Thursday, October 2, 2014

RIRA Island Services Committee Report - Investigating Roosevelt Island Garden Club Discrimination Against Disabled, Updates On Tram Elevator And Station Gate, Sportspark Clean Up, Rats & Pigeons, New Public Library, Boy Scouts & Toddler Swim Classes

Below is the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Island Services Committee (ISC) report to the October 2014 Common Council Meeting submitted by Chair Aaron Hamburger
The ISC met 9/22/14 with 7 members present from the total membership of 12:

Manhattan Tram Elevator – We’re waiting for RIOC to bid this project. They plan to first bid the design of the new elevators. Then, they will actually bid the job. Timing is still uncertain, but our estimate is the new elevator will not be available until very late 2015. RIOC has accepted ISC’s request that the Red Bus operate to Manhattan whenever the elevators are out‐of‐service on a weekend with the “F” train running in only one direction.

Tram Gate at RI Station ‐ Access to the Tram is working reasonable well during the morning rush hour with a Public Safety officer opening the gates. We are now going to press RIOC to change the wording on the gate sign to eliminate the threat of a summons if a passenger opens the gate. Proposed wording will be submitted to Cy Opperman, Director of Transportation.

Condition of Sportspark Facilities – Some clean‐up and improvements have been made at Sportspark, but much remains to be done to make Sportspark a first class facility.

New Public Library ‐ Installation of new windows was completed by RIOC for the first floor of 504 Main. We expect that work will now begin to renovate the space for the new library. We don’t have an official date for the start of operations at the new site, but it’s unlikely that we’ll have a new library before 2016.

Swim Classes for Babies and Toddlers – The Fall session will start in early October. We will now work with Sportspark’s management to make these classes part of their annual schedule.

Control of Rats and Pigeons on RI ‐ We will request that Raye Schwartz draft a comprehensive proposal which will be presented to RIOC.

Boy Scouts – A meeting is being scheduled for early October of people and groups interested in restarting a Boy Scout troop on RI. Two possible troop leaders have been identified.

Management of the Garden Club – ISC will reactivate the Garden Club(GC) as an active issue as we recognize that there are many problems with the management and operation of the GC. One problem, among many, is the arbitrary issuing of new rules which chiefly are designed to impact only a few people. ISC continues to maintain that the GC is a “service” organization recognized and funded by RIOC to provide gardening opportunities for RI.
Here's Mr. Hamburger's presentation of the ISC Report to the October 1 RIRA Common Council Meeting. Mr. Hamburger added the Roosevelt Island Garden Club is being operated as a private club and that ISC will investigate allegations of Roosevelt Island Garden Club discrimination against the disabled. Mr. Hamburger received appreciation

from another RIRA member for going after the rats.


sam1602 said...

I don't know the specifics of the complaints against the Garden Club, but I know that they've made extraordinary efforts to make the grounds as wheelchair friendly as they can.

They specifically requested the old pavers from Good Shepard plaza project and put them over the gravel from the entrance to and including the Rose Garden.

There are also plots on the north side of the Garden specifically designated for the disabled.

If RIOC is so concerned about this issue, why not reclaim and refurbish some of the land stolen by the Water authority for the tunnels and make the garden larger? The tunnel project appears to be completed on Roosevelt Island and I am quite sure that they don't need all the space that was formerly appropriated.