Saturday, October 20, 2007

Roosevelt Island Blogs Profiled in Main Street Wire

This week's issue of the Main Street Wire has an article profiling several Roosevelt Island blogs that have started up recently including this one, Roosevelt Island 360, a My Space blog , RIRA as well as Island Cats. A list of Roosevelt Island links is on the right side of page.

It is always interesting seeing how a reporter and editor of a newspaper choose to condense the contents of an hour long interview into the space of a half page. While the article is generally correct, some of the context in regard to the article's opening sentence describing me as:

hating virtually every minute
of living on Roosevelt Island was missing.

First of all the interview took place at the end of July so my memory of the precise words I used is not exact, though I rarely use expressions such as I "hate" this or that. I cannot say that I definitely did not say this but I doubt it. Also, the word "hating" is not in quotes in the article so it appears that this is the authors impression of what I said.

What I recall saying is that I did not like living in the Manhattan Park area of Roosevelt Island but prefaced that statement by saying that I understood and appreciated why others would like living there. An earlier post, recounting a conversation I had with two residents of the Octagon building summarizes my thoughts on Roosevelt Island living prior to the move to Southtown and the differences between the North and South sections of the Island. From the earlier post:
They told me that they did not like Roosevelt Island and were looking to move as quickly as they could, even considering Hoboken, New Jersey. They explained that they lived in the Octagon building and could not stand the distance, time and effort involved in going back and forth to Manhattan. They spoke of the difficulties with the Red Bus transportation system but most of all were disappointed by the sense of isolation and disconnectedness from the City (Manhattan).
...I told them that I understood their feelings and felt much the same way when I lived in Manhattan Park but since moving to the Riverwalk buildings in Southtown my view of living on Roosevelt Island has changed completely.

...There are many attractive benefits to living at either Manhattan Park or the Octagon on Roosevelt Island. Both have gorgeous waterfront locations with great views of Manhattan and beautiful green park grounds each with adjacent swimming pools as well as an outdoor tennis court facility and ball fields. However close proximity to Manhattan with access to any city life amenity is not one of those benefits. At Manhattan Park there is at least a significant Roosevelt Island discount, as compared to Manhattan, on rent but that is not the case at the Octagon.

The moral of this story is that if living within 15-20 minute walk of a movie theater, bookstore, museum, good restaurant, bar, nightlife and the buzz of the city is very important to you then perhaps the Octagon and Manhattan Park are not the right place for you to live, but Riverwalk may be. If the benefits of tranquility and recreational activities described above are more important and/or you have small children, then Manhattan Park and Octagon would be great places to live.
That is what is missing from portions of the article, context and completeness.

I do appreciate the generous description of myself as a "younger" William Hurt. Must have been sitting in a good light.

For the record, despite sharing the same first name with the reader who comments under the name Roosevelt Island Rick, I am neither him nor do I know who he is.

Image is from

Roosevelt Island Tram Ride

Since I have been blogging alot about the Roosevelt Island Tram recently, I thought it appropriate to take readers along for a ride. Roosevelt Islanders, myself included, often do not appreciate what a marvelous experience it is to ride the Tram. I was reminded of this earlier today as I talked with some tourists taking the Tram and they remarked how spectacular the Tram ride is.

For more Tram Videos click on the Roosevelt Island Tram links on the right side of the page for day and night views as well as music by U2 and Hellogoodbye.

You Tube link is here.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Roosevelt Island Waterfront Music Video - Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

On a dreary, cloudy and rainy Friday, it's time for the Roosevelt Island Weekend Waterfront Music Video.
Sitting on the Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding.
You Tube link is here.

A Tale of Two RIOC Boards - One Good, One Not So Good

When people do a good job in the interests of the citizens of Roosevelt Island they should be thanked. I want to thank RIOC Board members Shinozaki and Ponton for the way they conducted themselves at last night's Board meeting. They were well prepared, asked probing and relevant questions exercising intelligent and reasoned independence during the meeting.

Unfortunately, the other directors present were either silent throughout the entire ordeal, admitted that they have no background or experience in evaluating these difficult questions, made ridiculous analogies between the decision to completely replace the Roosevelt Island Tram with buying a new car or fixing an old car, or benignly acquiesced to the opinions of the so called experts, who by the way have a financial incentive in recommending the most expensive option, not that that would ever enter into the equation.

