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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Roosevelt Island MTA Flood Mitigation Plan, Octagon Comfort Station, Blackwell House Repairs Among Items On June 20 RIOC Operations Committee Agenda - Audit Committee Meeting Today Too

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Operations Advisory Committee will meet Thursday June 20.  According to RIOC:

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Operations Advisory Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Thursday, June 20, 2019 at 5:30 P.M. at RIOC’s Operations Office, 680 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


Discussion of:
  • MTA Flood Mitigation Work License Amendment
  • Capital Projects – Key Projects Review
  • Octagon Comfort Station & Site Work
  • Blackwell House Roof Repairs
  • Any Other Committee Business that May be Brought Before the Committee
Chair’s Motion for Executive Session to Discuss Personnel Matter

Later today the RIOC Audit Committee is meeting:
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Audit Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at 4:30 P.M. at the RIOC Administrative Office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island New York


Discussion of:
  • RIOC's Audited Financial Statements for Fiscal Year 2018-19
  • Report on Procurement Contracts for Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 2019 Report on Investments for Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 2019
  • Property Report for Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 2019
  • Annual Report for Fiscal Year Ending March 31, 2019
  • Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee
Chair’s Motion for Executive Session to Discuss Personnel Matter

Monday, June 17, 2019

Resident Claims Safety Hazards Caused By Changes To Traffic Patterns And New Speed Bumps For Roosevelt Island Motorgate Garage Improvement Project - RIOC Answers All Work Being Done In Compliance With NYC Building Code Regulations

As reported May 20, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced that they would soon begin repairs to the Motorgate Garage.

 RIOC announced June 4:
... Phase I of the Motorgate Improvement Project will be starting this week. Please click the following link for details from past releases that discuss the scope of work taking place.

Sections 3D, 4D, 5D, 6D, 7D & 8D in the south building are now closed to parking. Cars found parked in these sections will be towed. Please note that the rooftop will remain open throughout construction.

RIOC staff has scheduled the work to occur in a way that allows the facility to remain open throughout construction. Work will take place Mondays through Fridays only between the hours of 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM. We do not anticipate night or weekend work to be necessary at this time. If that changes, we will let you know.

Please note that the traffic pattern on the fourth floor of the garage has been changed significantly to accommodate this closure. The below graphic demonstrates the new traffic pattern.

For the safety of all patrons and pedestrians, please drive slowly while in the garage. Adhere to all traffic signs posted throughout the garage and watch for new signage. Please follow the directions of the contractor’s flagman, PSD, and Motorgate personnel.

We expect Phase I of this important project to be completed in the fall of 2019. Since this kind of work cannot be performed during the winter months, Phase II will begin in spring 2020. All construction is expected to be completed in late 2020....
Roosevelt Island resident, activist and Motorgate user Frank Farance believes changes to the Motorgate traffic pattern and installation of speed bumps in Motorgate during the renovation creates unsafe conditions. According to this excerpt from June 10 message sent by Mr. Farance to RIOC and posted as a comment to this post:
... imagine how you'll feel when a motorist, during the morning rush, hits a speed bump and pulls down the conduit that impales and kills another motorist, or a child in the passenger seat. And then think about how easily it will be to demonstrate RIOC's culpability, via some expert witness citing (say) some of the sources below. Absolutely dangerous, Motorgate staff have already received complaints, but they say this is RIOC's work.

The speed bumps in Motorgate should be immediately removed because:

(1) Speed bumps are dangerous because there isn't enough clearance.
(2) According to NYC Building Code, RIOC would need to change the height advertised at Motorgate's entrance from 6'10" (82 inches) to 6'2" (74 inches), which would exclude many vehicles, including park-and-ride vans used for car pools.
(3) A vehicle can hit the beam because the speed bumps are installed directly below the beams, which maximizes the hazard
(4) Speed bumps should not be used in a facility with Low Clearance.
(5) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recommends distance of 200-300 feet between speed bumps, these speed bumps are installed approx 50 feet apart, i.e., too close.
(6) Conduit from the cameras was originally installed wrong, i.e., in the middle of the roadway which reduces clearance by 2 inches, which further aggravates the Low Clearance problem.
(7) A vehicle making contact with the conduit can bring down the whole line of conduit (approx 500 in the A aisle), which can impale other vehicles driving in the lane causing injury or death
(8) With section 4D closed off, there is no signage for detours, and vehicles are crossing over from 4C (garage entrance) to 4A with traffic in both directions, including over the speed bumps.
(9) The speed bumps reduce the surface area (36.75 sq-in/wheel, Vehicle Dynamics Institute) where the wheel touches the ground and, thus, increases the load from 3000 lbs/sq-ft/axle to 6,000 to 9,000 lbs/sq-ft and, thus, further deteriorates the surface, e.g., a 6000 pound car does as much damage as an 18,000 pound vehicle.
(10) Vertical acceleration at the speed bump is approx 8 m/sec/sec (gravity is 9.8 m/sec/sec), thus a 3000 lbs/sq-ft/axle is compressed into (say) 9,000 lbs/sq-ft and further amplified by vertical acceleration, a factor of (8+9.8)/9.8, i.e., 16,350 lbs/sq-ft-/axle, or as if the vehicle had weight approx 33,000 pounds.
(11) Speed bumps can grab/drag undercarriage of low suspension vehicles, such as sports cars. If this happens, it will completely block the aisle and jam up Motorgate.
(12) A vehicle can impact the beam, possibly with dangerous or catastrophic consequences to the structure.
(13) There is no signage indicating a speed bump.
(14) Residents will suffer damage to their vehicles as these speed bumps are equivalent to driving over 4-inch curbs....

