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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Update On New Roosevelt Island NY Public Library Branch Under Construction At 504 Main Street - Completion Expected By December 2019

Construction of the new Roosevelt Island NY Public Library branch, to be relocated from present cramped premises to it's future home on the first floor of 504 Main Street,


began October 12, 2018, more than 6 years after first being announced in July 2012.

Here's an update on the Roosevelt Island Library construction progress from NYC Department of Design and Construction:
The New York City Department of Design and Construction (NYCDDC) is managing the construction of the new Roosevelt Island Library for the New York Public Library (NYPL). The existing branch library will be relocated to a new and larger facility so the library can serve additional patrons and add needed programming capabilities. It will incorporate certain environmentally sensitive measures to allow for an anticipated LEED certification. Ultimately the new space will transform the first floor of a former school building into a new library serving the entire Roosevelt Island community.

As of this newsletter, the construction has accomplished various tasks, including the following:
  • Existing interior has been torn down and rebuild/framing is ongoing
  • The framing is creating various new rooms for administrative and programming uses.
  • Floor trenching completed to allow room for conduit carrying various utilities 
  • Insulation within the new framing of outer walls still in progress.
The new facility will include some of the following spaces and functions:
  • New shelving for general collection material
  • A generously sized circulation desk
  • Patron computer stations
  • Designated reading area
  • A community room
  • Teen area
  • Separate children’s room
  • New restrooms, Public and Private Staff use
Substantial completion expected by December of 2019

Community Outreach:

Please contact Jomo Blackman at the DDC Office of Community Outreach& Notification for any project related inquiries or concerns.

Email: blackmajo@ddc.nyc.gov

Community Impacts:
During construction hours, you can expect the following:
Increased levels of dust, noise, and possible heavy equipment movement in and out of work site

Construction Hours:
Monday – Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 3p.m.



Below is NYPL January 2016 presentation on the new Roosevelt Island branch library

Roosevelt Island Library - FINAL Presentation 1/2016


and more info from the October 2018 construction groundbreaking.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Mayor deBlasio Announces Lyft Investing $100 Million For Citi Bike Sharing System 5 Year Expansion Plan To More NYC Neighborhoods - But Roosevelt Island Not Included Without Docking Station Funding From RIOC


According to this excerpt from July 16 Press Release from NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio's office:
The de Blasio Administration joined Lyft to today announce the boundaries of the planned expansion of Citi Bike over the next five years, which will bring the nation's largest bike share system to a larger and more economically diverse range of communities. Last November, the City and Lyft announced an agreement in which Lyft would invest $100 million to grow and strengthen the system, doubling the size of its service area and tripling the number of bikes over the next five years. The third phase of Citi Bike's expansion will bring Citi Bike to all of Manhattan, as well as into the Bronx, and deeper into Brooklyn and Queens....
Except the Citi Bike expansion does not include all of Manhattan - Roosevelt Island is left out of the Citi Bike sharing system.

Yesterday, I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal:
Mayor deBlasio today announced a major expansion of Citibike but no mention of Roosevelt Island.

What is status of Citibike service to Roosevelt Island?
Ms Rosenthal replied:
We met with them and unlike the earlier business model, they now charge for the stations. I reached out to Hudson Related and Cornell to kick in some $$$ ... we need to follow-up.
When asked who is expected to pay for Roosevelt Island being part of the Citi Bike system, Ms Rosenthal said:
We do.
Meaning, unlike every other NYC neighborhood, Roosevelt Island alone is expected to pay for Citi Bike docking stations located on Roosevelt Island.

Why is that? Again, I asked Ms Rosenthal:
... Does this have anything to do with Roosevelt Island being State land? If yes, doesn't Battery Park City have docking stations? Who pays for that?
Ms Rosenthal replied:
Yes but I don’t know when the economic model changed nor do I know about Battery Park’s agreement.
According to Streetsblog:
... Citi Bike is that rarest of forms of mass transit: It gets no public subsidy. In fact, the Lyft-owned Citi Bike pays the city for the parking spaces its docks occupy...
Except that RIOC is expected to pay for Roosevelt Island docking stations.

Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Ben Kallos has been a long time supporter of bringing Citi Bike to Roosevelt Island.

Yesterday, I asked Mr. Kallos:
Any idea what status is of Citibike service to Roosevelt Island?

