Monday, October 27, 2014

Report From RIRA President Jeff Escobar - Condolences To Family Of Roosevelt Island Bike Rider Anna Maria Mostrom, Bike/Car/Pedestrian Safety Initiative, RIRA Elections & Candidate Nights

 Image Of October 8 Red Bus Collision With Bike Rider Anna Maria Mostrom From Kevin Deutsch Tweet

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Jeff Escobar sends the following Report To The Community:
On Saturday, October 18th, a memorial service was held at The Swedish Church on East 48th Street for our beloved Octagon neighbor and fellow Islander Anna-Marie Mostrom. As many of you know, Anna-Marie had been in a tragic accident with one of our Red Buses and, in a blink of an eye, her life that was a light to so many was put out. Our prayers and thoughts are with her family as they struggle to make sense of this tragedy. Sadly, it is times like these which cause all of us to take pause on our crazy and busy lives to sit back and take stock in all that we have, the family members we love, and the community that surrounds us. It is also unfortunately tragic events like these which cause us to reflect inward and ask what we could have done differently individually, as neighbors, as a community to have prevented what happened.

As the popularity and necessity for bike transportation grows, as does the size of our community, RIRA will be taking a closer look at how accidents which led to Anna-Marie’s death, as well as other bike and pedestrian deaths and injuries, can be prevented. Just as The City has enacted the Vision Zero initiative which is aimed at preventing pedestrian-motorist accidents, I will be asking the new RIRA Common Council to undertake a similar initiative under the new term working with local community and bike advocacy groups in finding a way to stop such accidents from happening on our little Island again. Both motorists, cyclers, and pedestrians, from young to old alike, should feel safe and confident that walking, riding and motoring on our street will never result in injury or an accident; and the only way that can happen is if we come together as a community to find a mutually agreeable way that we can all share and enjoy the road together.

As stated above, it will be the new RIRA Common Council who will be charged with this new initiative, and it will be up to you as a member of RIRA – of which each and every one of us becomes when we become a resident of this Island – to decide who will be part of the new Common Council. As we have stated in this column and elsewhere before, the election for who will be representing your interests in the Common Council is coming fast upon us. On Tuesday, November 4th, each of you will have a chance to directly elect who will sit on the Common Council and undertake such initiatives as that above, as well as so many more that directly impact our lives as Island residents.

But, who are these Candidates? I am happy to announce that nearly a full slate of candidates for nearly all of the buildings have placed themselves on this year’s ballot, and you will have an opportunity to directly meet and question each of your neighbors who chose to run for a seat on the Common Council and represent your building in the coming week in a Town Hall setting. This is a rare opportunity to not only participate in a direct election and to see the democratic process in action, but to directly pose the difficult questions which afflict our community to the candidates. I encourage each and every one of you to attend your building’s respective Meet the Candidates event as set forth below, and to not hold anything back as you search for who you wish to represent you in this coming term on the Common Council:

Rivercross, Island House and Westview Candidates Night – Tuesday,October 28th at 8PM in the Westview Community Room located at 625 Main Street.

Manhattan Park & 2/4 River Road Candidates Night – Tuesday, October 28th at 8PM in the Manhattan Park Community Room located at 4 River Road.

Southtown Candidates Night – Thursday, October 30th at 8PM in the Party Room located at 455 Main Street.

Roosevelt Landings Candidates Night – Thursday, October 30th at 8PM in the Westview Lower Community Room (625 Main Street)

Octagon Candidates Night – Thursday, October 30th at 8PM in the Lobby Art Gallery located at 888 Main Street.

I also encourage all of you to attend the President and Vice-President Candidates Night for the those vying for the chance to lead the new Common Council on Wednesday, October 29th at 8PM at the Westview Lower Community Room (625 Main Street) located at the middle of the Island.

As I have always said, the choice to run and to become part of the Common Council is the ultimate in community service, and to each of the candidates who have put themselves out there, the best of luck. If the slate of candidates is any indication, the next administration and Common Council looks to be a promising one who faces a challenging term ahead. I have every confidence, however, that whomever is given the honor of representing our community will undoubtedly be successful.