Another Roosevelt Island resident and Motorgate Garage user Cheshire Kitty added:

I asked RIOC President Susan Rosenthal:
Do you have any comment on Frank Farance's June 10 email regarding potential safety hazard of speed bumps recently installed on the 4th floor of Motorgate garage....

... What was the reason for installing the speed bumps?

Does RIOC intend to reconsider the placement of the 4th floor speed bumps? Or will they remain in place?
RIOC Chief Operating Officer Shelton Haynes replied with the following statement late Friday afternoon June 14:
As RIOC enters the final stages of contract negotiation with the contractor who will be doing the necessary repair work on the Motorgate structure, I wanted to update the community on a few items.

We expect work to begin in about a week or so. Please note that all work will be done in strict adherence of New York City Building Code regulations. At least two fire exits will remain accessible near the work area at all times during construction.

Speed bumps have been installed at various locations in the garage to control speed throughout the parking facility once construction begins. Required clearances between the top of the speed bump and the ceiling structure have been maintained. These temporary speed bumps have been installed for the safety of Motorgate customers, parking garage staff, construction crews and RIOC/PSD personnel during construction. Two-way traffic in these areas is necessary to allow Motorgate to remain open while the necessary repair work takes place. This traffic pattern has been thoroughly reviewed and approved by RIOC, its subcontractors and consultants.

All signage that is contrary to the new traffic flow is already in the process of being blocked. New signage is in the process of being installed. Please note that traffic flow through Motorgate will continue to be monitored throughout construction. All safety measures and signage will be adjusted accordingly as conditions and realities dictate. In the meantime, we encourage all customers to go slow and be careful while they drive through the garage.

We appreciate your ongoing cooperation throughout this project.
Here's the May 9 RIOC Operations Advisory Committee meeting discussion

of the Motorgate Garage Improvements Project.

UPDATE 6:45 PM - Just heard from another Roosevelt Island resident:
My car bottomed out on the speed bumps!!

I reported it on line.

Sponsored Post - You're Invited To The Cafe @Cornell Tech Roosevelt Island Summer Outdoor Grilling Every Wednesday 2-5 PM, Come For The Tasty Meals Paired With The Perfect Beer And Great East River Waterfront Views - June 19, Martin's Potato Cheeseburger

The Roosevelt Island Cafe @Cornell Tech is welcoming summer with weekly outdoor grilling hours every Wednesday.

According to the Cafe @Cornell Tech:






The Wednesday June 19 Menu Is:

Martin's Potato Cheeseburger -$7

Paired Beer - $5

Beer & Burger $10 
Come enjoy Wednesday afternoon outdoor grilling and a beer, or two,

with the folks from Cafe @Cornell Tech Constellation Culinary Team on the spacious Roosevelt Island campus patio

and enjoy the gorgeous East River waterfront views.

Outdoor Grilling is weather dependent and will be cancelled if raining at time.

If bad weather on Wednesday,  event will be moved to Thursday.

Also, check out the weekly Cafe @Cornell Tech Monday -Friday menus.

The Summer Hours for indoor service are:

  • Monday - Friday 8AM - 3 PM
  • Saturday -Sunday 11AM - 3PM
  • Monday - Friday 8AM - 5 PM
  • Saturday - Sunday 11AM - 5PM

Friday, June 14, 2019

Largest NYC LGBTQ Pride Flag Unveiled Today At Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park Celebrating World Pride - You're Invited To Family Friendly Ascend With Pride Picnic At FDR Park Tomorrow Afternoon

As reported earlier this week, Roosevelt Island's FDR Four Freedoms Park is hosting a free World Pride celebration tomorrow. According to the FDR Four Freedoms Park:

On Saturday, June 15 from 12:00-6:00 PM, FDR Four Freedoms State Park will host #AscendWithPride: An Afternoon with Friends & Family. This free World Pride celebration for all ages will include food trucks for a special picnic on the lawn (with wine and beer available for purchase), VideoOut onsite all day capturing coming out stories for their online library and Drag Queen Story Hour, at 12:30 PM and 2:00 PM, reading books that focus on diversity and inclusivity, from Little Bee Books.

