Thursday, June 18, 2015

Will Safety And Security Concerns Close Roosevelt Island Southpoint Park And FDR Four Freedoms Park To Public For July 4 East River Fireworks Celebration? - RIOC Operations Committee Will Discuss Monday June 22

For the first time since 2008, the Macy's July 4 Fireworks celebration

will be visible from Roosevelt Island. Not just visible, but great views of the July 4 East River Fireworks can be seen from the southern portion of Roosevelt Island at Southpoint Park and FDR Four Freedoms Park. Here's the view from Southpoint Park in 2007

and 2008

before the FDR Park was built. The advocates for building the FDR Park, prior to it being approved, promised that the Park would be open to the public for the July 4 Fireworks celebration.

 According to this May 20 Press Release from Mayor deBlasio:
Macy’s and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today that on Saturday, July 4th, the 39th annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks® will rumble to life over New York City, igniting the skyline over the East River with the nation’s largest Independence Day pyrotechnic display. This year, extending to two locations, the show will begin at approximately 9:20 PM and dazzle the shorelines of Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn with an unparalleled spectacle of color, light and sound set to commemorate the holiday with a very big bang!

America’s most explosive party will take place from two locations on the East River in midtown and within the South Street Seaport historic district. Brave, the theme of this year’s show, will fire more than 40,000 pyrotechnic shells during a 25-minute synchronized display. Designed in collaboration with PyroSpectaculars by Souza, the show will be fired from four barges positioned between 23rd and 37th Streets in Midtown and from one double-barge positioned below the Brooklyn Bridge....
At this time, it is not known if the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) will open Southpoint Park or, if, the FDR Four Freedoms Park Conservancy will open the FDR Park to the public for viewing the July 4 Fireworks.

We may learn about plans for Roosevelt Island July 4 Fireworks Celebration viewing during the June 22 RIOC Operations Advisory Committee meeting. Among the items on the agenda is a discussion of July 4 events:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Operations Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Monday, June 22, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. at the RIOC administrative office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


Review of Current Projects
Discussion of Seawall and Railings Issues
Discussion of July 4 Events
Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee
Last year when the Macy's July 4 Fireworks Celebration returned to the East River south of the Williamsburg Bridge, the views from Roosevelt Island were blocked and RIOC President Charlene Indelicato:
... recommended to the RIOC Board Of Directors that Southpoint Park be closed during the July 4 Macy's Fireworks Celebration for safety and security reasons particularly since there will be no view of the fireworks available at that location.
which was agreed to by the RIOC Board.

Among the security concerns were the Cornell Tech campus construction next to the parks and lack of resources to keep everyone wishing to view the July 4 fireworks safe.

This year the views will not be blocked but will safety and security concerns still keep the public from viewing the July 4 Fireworks at the southern tip of Roosevelt Island.

Across the East River from Roosevelt Island in Long Island City, the LIC Post reports:
With 50,000 people expected to come to Long Island City to celebrate the July 4th fireworks, the police are putting together a comprehensive plan to deal with transportation issues and security threats....
Will there be a comprehensive plan for viewing July 4 Fireworks from Roosevelt Island or will the parks on southern tip just be closed?