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Friday, April 30, 2010

Roosevelt Island Southpoint Park Closed For Construction, Opening Date Unknown - No Renwick Ruin Visits, July 4 Fireworks or Great Waterfront Viewing

Southpoint Park Image From Time Out New York's Top Picnic Spots

Saturday is supposed to be a beautiful sunny day with temperatures in the upper 80's. Last week on a similar, though not quite so hot day, a reader asked:
How long will Southpark be closed?
On a beautiful day like this I miss it already
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. (RIOC) web site shows Southpoint Park as being open and it's hours of operations but that is not correct. It is closed No more visits to the Renwick Ruins Smallpox Hospital, July 4 Fireworks or enjoying the fabulous waterfront views for now. When Southpoint Park will reopen is a common question I have been receiving so I went to the source and asked RIOC President Steve Shane:
Do you have an estimate as to how long Southpoint Park will be closed?

Also, Phase 1 of the Green Rooms/Wild Gardens project did not require closure of Southpoint Park. Is the current closure due solely to FDR Memorial or is there also something about Phase 2 of Green Rooms/Wild Gardens which requires closure as well.
Mr. Shane replied:
As with most construction sites, until it is safe for the public to be admitted. Phase II requires closure for the fill and planting program. Heavy equipment is being used.
Long Island City blogger LiqCity shows us some of the heavy equipment being used

Image of Southpoint Park Construction Crane From LiqCity

and notes:
Us Hunters Pointers tend to ignore our little friend to the west, Roosevelt Island, but these days it’s a little hard to, considering the bulldozers and huge piles of dirt sitting around on the southern tip of the island. Turns out it’s the construction for the LONG stalled memorial park dedicated to Franklin D. Roosevelt which has been dubbed Four Freedoms Park, after FDR’s famous speech.
Image of Proposed Roosevelt Island Four Freedoms Park FDR Memorial

The NY Times reported on Roosevelt Island's FDR Memorial groundbreaking at Southpoint Park:
... Ground was finally broken late last month for the triangular four-and-a-half acre Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park across the East River from the United Nations.

There was no ceremony or announcement. A formal groundbreaking will be this summer to celebrate the start of the final phase of Roosevelt Island’s planned development...

and The Real Deal had this to say about the Louis Kahn designed Roosevelt Island FDR Memorial:
... Roosevelt Island remains mired conceptually and architecturally in the 1970s a decade which, you will recall, was not a happy one architecturally or otherwise for New York City. The predominant building stock was and remains one of brutalist poured concrete and those sharp angles that architects favored 40 years ago.

That style appears to be what informs Kahn's Roosevelt Memorial, and it is the same one that apparently will be executed, largely unchanged, at the 4.5-acre southern tip of the island: an abstract, simplified triangle, bordered by trees and culminating in a square platform that protrudes into the East River and contains a larger than life statue of the late president. Louis Kahn -- at his best. He was capable of greatness and we should surely welcome anything by him in New York City. The problem is that, while some of his projects, like the Kimbell Museum in Fort Worth, Texas have thus far stood the test of time, others, like his two museums in New Haven, have not done so to the same degree.

There is a real risk that the site will merely seem forbidding...

...As for the upcoming FDR monument, I fear that, even if it is successful in every other respect, it will soon languish out there at the southern tip of Roosevelt Island.
Commenting on this horrible design for Southpoint Park, some Curbed readers remarked:

sighhhh

i will miss you unkept and overgrown southern tip

and
(one word) ... HORRIBLE!!!

FAREWELL NATURE!!! - We are relinquishing something that actually looked like the "tip of an island" that only needed minor grooming to keep it looking natural and beautiful. I visited the southern tip many times (seeing art installations, etc.) and enjoyed every visit because I really felt that I was on a remote island, and I could sit on the hill and have a casual picnic and watch the sky. NOW??? WTF??? This is a REAL TRAGEDY and PURE SHIT !!! As much as I hate to say it, I would have preferred a Trump Hotel on the site to this __???__ (something so disturbingly ugly that I am lost for words) .

