Sunday, April 14, 2019

Update On Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival Transportation Mess, RIOC In Midst Of Debriefing But Says No Tranportation Problems And Approximately 30 Thousand Visitors - Watch Video As Visitors Try To Escape Roosevelt Island And Photo Of Tram Line To Third Avenue

Here's an update to yesterday's post about the Roosevelt Island transportation mess resulting from the huge numbers of visitors to the Cherry Blossom Festival.

The line to get to the Roosevelt Island Manhattan Tram Station on Second Avenue stretched almost to 3rd Avenue during yesterday's Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival as shown in picture below showing Tram riders waiting on line in the middle of 60th street between 2nd & 3rd Avenues.

As reported yesterday:
Roosevelt Island residents are furious today over the long lines and delays at the Tram, Subway, Ferry and bridge caused by the overwhelming number of visitors going to the Cherry Blossom Festival today...
Today, I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal:
Any statement from Rioc on the transportation problem yesterday during Cherry Blossom Festival?
Ms Rosenthal replied:
We are in the midst of debriefings and will have a lot to say in the near term. But, there were no “transportation problems”, ... — there were about 3 times as many folks as last year. NYPD and RIOC made decisions based upon safety concerns. No one was hurt and no one got arrested.
3 times as many visitors as last year would mean 30 Thousand visitors compared to last year's 10 thousand.

Roosevelt Island residents had plenty to say including these Roosevelt Islander Facebook comments:
This beautiful Island is not prepared for big events like this, more bathrooms are needed there even in ordinary days to acomódate tourists, but some kind of system should be set up to give priority to residents when events are held or limited transportation is in order.
What a mess. The attendees were put in great danger. The accountability goes to the organizers and RIOC. There were not enough food vendors, the water was shut off, public transportation was insufficient and at some point almost impossible to get off the island. The subway station was so crowded that no one could go in or out of the station. That was really VERY DANGEROUS. Neighbors reported close to an hour wait to get out of the station. Where was public safety?, why was NYPD not contacted to help with crowd control?

Organizing an event of this magnitude requires many hours of work, carefully crafted contingency plans and lots of logistic organization.
"Roosevelt Island residents were held hostage today on their island. Couldn't leave or return for hours. No toilets, no porta potties for the thousands of guest that visited the cherry blossom festival. No garbage pickup. Heads should roll on this."
"I’d like to know why, on a day temps were reportedly going to be in mid-seventies, all water fountains were TURNED OFF??!! We were directing visitors to them & they told us they weren’t working!! Another reason having a State Agency, RIOC, run a community just doesn’t one in Albany listens or gives a damn. Welcome to our lives fellow New Yorkers!"
According to Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer

and NY Council Member Ben Kallos

A Cherry Blossom visitor shows us his escape from Roosevelt Island yesterday

and his arrival earlier in the day.

Another visitor to the Roosevelt Island Cherry Blossom Festival is outraged at the organizers

and seeks to know who is accoutable.

More info, photos and videos at post yesterday.

Stay tuned for more.