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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Crowded Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin And Station Due To No Manhattan Bound F Train Service and Tram Evacuation Drill On Same Day - RIOC Says They Will Try To Improve Communications With MTA In Future

Reported on Friday there would be no Manhattan bound Roosevelt Island F train service this weekend and that the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) would be conducting Tram Cabin Evacuation Drills on Sunday but, according to RIOC,:

...Tram service will not be disrupted....
Unfortunately, Tram service was disrupted today as only one Tram cabin was in service because the other cabin was being used for the Evacuation Drill. The Roosevelt Island Tram Station and Cabin in use were very crowded. According to the Roosevelt Island Twitterverse
Images From Trevre Andrews
One Roosevelt Island resident reported:
They were suppose to be doing a drill on the tram today. But when they realized that it was on a weekend with no Manhattan F, they should've postponed the drill. Also, the tram was filled to capacity, while I was waiting I counted people and there were over a 110 that boarded. The red percentage meter said 95. Dangerous.
Earlier today, I asked RIOC President Charlene Indelicato:
I am receiving complaints from residents about the scheduling of Tram Evacuation Drill today, which takes one Tram cabin out of service, during the same time that there is no subway service to Manhattan.

Any statement from RIOC regarding why the Tram Drill is being done during the subway service disruption?
Ms. Indelicato replied:
RIOC will try to improve communications with the MTA to minimize any inconvenience to residents and visitors


Honeybee22274 said...

I believe this was a last minute F disruption, not a long-planned one. I checked the MTA weekender midweek because I was throwing a party and wanted to tell my guests their travel options. Other F disruptions were listed but not the usual Rockefeller- Roosevelt Avenue disruption.

AGuyonRI said...

I got the RIOC email about the disruption to the F train either last Thursday or Friday. Plenty of time to increase service on the tram (they've done it before). This is poor management, but somewhat typical of NYS government style of management.

CheshireKitty said...

Maybe, but it's in the context of the ongoing 2nd Ave subway work. This is the way it'll always be until the connection @ 63rd & Lex is completed.

Readers may wish to check out this blog on the 2nd Ave subway, including today's post on the efforts to protect the trains a year ago when Sandy was about to hit.

CheshireKitty said...

It was a mob scene on Sunday at the tram. I counted myself lucky to get on at about 10:50AM - last person to manage to squeeze aboard. I noted many, many riders, including parents with strollers, disabled, etc. left on the platform. A tram cabin nearby stood empty, as only one tram cabin was in service. Some were trying to talk their way onto the tram cab that was operational but packed saying they absolutely had to be on that tram. You could see all these people were fuming...

Because of windy conditions, there was slightly more swaying than usual as we passed by Manhattan tower, which is always subject to more "turbulence". Didn't bother me - it wasn't a major gyration or anything.

RIOC isn't on top of things if it cannot nimbly turn around on a dime to reschedule a tram evacuation drill when they know the tram will be crowded enough as it is and there will be a need for extra tram service because of train disruption.

Isn't there a coordinator for these things at RIOC? Someone who is putting all the pieces of the puzzle together? If there is a train disruption, then increase tram service. If there is a train disruption, don't do the tram evacuation drill.

There was no other way for users of public transportation to get to Manhattan that day unless they took the train into Queens and then doubled back to Manhattan.

RIOC: Please give us residents the assurance that someone is looking out for us and never again schedule a tram evacuation drill when there is a subway disruption!

Bill Blass said...

I am very happy the hipsters are beng inconvenienced. think of the money they pay in rent and than have this mess with the subway

Frank Farance said...

bagwailo: Once apts are sold for $1+ million, it's no longer affordable housing & $300 million walks off the Island. RIOC is not enforcing GDP compliance. Even if you don't care about affordable housing, you'll still be paying decades for someone's windfall profits that could have helped the Island's finances. There is nowhere left to build on the Island to make up the medium/long-term loss of this kind of money. Also, Cornell won't be helping significantly because that portion of the land will go back to the City, which means another loss of long-term revenue for RIOC.

