Tuesday, January 14, 2014

NY State Senator Jose Serrano Asks RIOC To Promptly Fix The Roosevelt Island Manhattan Tram Station Elevator

The broken Roosevelt Island Manhattan Tram Station elevator

was the subject of the following January 13 letter sent from Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano

 to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato.
I am writing to you as the State Senator of the 29th Senate District, representing Roosevelt Island, to express my concerns regarding the lack of an adequate elevator or wheelchair lift at the Roosevelt Island Tram’s Manhattan-bound station.

Wheelchair lifts and elevators provide vital means of accessibility for our disabled and elderly residents of Roosevelt Island. In addition, a properly functioning elevator can be an extremely valuable service for parents of small children who are carrying their children or pushing a stroller. Thus, it is extremely troubling for me to learn that both the elevator and wheelchair lift have been experiencing regular breakdowns and disruptions of service over the course of the last several months. This creates major problems for residents of the Island planning to use the tram and prevents many residents from returning to the tram station out of fear that the elevator or wheelchair lift will not be working.

Certainly, a properly functioning wheelchair lift and elevator will help make the tram a more desirable transportation option. Yet, when the trams were renovated in 2010, the wheel chair lift and elevator were seemingly ignored which has led to the current state of disrepair. Moreover, while I am pleased that RIOC plans to build a new wheel-chair accessible elevator, the plan calls for funds to be used from the 2014-2015 budget. I do not believe we have the luxury of waiting any longer to provide the Island with proper accessibility to the tram. Thus, I respectfully request that you promptly develop a plan to service and fix the existing elevator and wheel chair lift at the Island’s Manhattan-bound tram station.

Thank you very much for your consideration. If you would like to discuss this with me, please do not hesitate to contact me in my office at (212)828-5829.

Here's the full letter.

Senator Serrano's staff will be conducting constituent office hours on Roosevelt Island later today at the Seniors Center from 4 to 7 PM. Stop by and let them know of any issues or concerns you may have. Senator Serrano was recently interviewed by Community Board 8 Speaks on a wide variety of issues concerning his district including Roosevelt Island. Here's video of the interview.

Also, the RIOC Real Estate Advisory Committee will be meeting later today and one of the Agenda Items is the Manhattan Tram Station elevator.

Problems with the Tram elevator go back to at least November 2011.