Saturday, August 20, 2011

Problems With Roosevelt Island Tram Cabin Stopping and Swinging This Afternoon Frightening Some Passengers - North Cabin Taken Out Of Service Later In Day

 Image of Roosevelt Island Tram Station and Cabins. North Cabin on Left Out of Service

There was a problem on the Roosevelt Island Tram North Cabin this afternoon. This report was made to the RI 311 See Click Fix System:
Tram stopped suddenly and started swinging wildly!

On Sat. 8/20- around 2:45pm- my sister, Janet Shea called me at home to tell me that while she was aboard the Manhattan bound tram- it stopped suddenly and started swinging wildly. She and the other passengers were very afraid. She spoke to the Cabin Attendent, who stated he could not bring the cabin backwards slowly to the Tram station on the Island.. He also stated to her that he was now afraid- as this was the second time today this type of incident had occurred. There were no high winds, lightning, etc.. I also called PSD as soon as I was told and they were not informed. I called RIOC- the main number and you cannot get anyone there.. This is happening way too much with a brand new 25 Million Tramway that took more than a year to complete.. This doesn't sound safe...
The Tram passengers made it to Manhattan safely. I walked by the Roosevelt Island Tram Station at about 3:30 PM and both cabins were in operation. An hour later, I received a phone call reporting that the North Cabin stopped just after leaving the Roosevelt Island Tram Station and was being brought back to the Roosevelt Island Tram Station. Another resident reported:
the tram has been having some issues today...I saw it stop twice and swing back and forth a couple hours ago, people were inside, but after each time stopping, it proceeded to the other I see the safety guys are out there taking it up for testing.
At 5:07 PM, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) issued the following advisory:
The NORTH Cabin will be temporarily out of service until further notice.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
UPDATE 8/21 - The North Cabin was back in service when I walked by at 11:30 AM this morning. No explanation yet from RIOC for the cause of yesterday's problem or notice that it was back in service.

Image of Roosevelt Island North Tram Cabin Back In Service This Morning

UPDATE 8/22 - The Television program White Collar is shooting scenes on the North Cabin today. Hope they do not experience similar problems with the Tram stopping and swinging.

Aggressive Skaters Practicing On Roosevelt Island Red Rail For Today's Billy O'Neil NYC Street Invitational In Williamsburg Brooklyn

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Rail Skaters

Yesterday afternoon, I met three visitors to Roosevelt Island from Amsterdam, France and Belgium who were practicing their Aggressive Skating on the Red Rail above the East River Promenade. They were preparing for this afternoon's Billy O'Neill NYC Street Invitational in Williamsburg Brooklyn.
The NYC Street Invitational is a Pro/Am invite-only event founded by Pro blader and long time resident of New York City, Billy O’Neill. The event will be a completely legitimate, real “street” contest taking place underneath a highway in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Permits and insurance are already secured for the location and all obstacles will be available within the space provided. Unlike other street contests there will be no issue with the police breaking up the event and there will be no traveling from spot-to-spot. This is going to be one of the first, fully legitimate, real “street” contests since IMYTA. Many of the world’s top Pro’s have already confirmed that they will be here to battle for the $10,000 that will be distributed among the top 3. Make your plans now, because this will be a rollerblading event to remember!
The action starts at 1 PM today.

NYC Street Invitational Promo from NYC Street Invitational on Vimeo.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Unforgettable TV Crew Filming On Roosevelt Island Because NYC Studios Booked Solid - Production Stays In NYC and RIOC Makes 88 Thousand Dollars

Ever wonder how much revenue the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) receives from a TV production crew shooting on Roosevelt Island? I asked RIOC Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez that question about the current filming of the CBS Television show Unforgettable on Roosevelt Island at 504 Main Street as well as if the production company has made any contribution to local Roosevelt Island organizations. Mr. Martinez replied:

The film company has a film permit for the months of July and August (but only 9-12 days of actual filming).  The permit fee is approximately $88,000.

