Friday, August 1, 2008

Regular Roosevelt Island F Train and Tram Service This Weekend, Plus Things To Do - Test Central Park Balloon As Temporary Tram Replacement

You Tube video of Central Park Balloon Ride From Advertising Age

According to the MTA there will be regular F train service to and from Roosevelt Island this weekend and RIOC reports no interruptions in Tram service either.

Looking for things to do this weekend? Remember Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park was deemed one the best places for group outings and picnics by Time Out New York, so try it out!

Or you can take a ride in an aerial balloon high above Central Park. Hey, maybe we can use aerial balloons to replace the Tram when it goes out of service next year undergoing its modernization program.

Here's a list of other things to do in New York City the weekend from NY Times Urban Eye, NewYorkology and the New York Post weekend calendar.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

More Parking Headaches on Roosevelt Island And What's The Deal With The Octagon Parking Garage?

Image of Van In 540 Main Breezeway Taken This Morning

A resident forwards the following message regarding Roosevelt Island street parking difficulties.
I have recently moved back onto Roosevelt Island. I have noticed a major issue regarding parking on the Island, especially in the breezeway of 540 Main Street where I live. I am not sure if you are aware but to park within the breezeway to even unload groceries or large packages, you must inform Public Safety and if there is a car there already you must park on the street due to fire safety. Parking on the street offers either street cleaning or a 40 minute timer which is sufficient time to unload most items. However there is a Dodge Caravan with license plate (Note - I deleted the number) that is parked there for hours on end at times without receiving a ticket. I’m assuming it belongs to a firefighter due to all the FDNY stickers on the car.

One day I needed to unload items because I was moving back in while that van was in the breezeway. I was told by Public Safety to park on across the street. It was during street cleaning hours and I personally saw the street cleaning vehicle sweep through already. So I thought that I was allowed to park there. I parked, purchased a ticket from the Munimeters and unloaded. Within about 10 minutes I was back down well within the time on the ticket and saw a Public Safety Officer issuing me a ticket for violation of street cleaning. If I was not allowed to park within the breezeway due to the firefighter’s van and unable to park on the street; Where was I suppose to park?

I understand the city is cracking down on police permits, PBA cards and other get-out-of-ticket passes that are issued to family members of city workers. I do not think that it is fair that those perks are given to some and enforced by some on who they choose. I am in the process of disputing this ticket and have numerous complaints from residents at 540 Main Street that I will be addressing to RIOC. Public Safety basically told me, “That’s too bad.” This is unacceptable. I wanted to inform you of unfair ticketing of Roosevelt Island residents.

Other than parking at one of the few sidewalk spots, the only other Roosevelt Island Parking options are at the Octagon and MOTORGATE GARAGE:
Motorgate Garage
Managed by Edison Parking
688 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, N.Y. 10044
Phone#: 212-832-4585

Daily up to1 Hour $7.00
up to 2 Hours $9.00
up to 4 Hours $12.00
up to 10 Hours $15.00
up to 24 Hours $20.00
Monthly Residents $180.00
Non-Residents $160.00
Reserved $235.00
The rates listed above are from RIOC's web page. My understanding is that the Monthly rates have been raised this July to $190 for all as reported by Roosevelt Island 360. There is also garage parking available at the Octagon building although it does not appear to be promoted or advertised. I walked over to the building and took this picture recently that shows hourly rates are lower at the Octagon than at the Motorgate but it is further away for most Roosevelt Islanders.

Anyone use the Octagon Garage other than building residents?

UPDATE - 5 PM - RIOC President Steve Shane comments on the 540 Main Street breezeway:
The van in question belongs to the super of Eastwood.
It is not a special deal with RIOC, as the breezeway space is covered
by Eastwood's lease. I am sure Urban America has authorized the car to
be there. RIOC's PSD does maintain control of the general public's use
of such spaces as a matter of public safety (fire, emergency access,
etc., as acknowledged by your poster). The FDNY stickers are of no
concern to RIOC. We have in the past and continue to make sure to have
the various placarded cars moved that had other than current, ligitimate
handicapped placards.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney on Stephen Colbert Show - Breast Pump Not A Distraction To Her

Roosevelt Island's Congressional Representative, Carolyn Maloney appeared on Stephen Colbert's "Better Know A District" segment Tuesday night. Colbert introduced her as representing the 14th Congressional District that includes Manhattan's Silk Stocking District and Queens. Maloney pointed out that she also represents Roosevelt Island. Good for her!