LiqCity readers had this to say as well:
What an ugly park design.
and:
It looks like a concentration camp. Ugly ugly ugly.
Art critic Thomas B. Hess had this to say about the design when first proposed in the 1970's
: ... the sort of political edifice that the Italian fascists loved and Speer perfected for the glory of the Third Reich... The site itself is treated heartlessly. What was a modest, picturesquely rugged shoreline has been disciplined to straight lines and symetrical angles that have no significance beyond the alarming one of man's ability to impose a meaningless geometry on nature. The ultimate irony is that Roosevelt, who fought totalitarians to the death, is commemorated in the harsh style propogated by the dictators.
Can this taxpayer supported boondoggle be still stopped in it's tracks? Will the public financing of this project be withdrawn due to the ever worsening New York State and City Budget Crisis, particularly funding cuts for State and City Parks? Will private contributors to the project rethink their donations and withdraw them as well? Will sanity prevail and lance this boil on the tip of Roosevelt Island from being completed? Who knows but stay tuned for more.

UPDATE 5:25 PM - Even if Southpoint Park was open this summer, Newyorkology reports that we would not be able to see the Macy's 4th of July Fireworks from Roosevelt Island since they will again be moved from the East River to the Hudson River for the second straight year. According to Newyorkology:
For the second year in a row, the Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks will light up the skies above the Hudson River, again snubbing the East River which had been the most frequent location for decades....
and: ...
The fireworks were moved to the Hudson in 2009 as part of the festivities honoring the 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s first arrival to the river that now bears his name. The move angered Brooklynites, Roosevelt Islanders and residents of Manhattan’s east side. But their loss was New Jersey’s gain, as well as everyone on the west side on Manhattan...

Expect Delays Using The Roosevelt Island Bridge On Sunday May 2 For New York City 5 Borough Bike Tour


You Tube Video of 2009 NYC 5 Borough Bike Ride

The New York City 5 Borough Bike Tour Will take place on Sunday May 2. According to NYC Bike Maps:
New York’s Five Boro Bike Tour is the largest recreational cycling event in the United States. Every year on the first Sunday of May, over 30,000 riders participate in the 42 mile ride around New York City. The route, closed to automobile traffic, takes riders through all five boroughs of New York City, across five major bridges, and finally across New York Harbor on the Staten Island Ferry. It is a lot of fun for cyclists of all skill sets and highly recommended
If you are trying to enter or leave Roosevelt Island via the Roosevelt Island Bridge be aware of the following advisory issued by RIOC concerning the Bike Tour:
Please be aware that the NYC 5 Borough Bike Tour will be taking place on Sunday, May 2, 2010. The tour begins at Battery Park with cyclists leaving between the hours of 8:00 A.M. and 9:00 A.M. making their way through the five boroughs and ending on Staten Island. One of the tour stops will be Astoria Park leading cyclists along Vernon Blvd. There will be traffic control stops by NYPD during the day, beginning around 8:30 AM, to allow the cyclists to pass safely, potentially affecting both bus and vehicular traffic, causing delays at the R.I. Bridge and on Vernon Blvd. Please allow for this possibility in planning your travel .

New Emergency Assistance Call Boxes To NYPD and Public Safety Department Placed Around Roosevelt Island

New Emergency Assistance Call Box Near Roosevelt Island Subway Station

Roosevelt Island has received several new Emergency Assistance Call Boxes and placed them at various locations around the Island. Calls can be placed to NYPD or the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department. Public Safety Department Director Keith Guerra reports:
Six new call boxes were installed throughout the island. Initially, the City felt that in this new age of the cell phone, it might not be necessary to replace them, but many felt they served a useful purpose and were still needed. We benefitted from receiving six such call boxes.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Roosevelt Island Community Members Upset That Octagon Playing Field Trees Cut Down Without Prior Notice



Tomorrow is Arbor Day and as reported previously there will be a Roosevelt Island Arbor Day Celebration at the Meditation Steps from 10 - 11 AM featuring members of the Roosevelt Island Tree Board, students and teachers of PS/IS 217 as well as RIOC President Steve Shane.

While on the subject of Roosevelt Island Trees, there was some recent controversy regarding the cutting down of 15 -20 trees located on the Northwest Corner of the Octagon playing field which is currently undergoing resurfacing. The trees cut down can clearly be seen in the 2007 Roosevelt Island 360 Video and their removal from this recent picture.

Octagon Playing Field Resurfacing With Trees Removed From Corner

A reader sent in the account below. (Note that I have included explanatory references within the account that are in parenthesis and bold):
While walking the other day to Lighthouse park, I noticed that trees were down and branches were being put into some kind of shredding machine. I questioned some of the workers who told me to speak with the head guy who wasn't there.

