Monday, May 16, 2016

Roosevelt Island One Lane Traffic Jam This Morning From Main Street Over Roosevelt Island Bridge To Long Island City - Resident Asks Con Ed To Stop High Pressure Gas Upgrade Work During Morning And Afternoon Rush Hours

Resident Frank Farance reports on Roosevelt Island traffic jam this morning stretching from Main Street, the Helix Ramp, Roosevelt Island Bridge and into Long Island City. Mr. Farance share this email message and photos below sent today to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC). According to Mr. Farance:

Con Ed has one lane 24 hours a day, this does not work. You need to have them take two 2-hour breaks: 6:30-8:30 in the mornings, 2:30 to 4:30 in the afternoon. There is so much traffic in the morning, everything was blocked on the Island, including emergency service vehicles, and blocked into LIC back to 34 Ave and out to 11 St. Furthermore, Cornell trucks are delayed (which causes more problems).

Here are the details:

- Hospital shift change at 7 AM
- Other school buses on Main Street at 7:20-7:45
- Child school buses around 8 AM
- Inflow of school kids and drop-offs at 8:00 to 8:30

- Hospital shift change at 3 PM
- Child School buses around 2:45 to 3:15
- PS/IS 217 pick-ups around 3:00-3:30
- Other school buses around 3:30-4:30

The photos show the massive traffic jam. If Con Ed says they need 24 hour access, tell them they need to take 2-hour coffee breaks and put the plates back during that time.

Really, too much congestion and, already, hazards with emergency vehicles getting through (see photo of ambulance having difficulty).

Full view, showing traffic jammed on top of Helix and down on Main Street (inset: Main Street at construction)

Ambulance with sirens on, having difficultly making way through congestion, which was on both sides of street

Congestion complicated be school drop-off just before construction

Congestion complicated by school bus drop-off at Child School

Looking north on Vernon Blvd and 36 Ave, traffic congested

Congestion on Vernon Blvd continues as far as 34 Ave

Looking west on 36 Ave, traffic congested as far as 11 St

Looking west, traffic not moving on RI Bridge

Looking east, traffic congested from Vernon Blvd to Helix upper level

Looking south, traffic not moving down Helix ramp

Looking south from Motorgate, upper level Helix is congested

Cornell delivery truck delayed

I asked Mr. Farance:
When were these pictures taken?

Was today's traffic problems typical during the Con Ed construction or just a one time problem?
Mr Farance replied:
This morning between 8:00 and 8:30.

There are three phases of work.  The first phase, which is already completed, was laying the pipe in the street.  This was done during daytime, but not during rush hours.  This did not cause too much of a problem.

The second phase, connecting the riser, has always been done at night, typically 8-9 PM or later.  There have not been issues at night.  The third phase is energizing the new gas main and switching over service in the buildings (not yet started).

Today is the first day they were doing construction during the AM/PM rush hours.  I don't expect this to be a one-time problem because we (people like me and others) have already studied the traffic patterns and these rush hours are really bad times.  I think DOT has a study, too, on bridge traffic which is consistent with my reporting on the peak hours.  I expect the same problems tomorrow morning.
Con Ed is currently working on the Roosevelt Island High Pressure Gas Line Upgrades.

RIOC issued the following parking and traffic advisories for this week.
Due to continued Con Edison Gas Main Riser work on Main Street, for the week of Monday, May 16th, 2016 through Friday, May 20th, 2016, there will be “No Parking, No Stopping or No Standing” in front of 591-625 Main Street (Westview Buildings) beginning 12:00AM, Monday, May 16th, 2016 through 11:00PM, Friday, May 20th, 2016.

Vehicles parked in this area during this time will be summonsed and/or towed.

Further, the sidewalk on the East side of Main Street, in front of Capobianco Field, will be closed to pedestrian traffic. Pedestrians may cross over to the West side of Main street either at the crosswalk near 591 or 625 Main Street.

Con Edison will continue to provide RIOC with a projected work schedule, which will be made available to residents and merchants in future Everbridge Advisories.

Thank you for your cooperation during this time.
Urban American Management has advised that due to building facade work, Main St. will be reduced to one lane of traffic between 575 Main St. (Island House Bldg.) and 599 Main St. (Westview Bldg.), DAILY beginning Monday, May 16th, 2016 THROUGH Friday, May 20th, 2016, from 8AM to 6PM.

In order to facilitate this work, there will be NO PARKING, NO STOPPING, OR NO STANDING on the West side of Main St. between 575 Main St. (Island House Bldg.) and 599 Main St. (Westview Bldg.), Monday THROUGH Friday from 7AM - 7PM.

Flag persons will be on site to redirect traffic during these times.

Further, during this work, from 8AM to 6PM the crosswalk at 580 Main Street will be closed to pedestrian and vehicular traffic; please utilize the crosswalks at 560 or the temporary crosswalk located opposite 595 Main Street.

Thank you for your cooperation during this time.
I asked RIOC for comment on the matter earlier today. Have not heard back yet but will update with any response from RIOC. Will also ask Con Ed for comment as well.