But those Assessments will keep coming. You'll be asking: I pay City-State-Federal taxes, yet I get very little services (FDNY/EMS, public school, a subway stop, Q102 bus). Not only am I paying City taxes for roads/sewers/etc. to get repaired in Queens and Manhattan (but not Roosevelt Island), I now have to pay for my own infrastructure repair via the ground lease, and then (because $300 million walked off the Island) I need to pay even more via assessments over several decades.

Sure, we can talk about going back to the City, but then we have to deal with this $200K per apartment debt/liability because a majority of the RIOC Board was focused upon their million-plus cashout, Howard Polivy's Ignore-The-Main-Behind-The-Curtain approach towards the billion dollar RIOC debt/liability left us with this mess, and David Kraut (whose tenure was two decades on the RIOC Board) approved all these dopey real estate deals that got us into this poor financial mess. Kraut was so clueless, his building exited M-L and then flipped within months that generated approx. $600 million in market-rate profits, none of which came to RIOC.

YetAnotherRIer said...

It depends how many parties are involved in a frill like that. I can imagine it was close to impossible to just call it off. We all did get to places we needed to go that day, no?

CheshireKitty said...

That's hard to believe. The whole point of having an interlocking emergency response system is that all participants can be notified on a moment's notice. Presumably all the tram evacuation drill participants are on the emergency response system and could have been instantly notified that the drill was called off.

NewToRI said...

You really need a hobby. It is becoming quite sad with your public, and quite pathetic, attempts to insult the groups of people moving on the island who are in a better income situation than you are.

Find something more productive to do with your time that benefits yourself rather than using what seems to be a lack of vocabulary in lumping everyone who recently moved to RI as a "hipster."

What good does it do for you to sit behind a keyboard and mock people? It contributes nothing of value to the discussions about the on goings of the community around us.

You're going to have to suck it up and live with it. The additional of the Cornell campus will bring in more of the people you clearly have prejudice against.

CheshireKitty said...

BB decided to play one of his biggest cards in giving Cornell the City-owned Goldwater Hospital land. He just as easily could have used it to build low cost housing.

When it comes to the average New Yorker, who needs affordable housing, then the City is "broke" - to the extent that it cries the blues in dragging its feet on making thousands of needed repairs to City projects. Or the City decides not to build affordable housing at the Navy Yard, or on Governor's Island, or even to any appreciable degree, at Queens West. Of course, it won't get built on RI under BB.

Yet, when it comes to developers of luxury housing - all of a sudden the City is not broke, instead is in great financial shape, such great shape that it can afford to cut them lucrative tax deals and incentives.

Such are the choices of BB and his cronies: Kick the 99% to the gutter, while opening the door to the 1%. We will now see how the results of BB's choices will play out in the decades to come.

BB's underhanded dealings with developers, will be under the microscope for the next 10-20 years.

It is no surprise that BB's net worth increased by several billion dollars since he took over as Mayor, nor will it be a surprise when it is finally revealed how he made those additional billions of bucks. Being Mayor was very lucrative for BB.

As long as he kept NYC business-friendly, developer-friendly, no doubt money and information he could use for plays on Wall St (better known as tips to complete insider trading) were thrown his way by his friends the developers and financiers.

Bill Blass said...

If you been in gristedes lately I am sure you have noticed they're are back to theirs old ways. Try to fool us I must say they fooled a few people for about a month.but then it went back to business as usual.Yes business
As usual which means some of the highest priced super market in thei city. The new organic store is cheaper.with the article in the wire about the new people moving onto the island making over 100k a year. This is why the prices will always be high.the rest of us peons must go to queens to shop

Bill Blass said...

Yes that building was eastwood

OldRossie said...

Kitty, What do you think would generate more income to the city (the government, and the local businesses), Cornell or low cost housing?

YetAnotherRIer said...

I disagree because that is not my experience. Yes, some items are still extremely overpriced (a large jar of Nutella for the same price you can get two jars at Costco, for example) but many pantry staples are just as "cheap" as anywhere else in this city.

