Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Results Are In For 2016 RIRA Roosevelt Island Community Polling Survey - Find Out What Your Neighbors Think About Their Buildings, Public Safety, Motorgate Garage, Health Concerns, Transportation, Young Adult And Seniors Services, People In Need & More

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Community Polling Chair

Image From RIRA Survey

Adib Mansour reports:
The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA), comprised of elected volunteers from all buildings on the island, would like to thank all the residents for making RIRA’s Survey a success. We ran the survey for 5 months in order to get as many participants as possible. The more than 700 surveys were filled with suggestions and recommendations to ameliorate our lives on this wonderful community we call Roosevelt Island.

* Note that the percentages might be more than 100% as survey takers, in many instances, were offered multiple choices as well as additional areas for notes, suggestions, and remarks.

701 people took the Survey, out of which:
Survey takers’ ages vary as follows: 

less than 18
57  18-29
209 30-44
184 45-59
233 60+ years old.

Building Specifics:
*61% of the respondents did not complain about their buildings.
*27.90% of participants complained about cleanliness and lack of, or slow maintenance (mostly from Roosevelt Landings) including inadequate heating/cooling. This seems to be a general problem for the elderly.
*18% were concerned about security (again, mostly from Roosevelt Landings and the Seniors building)
*10% had issues with vertical patrols (not enough patrols mostly from Island House and Westview)
*10% complained about vandalism (from Roosevelt Landings and the Seniors building)
*6% complained about Unwarranted Evictions (from Roosevelt Landings)

RIRA Survey Committee will communicate with the different buildings’ managements and share the results with them. 

General Island Issues:
*80% (555 people) of island residents that took the survey are unhappy and dismayed regarding the lack of stores and the inconvenience this causes them. They all seem to demand a variety of stores and are unhappy that the hardware store closed down. In particular, the elderly and senior citizens are frustrated about the inconvenience this presents to have to leave the island to get needed things on a daily basis.
*40% (285 people) of the residents were dismayed at the status of Main Street with a lot of construction, dirt, and noise during the day and night. Some made suggestions on making Roosevelt Island a better place to live on and to welcome visitors.
*32% (221 people) of survey takers complained about the traffic with all the construction and what may come when Cornell’s new buildings open.
*27% (186 people) said Main Street has a lot of potholes, street is not flat, and is unfinished.

* 65% (427 people) believe parking on Main Street is Inadequate. They were split on whether street signs are adequate but many complained that the street lines are blurred or have disappeared due to construction. 

* The majority of survey takers believe that accessibility on the island is adequate. 

RIRA’s Planning Committee will meet with RIOC and discuss all the issues some of which have already been tackled by RIOC.

Public Safety:
*35% (243 people) think PSD are always courteous. 25% (171) think they are seldom nice. 7% (46) said they are never nice. Some people thought the PSD vestibule is very intimidating / not friendly with the officers sitting behind a high wall and you cannot see them. A few suggested that the PSD officers should be more helpful on Main Street, and while residents are loading and unloading their cars (specifically in front of Island House and Westview).
* It is a tie at 27% between wanting more NYPD and both NYPD+PSD.

RIRA’s Public Safety Committee will discuss the results of the survey with chief Jack McManus who is always open for dialogue.

* A large percentage of complaints were regarding elevator constant malfunction (56%, 238) and inadequate lighting (52%, 219).
* 20% of people parking at Motorgate complained about its Management, while 15% complained about the lack of service with attendants.
* 41% (172) car owners are unhappy with the cement dripping on their cars. 
* 18% (78 people) believe that accessibility for strollers, bikes, and wheel chairs is inadequate in Motorgate perhaps due to the lack of escalator combined with malfunction of elevators. 
* When asked if they felt safe at Motorgate survey says: 30% (192) said Seldom, 22% (137) said Always, 11% (68) said Never, 37% (239) said this was not an issue.

RIRA will meet with Motorgate management and tackle the issues of elevator malfunction as well as safety in general within the several floors.

Health Concerns:
* 28% (189) are concerned with the air quality due to construction, traffic, and the electric plant.
* 20% (134) of residents, most notably in Roosevelt Landings complained about having brown and yellow water in their kitchen faucets as well as their bathrooms. More investigation is needed to get real numbers and check the facts. I will be meeting with management to address these issues. 
* RIRA’s Social, Culture, and Education Committee, chaired by Lynne Shinozaki will be pleased to know that 376 people showed interest in getting Hands-only CPR training.
RIRA will meet with representatives from Roosevelt Landings and investigate the water cleanliness problem, in order to determine the extent of the issue.

* 48% (315 people) complained about the constant tram elevator malfunction. 
* 22% (146 people) complained about the red bus drivers not responding to people massing at the entrance to the doors rather than asking them to move to the back allowing more accessibility. 
* 23% (154) indicated that the Subway booth clerks were rude and unfriendly.
* 17% (115) suggested concerns about de-icing the tram ramps during winter times.

Young Adults Services:
* 48% (323) or residents believe the community is not doing enough to engage the young adults on the island. An alarming number to ponder.
* 45% had no opinion, and 7% believe there are enough programs to engage them. 

RIRA’s Youth Initiative has already been working with RIOC on an island-wide solution for the youth between the ages of 4 and 25.

Ramp and Bike Safety:
* 61% (425) people believe the current Helix Ramp is not safe for Bikers. 28% had no opinion and 11% thought it was safe.
* 57% (404) believe there no adequate signage on the ramp guiding them to a safer route. 33% had no opinion and 8% believe it was adequate. 
Seniors: (Seniors took ample time to detail their situation at the Senior Center and have made valuable suggestions)
* 135 believe there aren’t enough services for the Seniors (18% of participants), and 
* 75 gave suggestions and additional information (a total of 29% think there aren’t enough services/food)
* 77 people claimed they or people they know do not have enough food on a daily basis (most of which are over 60 years)
* Most of the seniors survey takers complained that the Senior Center does not have programs in the evenings and the weekends. Many of them work during the day and the lack of activities off working hours does not benefit them at all.
* Many complained that the programs they do have are not interesting nor creative enough. Some even said that whatever programs they have are all overcrowded in limited spaces.
* Some entries complain that the food is not varied enough, not healthy; someone even claimed that even though the menu shows a variety, it is always chicken.
* Many seniors asked why Meals on Wheels is not in existence any more. A program that was very beneficial to all.
* Nearly unanimous, the Seniors complained about their living environment:
1- Dirty and filthy hallways
2- Roaches in the hallways and the AVAC rooms
3- Maintenance response to issues is nearly non existent
4- Some complained about no heat in the cold winter days/nights
5- A few claimed they have brown / dirty water coming out of drinking water as well as bathroom faucets

The Seniors Center is currently undergoing major changes and the results from the survey will surely come in handy.

People in Need:
it is sad to report that 77 people know someone on the island who does to have enough food on a regular basis. This is a crucial issue that needs to be dealt with immediately. I will try to find out more specifics; We will be working on a press campaign, and food drive with RIRA’s SCE committee and other agencies such as Meals on Wheels. If you know of anyone or family in need, please contact me at or come to our RIRA meetings at the first Wednesday of every month (our next meeting is September 7th, at 8PM).
Below is the RIRA 2016 Community Survey results.

Click here for a larger sized version of the survey.