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Monday, September 11, 2017

Here We Go Again, Intermittent Roosevelt Island Bridge Closings During 2017 United Nations General Assembly - Will Emergency Vehicles Be Delayed Worries Roosevelt Island Resident - East River West Channel Closed To Boat Traffic

It's that time of year again for Roosevelt Island.

Image Of United Nations From Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park

Mid September is the the opening of the United Nations General Assembly Session and 2017 is no different than previous years in terms of its impact on Roosevelt Island residents. The opening of the UN General Assembly means the diversion of all East River boat traffic to the Roosevelt Island East Channel Queens side for security precautions due to our proximity to the United Nations resulting in the intermittent closings of the Roosevelt Island Bridge.

According to the NYC Department of Transportation:
While the United Nations General Assembly is in session, from Tuesday, September 12, through Monday, September 25, the U.S. Coast Guard will close the West Channel of the East River, which is the main navigational channel, and divert all marine traffic to the East Channel, between Roosevelt Island and Queens. The NYC Department of Transportation will close the Roosevelt Island Bridge, as needed, for up to 15 minutes at a time between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. to permit marine traffic to pass.

During these closures, the bridge will be closed to all vehicular, pedestrian and bicycle traffic. A variable message sign will be installed to inform the public. Emergency service providers have been informed of the special operational schedule.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) adds:
The NYC Department of Transportation Division of Bridges will doing intermittent raising of the Roosevelt Island Bridge starting from 7:00 AM- 7:00 PM Tuesday, September 12, 2017 to Monday, September 25, 2017 due to the rerouting of boat traffic during the United Nations General Assembly. Each opening should take anywhere from 8-12 minutes to complete. Expect intermittent traffic disruptions and delays on Main Street and along the Roosevelt Island Bridge approach.
For more information, please contact the Division of Bridges/Community Affairs at (212) 839-3740.
Raye Schwartz speaks for many Roosevelt Island residents when she writes:
Somebody needs to let the Coast Guard and Dept. of Homeland Security know that at the least they should limit access to pleasure boats during this period, so that we are not put in danger for fire and ambulances to get through while the bridge is inaccessible - sometimes for ½ hr. at a time while sailboats and pleasure boats go up and down the river.

And, if anyone bothers to look at a map, 4 Freedoms Park is opposite the UN and a terrorist could fire a missile or grenade from there: oops, I’ve read too many John le Carre novels and seen too many Ian Fleming movies!

Seriously, that whole thing is just for show and really does little or nothing to protect the UN while putting over 12,000 residents and workers on this island in danger.
This is an annual problem for Roosevelt Island and every year RIOC tells us they are trying to fix this problem but it never gets fixed.