Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Roosevelt Island Manhattan Tram Station Platform Renovations Causing Difficulties For Baby Strollers And Wheelchairs - RIOC Says Additional Signage And Tram Attendant Will Help

The Roosevelt Island Tram Stations Platform Repairs project began last July 26 and is expected to be completed by the end of December. During this time, only a single Tram Cabin is in operation, often resulting in very, very long lines for riders. Also, the reconfiguring of the Manhattan Tram Station passageway

and turnstyle

during renovations has caused difficulties for riders with strollers and wheelchairs to access the Tram Platform.

For example, Roosevelt Island Mom Jennie Smith shares this November 3 message she sent to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal:
Good Morning Ms. Rosenthal,

I just wanted to let you know about an experience that I had last evening with hopes you will encourage the tram operators to have more consideration for families with strollers and the disabled population of this island .

The new closure due to the renovation on the Manhattan side does not have a gate by the turnstile. I didn't realize this and the tram operator told me the only solution was to take both of my 1.5 year olds out, fold the stroller, put the stroller over the turnstile and let the kids run under. When I flatly said no, I wasn't going to do that, he then said with much irritation that it was ok that I turn around, go back to the area of the elevator on the south area of the platform where there is an emergency gate that he let me through with much hesitation.

My point is, this should be the standard for strollers at this time and all others that may have mobility issues. I hope they are not giving wheelchair bound people the same hard time.

Also, the path to the turnstile is very narrow and having to swipe at the turnstile and then having to back up while a line is forming is near impossible for me who is strong on my feet and is a falls hazard for anyone with mobility issues. I'm sure this is a violation of the ADA act.

There should be a sign and an attendant manning the emergency gate area to avoid this congestion and encouraging those who need it to use the gate, rather than rolling their eyes, huffing and puffing and suggesting there is no other way except the turnstile.

I looks forward to your reply on this matter,
During the November 9 RIOC Real Estate Development Advisory Committee meeting (audio web cast of meeting here), I asked about Manhattan Tram Station access for strollers and wheelchairs.

RIOC Vice President of Operations Shelton Haynes responded that he was aware of the problem and that additional signage and Tram Attendant assistance will be made available

to make it easier for strollers and wheelchairs to use the emergency gate.

RIOC Director Faye Christian added that tourists and others should be encouraged by RIOC staff to move up as close to the front of the platform as possible

in order to lessen the length of lines.

RIOC Engineering Consultant Mike Russo also reported that the Tram Platform repair project is on schedule for substantial completion by the end of December although there may still be some punch list items to be finished in January.