both southbound and northbound).

Safety could be further increased
if RIOC and MTA would agree to swop the vacant areas in front of the subway station so that the southbound buses would discharge their passengers before the curve in the road and closer to the station.

Directing the many trucks deliver-ing merchandise to the businesses at the subway station to park on the East Road NOT the West Road would also eliminate many "blind spots" .

What does the new routing offer to offset the longer transit time going to the subway stattion and in due course to the tram station ???

Anonymous said...

I'm actually glad they changed the route. It's much safer to embark & disembark the bus on the street side and not have to cross with traffic coming the other way (as suggested above).

I also heard that more Parking Spaces will become available so that our stores in that area can generate more business. This is good. We wouldn't want those stores going out of business too.

Anonymous said...

Simply put... 2-way traffic on the West Drive is DANGEROUS. Last year, I saw a nurse from the Hospital get hit by a car because she got off the bus and crossed the street behind it. She couldn't see the car coming in the other direction. Kudos to RIOC, RIRA or whoever had the idea to change that.

Anonymous said...

It's really not that bad of a walk through the commons. Lots of people are walking through there every day with no issues. (Even folks in wheelchairs.)

Anonymous said...

Ref anonymous at 2.32pm RIOC placed the bus stop away from the subway station (tempting people to cross behind the bus). This would be avoided by stopping the bus
across from the subway station.

It may slow traffic but that will increase safety. Drivers in a hurry will find their way to the East Road.

RIOC is merely moving the
"jaywalking" from the subway station to the tram station. the "jaywalking"

Anonymous said...

West Drive is much more narrow than East Drive. Buses, Trucks & large vehicles have a tough time even passing eachother in opposite directions on West Drive. The street where the Tram is located is even wider than West Drive, so people crossing the street can be seen and not get hit by cars.