I am not aware of any contributions that has been made by the production company and island organizations.
On Wednesday, I was walking past 504 Main Street and noticed two of the actors from Unforgettable hanging out on the street. I asked them if I could take a picture and they kindly agreed. On the left is Kevin Rankin and Dylan Walsh is on the right.

Image of Unforgettable Actors Kevin Rankin and Dylan Walsh

Mr. Walsh expressed interest in learning more about Roosevelt Island but as we were about to speak he was summoned back to work on the show.

There were problems experienced by some Roosevelt Island residents who live across the street from the film shoot. As reported in this July 30 post:
... On Thursday night, the crew set up enormous lights which were aimed into apartments at 510 Main Street and into apartments at the South wing of 531 Main Street. The lights were so intense that their beams penetrated tightly shut venetian blinds, bounced off the walls in apartments, and caused extreme discomfort to the residents all through the night. Calls to Public Safety were useless, as the people on phone duty had no idea this was going on, nor did they seem interested or able to help....
That problem has been mostly resolved with the placement of coverings over the film crew lights.

RIOC's Mr. Martinez explains the benefits of having TV and Film productions working on Roosevelt Island and other parts of New York City:
This past winter, Woodridge Productions and Sony Pictures Television filmed a pilot in 504 Main Street and its surrounding areas. At the time, the production company was not sure if the pilot would be picked up by the studio. As fortune would have it, the pilot was picked up for a season worth of episodes. The series is called "Unforgettable". The show stars Poppy Montgomery and Dylan Walsh and will air on CBS this Fall. The production company had a terrific experience filming portions of the pilot episode on Roosevelt Island and were eager to return to shoot the series this summer. The production company has scheduled 9 to 12 days of actual filming on Roosevelt Island. While I understand that the film shoot may be an inconvenience to some of the residents, Roosevelt Island is playing a large part in the economic success of NYC's film industry.

Currently, NYC is experiencing a boom in film production, fueled largely by a New York State tax incentive program. In fact, New York City is so busy with film productions that many shows are experiencing difficulty in booking into a qualified stage facility or sound studio. The "Unforgettable" experienced this difficulty first hand, and consequently, the pilot was in jeopardy of being pulled back to Los Angeles. By filming the series on Roosevelt Island, it enabled the show to stay here in NYC and thereby preserving its economic impact. Specifically, the production of the "Unforgettable", means that over the course of 12 episodes - 200 jobs will be saved and that $40 million dollars will be pumped into the New York City economy.

Finally, the production company is aware that its presence may be intrusive to some residents, and is willing to work cooperatively with residents to minimize any inconvenience. The attached flyer was previously circulated by the production company and offers a solution to those who raised a concern about the night time film shooting.

We, at RIOC, are looking forward to the series success and to future filming on Roosevelt Island.
Here is the Unforgettable Film Crew Flyer.
(Click on image to enlarge)

 Image of Unforgettable's Dylan Walsh and Poppy Montgomery on Roosevelt Island From You Tube

 Image of Unforgettable set inside Roosevelt Island's 504 Main Street from You Tube

More on Roosevelt Island movie making from previous posts.

Roosevelt Island Outdoor Movie Series Showing Tron Legacy This Saturday Night August 20 At Firefighter's Field - Return To Inside The Digital Domain

Outdoor Summer Movies are back this Saturday evening at Roosevelt Island's Firefighter's Field.

 View of Firefighter's Field Outdoor Movie From Above

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
... the 5th installment of our outdoor movie series is scheduled for Saturday, August 20 at 8PM at Firefighter’s Field. We will be screening the 2010 film “Tron: Legacy”. Come out and enjoy the remaining movies of the outdoor movie schedule and enjoy the last few weeks of great weather that summer has to offer.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group
IMDB summarizes Tron Legacy
The son of a virtual world designer goes looking for his father and ends up inside the digital world that his father designed. He meets his father's creation turned bad and a unique ally who was born inside the digital domain of The Grid.