Another troubling detail emerged during the presentation by RIOC's new Vice President of Operations. He stated that the 2007 capital budget for the Island that was approved by the Board in March 2007 for approximately $14.9 million is now being reduced to $4.9 million. Now, this may be a very good and reasonable reaction to changing circumstances - I have no idea. But what does it say about a Board of Directors charged with maintaining the fiscal health of Roosevelt Island that after a seemingly deliberate and prudent process they approve a capital budget and seven months later that budget is reduced by almost 2/3! How are Roosevelt Island residents and New York State taxpayers to have any confidence in their decision making ability.

Image is from Dickens in America. Charles Dickens visited Roosevelt Island and wrote about it here.

Can Roosevelt Island be Rescued as Effectively as this Portland Tram Test Rescue?

One of the many frustrations observing the process in which decisions are made for Roosevelt Islanders by the RIOC Board of Directors occurs when authoritative statements or assumptions asserted to be true are, in fact, untrue but there is no way for any non-Board member to correct these statements before actions are taken on these mistaken (one can also call them ignorant) notions. For instance, at last night's Board meeting one of the Directors who voted in favor of the winning and most expensive as well as time consuming plan stated that the Roosevelt Island tram was the only commuter tram in the nation.

Well, that is not true and anyone who has been reading this blog knows that there is a commuter tram operating in the City of Portland that opened to the public in January 2007. You would think that a Board member who is responsible for approving the authorization to spend tens of millions of public taxpayer dollars would be aware that a new commuter tram system is in operation in the United States and perhaps the RIOC Board could learn something from Portland's recent experience in building the system. Further, this statement was made while a representative from the expert consulting firm hired to advise RIOC was at the podium and he did not make any attempt to correct the false impression that the Roosevelt Island Tram was somehow alone in the United States as a commuter transportation system! Dopplemayr is even the manufacturer of both the Portland and Roosevelt Island Tram systems.

Also, the impression was given by these expert consultants, that the proposal which was eventually selected was the most advanced, modern and safe version of a tramway system because as the Main Street Wire reported

the two sides of the system would be separated, and they would be able to operate independently.
If that is the case then why is it that the Portland Tram, in operation for less than a year does not use this type of system where the cabins operate independently of each other. According to Portland
...the force required to lift one tram up the hill is counter-balanced by the tram coming down the hill -- both tram cabins are permanently linked. Thus, the weight of the tram cabins cancels and you are left only with friction and the weight differential between passenger loads.
If these people are wrong about simple statements of fact how can they be trusted with complicated engineering and budgetary issues?
There is a lot more to be said but it is late and I am tired.
You Tube link of practice Portland Tram Rescue is here.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Fat Lady has Sung on Roosevelt Island - For Now

The votes of the RIOC Board are in and as expected, both the tennis club license modification and the fourth of the various Roosevelt Island Tram improvement proposals were approved. Of course, the approved Tram proposal was the most expensive of the various alternatives with the longest period of tram downtime. The cost is in the $20-$25 million range. According to RIOC President Shane, the expected (hopefully) period of time that the tram will be out of service is seven months although with efficient and expedited management of the process the tram may be back in service within 5 months.
More tomorrow.
Image is from Pittsburg Opera blog.

Final Comments on Tennis Club Prior to RIOC Board Meeting

I am putting this last post on Tennis Club license agreement prior to today's RIOC Board meeting in the hope that some Board members will at least consider postponing voting on this issue if not outright rejecting it. The post consists of two reader comments and my response. I had hoped to include RIOC's response to questions that I sent them last week but they have not been received as of the time of this post.
A reader responds to those who are not satisfied with the tennis club's resident discount policy or lack thereof:

Roosevelt Island has got to be the only neighborhood in the city where residents expect discounts from businesses because they live nearby. Sheesh!
Another reader:
If my understanding is correct, Sport Park was build and should be used primarily for community and by community. For all these years RIOC was managing it by keeping it closed and unused most of the time. Even swim team was organized and run by volunteers if I have my facts straight. And now SP would be given to "tennis" people to add tennis courts? Is that what RI needs or this is what makes their pockets deeper? Are there any conditions being discussed by Board of Directors to protect existing programs and help them to grow and advance?
The reasons provided initially in the blog on why extension of Tennis club is proposed/required are just laughable. New buildings require more courts. Who are you kidding, really?
My response:
To be fair, the discounts discussed in regard to the Tennis courts were first raised by supporters of the tennis court expansion, as well as RIOC, in their attempt to justify what may be a tremendously below market license deal with the current tennis club operators.The complaints by Roosevelt Island residents regarding discounts were done in response to these apparently inflated claims.
Image is from Darwin's Game Closet.

