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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Roosevelt Island Getting $2.9 Million RI Bridge Bike Ramp To Street Announces NY Governor Andrew Cuomo - RIOC,Cornell Tech And Federal Funding Got It Approved

As reported in October 2015, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC), with the assistance of Cornell Tech representatives were exploring the possibility of increasing safety on the Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix

by adding a bike ramp from the Bridge to the street:

... During last evening's (October 13) RIOC Operations Advisory Committee meeting (audio web cast here), RIOC President Charlene Indelicato reported the results of a preliminary Helix Ramp study by Cornell Tech and their engineering consultants AKRF. According to Ms. Indelicato, the Cornell Tech/AKRF study concluded that fixing the Motorgate Escalator for use by bicycle riders was not an option but there is a possibility of installing a bike/pedestrian only ramp from the Motorgate Helix to the street level at the East Promenade....
Roosevelt Island will get the bike ramp. NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced yesterday:
$112.2 million in funding has been awarded to 81 projects that support bicycle and pedestrian enhancements and improve air quality across New York. Funding supports projects that include multi-use bicycle and pedestrian facilities, new accessible sidewalks that adhere to regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, improved access to public transportation, and enhanced roadway safety...

... The funding, which will provide up to 80 percent of the cost of each project, is made available through the Federal Highway Administration and administered by the New York State Department of Transportation. Selected through a competitive solicitation process, awardees presented plans that will increase options for non-vehicular transportation, reduce vehicle emissions or traffic congestion, or both. Including additional public and private funding, these projects will leverage nearly $233 million in construction and operational enhancements that will improve air quality, promote walking and biking, expand public transportation access, and boost tourism across the state....
Among the projects being funded are:
... $2,963,705 to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation to construct a bike-only ramp to the Roosevelt Island Bridge.
I asked the current Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal:
... Can the project go forward now or is more money needed?
Ms Rosenthal replied:
$2.963!! The project is going forward NOW. We will be preparing the scope of work for the RFP seeking a structural engineer. The agreements regarding the grant are yet to be seen, however. Note that before the grant, we spoke to a number of officials who expressed an interest in the project and we intend to revisit those interested parties. We are so excited about the project!
Below are renderings of the fully funded Roosevelt Island Bridge Bike ramp from RIOC.

Roosevelt Island's Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney added:
The Roosevelt Island community has long been waiting for a bike-only ramp to allow cyclists an easy and safe connection to the Roosevelt Island Bridge. Thanks to Governor Cuomo, nearly $3 million in federal dollars are being allocated to this ramp so the connection can become a reality. Cyclists will no longer have to carry their bikes up flights of stairs, or risk their safety by sharing the helix ramp with cars. It’s great that the state, federal government and community are working together to make Roosevelt Island a safer, more accessible place.
During the March 29 Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting, Cornell Tech's Assistant Director of Government & Community Relations Jane Swanson reported on the proposed Roosevelt Island Bridge Bike Ramp.

Good job by RIOC and Cornell Tech.

Now, let's see if RIOC can get a qualified bidder for the RFP to do the bike ramp project.