This was over a 2 day span. The first day I saw a few down but it was unclear whether they had fallen due to a bad storm or if they were being taken down. On the second day there was no question I saw them cutting down trees. I was told from the workers that trees were being removed on only one side for the new Soccer Field. On my way back I went into RIOC and neither, Steve, Fernando or Rosina (RIOC Executive Staff) were in yet. I called Ally Swahri, head of the Tree Board to see if he knew anything about the trees and he didn't. He called Mike Smith (RIOC Parks and Recreation Manager), who referred him to Fernando. A few hours later I was going to Gristedes and stuck my head into RIOC again. I saw Steve Shane and we went into his office. He showed me an email that was sent to Margie (RIOC Director Margie Smith) explaining what's going on. As usual they have an answer for everything.

They were invasive trees, they needed to add an additional lamp post and although they did not communicate with the Tree Board they did consult with the prime contractor and the project's landscape architects. After going to Gristedes, I ran into Steve Shane (RIOC President) again who was on his way to the soccer field and he asked me if I wanted to join him. When we got there Fernando (RIOC VP Of Operations) was there. Again, they have an answer for everything.

I explained how sensitive the island is when trees come down and that he (Steve) has written in his column every issue of The WIRE about the field and never mentioned trees coming down. I was disturbed with their process, what they decide to tell us and what they don't. Fernando also mentioned that the trees had to come down not only because of the additional light that has to be added (because there is someone on the East Side of Manhattan, who has been making a stink that the other lights glare into her apartment) but because he does not want to block the Manhattan view from the Soccer players. You, of course, know what my answer was to that (Referring to the FDR Memorial Trees that will block waterfront views at Southpoint Park). Again, not only are they more concerned with renting out the field than with the residents, but they just have an answer for everything and that changes every minute depending on what they are trying to accomplish. Also, they are working with a landscape architect who will replace trees and they need to have a field that is of regulated size so that soccer teams will rent out our field.

These are the facts as I know them.
RIRA President's Frank Farance mentions the tree cutting in his recent Message:
... Meanwhile, after the Blackwell Park Committee went through painstaking efforts to make sure all the trees in Blackwell Park are preserved, you'd have thunk RIOC might ask its directors or RIRA before cutting down 20+ trees near Octagon, but they didn't consult with anyone -- lost trees and a firestorm of criticism for RIOC...
I asked RIOC VP Of Operations Fernando Martinez to comment and he responds:
Below is my response to a RIOC Board member who has raised the same question and concern:

"There are approximately 10-15 trees being removed for several reasons. First, the trees, most of which are invasive, are located on what will be the west sideline of the new field. Second, we are installing an additional light pole, and the trees will interfere with the new light pole including casting a shadow onto the field. Lastly, most turf fields have no or a limited of trees on its border in order to reduce the amount of leaves, flowers, etc. falling onto the field. We have not consulted with the Tree Board, but we were advised by William A. Gross Company, the project's prime contractor, and Quennell, Rothschild and Partners (QRP) the project's landscape architects. Both firms are very experienced and were highly recommended by NYC Parks and Recreation."

Roosevelt Island Arbor Day Celebration Friday April 30, 10 - 11 AM At Meditation Steps

ArborDayRRITreeBoard

Come Celebrate a Roosevelt Island Arbor Day with the Roosevelt Island Tree Board, students, teachers and the Principal of PS/IS 217 as well as RIOC President Steve Shane on Friday, April 30 from 10 - 11 AM in front of the Meditation Steps. In the event of bad weather or temperatures below 70 degrees the Arbor Day celebration will take place in the PS/IS 217 cafeteria.

When Will MTA Repair Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Station Entrance/Exit Door - Will New Walder Policy Quicken Fix?

Broken Door To Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Station Entrance

What will it take for the MTA to fix the street level entrance/exit door of the Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Station? I don't recall how long the door has been broken but it has been at least a month if not longer.

Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Station Entrance

Could this be the reason why the Roosevelt Island subway station entrance/exit door remains broken? The NY Times City Room blog reported that for years the policy of the MTA was that no single part of a subway station could be repaired, except for an emergency, unless the entire station was completely renovated. According to the NY Times:
...This, in practice, meant that many stations were never touched. A station might get the V.I.P. treatment once every few decades, with only a handful of lucky stations selected for rehabs per year. The rest were left to deteriorate.
No longer. Under a new plan instituted by Jay H. Walder, the authority’s reform-minded chairman, workers will respond to such problems on an as-needed basis. Which means, ideally, a cleaner and more cheerful travel experience.
“The best is the enemy of the good,” Mr. Walder said at a briefing last week with reporters, reciting a mantra that he hopes will become gospel at an agency long criticized for a perceived culture of waste and bloat...
Let's see if the MTA will now fix the Roosevelt Island street level subway door. Here's how to contact the MTA's F Line General Manager and tell him to fix the door.