Even if no Citibike on Roosevelt Island, would it be possible to get Citibike Dock on Roosevelt Island Bridge next to Motorgate and include it in the Long Island City allocation.
Mr. Kallos replied:
Citi bike will be an excellent addition to Roosevelt Island's transportation options, allowing Islanders to easily move about the Island, to connect to the ferry, and to bike over the Red Bridge into Queens.

My office has been working with RIOC, DOT, and Citi bike's parent company Lyft to bring Citi bike to Roosevelt Island despite challenges posed by geography which makes it difficult to keep docks supplied with bikes on the island.

We will continue to push for the necessary players to come together and do their part to make this happen so Roosevelt Islanders can tap into the Citi bike network.
Roosevelt Island has been asking for bike sharing stations as far back as this 2010  demo and in 2014 was the neighborhood with most requests for bike sharing.

In 2017, Citi Bike sharing came to Astoria/Long Island City


which are the nearest locations to Roosevelt Island.

Hey Susan, RIOC President Rosenthal Answers Roosevelt Island Residents Questions On Power Plant Noise, Bus Shelters, Benches And Public WiFi At Tram Stations

Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Susan Rosenthal answers your questions in the July 17 installment of Hey Susan feature.


Hey, Susan! Do you have any information on the curious “zack zack zack” noise which appears to come from the power station, even in the middle of the night. There have been other inquiries on the Roosevelt Island blog so it’s possible you have already looked into this. Is there something you can do about this alarming and heart-pounding noise which sometimes even sounds like gunfire? Your help would be much appreciated.

Susan: Several people have investigated the noise complaint and the power station believes the noise is coming from a faulty compressor that is scheduled to be repaired by the end of this week. Good news!


Hey, Susan! What about more bus shelters around the Island, especially at the F Train and at the Youth Center?

Susan: We have built as many bus shelters as we can around the Island. Unfortunately, some locations simply can’t facilitate a bus shelter, or structure of any kind, due to clearance issues in confined spaces. One of those places is outside the Youth Center. There simply isn’t enough space in that location to build a structure that would provide any kind of shelter for our residents while they wait for the bus. We have looked at a variety of options of shelters, but none work for that particular area.

The bus stop at the F train is just as problematic. It’s already a cramped area for pedestrians and cars, so building a shelter at that location may cause a dangerous situation. For now, people use the overhang at the subway station and the lobby of the subway station itself as shelter during inclement weather.


Hey, Susan! What about more benches and Wi-Fi at both Tram Stations?

Susan: Both tram terminals are confined spaces that don’t really allow for additional seating. The loading area between the two cars gets very crowded while people wait for the tram. Placing benches in that area would make crowding even worse and create hazards for riders. Anyone looking for a seat before the tram arrives on the Roosevelt Island side can sit on the benches around the terminal area.

The congestion problem is even worse on the Manhattan side. Placing additional benches near the loading and unloading areas would also make for a dangerous situation. More seating will be available when the park reopens after the tram elevator construction is completed.

Our staff is reaching out to the MTA and LinkNYC to see if it might be possible for us to have Wi-Fi at both tram stations. It may be easier for us to utilize an existing network than to install one of our own.
More on the power plant noise from this previous post.

NYC HEAT WAVE THRU SUNDAY, TEMPERATURE FEELS OVER 100 DEGREES - Roosevelt Island Cooling Center Open At Senior Center 7/17 To 7/21 9AM To 9 PM And Tips For Beating The Heat

It's very hot out today. Right now, 1:20 PM it feels like 101 degrees.




According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for New York City.

Therefore, today, 7/17/19 through Sunday, 7/21/19 the cooling center at the Roosevelt Island Senior Center (located at 546 Main St) will be open from 9AM until 9PM.

As a reminder, a cooling center will be made available when the heat index becomes dangerously high. Individuals without air conditioning, particularly those at risk for heat-related illness, should use established cooling centers during a heat wave.
Stay as cool as you can.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Sponsored Post - NYC Based Female Run Startup Shoot Is Offering Summer Family Photo Session At Roosevelt Island FDR 4 Freedoms Park Sunday July 21, Friday August 2 & Saturday August 10 - Book Now And Only Pay For Photos You Want At $15 Per Pic or Less

Shoott is a NYC based startup with a mission to bring great photography to everyone. For our customers, we dramatically reduce the upfront cost and lead time of hiring a photographer. Now you can easily book a pro on demand for a personalized session and pay by the pic, $15 or less.

