Thursday, July 25, 2013

Transportation Access To Roosevelt Island Part Of NYC Dep't Of City Planning Western Queens Transportation Study - Improved Transit, Bike and Pedestrian Linkage Between Long Island City, Astoria and Roosevelt Island Sought

The NYC Department Of City Planning (DCP) is conducting a Western Queens Transportation study to improve transportation links between new and existing Long Island City and Astoria developments which will also include transportation links from these neighborhoods to Roosevelt Island.

According to the Tri-State Transportation Campaign (TSTC):
The New York City Department of City Planning (DCP)’s Transportation Division and Queens Office recently held its kickoff meeting for the Western Queens Transportation Study, which sets out to link new and existing development by focusing on bike, pedestrian and transit improvements. Various city agencies, the MTA, local civic associations, members from Community Boards 1 and 2 and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign were invited to participate in the Technical Advisory Committee to help guide the federally-funded study....

... Transportation issues identified by the DCP include:

Access to residential uses
Access to Roosevelt Island...
Filling in the last-mile gap between the waterfront and subway stations is key to the area’s success. Although western Queens is served by subway lines (G/7/E/M/R/N/Q) that connect to Manhattan, Brooklyn and eastern Queens, stations are located on the eastern and southern edges of the area, some of which are as far as 15 blocks from the waterfront. These connectivity issues can be addressed by the expansion of Citi Bike to serve Long Island City and Astoria. And while there are buses that serve the area, they don’t run very frequently.

DCP’s “Toolbox of Recommendations” include:

Bus frequency
Bus routes
Ferry service
Bicycle network improvements
Pedestrian improvements
Intersection improvements
Wayfinding signage
Parking regulations
Signal timing improvements
Click here for the entire TSTC post.

It does not appear that anyone from the Roosevelt Island community including the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) or the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) participated in the kickoff meeting.

Upon learning of the DCP Western Queens Transportation Study, RIRA Planning Committee Chair Frank Farance commented on the TSTC post:
Thank you for the information. On Roosevelt Island we’ve been looking into a variety of transportation opinions, including anticipating the arrival of Cornell.

Purely from a Roosevelt Island perspective … :-)
- Some of the Queens bus routes end suddenly and could be extended (just a little bit) to Vernon Blvd, Roos Isl, and/or Queens West for better commuting connections
- The Q102 is underutilized
- On Roos Isl, you’re probably not aware that we have this Red Bus service (for a quarter) that runs around the Island every 15 minutes (7.5 in rush) and is a main form of intra-Island transportation, with connection to Motorgate, Subway, Tram, FDR Four Freedoms Park, etc.
- Subway planning can be done better, but there are complex constraints
- We have several ferry spots, RIOC (Roosevelt Island Operation Corporation, which administers the Island) has done a study on ferry service (and locations) for RI

I will invite you to our next RIRA (Roosevelt Island Residents Association) Planning Committee meeting. Send me E-mail with your contact info. Thanks.
Better transportation connections from Roosevelt Island to Long Island City and Astoria would be great. Any ideas?

Hope it happens in the not too distant future.

I contacted the DCP for more information. Will update when received.

UPDATE 7/30 - RIOC Transportation manager Cy Opperman attended the meeting.