The MTA also reported that the average weekday Roosevelt Island F Train ridership during 2009 was 5816, average Saturday ridership 3939 and average Sunday ridership 3271.

Roosevelt Island 360 reprints a NY Times map showing that the 2009 average daily Roosevelt Island F Train ridership decreased 2.8% from 2008.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Entertainment Extravaganza Expands At Roosevelt Island's Riverwalk Bar & Grill - Stand Up Comedy Night On Thursday April 29


First there was Monday Night Wii Bowling and Tuesday Night Trivia. Then came Wednesday Night Karaoke. The Entertainment Extravaganza that has become Roosevelt Island's Riverwalk Bar & Grill expands again with Stand Up Comedy this Thursday Night April 29 starring:

So, on Thursday at 8:30 PM we can't say we have Zero Mostel on Roosevelt Island but we will be able to say we have some COMEDY TONIGHT!

NYPD And Public Safety Department Conduct Search For 2 Armed Men Reported To Be On Roosevelt Island - Not Found


According to the 4/26-27 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Report:
Investigation- NYPD responded to the island on a report of two males possibly armed with firearms. NYPD and PSD conducted a search of the island with negative results.
I asked RIOC Public Safety Director Keith Guerra for additional information. Mr Guerra replied:
There are no additional details. We were notified by NYPD of an anonymous call that came through the 9-1-1 system of two males possibly armed with Firearms. Both agencies conducted a search with negative results.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

President Barack Obama Welcomes World Champion New York Yankees To The White House



Two of my favorites, the New York Yankees and President Barack Obama.

The Wall Street Journal explains why an Obama Administration Is Good For The Yankees:

A professed White Sox fan, President Obama was still smiling yesterday when he welcomed the Yankees to the White House.

A possible reason: the Yankees tend to win it all when Democrats are in the White House...
Remember, this is what it was like last November when the Yankees won the 2009 World Series.

RIOC Real Estate Committee Meeting Today On Master Leaseholder & Site For FDR Hope Memorial Statue In Southpoint Park

Image of Proposed Site For FDR Hope Memorial From Skycam USA

According to RIOC:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Real Estate Development Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York. The agenda for the meeting will be:

1. Final discussion with Jones Lang LaSalle regarding the RFP for the master lease of the Main Street retail; and

2. Review of site approval for the FDR Hope Memorial within the Southpoint Public Open Space Project Area.
The FDR Hope Memorial is intended to be located in the Wild Gardens/Green Rooms area of Southpoint Park just north of the Renwick Ruins Smallpox Hospital and will depict President Franklin D. Roosevelt as he actually lived, in a wheelchair. According to FDR Hope Memorial Committee Member The Roosevelt Doctor:
The FDR HOPE MEMORIAL COMMITTEE is working to design and build a memorial to President Roosevelt that focuses on him as a disabled person who lived in the mainstream. Its mission statement reads:

President Franklin D Roosevelt is the inspiration for all who strive to overcome challenges. Roosevelt island was so named to reflect a commitment to an integrated community where the disabled move freely, live independently and develop to their fullest potential.
The FDR Hope Memorial will educate future generations about FDR and about Roosevelt Island, a vital community of “enabled” residents.

The intent is to have a statue of FDR sitting in a wheelchair or using crutches and to look something like this bronze statue from EIS Studios.


More images of a seated President Roosevelt including this one with Winston Churchill from Listicles are here.


Any of these seated FDR Images with some minor appropriate landscaping are far more suitable and inspiring for a FDR Memorial to be located on Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park than the $50 million taxpayer supported, view killing, concrete and granite boondoggle proposed as the FDR Four Freedoms Park shown below.


For disclosure purposes, I am a member of the FDR Hope Memorial Committee and the views expressed herein about the FDR Four Freedoms Park are mine alone.

UPDATE 5/4 - The webcast of the meeting is now available.