Mayor Bloomberg on Roosevelt Island

Received this email from reader:

I just got off the 12:15 tram and the Mayor, Shane and a few others we’re waiting to get on for a ride. I wonder what all the fuss is about?????

Anyone know what the Mayor is doing on Roosevelt Island? I wonder if it has anything to do with the decision on the Tram to be made today at the RIOC Board meeting?

Update - A reader points out:

Bloomberg was at Goldwater to announce a new program to create new education and job opportunities for nurses.

What Does it Take to be a RIOC Director?

What does it take to be a Director of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation? According to the Main Street Wire's online information materials for the RIOC Board's Nomination Process it takes:

First and foremost, you must have a strong desire to see your community thrive. The ability to be analytical and ask tough questions will help -- and if you want to do what's best for your neighbors, you're on your way to being a terrific RIOC Board member!

RIOC Board members need tremendous community spirit because the only compensation they'll derive for all their efforts is their sense of satisfaction; being a RIOC Director is an unpaid position.

To run, you must:

  • be at least 25 years old
  • be at least a 6-month resident of Roosevelt Island
  • be a citizen of the United States

There are no other requirements.

Some qualities that would be helpful, but are not specific requirements, are:

  • In-depth knowledge of the community, and its past problems and issues.
  • Background in any of the following areas: general business, real estate, city planning, management, competitive bidding, a local-government-related function, accounting, engineering, finance, marketing, law, etc.

If you feel that you have the talent and time to devote to the ongoing and upcoming issues that face Roosevelt Island, make the decision to run. This website and guidance from RIRA officers will help you through the remainder of the process. If you have ever complained about the decisions and practices implemented by RIOC, this Board is the ideal opportunity to have an impact on the changes you seek.

How does the current RIOC Board measure up to these criteria? Are they able to competently address complicated issues related to, for instance, Tramway engineering and balancing the sometimes conflicting needs of the Roosevelt Island community with current real estate property values (privatization of Mitchell Lama housing and Tennis Club license modification)?

Reader's have sent in the following recent comments about the RIOC Board. Jonathon writes:

This is definitely why I decided to leave RI. I was aggravated by the ineptitude of the RI Board from the day I move.
The Hawk says about the RIOC Operations Committee meeting webcast:
I saw this joke. One guy couldn't explain a report the other said he wasn't qualified to make a judgement on the tram and the third guy could not be heard most ot the time. Who puts these clowns on the board? If a guy is not qualified why is he making the decision? Do these guys have any qualifications at all or are they just more hacks lke we used to have?
Another reader asks how residents can contact Board members writing that there are
no emails, no phones, just names at RIOC site.


... my question is how to contact our "representatives" at RIOC - Board of Directors?
For the record, I would be happy to post any information about the good job that the current RIOC Board is doing.

Can Roosevelt Island Board of Directors Learn any Lessons From the Portland Tram

The RIOC Board of Directors is scheduled to meet later today (4:30 PM) to decide on the various proposed modifications to the Roosevelt Island Tram. Based upon viewing the webcast of the October 11, 2007 RIOC Board Operations committee meeting, one resident board member does not think the case has been made for extensive modifications to the Tram and the other resident Board member does not consider himself qualified to make an independent judgement so he will rely on the opinions of the RIOC staff. As the great philosopher and comedian Yakov Smirnoff once said "What a Country!"

I would hope that as part of the RIOC Board's decision making process they consider the experience of the recently completed Aerial Tramway for the City of Portland Oregon which opened to the public in January 2007. As the only other commuter tram system in the United States, the experience of building this new tramway system could have valuable information for the Board to consider prior to deciding on what to do with the Roosevelt Island Tram and possibly spending as much as $20 million and putting the Tram out of service for as many as seven months if not longer.