You Tube Video of Tron Legacy Trailer

The trailer for the original Tron is here.

The next and last 2011 Roosevelt Island Outdoor Movie will be The Incredibles scheduled for September 3 with a rain date of September 4.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rally To Protest Possible Closing of Roosevelt Island Post Office Held Earlier Today - Swimming Or Kayaking To Another Post Office Not An Option Say Congresswoman Maloney and Assembly Member Kellner

Image of Roosevelt Island Post Office Conducting Business As Usual Today

As reported in previous posts, the Roosevelt Island Post Office is one of over three thousand nationwide Post Offices that are being considered for possible closing in the future. This afternoon, Roosevelt Island residents and elected officials including Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Jose Serrano, Assembly Member Micah Kellner, NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin and Postal Union officials staged a protest rally in front of the Roosevelt Island Post Office.

Image of today's Roosevelt Island Post Office Protest Rally

Here's what happened.

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Post Office Rally Part 1

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Post Office Rally Part 2

You Tube Video of Roosevelt Island Protest Rally Part 3

Congresswoman Maloney reported that over 2 thousand signatures have been obtained on petitions protesting the possible closing of the Roosevelt Island Post Office. If you wish to keep the Roosevelt Island Post Office open and have not signed the petition yet, please do so. Copies of the petition may be available in your building lobby. If not, Roosevelt Island resident Jonathan Kalkin placed the petition online and you can sign it here. From Mr. Kalkin:
Hey Everyone,

As you know the Roosevelt Island Post Office may be closing. I have been going out getting paper signatures with many of you, but I thought it would be good to make an online version of the same petition to distribute to everyone as well. Please sign the petition, email the link to your friends/buildings email lists,  post the petition link to FACEBOOK and TWITTER as well. We need to get a lot of signatures.

Here is the link to the petition, Sign and Pass on!
Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Leslie Torres announced during the protest rally that petitions will be made available at the RIOC offices (591 Main Street) as well.

As concerned Roosevelt Island residents said today - SAVE OUR POST OFFICE!!!!

UPDATE 6 PM - Mr. Kalkin and Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Matt Katz urge Roosevelt Islanders to sign the petition to save Roosevelt Island Post Office.

NYC City Council Member Jessica Lappin issued the following statement regarding today's rally:
Our message today is signed, sealed and delivered—save Roosevelt Island’s post office. The Postal Service needs to look beyond the distance on a map, at the unique needs of this community
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney's office sends the following statement too:
Today, U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, State Senator José M. Serrano, Assembly Member Micah Kellner, City Council Member Jessica Lappin, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation President Leslie Torres, Roosevelt Island Residents Association President Matthew Katz, Chuck Zlatkin of the American Postal Workers Union, and Roosevelt Island community leaders and residents rallied outside the Roosevelt Island Station to urge the United States Postal Service to keep open the only post office located on Roosevelt Island.  Maloney and her fellow elected officials and community members have collected more than 1,600 signatures from Roosevelt Islanders who want to keep their post office open for business, and plan on delivering the petitions to the Postal Service later this week.

At today’s event, Maloney also urged Islanders to reach out to the Postal Service directly, and issued the following list of actions people can take to save Roosevelt Island Station:


□       Sign a petition, or create one that your neighbors and friends can sign, urging the Postal Service to keep Roosevelt Island Station open. 

Petitions can be sent to:
Mr. Patrick Donahoe
U.S. Postmaster General
475 L’Enfant Plaza West, SW
Washington, DC 20260

□       Write a letter to Postmaster Donahoe (at the address above);
Call the Postal Service at 1-800-275-8777 (Open Monday to Saturday); or

□       Contact the USPS via the methods above and request a public hearing, so that USPS officials can hear your views in person.