How Does Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Gifted & Talented Class Compare To Other NYC Options - Tour School On Thursday To Have Your Questions Answered

Image of Roosevelt Island PS/IS 217 Front Door From Tim Melideo Photography

A recent question on the Urban Baby message board from a Roosevelt Island parent asked for advice regarding the PS/IS 217 Gifted & Talented Program compared to other NYC options:
Help? We live on Roosevelt Island (seriously!). DC got a 99. Stay on RI for the local G&T, Lower Lab, or try for Anderson/NEST+M?
Responses include:
  • there are a few RI dc at Anderson; most end up moving into Manhattan because commute to UWS is hellish -- same thing with Queens
  • There are a bunch of RI kids at LL, and I know of at least a few at Anderson. Try for the ones you really want! but I don't get staying on RI for the local G&T with a 99
  • there are several kids from RI at NEST. Some take the Queens bus and others commute by car or subway. It is not that bad since it is on the F train and the school really is worth it.
  • Hey neighbor. It depends on your willingness/desire to move or endure an awful commute. Anderson and NEST will take forever to get to. You have to wait for the yellow bus in Manhattan, or have an adult who can take the kid all the way to school. On the other hand, I believe there is a yellow bus from RI to Lower Lab. STEM is actually closer than all of those, but I have no idea whether they would provide a yellow bus. (RI clearly merits an exception to the "borough line" rule, but you'd probably have to fight.) If not, then I think it can be reached by Q102 plus a bit of walking. It would also be very easy for islanders who commute by car. There's also definitely something to be said for the convenience and community aspects of 217 G&T
  • Our dc scored a 99 last year and ended up at RI and are very happy with the program. Class size is small (14 in K this year), the physical plant is outstanding, no crowding, art and music twice a week, foreign language starting next year, parent coordinator is fantastic, and a 10 minute walk to school is priceless.
If you are interested in learning more about Roosevelt Island's PS/IS 217, the PTA is conducting an informational tour of the school on Thursday, April 29 at 9 AM. From the PS/IS 217 PTA web site:

OPEN HOUSE & SCHOOL TOUR

PS/IS 217 PTA invites you to a SCHOOL TOUR

THURSDAY, April 29, 2010 @ 9:00 am

Let your friends and neighbors know about this event if they are considering sending their children to our beautiful school!

Click here for more to RSVP for the PS/IS 217 School Tour.

For more information check out the Roosevelt Island School Gifted & Talented Class Blog.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Opening Day Of The Roosevelt Island Adult Softball Meetup Group Was Lots Of Fun - Come Join Us For Future Games

Corner of Firemen's Field

It was a Roosevelt Island Field of Dreams. There were about 16 players who showed up, some from Roosevelt Island the rest from other parts of NYC, who wanted to play in last Saturday's Opening Day of the Roosevelt Island Adult Pick-Up Softball Game. The weather was beautiful for the game played in the Northwestern corner of Firemen's Field because another group had arrived earlier and claimed the main portion of the field.


There were some pretty good players at the game hitting screaming line drives, deep shots over the outfielders heads and some slick fielding too. There were also some pop ups, dribblers and errors.

Unfortunately, none of the good plays were made by me. My one contribution was a mighty swing whiffing at the ball and then hitting a sick squibbler back to the pitcher which resulted in a throwing error allowing me to get to first base. The next batter hit a grounder and as I was going to second base I ran out of my shoes tumbling to the ground on the basepath. Very embarrassing!!!

At the end of the game, all agreed they had a very good time and would like to continue playing in the future as some lined up for the post-game photo -op and interview.


Another game is scheduled for next Saturday, May 1. According to the Roosevelt Island Adult Softball Meetup Group

Game 2

Saturday 9:30 AM

at Firefighters Field in New York, NY
Same as Game 1. Will probably be playing in the corner of Firefighters Field again. E-Mail will be sent if location changes. If attendance increases for Saturday morning games, we'll add another
If you are interested in playing this summer, come join the Roosevelt Island Adult Softball Meetup Group.

It was also great meeting people in person that I only knew online.

Below is a You Tube Video of a Monster Softball Home Run hit at Firemen's Field last Saturday but from another group, not ours.

Burglary, Robbery & Assault At Roosevelt Landings - 4 Suspects Arrested By Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department


According to the 4/25 -26 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Report:
Robbery/Burglary/Assault- 4 Subjects arrested by PSD.
Roosevelt Island Public Safety Director Keith Guerra adds:
Please be advised that on Saturday, April 24, 2010 at approximately 9:06pm, four (4) males (off-island residents) forced their way into a ground floor apartment in Roosevelt Landings (via the outdoor porch) and stole a laptop from the living room. The subjects were chased by the 24 year-old victim. He caught up to them and demanded his laptop back. He was then assaulted by them. PSD Officers observed the small chase and immediately pursued from different directions. All four males were apprehended by PSD. One of the four subjects fought with the Officers during his apprehension. Two PSD officers were subsequently injured. The victim and two Officers were treated and released from the hospital. The laptop was returned to the victim.

