Roosevelt Island Main Street Traffic Is Getting Worse, Worse And Worse According To RIOC Transportation Manager - Future Problems Coming Up With Cornell NYC Tech Construction - Proposes Red Bus Route, Stop and Separate Bus Lane Changes
RIOCTransportation Manager Cy Opperman at Red Bus Stop From Jonathan Kalkin at Yfrog
reported that Roosevelt Island Main Street traffic:
... is getting worse, worse, and worse with trucks, cars, school buses everywhere, now limos during day and increase at night, cyclists running around the Island and the Access A Ride parking anywhere they want to park ... future problems coming up with the Cornell construction... with 50 more cars going down Main Street, the buses will never make their schedule...Mr. Opperman's remarks begin at the 2 hour 46 minute mark.
Mr. Opperman proposed the following changes to the Red Bus system in order, he says, to improve it's efficiency.
1 - For safety reasons due to building pillar obstruction, move southbound bus stop at 40 River Road to across the street by the park.
Image of 40 River Road Southbound Bus Stop
2 - Delivery Trucks parked on Main Street Near Gristedes delay northbound traffic. Mr Opperman proposed eliminating the southbound Gristedes Turnaround Red Bus Stop
Image Of Gristedes Turnaround Bus Stop
allowing delivery trucks to park in the turnaround
Image of Gristedes Turnaround
which will improve Main Street traffic flow. Several RIOC Directors pointed out that eliminating the Southbound Gristedes Turnaround Bus Stop may be an additional hardship for elderly and disabled residents who will have to cross the street to the park to get on the southbound bus.
3 - Create a separate bus lane from PS/IS 217 to Good Shepherd Community Center from 7 AM - 10 AM. The separate bus lane will eliminate parking spaces in the area during that time.
4 - Have Octagon Express Bus stop at the Good Shepherd Community Center on way to the subway. However, that may be difficult to get the Octagon owners to agree to since they pay for the bus.
5- Better coordination between the MTA Q 102 bus and the Red Bus Schedule. Mr. Opperman would like the Q 102 Bus to turn South at the helix in the afternoon/evening so it can pick up passengers coming home at the subway and drop them off at Manhattan Park and the Octagon. (Q 102 currently turns north at the helix all the time.)
6 - Eliminate dollar bill in fare box because it causes jams in the fare box and increases lines to get on the bus. Dollar bills are also filthy. (Blue gloves that are put on to count the dollar bills are no longer blue when count is finished)
Mr Opperman suggested that it would be cheaper to run the bus without a fare but RIOC Directors are not likely to go along with that suggestion. According to RIOC Chief Financial Officer Steve Chironis, Red Bus annual revenue is $300 hundred thousand from riders and $100 Thousand from the Octagon Express for a total of $400 thousand annually. The annual Red Bus expenses are $1.2 million for a net annual loss of $800 thousand.
Mr. Opperman also noted that he is seeing more grafitti on the Red Buses, that they are getting dirtier at night and has received complaints by Bus Operators that they have been threatened and cursed at by some passengers. There was even an incident of a kid shining a laser light in the eye of a Bus Operator.
Regarding coordination of Cornell construction transportation issues, Mr. Opperman reported that after an initial meeting several months ago, there has been no follow up with Cornell representatives.
Here's the audio web cast of the November 15 RIOC Operations Committee meeting. The Red Bus discussion starts at 2 hour 46 minute mark.