For comparison purposes here and here are blog discussions by a Portland City Commissioner about the contracting process for the the Portland tram. Among the findings for the Portland Tram are that:

The $57 million capital amount shown in the life cycle analysis includes all the costs for the design competition, engineering, city staff, OHSU staff, permits, owner furnished furniture, ticket machines etc....The 50-year life span was selected in consultation with Doppelmayr who is constructing the tram; Many trams in operation are over 50 years old.
It would be interesting to know what life span assumptions are being used for the Roosevelt Island Tram, do they differ with the Portland Tram assumptions and if so, why. Here is a link to the Portland Aerial Tram life cycle costs.

Here is the Portland Aerial Tram Project & Planning page that includes the Final Report and Recommendations, construction photos, project history etc. A very valuable resource.

The amount and transparency of information available on the Portland Tram to the citizens of Portland is admirable. If only the same could be said for the Roosevelt Island Tram.

The above video is of a trip on the Portland Aerial Tram.
The You Tube video link is here.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Reader Comments on Roosevelt Island Racquet Club Proposed Expansion and Extension of License Agreement - Sounds Fishy Says One Reader

The second item on the Agenda for RIOC board of Directors meeting scheduled for Thursday October 18 at 4;30 PM is:

Authorization to Enter into the Third Modification Agreement with the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club Associates (Board Action Required)
Below are excerpts of some comments received in response to this post questioning the need and the advisability of RIOC entering into any further licensing obligations with the current occupants of the Roosevelt Island Raquet Club at this time.
Almost three years ago, we-parents, started a swimming club on the island. With a help of the Westview management, we were able to organize
Learn To Swim Program for children...
In the last Wire issue we read Mr. Shane's comment about possibility of giving Sportspark to the Racquet Club to expand their program for Manhattan residents (who are in a need for more tennis courts)... The news was so upsetting , because we saw the Sportspark facility as a RI. Marlins home. Even we used it only 4 times a week, we revived that pool with our presence, and now we feel endangered. As a parent , who went to the Racquet Club to ask about prices for the Junior Program, and was first shocked learning how much it would cost,and then informed that there are NO ANY DISCOUNTS for the RI children, I'm fearing that if they
take over Sportspark, swimming will be out of the reach for many RI kids and all the other programs will be purely designed for people with very deep pockets.

We just feel so powerless......we even don't know which door to knock on.
Another reader:
There is nothing free except early morning classes for the RI kids (past year was Sat/ Sun 6:00AM ??!!!). I wanted to sign up my child for the Junior program (afternoons-more appropriate hours). The price is outragiuos and THERE IS NO ANY DISCOUNT for the RI children. Simple as it is.

Also, if I remember correctly , the classes are offered only to IS/217 - Middle School students through the school list. About (5) offered courts .... I don't believe that this info is correct.
A third reader sends in this 1991 article from the NY Times:
Hoping to capitalize on a growing interest in tennis and improved transportation to Roosevelt Island, developers have broken ground for the Roosevelt Island Racquet Club, with 11 dome-covered courts and a 7,000-square-foot clubhouse. The club is scheduled to open in October on a two-acre site on the New York State-owned island directly under the Queensboro Bridge.
...Mr. Hartman said lease payments to the state will be set at a minimum of $100,000 a year and should increase after five years to over $400,000; the club will then pay a percentage of its revenues to the state. Membership fees have been set at $600 a year for individuals, plus a $500 initiation fee, and members will pay $40 an hour during prime time, or $30 for off peak hours, for use of the courts.
As this reader points out:
In '91 rent should be $100.000, five years later over $400.000, and 16 years later it should be more, much more, than over $250.000
Something is fishy...
I don't know if anything is "fishy" but I do think further investigation and inquiry is the least that the RIOC Board could do prior to voting on the license modification agreement for the Tennis club. As members of the RIOC Board they do have certain fiduciary obligations and responsibilities as well as adhering to the Public Authorities Act. Based upon the webcast of the RIOC Board's Real Estate committee meeting on this topic, the Board members present did not appear to ask any relevant questions regarding the advisability of expanding the Tennis Center, whether it is a good deal for Roosevelt Island and if there was potential for alternative recreational, cultural or other public uses. It certainly is a good deal for the Tennis Club. Watch the webcast or listen to it and decide for yourself.

Image is from

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Is Roosevelt Island Tram Shutdown Really Necessary?

The first item on the Agenda for the Thursday, October 18 meeting of the RIOC Board of Directors is the proposed

Authorization to Proceed with Work Plan for the Modernization of the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tramway (Board Action Required)
There was a very interesting discussion regarding the proposed Roosevelt Island Tramway system changes conducted between two RIOC Board members, both Roosevelt Island residents, at the October 11, 2007 Operations Committee meeting that was webcast here.