In July, the Postal Service announced that it was studying the possibility of closing Roosevelt Island Station and 3,652 other post offices nationwide. The USPS placed Roosevelt Island Station on its list of potential closures because Roosevelt Island Station had less than $600,000 in revenue last year, and there are more than 15 alternate postal “access points” within a ten-mile radius. However, as Maloney and others argued today, Roosevelt Island is home to many seniors and persons with disabilities who could not walk to the next-nearest post office nearly a mile-and-a-half away in Queens, and the only other postal “access point” on the Island itself is a Duane Reade that sells stamps – hardly a substitute for a full post office. A final decision on which post offices will be closed is expected later this year.

Earlier this month, Maloney and her fellow elected officials wrote to U.S. Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe urging him to keep Roosevelt Island Station open, and requesting that USPS hold a public hearing on the potential closure so affected New Yorkers could express their views. A copy of that letter follows.

“As the name suggests, Roosevelt Island is an island. The post office has identified alternate post offices in a ten-mile radius – but other than a Duane Reade that sells stamps, all the other alternatives are located across the East River, a swift-moving body of water. While I love the people of Roosevelt Island, they can’t walk on water, so they won’t be able to walk to the next-closest branch,” said Maloney.

“Roosevelt Island Station serves residents of a community with many senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and Section 8 recipients. The island was specifically designed to be virtually car-free and, indeed, very few residents of this community own cars. Almost all postal customers using Roosevelt Island Station walk there – or use wheelchairs,” Maloney added. “So, today, we are asking to Postal Service to look at the needs of this neighborhood, the nature of the customer base here on Roosevelt Island, and the long distances people will have to travel by foot to reach the nearest alternate postal facility – and conclude, as we have, that this vital community post office must remain open for business. Save our post office!”

"Access to a post office is a right that most New Yorkers take for granted, and it is inconceivable that such a right might now be taken away from the people who live on Roosevelt Island. I am proud to join with Rep. Carolyn Maloney and many other elected officials, community leaders and residents today in urging the United States Postal Service to keep open the only such office serving this important community. Forcing residents to walk one and a half miles to the next nearest post office, in Queens, is no solution at all -- not for seniors, not for persons with disabilities, or anyone else who lives on Roosevelt Island,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

State Senator José M. Serrano said, “Closing the only post office on Roosevelt Island simply does not make sense. For the most vulnerable Island residents, traveling to Astoria or Manhattan to drop off mail is clearly not an option. I urge the United States Postal Service to ensure that the Roosevelt Island Post Office remain open for business, as its closure would deeply inconvenience all those living and working on the island.”

“Under this plan the US Postal Service literally expects Roosevelt Islanders to walk on water to get their mail,” said Assembly Member Kellner. “But Islanders shouldn’t need a miracle to keep this post office open.”

"Our message is signed, sealed and delivered -- keep Roosevelt Island Station open," said Council Member Jessica Lappin.

"Roosevelt Island is a small town community that relies on the services of the USPS every day," said Leslie Torres, President of the Roosevelt Island Corporation. "Closing the only station on the island will create an incredible hardship especially on the elderly and disabled residents that use the station for their everyday postal needs."

“The Roosevelt Island Post Office serves a special population in a planned community that includes a significant number of low-income residents, seniors and the disabled, who should not have to take public transportation to visit a post office. In addition, we host an international population of diplomats, United Nations and foreign mission workers with specialized postal needs requiring full post office services. We can’t walk to the next nearest station; we are an island surrounded by water. Swimming for stamps is not an option,” said Matthew Katz, President of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association.

Below is the letter written by Roosevelt Island elected officials to the Postmaster General.
Click Here For More


c/o Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney

1651 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10128

August 12, 2011

Mr. Patrick R. Donahoe

Postmaster General

US Postal Service

475 L’Enfant Plaza West, SW

Washington, DC 20260

Dear Mr. Donahoe:

We write to you as elected officials representing constituents using the Roosevelt Island Station Post Office located at 694 Main Street, New York, NY 10044. It is our understanding that the United States Postal Service (USPS) will begin a study for potential consolidation (closure) of Roosevelt Island Station. Closing this facility would severely burden residents living in the area who rely on it for their daily needs.