It was a funny segment particularly the breast pump discussion. I don't think I will look at a bottle of Gatorade the same again.

And here's neighboring Congressional representative Jerrold Nadler's visit to "Better Know A District" on the Colbert show.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Time Out NYC Top Picnic Spots Include Roosevelt Island's Southpoint Park!

Image of Southpoint Park Picnic from Time Out New York

Roosevelt Island residents know what a great waterfront spot Southpoint Park is to relax on a hot summer day or evening but now the rest of NYC may be learning that as well. According to Time Out NY, Southpoint Park is one of the Best Places for group outings and picnics:
You won’t have to jockey for blanket space on the expansive land that curves around the southern tip of Roosevelt Island. Bring a crew (and a Frisbee) and take in the stunning vistas: Behind you, the Renwick Ruins—the remnants of a 19th-century hospital—and to the west, a view of the midtown skyline.
Time Out recommends stopping off at Nonnos for pizza and subs (don't they mean a hero?).
There’s also an on-island option: Subs can be procured at Nonno’s Focacceria (455 Main St, 212-753-2300), or order a pizza—they will deliver it to the park.

Image of what I think is Nonnos Gramma's pizza (my favorite) is from Time Out New York

For all you first time visitors to Southpoint Park, be aware that these stunning and beautiful panoramic views of the NYC waterfront skyline are in danger of being ruined forever if what some refer to as the Louis Kahn Death Box (others refer to it incorrectly as the FDR memorial) is ever built.

Riding the Roosevelt Island Tram - Public Hearing On Tram Modernization Set for Tuesday Morning August 5

You Tube video of Riding The Roosevelt Island Tram

RIOC has announced that a public hearing on the Roosevelt Island Tramway modernization program will be held on Tuesday August 5. The public hearing is being held from 10 - 11 AM, a time that will make it impossible for many Roosevelt Islanders to attend. It would be a great community benefit if RIOC would web cast this meeting so that information on this very important project for the future of Roosevelt Island transportation be available to all who might not be able to attend. Below is the notice from RIOC:


PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the New York State Urban Development Corporation, doing business as the Empire State Development Corporation (“ESD” or the “Corporation”),pursuant to Section 16(2) of the New York State Urban Development Corporation Act (Chapter 174, Section 1, Laws of 1968, as amended) (the “Act”), has adopted a General Project Plan (the “Plan”) with respect to the RIOC-Aerial Tramway Improvements and Modernization Capital Project (the “Project”), at the Directors' meeting on July 17, 2008. Copies of the Plan are available without charge to any person who shall make a request for the same at the office of the Corporation. The Corporation will file such Plan in the office of the New York County Clerk, 60 Centre Street, Room 161, New York, New York 10007 and with the Clerk of the City of New York, 1 Centre Street, 2nd Floor South, New York, New York 10007. A copy of the Plan is also on file at the principal office of the Corporation, 633 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10017, and is available for inspection by the general public Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

The Project includes the modernization of the Roosevelt Island Aerial Tramway by the
Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation of the State of New York. Total Project costs are expected to be approximately $25,000,000. ESD proposes to make a $15,000,000 grant to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation of the State of New York to assist in the financing of the Project.

PLEASE TAKE FURTHER NOTICE, that, in accordance with Section 16(2) of the Act,
a public hearing, open to all persons, will be held by the Corporation at the Community Room, 4 River Road, Roosevelt Island, New York 10044 on Tuesday, August 5, 2008, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., to consider the Plan.

DATED: July 21, 2008
New York, New York
New York State Urban Development Corporation
By: Eileen McEvoy, Corporate Secretary
UPDATE - 7/31- From RIOC President Steve Shane:
The hearing is being held by ESDC as required by its statute following the ESDC Board's adoption of a resolution approving the funding of $15 million for Tram improvements. RIOC has already held many such hearings and public presentations. I expect this to be a non event. ESDC, like all other public agencies, is likely to be required to webcast the hearing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Yesterday, Woman Hit By Bus Near Subway and Hazardous Exposed Wires Repaired In Playground

Image is for illustrative purposes only. It was not the bus involved in accident.