The event serves as the official unveiling of New York City’s largest pride flag. From Friday, June 14 to Sunday, June 30, the Park’s monumental staircase will transform into a massive, 12’ x 100’ LGBTQ Pride Flag to celebrate the universal human rights articulated in FDR’s Four Freedoms Speech: freedom of speech & expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.
Today, the largest Pride Flag was unveiled on the FDR Four Freedoms Park monument stairs and it was stunning. Take a look.

FDR Park Conservancy Director of Strategic Partnerships Madeline Grimes describes the Ascend With Pride activities going on this weekend and the flag will remain up thru June 30.

Click on the full screen icon at bottom right of video for great view of the Flag and Manhattan skyline behind it.

According to Ms Grimes:
... the Flag was made using an eco-friendly vinyl that is adhered to the risers of the stairs. It was done by a fantastic company called Looks Good Looks Great.
More info on the Ascend With Pride event at this prior post and the FDR Park web page.

UPDATE 6/15:

MTA Comes To Roosevelt Island Town Hall, Talks And Listens To Residents About F Train Problems - Promises No Weekend F Train Disruptions Until August 16 - This Weekend, F Train To And From Manhattan, Both Tram Cabins Working And Ferry Service Too

Good news, for the eight week in a row, Roosevelt Island residents will have weekend F Trains running to and from Manhattan, both Tram Cabins operating and East River Astoria Route Ferry service.

Here's the new NYC Ferry 2019 Ferry Summer Schedule. 

More good news. During last evening's Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting organized by Council Member Ben Kallos, MTA representative Markus Book reported that there are no planned Roosevelt Island F Train weekend disruptions until August 16 weekend.

Mr Book took questions on a variety of Roosevelt Island subway and bus issues including morning rush hours overcrowding and promised to look into suggested solutions to relieve overcrowding.

Asked about the best way to receive info about service disruptions, escalator and elevator outages Mr. Book suggested following the MTA twitter feed or MyMTA app.

Also,  the MTA is undergoing a redesign of the Queens Bus Network but Mr Book had no info on how that might effect Roosevelt Island residents using the Q102.

Here's video of Town Hall discussion with MTA's Mr. Book.

Will have full video of Town Hall shortly.

Report On June 8 Roosevelt Island Day Blood Drive - 19th Annual Blood Drive Will Positively Help 125 Lives Says RIRA Blood Drive Committee Chair Janine Schaefer

Every Saturday since May 18 the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Blood Drive Committee was signing up volunteers to donate blood during the June 8 Roosevelt Island Day celebration. RIRA Blood Drive Committee Chair Janine Schaefer reports on the results of their efforts. According to Ms Schaefer:

Another Successful Blood Drive on Roosevelt Island Day

A large number of Roosevelt Island residents turned out for the 19th Annual Blood Drive, held on Saturday, June 8, as part of Roosevelt Island Day activities.

The New York Blood Center reported that:
  • There were 39 people who made whole blood donations and two other people made Alyx donations, meaning twice as many red cells were donated. This made a total of 43 donations.
  • As a result, more than 125 lives will be positively affected by our blood drive.
  • In addition, there were 46 people who, for various reasons, were turned away and were unable to donate blood that day.
It is important to note that it is difficult for the New York Blood Center to obtain usable blood.

"Donating blood is literally giving the gift of life. The New York region needs almost 2,000 volunteers to donate blood each day to meet the demand. There is simply no substitute for donated blood," according to the New York Blood Center.

“The New York Blood Banks always face a shortage of blood during the summer months. One of the reasons is that there are fewer blood donations made during this time of year. That is why our annual June blood drive is so important,” said Joan Ogden, the Co-Chair of this year’s blood drive.

RIRA thanks:
  • the community members who took the time to donate blood
  • the RIRA members and residents who volunteered to make this event such a huge success
  • the RISA board members for supporting RIRA by graciously hosting this event
  • RIOC for all their support and its employees who donated blood
  • the local media who promoted awareness of the Blood Drive.
Special thanks to the Island businesses who stepped up and gave 10% appreciation discounts to donors:
  • Bread & Butter Market
  • China 1 Kitchen
  • Fuji East
  • Island Wine & Spirits
  • Nisi Kitchen
  • Piccolo Trattoria Pizza & Ristorante
  • Pupculture
  • Roosevelt Island Cleaners
  • Roosevelt Nails
  • We Are One
  • Wholesome Factory
The staff of The New York Blood Center told us that there is always an urgency for donations, so we plan to sponsor another blood drive in early December, so stay tuned for further details.
The blood donations

were hosted by the Roosevelt Island Seniors Association (RISA) at the Senior Center (548 Main Street)

Ms Schaefer reported to the June 5 RIRA Common Council on the Committee's efforts.

You can also sign up online now to donate blood and help save one life, maybe more.