Roosevelt Island Station is the only postal facility located on Roosevelt Island, which is surrounded on all sides by the East River, a swift-moving body of water. The island is connected to Manhattan by subway and tram, and to Queens by a vehicular and pedestrian bridge. It serves residents of a community with many senior citizens, persons with disabilities and Section 8 recipients. Unlike most parts of the country, a significant number of residents of this community do not own cars, and almost all postal customers using Roosevelt Island Station walk there.

To reach an alternative post office, residents would have to take a subway or a tram to Manhattan, or walk a mile and a half into Queens. For Islanders, a trip to the post office would take at least a half an hour each way if they choose to go by subway or tram, or more than 45 minutes each way if they choose to walk. For the significant number of seniors and disabled people living on the island, a trip to the post office would become impracticable. In evaluating the efficacy of closing this facility, we hope that you will look at the unique conditions on Roosevelt Island. Simply measuring a distance on a map tells you very little about the ease or difficulty of reaching the destination.

We have heard the suggestion that many postal services can be accessed by computer. The population around Roosevelt Island Station includes large numbers of senior citizens and economically disadvantaged person who do not have computers and therefore do not use email or pay bills online.

We believe that the USPS would lose a significant amount of revenue if it were to close Roosevelt Island Station. Although Roosevelt Island itself is similar to small towns in the number of retail outlets, the island is part of a large urban area with many alternative providers. There is no guarantee that Roosevelt Island Station customers will simply transfer their business to another USPS outlet. Federal Express, United Parcel Service, DHL, and similar private mail or package delivery service do pick up. Further, customers wishing to purchase a postal order can easily get a money order through the local bank.

We hope that you will look at the realities of this neighborhood, the nature of Roosevelt Island Station’s customer base and the long distance people will have to travel to reach a different post office. For all of the foregoing reasons, we urge you to keep Roosevelt Island Station open. We would like to meet with you, or the District Manager/Postmaster of the New York District, William J. Schnaars, to discuss these concerns further. Additionally, we hope that you will hold a public hearing to allow our constituents to express their views to you.


Member of Congress

Borough President Manhattan

Jose Serrano
State Senator

Micah Kellner
Member of Assembly

Jessica Lappin
City Council Member

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Rally To Save Roosevelt Island Post Office From Possible Closing Thursday August 18 At Noon With Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Other Roosevelt Islanders

Image of Roosevelt Island Post Office

As reported in this previous post, the Roosevelt Island Post Office is one 3700 Post Offices being considered for closing by the US Postal Service.

Tomorrow at noon come join Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and other Roosevelt Islanders at the Post Office (694 Main Street) to urge that Roosevelt Island's only Post Office remain open.

You can also show your support for keeping the Roosevelt Island Post Office open by signing this online petition.

Roosevelt Islander Brenda Rosen Appointed Executive Director of Common Ground - Helping To Provide Affordable Housing And Social Services To Homeless and Low Income New Yorkers

Image of Brenda Rosen From Poverty Insights

Roosevelt Islander Brenda Rosen was recently appointed Executive Director of Common Ground, an organization that provides affordable housing for low income and homeless New Yorkers.  According to this July 6 announcement from Common Ground:
Common Ground, the internationally recognized homeless housing and services organization and largest developer of supportive housing in New York State, announced today that Brenda Rosen has been appointed Executive Director.

Having served as Acting Executive Director since January 2011, Rosen will now lead Common Ground’s future efforts to identify and develop new real estate opportunities, manage its growing portfolio of housing units for formerly homeless and low income residents, coordinate and provide a complex array of support services, and expand its pioneering Street to Home outreach program in close partnership with the NYC Department of Homeless Services....
Poverty Insights profiled Ms. Rosen yesterday and reported on her difficult first childhood introduction to Roosevelt Island:
... This difficult chapter of her life began unexpectedly when she was only ten years old. Rosen’s parents had just relocated her family from the Bronx area of New York City to a new apartment on Roosevelt Island, located adjacent to Manhattan in the East River.