One of the Board members was not pleased with the way the recent Town Hall meeting on the Future of the Tram was conducted stating that he did not think that
all alternatives were presented with same degree of enthusiasm.
the Board and residents are entitled to see the results of the Thornton Tomasetti study as they were going to present it before it was pre-empted and i'd like to see it on the next Board Agenda.
The same Board member asks in respect to the Tram repairs:
when one of the top 3 engineering firms in the world says there's nothing wrong with anything and somebody else comes back and says everything's wrong with everything and by the way we're not willing to give you any supporting data, why do we choose to believe the second guy when, in fact, they have misled us for several years and we continue to give them business?
A very good question. I hope RIOC has the answer.

Please note that any errors in the description of the statement by the Board member are due to my transcribing them from the webcast and will be corrected if wrong.

Image is from

Rabbit Threatened - Excerpts of Roosevelt Island Public Safety Report for August 2007

Below are excerpts from the Roosevelt Island August 2007 Public Safety Report. The full report is published in the Main Street Wire here.

8/22/7 roof 580 Main St. ARREST Officers responded to scene, saw two men on roof top with binoculars and arrested and escorted them to PSD. Sgt. faxed heir ID to “Counter Terrorist Unit.” They had no previous incidents. They were each issued a “C” summons.

8/4/7 apt. 560 Main St. ARREST Female in-house, with her boyfriend, whom she said had entered her apt. through patio when she was absent and did damage to her apt; and threatened to “kill her rabbit”!

8/7/7 bus #1 300 Main St. Female notified bus driver that an anonymous male had sat next to her on the bus and was putting his hand on her thigh, lifting her dress; and that she pushed it away. Male exited the bus and walked north-bound towards subway. Officers responded, spoke to bus driver with negative results. The perp. is not known to victim. NYPD was notified, responded, prepared report. Search of area negative.
Image is from

I had to do this - killer rabbit from Monty Python & The Holy Grail.

Yout Tube link is here.

US Air Force Flying Over Roosevelt Island

You must take a look at these images from Roosevelt Island 36o of United States Air Force planes flying over Roosevelt Island and the East River. Simply amazing!!
The planes:

are the A-10 Thunderbolt, the F-15 Eagle, the P-51 Mustang, and lastly the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
The photos is
is part of a collection photographed by Victoria Arocho Photography and presented by Rocka Rho Publishing on the website for the 2006 Bethpage Federal Credit Union New York Air Show at Jones Beach
Image below is from picture of the day.
The planes are: A P-51 Mustang, flown by Jim Beasley; an F-16 Fighting Falcon, flown by Maj. Dax Cornelius from Hill Air Force Base, Utah; an F-15 Eagle, flown by Capt. Tony Bierenkoven from Eglin AFB, Fla.; and an A-10 Thunderbolt II, flown by Capt. Jeff Yost of Pope AFB, N.C., fly over New York City on Thursday, May 25, 2006.
.....presumably to attack a giant gorilla.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Duane Reade Walk in Medical Clinic - Good or Bad Idea for Roosevelt Island?

Sunday's Daily News reported on a the growing national trend, now coming to NYC, of walk-in medical clinics situated inside pharmacies and other retail store chains such as Duane Reade and CVS. According to the article:
Next month, at least two walk-in "retail clinics" are set to open inside Duane Reades in Brooklyn and Queens - and nearly 100 similar centers are in the pipeline across the city.
"We're definitely behind the curve compared to some parts of the country," said Adam Henick, an executive with Continuum Health Partners, which recently signed a deal to link the Duane Reade doctors with Beth Israel Medical Center and other hospitals in its network.
Those in favor of these local neighborhood medical clinics in a retail box say:
the clinics provide quick and easy medical attention, especially after-hours and on weekends, or without having to wait for an appointment or spend hours in a waiting room.
At Duane Reade, a basic visit for strep throat or other routine ailments costs $95, while advanced care for a sprain, burn or cut runs $199. Private medical insurance is accepted.
Controller William Thompson recently hailed the clinics as a way to increase access to medical care in poor neighborhoods, where a lack of doctors often forces people to rely on emergency rooms.
According to the NY Times, others including the American Medical Association, claim that
patients might be sacrificing quality for convenience or seeking help at drugstore clinics for problems that should be addressed by their doctors or a hospital, has proposed a series of guidelines, including a requirement that the clinics have a “well-defined and limited scope.” The association has also urged federal and state governments to investigate how the clinics operate.

