Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Roosevelt Island Manhattan Park Luxury Building Lobby Renovation Creating Unsafe Conditions For Pedestrian, Wheelchair And Vehicle Access To Street And Sidewalk Area - RIOC Instructs MP To Obtain RI Permit And Provide Safe Sidewalk And Street Passage

Roosevelt Island Manhattan Park luxury apartment building at 40 River Road is currently undergoing lobby renovations, similar to those previously done at 30 River Road. But, as reported by the Roosevelt Island Daily, the construction activities have created unsafe conditions for  pedestrian, wheelchair and vehicle access to the street and sidewalk area.

Yesterday, a Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) spokesperson addressed the issue raised by Roosevelt Island Daily:
PSD’s Acting Chief Kevin Brown met with Manhattan Park yesterday. At his insistence, Manhattan Park will immediately construct an ADA complaint ramp and will set up additional barriers for a proper pedestrian walkway. PSD will also issue a permit once it receives a detailed scope of work, information about the duration of the project, Manhattan Park’s safety plan and hours of operation.
I asked:
Is the Manhattan Park construction shut down until they comply?
The RIOC spokesperson replied:
They’ve been allowed to continue work since they made emergency adjustments at Acting Chief Brown’s insistence. RIOC staff is meeting with them again today to get further details on the scope of work so they can determine what adjustments are required to comply with our permitting process.
In response to my inquiry yesterday asking Manhattan Park management:
Any comment from Manhattan Park regarding the construction at 40 River Road blocking pedestrian, wheelchair and vehicle access.

I understand that after receiving complaints, RIOC is instructing Manhattan Park to construct a ADA accessible ramp and proper pedestrian access to the 40 River Road construction area.

Is the construction shut down until Manhattan Park complies with RIOC's instructions?...
A Manhattan Park Spokesperson replied:
We’ve enjoyed a great working relationship with RIOC for the last 30 years and have been in close touch with them about the project at 40 River Road. The project will continue to comply with all applicable rules and regulations and we look forward to finishing construction during the fall.

... We are complying with all of RIOCs requests with regards to the construction work and sidewalks. As you know from RIOC we’ve installed a new ramp, etc.

Regarding the issue of doing work without a permit, again we’ve complied with RIOC and kept them informed since the start of this project. We have a DOB permit and will work with RIOC to acquire whatever additional permits we need to.
Today, the area around 40 River Road construction site looked like this.

The RIOC spokesperson added today:
The work that is currently going on at Manhattan Park concerns the renovation of the building’s lobby. The project will be completed in late October and the sidewalk will be completely open to the public at that time. After a meeting with RIOC staff and members of PSD, the building manager has been informed that he must apply for a permit to continue work. PSD also informed the building manager that he must post appropriate signage and allow for proper access that is ADA compliant and provides citizens with safe passage into the roadway where sidewalk access is impeded by work.

PSD and RIOC staff also informed Manhattan Park that they must order additional barricades so that the barricades start at the end of the sidewalk. RIOC has also ordered them to install additional lighting on the barricades, which should be in place today or tomorrow.

For the benefit and safety of our residents and stakeholders, RIOC has installed additional lighting to make sure the sidewalk is well lit. These lights are aimed at the sidewalk, not into the construction area and not into the homes in the area. They aim down at the sidewalk only. It is our hope that Manhattan Park will provide sufficient lighting on the sidewalk for its residents.
Update: as of one minute ago, Manhattan Park filed a permit for the work. It’s going through the internal review process starting this afternoon.
Incidentally,the 30 River Road lobby renovations look terrific. Hopefully, the 40 River Road lobby will look as good.

UPDATE 7:20 PM - A resident is happy to learn of the safety improvements.