Returning with her older brother from an afternoon of swimming at a neighborhood pool ten days after the move, they discovered their new apartment building consumed in flames. Their family’s residence and all of its contents were destroyed in the fire.

Rosen vividly recalls going in a wet swimsuit and flip-flops to the management office, located in another building in the apartment complex, to request permission to use the telephone in order to call her parents, who were both at work.

The first of many harsh realities precipitated by homelessness kicked in immediately; the management company refused to allow Rosen and her brother to use the office telephone, cruelly telling them that policy did not permit its use by tenants. In addition, when her parents returned and requested assistance from the management company, none was provided. They were all told to seek assistance from an organization like the Red Cross.

Like so many homeless people, Rosen’s family had no living relatives available to help. It was only due to intense advocacy by a group of neighbors, all still strangers, that the management company gave the family permission to seek shelter in a vacant apartment.

Given the unfortunate timing of the fire, Rosen’s parents lost most of their important papers and had not yet acquired new insurance. With no clothes, food, furniture or bedding, they moved into a vacant apartment in the complex and slept on the bare floor.

Neighbors and work colleagues brought clothes and furnishings to the family, some of it used, some paid for with cash raised in collections taken up in their behalf.  Rosen, who described her family as “working class,” said that although her parents “…got back on their feet,” it took her family “…a couple of years to get back to a normal situation.”

Life of Service

The experience of dealing with harsh and unresponsive authorities during this crisis impacted Rosen deeply. As she stated, “People shouldn’t be treated this way.”  By contrast, receiving kind and caring supportive services from neighbors, who were at that time strangers, taught her that “Strangers will go out of their way to help strangers.”...
Read the whole Poverty Insights article on Ms. Rosen here.

More on Common Ground from this You Tube Video

and NPR report.

Congratulations to Ms. Rosen on her new appointment at Common Ground and keep up the good work.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bike Riders Risk Serious Injury Slipping And Falling Over East River On Roosevelt Island Bridge Metal Grills - Will NYC Transportation Department Install Bike Lane Decks As Is Done In Chicago?

Image of Roosevelt Island Bridge Metal Grill Bike Path and Roadway

 Roosevelt Island resident Jonathan Clements shares this email message he sent to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) last Wednesday, August 10.
I'm a Roosevelt Island resident. I'm also an avid bicyclist -- and I have a suggestion. It's great that a lane is set aside for cyclists crossing the bridge into Queens. But it would be helpful if the bridge's metal grill were covered by some sort of mat. You may not be aware of this, but -- when it rains -- metal-grill bridges are like sheets of ice if you're a cyclist, especially if you're on a road bike with thin tires. I was reminded of this on Sunday: My son and I were crossing the bridge on our bicycles early on Sunday morning, after the rain had stopped, and as soon as we hit the metal grill, we both started sliding. We immediately got off our bikes and walked them across.

All this could have been far worse if we were going faster. But I knew enough to be careful -- thanks to an accident earlier this year. On March 6, while riding in New Jersey during the rain, I hit a similar metal-grill bridge. My bike slipped out from under me and I ended up with a broken shoulder blade, a dislocated finger and a hand that had to be surgically repaired.

My suggestion: If you can't cover the metal grill on the bike lanes with mats, you might post a sign for cyclists warning them to walk their bicycles across the bridge when it's wet.
 Image of Roosevelt Island Bridge Metal Grill Bike Path and Roadway

Mr. Clements has not yet received any response from RIOC. However, this is probably an issue for the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) which is currently completing (hopefully very soon) the long-delayed $86.5 million Roosevelt Island Bridge Restoration Project.