Shoot is offering Summer Mini Family Photo Sessions at Roosevelt Island Four Freedoms Park
  • Sunday July 21st 10am – 7pm
  • Friday August 2nd 10am – 7pm
  • Saturday, August 10th 10am – 7pm

Sessions are free to book! They last 30 minutes and will yield a digital, high-res gallery of 40+ lightly edited photos, which you will receive in 3-5 business days. Folks only pay for the photos they want at $15/photo or less!

Shoott is a female-run NYC startup that provides fun and convenient 30 min photo sessions with photographers whose work has been featured in Elle, GQ, Vanity Fair, and the like. Their mission is to make great photography more accessible to everybody, so sessions are complimentary and photos are priced at just $15 each or less.

A 5 star rated service on Facebook, Google, and Tripadvisor, Shoott is an affordable lifehack for personal branding as well as parents who want photo sessions of and with their kids through all the different life stages - from engagements and maternity to newborn and all the different milestones of their kids’ growth. Shoott is dedicated to providing a fun and enjoyable experience while offering convenient “pop-up” session options in local parks, particularly for parents with young kids.

Promotion: Book a session with the code ROOSEVELTISLANDER for 10% off any purchases of 5+ photos.

Book your Shoott Roosevelt Island FDR Four Freedoms Park


photo session


for:
  • Sunday July 21st 10am – 7pm
  • Friday August 2nd 10am – 7pm
  • Saturday, August 10th 10am – 7pm
right now.

Any questions? Email us at info@shoott.com and we’ll get back to you right away!

More info available at our Shoott web site.

Monday, July 15, 2019

What's It Like Hanging Outside On Ledge Washing Roosevelt Island Building Apartment Windows- Westview Residents Frustrated At Their Dirty Windows And Would Like Them Cleaned So They Can See Lovely Views

"Please don't fall" and "You are courageous men" were words spoken by a Roosevelt Island resident to the workers cleaning the windows exteriors of her 14th floor apartment high above the building courtyard as shown in this video taken recently.



The Island House resident was happy to have her windows cleaned. But. Roosevelt Island residents of the next door Westview Building have been frustrated with their inability to get their own windows cleaned. According to long time Westview resident Matt Katz:

... Over a period of six months, starting about a year and a half ago, every apartment had new windows installed. In my estimation, they have been excellent, keeping out wind, temperature extremes, and rain.

However, and from the day they were installed, they have never been cleaned. Over the 20 years my wife and I have lived in Westview, the procedure was that tenants would hire a cleaner, staff or otherwise, to remove the sliding panels and use squeegees on mop handles to address the outside panes. We have learned from our super that this is no longer allowed and to be patient while the complicated issue of how to wash windows is determined. Maintenance staff has allowed that these new windows are no more complicated than the old ones and may be cleaned using the same format. Emails and phone calls to the on-site manager go unanswered. Currently, my windows are opaque and I would like to enjoy the lovely view outside my window....
The subject of Westview Window washing was raised during the the June 13 Roosevelt Island Town Hall with elected officials. Roosevelt Island's NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright wrote to Westiview Building management requesting that they respond to the Westview residents concerns.



The Westview Task Force (WTI), comprised of building residents, sent out this July 10 memo to residents
Re: Window Cleaning Update

WTI has been in contact with the Sponsor in connection with Window cleaning. We are pleased to confirm that the Sponsor intends to have all apartment and hallway windows cleaned by a professional window cleaning company.

Although in the past window cleaning was not provided by Management, window cleaning will now be provided at no cost to all residents as the final step in the window installation process.

Management is in the process of bidding out the window cleaning job with professional window cleaning contractors and will let residents know when the cleaning will be done, which will commence as soon as a contractor is selected and available to start. The entire job will take approximately 4-6 weeks to complete.

In the future, we (or the new COOP Board once in place) will work with Management to establish a procedure for periodic window cleaning for residents to sign up for window cleaning – the cost of this service will be based on the size of the apartment.

In the past, residents often made arrangements for staff to clean apartment windows after hours on a fee basis. Because of legal and insurance reasons, staff are not permitted to perform window cleaning, including after hours.
Hopefully, Mr Katz and other Westview residents, will soon be able to look out clean windows at their lovely Roosevelt Island views.