The four males ranging in age between 19-21 were charged with Burglary, Robbery, Assault, Possession of Stolen Property, Resisting Arrest and Unlawful Possession of Marihuana. They are ... (Name Omitted), age 21 (Bronx resident); ... (Name Omitted), age 19 (Brooklyn resident); ... (Name Omitted), age 21 (Bronx resident) and ... (Name Omitted), age 21 (Bronx Resident).

While at the 114th Precinct for processing, Precinct Detectives ascertained that one of the subjects was wanted in connection of a shooting in the Bronx. Two others had been recently released from Prison; one for Possession of a Firearm. These were four bad individuals, who will hopefully be put away for a long time.

I'd like to especially commend Sgt. Hernandez, Det. Malone, SPO Rivera, SPO Gilmore, SPO Vernet, SPO Clemente and P.O. Fernandez for their courageous efforts in making this arrest.

RIRA President On Roosevelt Island Red Bus Problems, Parking Enforcement, Octagon Field Trees Cut Down & Future Common Council/Town Hall Meeting

PSD Officer Issuing Tickets In Southtown

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Frank Farance sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
1. The Red Bus problems. I spoke with Mr. Martinez (RIOC VP of Operations) and we've agreed to try again on a variety of fronts. RIOC Board Member Jonathan Kalkin has offered his assistance in working with the Nextbus GPS system.

2. Recent Complaints about PSD Parking Enforcement in Southtown. I think y'all know how loud I've complained in the past about parking enforcement. I've heard there are two letters in this issue of the WIRE. What's weird about this transaction is that RIOC asked one of the RIRA committee chairs (not the one responsible for PSD and its parking enforcement) to write a public letter in the WIRE to complain about the parking problems. RIOC asked RIRA to write public complaints about RIOC. Yeah, my eyes squinted on that one, too. According to Shane, he needed the letter that was critical of PSD for political cover (for normal parking enforcement), but that doesn't make sense. Meanwhile, after the Blackwell Park Committee went through painstaking efforts to make sure all the trees in Blackwell Park are preserved, you'd have thunk RIOC might ask its directors or RIRA before cutting down 20+ trees near Octagon, but they didn't consult with anyone -- lost trees and a firestorm of criticism for RIOC. OK, so RIOC's motivation can't be political cover. And all this ignores PSD Director Guerra's efforts and the real story. Geof Kerr studied PSD and parking favoritism circa 2004 and published it in the WIRE; I did the same circa 2007. In both our studies PSD was confronted with the problems, but they stubbornly refused to fix them, i.e., favoritism was PSD's policy. When Guerra arrived in 2008, he fixed the parking problems: there were no bogus placards, no favorites, and even enforcement. Guerra has been true to his word. Since then I've heard a couple complaints and Guerra has been on top of correcting the glitches. I call them glitches because there has been nothing as bad and as pervasive as it was in 2004 and 2007. Presently, Roosevelt Island parking enforcement is about the same as Astoria: no officer minding every parked car and, thus, it is necessarily imperfect: you might be lucky to get some extra time. The operative word is "luck". Guerra has had an open door policy on this: if there is a problem with enforcement, he really wants to do something about, and his response is certain to be swift. Public Safety has been understanding of extraordinary circumstances (e.g., had to park in front of a hydrant because my child urgently needed to use the bathroom). So the issue at hand in the WIRE's letters column was already addressed before the letter-writing started. I have no idea why Shane asks for public criticism and Hamburger obliges. For the residents, your main RIRA point of contact for PSD parking enforcement issues (or anything related to PSD), is the RIRA Public Safety Committee, chaired by Erin Feely-Nahem (efeelynahem@aol.com). In summary, I agree that we should have consistent parking enforcement; the current letter writing is about something else.

3. Upcoming RIRA meetings. The next Common Council meeting is May 5 at 8:00 p.m. in the Good Shepherd Community Center; future meetings are on June 2, September 15, October 6. Upcoming RIRA Town Hall meetings (in preparation for RIOC Board meetings) are on April 28 and June 16.
The RIRA President's message is also published as the RIRA column in the 4/24/10 Main Street WIRE.

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