A woman was hit by a NY City bus yesterday as she was crossing the street near the subway. From the 7/28-29 Roosevelt Island Public Safety Incident Report:
Vehicle Accident- By Subway. Female ran across street to catch a city Bus without looking. She mad contact with another Bus. Neck pain sustained. NYPD report done. EMS transported her to the Hospital.
The same report also indicates that there were hazardous wires repaired near sprinkler in playground yesterday:
Hazardous Condition- Wires exposed in play ground by sprinkles. No injuries. Corrected by Facilities.

No Riviera Or Other Residential Development For Roosevelt Island After the Completion of Southtown Riverwalk Buildings Says RIOC President

Image of Proposed Roosevelt Island Riviera project from SSJ Development

Following up on earlier post regarding developer Stephen Jemal's proposed Roosevelt Island Riviera development project for the area extending from the Tramway Plaza to Southpoint Point, including the Coler -Goldwater Hospital Campus, I asked RIOC President Steve Shane for comment. On July 24 Mr. Shane responded:
Absolutely no contact. A News story that is long out of date as far as anyone here knows. To my understanding, the 5500+/- units to exist on completion of Southtown will be the end of development.
If Mr. Shane's understanding is correct that completion of the Southtown Riverwalk residential complex will end any further residential development on Roosevelt Island, then not only is the Riviera at Roosevelt Island project not going to be built but the Coler-Goldwater Hospital South Campus will not be demolished for condos either.

Also, the threat of condo development at Southpoint Park has been used by many to justify supporting the Louis Kahn/FDR memorial. Advocates of the memorial, some opponents refer to it as the Louis Kahn death box, such as Councilmember Jessica Lappin have used the threat of Southpoint Park condo development to scare some Roosevelt Island residents into supporting this boondoggle. According to the AP story in the 11/25/07 Daily News, Lappin claimed:
If the FDR memorial doesn't happen, there's no other plan for those three acres. People could put up luxury condos. It's up for grabs, and that makes me nervous.
If no such condo threat exists, then the Kahn memorial can be judged on its own lack of merits without fear that it is the only alternative to huge condo towers at Southpoint Park. Any chance of that happening?

The big unanswered question is if RIOC President Shane's understanding regarding future real estate development on Roosevelt Island is correct for now and going forward in the future?

Monday, July 28, 2008

8 Million Stories In The Naked City Including Excessive Dog Barking and Threatening E-Mail on Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island is a very safe neighborhood with very little crime as compared to most other NYC neighborhoods. For example, during the past week the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department responded to an excessive dog barking complaint and a threatening e-mail message, aided sick or missing persons and assisted the NYPD with an arrest. Also, Roosevelt Island PSD arrested three people for shoplifting, resisting arrest and assault of a store employee as well as investigated a burglary, purse snatching and bottle thrown from building incident.

For comparison purposes, the Brooklyn Paper has the recent police blotter for neighborhoods such as Williamsburg, Cobble Hill, Fort Greene, and other Brooklyn neighborhoods.

Here is the daily Roosevelt Island Public Safety reports for July 20 -27.

7/20/08-7:00 AM to 7/21/08-7:00 AM
Found Property- Barbeque grill. Secured at the Mini Bus Garage.
Smoke Condition- Smoke from Fan. FDNY responded. No injuries and no damage to the Apt.
Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.

Excessive Dog Barking- Tenant not home. 311 notified and complaint filed.
Found Property- Wallet was secured in PSD. Later the owner retrieved it.
Faulty Alarm- In Building and FDNY responded. Riverwalk notified.
Criminal Mischief- Previous incident, glass was shattered, now completely broken. Grounds cleaned it up. Search for the subject yielded negative results.
Hazardous Condition- Fence knocked down due to excessive wind. Area cautioned off and cones where placed by PSD.
Unsecured Vehicle- rear window left open. PSD periodically checked the vehicle. It appears in order.

7/21/08-7:00 AM to 7/22/08-7:00 AM
Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.
Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.
Found Property- Bicycle on the east seawall on the rocks and was referred to Grounds.
Missing Person- PSD found youth on the Island. he was fine and returned to parent.
Missing Person-PSD and NYPD conducted a search with negative results.
Found Property- A wallet. It was secured at PSD.

