Roosevelt Island At The Forefront Of New Technology & Urban Planning - Latest on Bicycle Sharing Plan- Come Test Out Your New Ideas Here
RIOC President Leslie Torres & Rivewalk Bar/Nonno's Pizza Owner Alphonse At Bike Sharing Demonstration
Roosevelt Island receives much grief from many of our fellow New York City residents for being strange, insular, creepy, spooky, stuck in the past etc - and some of that is true. But there is another side to Roosevelt Island which is at the forefront of urban planning and the use of new and exciting technology for the betterment of those who live, work and visit here. For instance in varying degrees of progress, there is the:
- Roosevelt Island Tram Modernization and Station Upgrades (Tram planned to be back in service on October 5 with one cabin, second cabin on October 16),
- See Click Fix web and mobile Problem Reporting System which will be Roosevelt Island's own 311 System,
- GPS Satellite Transportation Tracking System For the Red Bus,
- Bicycle Sharing Plan,
- Verdant Power's East River Energy Turbine System,
- AVAC Underground Garbage Removal System,
- New Energy Efficient Fuel Cell System For the Octagon to be installed soon (more on that in future post) and other projects to come in the future.
Meeting @EPA today, discussed my LED, electric car chargers, Solar, Wind, Solar Ferry, bike sharing initiativesHere's the latest on one new proposed project - the Roosevelt Island Bike Sharing plan. As reported in previous post, a B- Cycle Bicycle demonstration project was held August 24 on Roosevelt Island.
According to StreetsBlog:
As cities across the United States open new bike-sharing systems this year, New York City's commitment to launching bike-share remains cloudy. On the semi-independent Roosevelt Island, however, momentum is building to launch a small bike-sharing system with or without the rest of New York...and:
... Wilder expects bike-sharing to be used for all kinds of trips, from commutes to errands and recreation. "We have a lot of bike riders on the island," she explained, noting that bike racks are consistently packed full.The "Wilder" mentioned in Streetsblog article in RIOC Community Relations Specialist Erica Wilder.
Once the surveys gathered yesterday are compiled, said Wilder, "it's just figuring out the funding aspect of it." She estimated that setting up the program would cost the RIOC around $3,500 per bike, although membership and rental fees would repay some of that cost. "At first we'll take a hit, but in the end, it'll pay for itself within a two-year, three-year period," she said.
For now, Roosevelt Island is moving toward bike-sharing on its own. "It would be great if we could be the pilot location for New York City," said Wilder, who added that integration into a citywide bike-sharing system would be the preferred model. "But if New York City doesn't want to bring it," she shrugged, "folks can always come and this will be an attraction."
RIOC's VP Of Planning & Intergovernmental Affairs Rosina Abramason Taking A Ride on B-Cycle
The NY Daily News also reported on a possible Roosevelt Island Bicycle Sharing program:
... Roosevelt Island cyclists said they were intrigued by the idea of bike rental terminals.and:
"Here in Roosevelt Island it's ideal, because we have a number of bike paths and limited transportation," said Leslie Torres, president and CEO of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp.
Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Director Jonathan Kalkin adds:
It was really exciting to see people come out and test bike sharing on Roosevelt Island. I came out several times and the feedback was good. Many (myself included) had not been on a bike in years. It is true, you never forget, but it takes a minute or two to remember. I'm putting it on the agenda for our next Operations Committee meeting so we can examine the survey results and hopefully move forward with an RFP.
At RIOC we have to do a couple things to make this successful. Many studies including the Columbia, Hunter, and most recently the Cornell Landscape study I commissioned stated we need proper signage throughout the island and a well connected path. We have currently picked a firm to set this kind of program in motion. This would not only help people who bike, skate, run or rollerblade, but would make it easier for our disabled population to travel around the island.
I don't know if bike sharing is a commuting alternative, but it is a great way to exercise and bike around Southpoint and our other parks. It may develop into something else, but for now the feedback I got was for mostly recreational use. This is why I have been also looking into inexpensive or free long-term bike parking for people who use their bike everyday to go long distances. Ideally, we will have other areas of the city involved with their own bike sharing stations. Therefore, I have contacted our representatives to see if we can get some bike sharing partners. We used to be the place of new ideas and it is really great to see the island leading the way again.
Some more scenes at the Bike Sharing demonstation
and a slideshow of the event from RIOC.
RIOC is also taking a survey to see what you think of the Bike Sharing idea. Click here to fill it out.
So if you have an idea for a new urban planning project bring it to Roosevelt Island. You never know, we may be able to do it! The Welcome mat is open!!!!!