YetAnotherRIer said...

This was not an emergency, though.

CheshireKitty said...

Even more reason to call it off - even at short notice, using the emergency response system if necessary.

CheshireKitty said...

My experience is that Gristedes is cheaper than the organic store in many respects.
Or, maybe Yet is right: There are some items cheaper at Gristedes, others cheaper at the organic store, but Costco beats all retail stores since they sell at wholesale (or near-wholesale) prices. The catch is that the shopper has to buy in bulk (i.e. must have the space to store large quantities of goods such as huge bundles of paper towels etc.).

CheshireKitty said...

I started replying to your interesting question earlier today but the reply was lost for some reason.

Short-term: Probably the housing. Long-term: Possibly/hopefully the school.

Israel is #1 in R&D (according to this map in general, and Technion is in the forefront of Israeli technological innovation/advancements in particular, so the idea is there will be some enterprises spinning off into NYC (at least at first) from discoveries etc. at the school. You would then see tax revenue flowing from these businesses, jobs, and so forth. Although some might see it as controversial, NYC is actually *very* lucky to have gotten this Cornell-Technion partnership.

I hope Cornell-Technion looks to Four Freedoms Park for inspiration, to direct their efforts, if you will: Let them use their knowledge and brilliance to continue to find peaceful ways to realize FDR's vision of freedom, so that one day everyone on earth will have "these "four freedoms" - the freedom of speech, the freedom of worship, the freedom from want, and the freedom from fear".

OldRossie said...

Great - so you see the benefit of Cornell. So when you say "BB decided to play one of his biggest cards in giving Cornell the City-owned Goldwater Hospital land. He just as easily could have used it to build low cost housing", that no longer applies, right?

Bill Blass said...

Killy gristedes prices are insulting

CheshireKitty said...

If the applicability of projects was always based on revenue considerations, then there would be no services since they all drain the City coffers. There would be no public schools, no fire or police departments, no City hospitals, no Coler-Goldwater, etc.

We know the above is not going to happen since everyone wants services such as public schools, the HHC, street repair and street lights etc.

Any Mayor has no choice but to spend on services. The only question is how he prioritizes projects/spending.

Some spending choices are more, others less, draining. Some choices benefit one group (1%) other choices another (99%).

On RI, in the long run, the thought is the Cornell-Technion school development will drain the City less. Another Mayor might have prioritized the City's needs differently - might have instead directly built several new towers of low cost housing, since that particular need is currently assigned the #1 spot by the majority of New Yorkers. Yet another Mayor might have poured millions into an overhaul/rehab/upgrade of Goldwater, or Coler, in an effort to retain both hospital campuses (Goldwater and Coler) on RI. With a Mayor who has regularly kicked the homeless/poor/disabled to the gutter, though, there was no chance the third alternative would have ever been considered.

CheshireKitty said...

Yes, it is sad that Roosevelt Islanders need to take a bus to avoid the monopolistic pricing practices of RI Gristedes. This is one of the big drawbacks of living on RI: The local supermarket has no local competition - thus we are at the mercy of whatever price Gristedes dreams up.

I only very rarely shop at Gristedes. You can get things at approximately half price at Costco's but you then buy a big quantity of fewer items (less choice but greater value). For staples like copier paper, paper towels, detergent, coffee - Costco beats the retail stores. Costco also has top quality of the items it does have. Incredibly enough, Costco Food Court sells some of the tastiest, delicious, pizza around - at only $1.99 per "mega" slice, with no premium pricing for extras!

WF is best though in terms of quality and wholesomeness (all organic) but is the most expensive ("Whole Paycheck"); however, even there sometimes specials are practically competitive.

Westviewer said...

You are not going to believe me, but fruit from Gristede's is better than the fruit at Whole Foods.

Bill Blass said...

You are right.i dont believe it

OldRossie said...

Where do you get your data that affordable housing "is currently assigned the #1 spot by the majority of New Yorkers"? I'm not disputing it, just looking for a citation. I'm reading that stop-and-frisk was the number one thing driving people to chose a mayor. Am I missing something?

