Tuesday, April 12, 2016

New Roosevelt Island Manhattan Tram Station Elevators Presentation Given Tonight At Community Board 8 - Work Planned To Start In October 2016 And Take One Year To Complete Says Engineering Consultant

The Community Board 8 Roosevelt Island Committee heard a presentation this evening about plans for the new

Roosevelt Island Tram Manhattan Station elevators

by Consulting Engineers from the firm of GC Eng & Associates.

According to the presentation, the Tram Station modernization project will not start until September/October 2016 and will take one year to complete.

Here's GC Eng & Associates Shigehiro Shishido answering questions from a resident about the new Tram Station elevators.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) had previously said the new Tram Elevators would be operational by Autumn of 2016.

Will have more video of the presentation soon.

UPDATE 10:30 PM - Tram Station elevator presentation (Part 1).

Question & Answer (Part 2)

More video to come.

UPDATE 4/14 - Presentation by GC Eng & Associates.

UPDATE 5/23 - Resident Helen Chirivas attended the Tram Station elevator presentation and reports:
The meeting gave RIOC an opportunity to present to the Roosevelt Island  Committee of CB8 the design RIOC has selected, by CG Eng & Associates. It’s not a bad design, although it does look like it’s slapped on to the tram station structure rather than being integrated into it design-wise, i.e., either conforming in some way to the old 40 year old structure or the old 40 year old structure being updated in some way to conform to the brand-new glass elevator design.

Why wouldn’t the stairs be enclosed by glass if the elevator is enclosed by glass – the stairs will look a little incongruous beside the new glassy elevator structure. These questions were the essence of my remarks. There were other critiques as well.

A Manhattan resident complained about the possibility of light disturbing the residents of that intersection, including those who live above the bar at the NE corner of 60th & 2nd Ave. Also, Larry Parnes, Co-Chair of the CB8 Roosevelt Island Committee, indicated that the park would lose some space – and since it’s a mapped park, various permissions would be needed before the public parkland could be taken over for the elevator structure.

Also, four trees would need to be removed from the park to make way for the elevator structure or perhaps removed and relocated within the park. A possible trade-off of RIOC installing a fountain at the center of the swirl pattern in the decorative pavement of the park – evidently a fountain there was always part of the original plan – to compensate the public for the loss of parkland, was discussed.

Let’s see if RIOC goes for this, because when a water feature at Southpoint Park was suggested, RIOC turned the idea down saying a water feature would only promote the propagation of potentially harmful mosquitoes – this despite the fact that RIOC actually operates fountains at Blackwell House and at the tram turnaround! If RIOC does provide a fountain at the tram plaza park, it’ll have no excuse to deny us a fountain at Soutpoint Park. The Manhattan resident also questioned whether pedestrian traffic would be hindered or facilitated at the tram plaza by the addition by the elevator structure.

In the end, Jeff Escobar and Lawrence Parnes – co-Chairs of the RI Cttee of Manhattan CB8 did not take a vote on the RIOC proposal, and instead resolved to invite CG Eng & RIOC to a joint meeting of the CB8 Parks and Transportation Committees to be scheduled at some future date. The RFP has not yet been issued, and if various permits are needed to encroach on parkland, remove trees, and so forth, it may take another year before these permits are obtained. The lack of Park Department permission made me scratch my head – since it’s pretty obvious this permission must be obtained before RIOC touches the tram plaza, which is a mapped park.

So the next step is for Mr. Eng and RIOC to present the plan, which includes removing some of tramway park from the public domain, that is, from use as a public park for use as an elevator structure, to the CB8 joint Parks and Transportation Committee meeting TBA.
Manhattan Community Board 8 (CB 8) will meet tomorrow for a Roosevelt Island Tram Station elevator presentation update. According to CB 8:
Joint Meeting of Transportation, Parks & Recreation, and Roosevelt Island Committees

Parks and Recreation Committee Roosevelt Island Committee Transportation Committee

Meeting Date:
Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 7:00pm
Meeting Location:
New York Blood Center
310 East 67th Street, Auditorium**,
New York, NY

Presentation by Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) and consultants GC Eng & Associates, PC regarding RIOC's Manhattan Tram Station Elevator Modernization Project. This project involves the replacement of the existing elevator and stair lift with 2 new ADA Compliant Elevators relocated adjacent to the Manhattan Tram Station at 60th Street and 2nd Avenue, and impacts Tramway Plaza.

**Wheelchair-accessible access is through the Blood Center’s garage entrance at303-319 E. 66th Street (betw. 1st & 2nd Ave.). Security will guide you to the Auditorium.

A Scott Falk and Charles Warren, Transportation Committee Co-Chairs
Susan Evans and Margaret Price, Parks & Recreation Committee Co-Chairs
Jeffrey Escobar and Larry Parnes, Roosevelt Island Committee Co-Chairs