Friday, January 13, 2012

Report From RIOC President Leslie Torres - Cornell Coming To Roosevelt Island, Main Street Redeveloping, RIOC Newsletter, Sportspark Activities, Southpoint Park Bus Stop, Coat Drive, Lights Back On West Drive and Public Safety Officer Joins Corrections Department

You Tube Video of Cornell President Speaking About Roosevelt Island - Full Press Conference here and here

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Lesie Torres sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents.
Happy New Year!

2011 was an exciting year for the Island: our new Tram was up and running, we initiated the process to redevelop Main Street, and we were selected as the site for the Cornell/Technion Applied Sciences Campus.

I expect nothing short of this excitement for 2012. This year, we’ll focus on building the Island’s tourism (the opening of the Four Freedom’s Park should help), continuing the redevelopment of Main Street, and bringing in technology to make the Island even more green.


Coming soon to your lobby, our website, the Bar and Grill and other establishments is RIOC’s latest Newsletter. Check it out to learn more about our amazing sanitation system, get more familiar with Island historian Judy Berdy, and more.

Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

On Roosevelt Island, we make it really easy to keep your New Year’s resolution. Not only can you take a brisk walk or a run around the perimeter of the 2-mile Island, you can also take advantage of the great facilities and classes at Sportpark.

Our beautiful pool hosts open swim for 6 hours on weekend days and 7 hours during the week – including morning and evening sessions. The resident 6-month membership fee is $150. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to swim, we have adult swim classes available. For seniors, we have water aerobics.

If you’re a master swimmer, we have separate times for you too.

If swimming doesn’t suit you, we also have an array of other activities.

Ping Pong, offered every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, promises to always be a fun and challenging way to get some exercise. We also have ZUMBA, Boot Camp, Body Sculpting, and Basketball available. We also have ZUMBA, Boot Camp, Body Sculpting, and Basketball available.

For those of you looking to learn to dance, you can learn from true stars at Sportspark. Our Tango instructors, Leonardo and Olga Suarez Paz recently performed at Lincoln Center a few weeks ago. You can take lessons with them on Thursday nights. As an aside, they are also accomplished musicians. Their album, Leonardo Suarez Paz's Cuartetango String Quartet.... Masters of Bandoneon, will be available starting February 28, 2012.

You can learn more about Sportpark activities by visiting our website or calling (212) 832-4563.

Coat Drive a Success

Our annual coat drive, sponsored by the Public Safety Department with NY Cares, resulted in the donation of over 100 coats. I’d like to thank everyone who donated a coat to keep a New Yorker in need warm this winter.

Lights Back On

Due to a power outage along West Drive, temporary tower lights were installed to light the way for drivers and pedestrians. Once notified of the outage, Con Edison and RIOC’s engineering crew quickly got to work to make repairs and now the regular lights are back on. We know this was an inconvenience for some Island residents, but the emergency repairs had to be made for the safety of all.

Q102 Stopping out Southpoint Park

The Q102 bus recently started stopping at Southpoint Park. Now we are looking at how we can best accommodate the additional stop, without adding to the Red Bus running time. Stay tuned for more information.


Congratulations to PSD Officer Brian Rivera, who was recently appointed to serve as a Corrections Officer at the New York City Department of Corrections.

Officer Rivera admirably served the Island for 4 years. We thank him for his service and wish him well.


mogensjp said...

IF RIOC plans to extend the Red  Bus route to include Southpark
it will extend the round trip time to/from the Tram and Subway and necessitate  additional buses even before demand increases to service the university complex.
Something needs to be done to reduce the parking on Main Street to eliminate the frequent current bottle necks. If MTA can do it in Manhattan why can RIOC not to it on Roosevelt Island ? 

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Katz (RIRA President), Mr. Hamburger (RIRA Island Services Committee Chair), and I (RIRA Planning Committee Chair) have met several times with RIOC and their bus operations staff on a variety of service and schedule issues.  When we discussed extending the red bus service to Southpoint, we were worried about maintaining the existing schedule and reliability (which seems to going OK, so far).

Mr. Opperman, RIOC's bus czar, believes he can add the stop without breaking the schedule.  Mr. Opperman tried a Southpoint stop last summer when Southpoint Park had opened, and I had witnessed the schedule working that day with the extra stop.  Mr. Opperman feels confident that this will work.  For me, he's earned his credibility, so I believe he should try it on a broader experiment: last summer was a time when schools were on vacation, the weather was nice, and the experiment was outside rush hours.  When the university is built, the schedule/route will adapt.

Regardless, the highest priority is maintaining the schedule and the consistency/reliability of service.  We will continue to monitor the progress.

Regarding the bottlenecks, as I have said before, I am in favor of No Parking in the WIRE corridor between the 580-deli crosswalk and the 540-church crosswalk in morning rush hours 7-9 AM.

Mark Lyon said...

Agree on the parking limitations.  Perhaps we should help push the car situation back to the original master plan - a hefty "helix toll" for private vehicles entering the island would likely free up some space on our crowded street.

Frank Farance said...

Quoting the last paragraph of the GDP (General Development Plan): "The principal on-Island public transportation system will be a mini-transit system chosen for its economy and efficiency.  Residents and visitors will be encouraged to leave their cars at the Motorgate plaza except when loading and unloading."

Essentially, that is what we have now if one includes Motorgate-adjacent street parking as part of "Motorgate plaza".

A helix toll a merely a tax because it doesn't significantly diminish on-street parking (one must still load/unload), and hospital employees, via agreement with UDC-SAHE-RIOC in 1980s, have the right to drive to their hospital parking lots (without a toll).

Ratso123 said...

The University complex is years away.  We shouldn't be stagnated by an upcoming event that might not happen for 10 years or more.  The real issue is that RIOC does not want to provide bus service to that end of the Island yet, since the route will not only be longer, but it will be slower because of the disabled residents using the bus service.  Again, RIOC is shirking their duty and mandate by not treating all residents equally.