Reported earlier this month about a Roosevelt Island Mom successfully getting the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) to fix a playground swing that had been broken for over a year. Now that Mom, Eva Bosbach, is trying to resolve a more difficult problem.
Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Member and Mom Eva Bosbach shares this request she sent last week to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Chief Engineer Alex Snedkov:
I have been in touch with Donald Lewis about a broken swing at a RI play ground last week (thank you again, Donald, for acting so quickly on that!) and announced that I will be contacting RIOC with a few other issues in the next days.Ms. Bosbach demonstrates the problem by swiping her metro card at the turnstyly
The following issue is more complex, but also perhaps more important as the effects of the current situation cannot be avoided and have implications for the health of residents and their babies. It concerns the access to the Roosevelt Island Tram by parents with strollers.
I am writing to you in my capacity as the coordinator of the Roosevelt Island Parents Network (currently 117 families here on the island), as the leader of the Island Kids baby group, as a RIRA Common Council representative for Southtown and a member of the RIRA Island Services committee.
The issue has been discussed at the last RIRA Island Services Committee meeting on 1/9/2013 and has been decided to be taken action on....
Since the large reconstruction of the Tram, I keep receiving complaints from parents with strollers about the Tram access specifically for this group of residents. Because the strollers do not fit through the regular turnstiles and there is no other possibility to swipe the card and pre-board for the Tram, parents with strollers have to wait until someone from the Tram personnel comes to open the gate for them. All other residents and passengers who pay can go through and pre-load. This situation is unfair, affects timing (sometimes a parent misses the Tram even though she or he was the first one at the station but had to wait for someone to open the gate and in the mean-time everybody else pre-loaded and filled the Tram once it came so that there was no space left for the parent with stroller). But more importantly, it also affects the health of the residents and their babies, as for example new moms who just gave birth or newborns in strollers have to wait in the cold in front of the gate and cannot get to the heaters.
Ideas for a solution include:
- add heaters and a bench outside (area where a weather-protected waiting room existed in the past)
- provide the gate with a buzzer and a camera, so that the personnel upstairs controlling the system can see who wants to use the gate and can buzz the parent with the stroller through
- assign a staff person to be on site permanently to open the gate (like on the Manhattan side of the Tram), at least during rush hours
- work with Public safety on making it a part of the job description of the PS person in the booth to open the door if there is a parent with stroller waiting (since they sit there anyway and 8 of 10 of the PS officers are helpful and open the gate, but some do not, so obviously they currently don't have to)
- install a special circulating door (like in zoos) which can be used for a stroller - has enough room to turn a stroller plus a person through to the other side after you swiped your Metro Card - since the Tram will be shut down during non-rush hours in the following weeks anyway, perhaps this could be added to the planned renovations of the station
- work with MTA on a special Metrocard for parents with strollers, similar to the one for wheel chair users, which can open the gate automatically after the card has been swiped
- work with MTA on an receipt issuing machine for the gate which could be used if a person does not fit through the regular door and needs to use the gate - similar like for a Manhattan express bus, the machine would handle out a receipt and open the gate for the person to access the waiting area, but only after payment took place plus the receipt would provide a proof of payment.
This issue is an ongoing source of complaints in the large community of parents on Roosevelt Island....
On behalf of all parents, especially the ones with young babies, I ask you to act toward a solution of this issue as soon as possible, as the progressing winter continues and worsens the problem.
Thank you very much,
and then waiting in the cold
until the Tram Gate can be opened before entering the Boarding Area
Hopefully a resolution can be found quickly.