Pediatrician groups have strongly opposed reliance on the clinics because of the importance of having doctors who are familiar with a child’s medical history.
Also, Duane Reade clinics function
as private medical practices that lease space from Duane Reade. Despite the name, doctors own the clinics, which have low overhead costs in a city where setting up a practice can be wildly prohibitive.

Doctors’ groups said they had fewer objections to doctor-run retail clinics, because the doctors are accountable to a state licensing board.
More from around the nation with Market Watch, ABC News, Houston Chronicle.

Here is a NPR radio interview.

Is this a good idea for Roosevelt Island? If the recently opened Roosevelt Island Duane Reade opens a clinic inside their premises here on Roosevelt Island would you try it out?

Video is from Truveo and

Freaked Out on Roosevelt Island

According to Blogger the bowery boys:

With apologies to the people who reside there, I must admit that Roosevelt Island has always freaked me out. Which is why I like it actually. Over the next few days, I'll highlight some of my favorite Roosevelt Island places and people, some familiar to New Yorkers who have never ventured there.
He begins his tale at the Renwick Ruins the site of the former Smallpox Hospital:
Our first stop along the Roosevelt Island is probably its most recognizable feature, at least to most Queens or Manhattan residents -- the Renwick Ruins, on the southernmost point of the island. Delightfully lit year round, it rises out of the East River like a haunted castle, with stark turrets and dark windows peering back at the city. More impressive than its Halloween-like trappings is the fact that such a large ruin has managed to survive near Manhattan at all without being torn down and turned into a glass condominium. For that reason, Renwick Ruins should creep you out and impress you in equal parts.
Spiders always freak me out.
Image is from Wired New York and is of Louis Bourgeois Spiders in front of the GE Building in July of 2001.

Part 2- Memories of former Munsters star and unofficial Mayor of Roosevelt Island Grandpa Munster Al Lewis.
"Who was Al Lewis? A raconteur. The de facto mayor of Roosevelt Island. The best-dressed man on Roosevelt Island. He held court in front of 546 Main Street, the senior citizens center..." It should be noted that Grampa Munster's signature ride, the 'dragula' gold coffin on wheels, rolled up to the door of the church.
Image is from blogger Monsterama

Alternative Aerial Tramway Transport System for Roosevelt and Governors Island?

The NY Times reports that:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s philanthropic foundation is considering using Governors Island to house a public health institute where scholars from around the world could come to study and exchange ideas.

“It’s tranquil, you have these beautiful old buildings,” the mayor said this morning on his weekly radio appearance on WABC-AM.

The federal government sold the 172-acre island to the state and city for a nominal fee in 2002. But what should go there has long been a matter of debate. Thoughts have included a casino and an extension of the City University of New York campus.
With the RIOC Board of Directors meeting set to decide the future course of the Roosevelt Island Tram scheduled for this Thursday, I thought it an opportune moment to revisit Santiago Calatrava's proposed tramway transit system for Governor's Island. According to Gothamist, transportation to and from Governor's Island could be accomplished by a Roosevelt Island Tram like gondola system at a cost of $125 million.
Leave it to Santiago Calatrava, the golden boy of rebuild NYC design at the moment for his beautiful Port Authority transit hub planned for Ground Zero, to design a gorgeous tramway between lower Manhattan and Governor's Island. (The tramway isn't a certainty, but it's a great, flashy "This is what our future could be" symbol.) The city and state announced that they are looking for "visionary ideas for the redevelopment of Governor's Island"...
This tramway-gondola system would cost $125 million and the three stations would be in Battery Park, at Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, and at Governor's Island.
More on the Gondola plan for Governor's Island here and critical opinion here.

How about the Coaster below as a temporary substitute if the Roosevelt Island Tram is out of service for an extended period of time, as a transit option for getting to Governors Island or as the Curbed Hudson Yards Roller Coaster? Wheeee!

You Tube video of the Dopplemayr Mountain Glider is here. Dopplemayr is also the manufacturer of the Roosevelt Island Tram.
Governors Island image is from NY Times.