7/22/08-7:00 AM to 7/23/08-7:00 AM
Investigation-Homeless male escorted to the Subway.
Damaged Property- A Fire Hydrant which appeared to have been knocked down by a vehicle. DEP notified.
Aided- An ill perso with heart pain was taken to the Hospital by EMS.

7/23/08-7:00 AM to 7/24/08-7:00 AM
Investigation- Threatening E mail. Reporter will notify NYPD on her own.
Graffiti- In Building. UA notified. Search for the subject yielded negative results.
Criminal Mischief- In stairwell exit arm of door removed. UA notified. Search for the subject yielded negative results.
Criminal Mischief- Damage to wall "N12" stairwell. UA notified. Search for the subject yielded negative results.
Arrest/ Warrant- PSD assisted NYPD with an arrest.
Arrest/ Warrant- PSD assisted NYPD with an arrest
Missing Property- NYPD and PSD reports filed.
Domestic Dispute- PSD and NYPD responded and prepared reports. No injuries. EMS refused.

0700 hrs 07/24/08 - 0700 hrs 07/25/08
Aided - EMS transported tenant with chest pains to hospital.
Investigation - Tenant complained of missing tiles underpass of Eastwood. Super stated tiles were removed.
Aided - EMS transported tenant with jaw and mouth pain to hospital.
Found property - Person turned in credit card to officer. Officer called bank and informed officer count was closed.
Found property - Person turned in bank card. Customer service stated that card was canceled.
Criminal Mischief - Officer reported person struck tree and knocked it down with vehicle. Super notified.
Aided - Tenant feeling sick and dizzy was transported to hospital by EMS.
Aided - Officer found male on ground. Aided appeared to be intoxicated and EMS was notified. Aided transported to hospital.

0700 hrs -07/25/08-0700 hrs - 07/26/08

Arrest - Three subject were taken by PSD for shoplifting, resisting and assaulting store worker.
Criminal Mischief - PSD officer observed damage to wall inside stairwell "d" on the 4 floor. Super notify. Search made with negative.
Aided - PSD officer responded to West view for male porter feeling dizzy and high blood pressure. EMS on scene. transported to hospital.
Found Property - Male tenant reports a gold telephone made by Motorola on sidewalk front of subway. Secured in PSD office.
Aided - Female tenant reports that she was depressed and on medication. EMS notify. transported to hospital.
Arrest - Male subject was summons for open container by PSD.

0700 hrs -07/26/08-0700 hrs - 07/27/08

ARREST- male for possession of illegal substance. Issue summons at 19th Precinct and released.
ROBBERY- Female reported a male snatched her purse front of 4 River Road, NYPD responded; incident under investigation
VEHICLE ACCIDENT- A van backed out into a park vehicle. both parties exchange information. NYPD refused.
VEHICLE ACCIDENT- Between MTA bus and truck. both driver and MTA passenger refused medical attention. NYPD notified
UNSECURED VEHICLE- Both front and passenger side window open. PSD was unable to notify vehicle owner left message with motorgate attendant. Vehicle was checked periodically.
AIDED- Transported to hospital for further evaluation. aided complains of not feeling well.
ABANDON ANIMAL- A grey stray cat. cat was picked up by Animal Care.
FOUND PROPERTY- A purse, a book and a baseball cap. Item secured by PSD.

7/27/08-7:00 AM to 7/28/08-7:00 AM
Hazardous Condition- Hallway Window open without locking mechanism. UA corrected condition.
Criminal Mischief- Wooden plank of picnic table broken. Grounds notified. Search for the subject with negative results. Other picnic tables in order.
Burglary- PSD and NYPD responded. Search for the subject yielded negative results. NYPD report done.
Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.
Graffiti- On bench rear of buildings. UA notified. Search for the subject yielded negative results.
Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.
Reckless Endangerment- A bottle was thrown from a building. No injuries. Search for the subject yielded negative results.
Criminal Mischief- Missing light bulbs. UA notified and corrected the condition. Search for the subject yielded negative results.
Domestic Dispute- Between Husband and wife. No injuries. EMS refused. NYPD responded.
Criminal Mischief- Broken Window- UA notified. Search for the subject yielded negative results.
Graffiti-In building. Search for the subject yielded negative results.
Aided- An ill person was taken to the Hospital by EMS.

Do you think any of these Roosevelt Island incidents will be dramatized by Law and Order?

You Tube Video of Law and Order "Doink Doink"