Otherwise, I agree with your point that we've had leadership that keeps affordable housing low on the list of priorities.

CheshireKitty said...

Check out

"DeBlasio's 41-point lead driven by affordability issues, survey says".

If you go to the story, which starts on page 6, you will see that crime and safety is the fourth ranked issue. Voters want Bill because they feel "he is the best choice to improve schools, create affordable housing and give the middle-class and poor a better break than they've had in the Bloomberg years". 65% to 30% of voters favor a tax on the wealthy to fund universal pre-K and after-school programs.

That, at least, is the result of this survey.

OldRossie said...

I agree with all of that (and with Bill, for that matter), but you said "low cost housing, since that particular need is currently assigned the #1 spot by the majority of New Yorkers". That's not what this article says. Actually, it looks like it's #3.

CheshireKitty said...

The front page, Rossie: It says affordability is driving the election. Affordability = affordable housing.

OldRossie said...

There's more to affordability than just housing... Affordable housing is an independent issue therein.

Frank Farance said...

OldRossie: Agree. Affordable housing is #3 issue, behind employment opportunities and safety. See Municipal Arts Society survey ("") where 84% of New Yorkers say "they are quite satisfied living here". Their threats to livability ranked as follows:

22% employment opportunities
21% safety
19% housing options
19% cost of goods and services
9% quality of public services

Which seems to be the right priorities: higher priority is on income generation (making money) rather than expense reduction (lower housing cost).

Well, right priorities for many people, except Bill Blass. :-)

Other surveys have similar results: affordable housing is up there, but not the highest priority: "Infrastructure, Transportation and Affordable Housing Top List of Priorities for NYC’s Next Mayor, According to Survey of City’s Real Estate, Construction and Design Leaders"; Respondents Also Say City’s High Cost of Living for Workforce is Biggest Impediment to Attracting Businesses (see "")

OldRossie said...

Thanks for the breakdown, and you're right, it makes sense. Anyone that I know at any income level/education/whatever has the same general order of concerns (with the only variable priority being to employment opportunities). Safety cost and quality are obvious, and I think housing options are a concern to everyone at every income range as they are affected by a variety of factors, only one of which is cost.

CheshireKitty said...

Usually, the biggest monthly recurring single bill is for rent/mortgage payment.

(Although monthly medical ins premiums for many can also be fairly sizable.) Is the bill for cable as big as the bill for rent? No. Is the bill for electricity as big as the bill for rent? No. Is the bill for your cell phone as big as your bill for rent? No!

Even if you add up all your grocery expenses for the month, they would probably not equal your bill for rent.

Thus the biggest improvement in affordability overall would be an improvement in the affordability of housing.

So although it is true that affordability consists of components - it could include affordable medical Insurance for example, or affordable commutation costs, and we know Obama is taking care of affordable medical insurance, and it would be up to the Governor/MTA to drive down the cost of commutation, it is the Mayor who can improve affordability in NYC the most, in allocating resources to favor the poor and middle-income so as to produce affordable housing (if not actually build projects) the largest component of affordability.

Thus, we can say, affordability, the overwhelming component of which is the need for affordable housing, is driving the election.

CheshireKitty said...

This is neither here nor there - the biggest problem in NYC today is the inflated housing market. The gloomy jobs picture is an ongoing given nationally.

It's the housing market - the way the Bloomberg administration sold out the vast majority of New Yorkers - that is driving this election.

If in the past it was said what the country needed was a good 5-cent cigar, or a chicken in every pot, today what NYC needs is decent 1-bedroom apartments priced under $500/mo - which would be an affordable amount for the army of workers making minimum.

OldRossie said...

The citation Frank provided more directly answers the question - not nearly as much room for interpretation.

OldRossie said...

That is your opinion. What Frank provided is a survey of more than one person.

CheshireKitty said...

=:-o FYI - The AM NY survey *was*of more than one person.

OldRossie said...

Keyrect! unfortunately, affordable housing wasn't #1.. :(

CheshireKitty said...

But - affordability *was*!