Thursday, April 16, 2009

Green Roof Proposed For Roosevelt Island's Motorgate Garage By Columbia U Team - See What Else May Be Coming To Roosevelt Island In The Future!

Image by Columbia University Transportation Study Group

A Green Roof Garden for Roosevelt Island's ugly and sterile Motorgate Parking Garage together with a Pedestrian friendly ground floor retail corridor and more attractive Farmers Market Space are among the recommendations made by the Columbia University Urban Planning team that will be presenting their ideas tonight at 7:30 in the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street). I have seen an earlier version of their presentation that had many interesting ideas and it is well worth taking the time to attend tonight's meeting.

Image by Columbia University Transportation Study Group

The Main Street WIRE sends the following bulletin regarding the presentation:
Columbia University Grad Students Presenting Transportation Study to R.I. Community Thursday at 7:30.

Graduate students of Columbia University will brief Roosevelt Islanders on their study of the Island's transportation this Thursday night (April 16) at 7:30 in the Good Shepherd Community Center.

A limited number of residents who have had a preview call the students' work comprehensive and imaginative. It is strongly visualized and packed with facts about traffic, ridership, subway capabilities, destination data, and much more.

Led by Dr. Floyd Lapp, an adjunct professor of planning, the students considered a wide variety of transportation options and alternatives for the Island. A preview of their presentation indicates that the study has addressed issues like reconfiguration of Main Street traffic and the possibility of mixed use of the "channel" between Main Street buildings, pedestrian access to theQueensboro Bridge, a reworking of street-parking and Motorgate rates to free up Main Street parking, a long-term program of gradually discouraging use of cars, reduction of Main Street traffic signage, and measures to eliminate the bunching of red buses that leaves extended periods without service at rush hour.

The presentation will begin at 7:30 in the Good Shepherd Community Center, Thursday night at 7:30.
Image by Columbia University Transportation Study Group

One of the ideas that I hope the Columbia students addressed was the feasibility of having Car Free Days on Roosevelt Island as this Daily News article reported will be returning to Williamsburg and other NYC neighborhoods this summer.
...Civic and business associations in Williamsburg and Brooklyn Heights have applied for city permits to repeat last year's successful projects that limited car traffic to through streets along a several-block stretch of two shopping corridors....
And:
... Last year's car-free weekend permits also were in effect in Jackson Heights, Queens and along Park Ave. and Lafayette St. in Manhattan.
The Transportation Department did not reveal which other Brooklyn streets permits were requested for this year.
"We are in the process of reviewing applications from communities across the five boroughs seeking to hold car-free events this summer," a Transportation Department spokesman said....
As we all know, developing innovative ideas is a great intellectual exercise, the challenge is to find ways to have them implemented in the real world if appropriate.

UPDATE - 6/17 - The NY Times has more on green roofs and urban farming:
... City dwellers have long cultivated pots of tomatoes on top of their buildings. But farming in the sky is a fairly recent development in the green roof movement, in which owners have been encouraged to replace blacktop with plants, often just carpets of succulents, to cut down on storm runoff, insulate buildings and moderate urban heat.

A survey by Green Roofs for Healthy Cities, which represents companies that create green roofs, found the number of projects its members had worked on in the United States grew by more than 35 percent last year. In total, the green roofs installed last year cover 6 million to 10 million square feet, the group said....

14 comments :

Anonymous said...

A car free day is difficult when there are no other streets. No taxis, no bus service, no deliveries, no Access a Ride. It's fine for Park Avenue, you can always drive down Madison Avenue instead. That won't work here.

Anonymous said...

Car free here on the island? It's a pretty pedestrian society here considering the crappy Red Bus situation.

Try it in Manhattan, not the Island.

Unknown said...

Uhm.. One problem, if you cover the roof of the motorgate with a garden, your taking away alot of parking spots. Which isn't very ideal. I think roof gardens on the rest of the RI buildings that don't actually use their roofs would be fantastic.

The other uses for the lower floor of the motorgate for the farmers market and etc? Also fantastic. This island isn't quaint or charming, alot of it looks solitary, brick like and dreary. Some decent urban planning could hep it out.

Anonymous said...

I attended Columbia's presentation
tonight and was very impressed by
their innovative and inspiring approaches.

I think, Mr Shane heard Columbia
propose a dock in Southtown as part of an expanded traffic hub encompassing the subway station, the tram station, and the Queens busses; but were negative about a dock at Octagon.

Maybe RIOC can reallocate the
$5 million in the budget for the Octagon dock for more pressing needs in the interest of the common good.

Anonymous said...

Yeah heaven forbid that there be an alternate to the subway/tram up by the Octagon. We of the North of the Island are doomed to the usual lack of transportation.

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