Friday, October 24, 2014

Report From RIOC President Charlene Indelicato - Roosevelt Island Halloween Parade, Bicycle Education & Safety, Sportspark Classes & Advisories

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Charlene Indelicato sends the following report to the community.
Halloween Parade Extravaganza

Roosevelt Island’s annual Halloween Parade Extravaganza will take place Saturday, October 25 on Main Street beginning at 12 p.m. at Blackwell Park (500 Main Street). This event is sponsored by Urban American, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation and the Roosevelt Island Youth Center with contributions from Island House, Westview, Rivercross, Cornell Tech, the Roosevelt Island Seniors Association, The Octagon, and the Roosevelt Island Explorers. The parade begins at Blackwell Park and travels down Main Street, culminating in a community celebration at Capobianco Field. In the event of inclement weather, the festivities will be moved to P.S./I.S. 217. Every year, hundreds of Roosevelt Island families come out to watch and take part in this island tradition, showcasing their creative costumes, playing games and enjoying the holiday in a safe and fun way. Come visit the RIOC & Public Safety tent for take-home art projects, a chance to win prizes, and for Halloween safety gear and tips! On behalf of everyone here at the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, I wish you a safe and happy Halloween.

Bicycling on Roosevelt Island

Last Tuesday, October 14th, members of RIOC’s staff conducted a walkthrough of the Island’s roadways with several representatives from Bike New York. In the near future, the cycling nonprofit will provide us with a list of suggestions for possible upgrades or changes to the Island’s streets. As we move forward, RIOC will continue to assess our current transportation infrastructure and will evaluate the need for specific changes to the Island’s striping, signage and roadways. Our number one priority is the safety of everyone on our streets, whether they be cyclists, pedestrians, or motorists.

Over the past year, Bike New York has been working with RIOC to run a specialized bike safety and education program specifically tailored to the needs of Roosevelt Island residents. This program, which focuses on providing free educational classes and amenities to cyclists in the community, is sponsored entirely by the Saks Kavanaugh Foundation. The Foundation founders, Betty Saks and Bart Kavanaugh, are New Yorkers and avid cyclists. Their Foundation's mission focuses on promoting health and wellness, with a special focus on "movement" and the important role it can play in the lives of children. RIOC has been working closely with Bike New York and the Saks Kavanaugh Foundation to bring bike education, bike safety and bike programs year round to Roosevelt Island.

As an expansion of their current educational efforts, Bike New York has been working with our Transportation department to develop specialized road safety classes, which will focus on sharing the road with motorists as well as basic safety practices. The classes will be provided for our bus drivers and other vehicle operators. In addition, Bike New York will be designing classes specifically for Roosevelt Island residents that address the unique transportation situations and conditions that may arise on our roads and promenades.

In addition to adding classes, Bike New York is expanding its ongoing awareness campaign to include further educational efforts. Look for Bike New York representatives in your building and door-drops of educational materials, along with increased outreach efforts in our local schools. As we move forward, we also plan to involve Cornell Tech in an effort to create a “master plan” for the implementation of bike paths on the Island. We will continue to work together with agencies such as Bike New York and Cornell Tech to make sure residents and members of our staff are educated about bike safety and to ensure the safety of our transportation network.

We encourage you to contact the Bike New York Community Outreach Director, Caitlin Goodspeed, at to learn more about classes and bike amenities offered by Bike New NY that are specifically geared to Roosevelt Island residents.

Sportspark Classes

If you’re looking for a cost-effective way to stay active, low-cost and free fitness classes are available at the Sportspark Pool and gymnasium (250 Main Street). Swim classes available at the pool include a popular “Mommy & Me” water safety class, which teaches children aged six months to three years old basic swimming skills and introduces them to moving around in the water. Twice-weekly “Master Swim” classes focus on more advanced swimming skills, including a variety of strokes and techniques. The pool is also open for “Open Swim” twice a day, seven days a week. Zumba and Yoga classes, as well as ping pong play, are available throughout the week in the gymnasium. For more information on these classes or to see a calendar or what Sportspark offers, visit our website at or email Eddie Perez, Sportspark Supervisor, at

RIOC Advisories

Keeping all Island residents informed and prepared for the unexpected is a high priority for us at RIOC. In order to help keep the public up to date on events or situations that may impact daily life, we provide the RIOC Advisories service, a local community and emergency alert system. If you would like to receive these alerts, visit our website at and subscribe today. Remember, if we can’t reach you, we can’t alert you.

In the upcoming weeks, RIOC will complete an upgrade of our advisory system, which will allow subscribers to select which categories of alerts they would like to receive. New options for contact methods, such as phone calls and text messages, will also be added. These improvements are scheduled to be implemented during the month of November, so keep an eye out for announcements and instructions once the new system goes live.


YetAnotherRIer said...

Yeah, I am not surprised about the NYC 10k. It was a for-profit event and they accept way too many runners for the course on this island. Luckily, the NYCRUNS folks, the ones that are doing the Halloween race, are a lot more considerate.

Ratso123 said...

Why is RIOC hosting all of these events? I know that they pay RIOC for the use of the Island. HOWEVER, they are also using the roadway, which disrupts traffic, and the paths by the river on both sides of the island. There is no train to Manhattan, and now the Tram is jammed. How much does RIOC get paid, and where does the money go? Why should any of the residents be inconvenienced by no parking, delays in bus service, closed roads, and closure of the paths to Roosevelt Island joggers and walkers on a Saturday morning. Let's have some accountability instead of all of these cute little pacifying fixes they come up with. They are going to point the speakers towards Queens! What makes RIOC think that the people in Queens want to hear this garbage at 6:30 in the morning.

YetAnotherRIer said...

Just to clarify things: nothing gets closed for joggers and walkers. It's just car traffic that is inconvenienced in South Town. Secondly, there is a cap on the number of runners so that nothing gets clogged with the exception of the start line for a few minutes.

I have run quite a few races here on RI and we never made anything hard on anybody nor have we heard any complains. The NYC 10k, that this article is about, unfortunately had the idea to blast music. That needs to be addressed.

Ratso123 said...

Well, there are many complaints, and not just from me. There are other inconveniences such as no parking on the street, no bus at the subway stop, a tram that had extremely long lines. There are many parks in this city where no one would be inconvenienced. My question is who collects the fees and what is done with the money to benefit the residents of the Island. Also I cannot run in the midst of all these runners since I am too slow.

YetAnotherRIer said...

As a runner and somebody who has also volunteered at a few RI races I am surprised that there are "many" complaints. They sure didn't make it to race management and nobody told me or others who are on the course directing runners.

Roosevelt Island is a great place for a race because of it being relatively flat and having a very simple course. Central Park and all the other parks in the city hold races on an almost every weekend basis. Since the RIOC is being paid (and the money is used like all other income the RIOC has - check the public records) I don't see any problem with this. I wonder if you have the same complaints about film shoots as well.

Just one more thing. You said: "Also I cannot run in the midst of all these runners since I am too slow."

I doubt you were ever out there running when a race took place. Absolutely nobody would have bothered you. Runners would just overtake you or give way to you when you run against their direction. In addition, you could have scored a cup of water at the water station.

Let me know one specific problem you personally encountered because of a race (besides certain inconveniences like longer lines at the tram - we do live in NYC and such things are always happening).