Monday, February 22, 2010

Roosevelt Island Residents Association Resolution On Blackwell Park - Community Consensus Is Keep Green & Less Is More

Aerial View Image Of Blackwell Park From Judith's Gallery

What's going on with the Blackwell Park Master Plan? The last we heard was that any plan was on hold by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) until a consensus was reached by the Roosevelt Island community through the Blackwell Park Task Force operating under the auspices of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA).

Blackwell House and Park

Below is Roosevelt Island's community consensus on Blackwell Park Master Plan in the form of a RIRA resolution.

Let it be known that the following Action was taken at a Meeting of the Common Council of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association on February 3, 2010:

Adopted by the RIRA Common Council – February 3, 2010

Whereas the Roosevelt Island community was invited to participate in the conceptual planning for Blackwell Park, and

Whereas a small Task Force, including two RIRA delegates was convened last July for that purpose, and

Whereas that Task Force has expanded to include more Islanders who are stakeholders in the Park and/or experts in various aspects of park planning, and

Whereas that expanded Task Force has coalesced into the Blackwell Park sub-committee of the RIRA Planning Committee with Matthew Katz and Judy Berdy as co-chairs, and

Whereas the sub-committee has been asked to present its findings to Rosina Abramson and RIOC, therefore

We resolve that the following conclusions be factored into the conceptual and design planning for Blackwell Park:

• That changes to Blackwell Park be considered more as renewal and maintenance upgrading rather than rethinking a park that has served the needs of Islanders well for decades. Less is more.
• That the Blackwell Park project be considered in the context of Roosevelt Island park planning as a whole and that budgeting for this project be considered as just one component of the Island’s capital needs.
• That the two basketball courts remain in their current positions and will be accessible and barrier-free. The area between the courts will contain spectator seating.
• That the playgrounds for both older and younger children will be in such proximity to one another that parents can monitor children in both from a single vantage point. This flat area will include seating and stroller storage for those supervising children in the playgrounds.
• That a water fountain for children to play in must be included.
• That the entrance to these playgrounds will be within Blackwell Park rather than at the periphery for safety and within a controlled space.
• That the wholesale moving or removal of mature trees will not be considered but that other landscaping, such as trimming back hedges, will be accomplished.
• That the significant slope of the area will be utilized to provide green space for mixed use and to provide an appropriate sledding hill. Slopes will be wheelchair accessible.
• That, to accommodate surface tree roots, an appropriate surface will be found to replace concrete walking areas.
• That areas adjacent to the East Channel steam vents will be set aside for exercise equipment.
• That no overpass should be considered to the East Channel Promenade.
• That an ADA/Landmarks Commission compliant, barrier-free ramp for disabled access to Blackwell House, similar to “Plan A” (as presented to the sub-committee) but including additional area for plantings and endorsed by RIDA, will be included.
• That the “Kiley Bosk” area just north of Blackwell House will have room for future food service, including tables and chairs.
• That bathroom facilities will be a part of the final plan, either within the Park or adjacent to it at 504 Main Street, if a use for this building that would include public rest rooms can be arrived at prior to the drafting of construction plans.
• That components of the old Tram, to be replaced starting in March, will be use to create an industrial sculpture facility preferably at Motorgate, but in any event, will not be placed in Blackwell Park.

That the committee shall be included in all subsequent planning stages such as design and construction elements.
Here's some additional information on Roosevelt Island's Blackwell Park Master Plan situation.


Anonymous said...

I'm surprised no one is proposing creating a "Blackwell Memorial," tearing out everything green and filling the park with granite slabs. That seems to be the popular thing these days.


Great comment. Made me laugh out loud but I am afraid you may have given someone an idea they may actually try.

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