Wednesday, May 13, 2020

NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio Doubling Open Streets For Pedestrians To Get Exercise While Practicing Social Distancing, RIOC Keeping Roosevelt Island McManus & Firefighters Field Closed And Surrounded By Yellow Tape, Says They Are Working On A Safety Plan

Closed Roosevelt Island McManus Field Surrounded By Yellow Tape From Tapan Parikh

According to Mayor de Blasio today:
Now that warmer weather has arrived, New Yorkers will need more options to enjoy the outdoors at a safe, social distance,...
Earlier today, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Daily Update reported:
Ballfields and Playgrounds Remain Closed Until Further Notice

Although some state facilities around New York will begin opening over the coming days, we will continue to keep our ballfields and playgrounds closed in order to enforce social distancing practices regarding team sport activities. We are working on a safety plan to reopen some facilities. We will keep you informed of our progress in the coming days....
I asked RIOC President Susan Rosenthal and the RIOC Board Directors about the ballfields remaining closed:
Does this mean that McManus and Firefighters Field will re-open for non team sports activities as long as individual maintain Social Distancing?

As you may know, Mayor de Blasio is opening NYC street for pedestrians to walk around outdoors. On Roosevelt Island, our park spaces and ball fields are the equivalent of NYC Open Streets. When will RIOC open Firefighters and McManus Field for social distancing use by the public?

FYI - here's story on subject from earlier this week.

Any comment from RIOC on when McManus and Firefighters Field will re-open and if not, why not?
RIOC Public Information Officer Terrence McCauley replied:
We are following the New York City and New York State Parks Departments directives regarding the opening of ballfields and playgrounds. We will keep the community informed of when our facilities will be re-opened to the public.
I followed up:

Can RIOC provide any policy rationale for keeping McManus and Firefighters Field closed for use by the Roosevelt Island community as long as social distancing practices are maintained?

RIOC can close the fields for organized team sports while allowing members of the public to use the field while maintaining social distancing. How would that not be in compliance with Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio's directives.

RIOC has not provided an answer to that question.
Will update if RIOC provides any rationale.

As previously reported:
Can the Roosevelt Island playing fields be re-opened with social distancing as is done at the Roosevelt Island Cornell Tech campus?