Image of Bike Rider On Roosevelt Island Bridge Metal Grill Bike Path

A similar problem existed for bike riders on Chicago bridges. According to Grid Chicago:
... many bicyclists in Chicago who want to travel over one of the 25 open metal grate bridges without a bike-friendly deck treatment have to decide: risk the slippery conditions on the bridge that cause your bike to feel wobbly and possibly fishtail, or ride on the sidewalk across the river.

Riders no longer have to make that choice today if they bicycle through the Kinzie Street protected bike lane as the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) installed a metal deck over the bike lane portion of the bridge.

Perhaps the DOT could spend a tiny portion of the $86.5 million on a bike lane deck for the Roosevelt Island Bridge metal grill so that bicyclists do not get seriously hurt while riding in the bike lane. Again, according to Grid Chicago:
When I asked for the cost, I only asked for the aggregate total. So $130,000 included "flexposts, green epoxy covering, bridge plates and bolts, modular curbs, traffic control and protection." I'll ask again to get the cost of just the bridge plates....
Also, while on the subject of Roosevelt Island Bridge safety - what about the pedestrian safety barriers for the Queens side of the Roosevelt Island Bridge that had been under discussion between our elected officials and DOT since last February?

Queens Side of Roosevelt Island Bridge without Safety Barrier

Have not heard anything about it since this June report.

UPDATE 4 PM: Mr. Clements shows us the results from an accident on a metal grill bridge:

Mr. Clements writes:
I took this picture of myself in the emergency room after my March 6 accident in NJ, when I was trying to figure out how much damage my fall on the NJ metal-grill bridge had done to my face. 
UPDATE 8/17 - Mr. Clements received this reply from the RIOC Dirctors yesterday:
Thank you for your attention to the quality of life on Roosevelt Island. We at RIOC appreciate your help in working to make this island even better.

The Roosevelt Island bridge work is being performed and overseen by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and is not under RIOC's jurisdiction. Please contact DOT's Director of Community Affairs, Fred Herschkowitz at 212- 839-6307  or by email for any issues or complaints that you may have pertaining to any hazards related to the Roosevelt Island Bridge.
UPDATE 8/18 - Mr. Clements contacted the DOT with his concerns about safety on the Roosevelt Island Bridge metal grill bike lanes. He received this response:
Thank you for your email regarding the improvement of bike mobility and safety on the Roosevelt Island Bridge. We have forwarded your message to the appropriate unit in DOT Bridges for review. We will provide you with their determination.

Best Wishes,

Fred Herschkowitz

Monday, August 15, 2011

Beautiful New York City Rainbow Seen From Roosevelt Island Over East River This Afternoon

Did you see the rainbow that appeared over the East River near Roosevelt Island after today's late afternoon rain shower?

It was beautiful.

Was someone singing Somewhere Over The Rainbow?

You Tube Video of Rainbow Over Roosevelt Island and East River

 Roosevelt Island resident Marta Remartinez saw the rainbow too and shares these photos.

 Image By Marta Remartinez

 Image By Marta Remartinez

 Image By Marta Remartinez

More images from Ms. Remartinez here.

Roosevelt island Public Safety Department Outdoor Booth Installed Near Subway Station

I noticed this Public Safety Booth installed near the Roosevelt Island subway station today. I asked the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) VP of Operations Fernando Martinez and Public Safety Department Chief Keith Guerra:
I noticed what appears to be a Public Safety booth placed at the subway entrance.

Any comment as to what this is for, it's purpose, is it temporary or permanent etc?
Will update when a response is received.

Height Regulations Now Being Enforced For Kids Free Roosevelt Island Tram Ride By RIOC - Over 44 Inches Means Your Child Must Be Paid For

Roosevelt Island 360 reports that the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)/ Public Safety Department:
... has stepped up enforcement of the rule that above 44 inches, children must have their fare paid to enter the Tram. I have not noticed the height tape on the subway or other mass transit conveyances such as the the City buses.

Some of the Tram guys have been gracious, apologetic, others somewhat stern. Granted some kids (really their parents) have gotten away with not paying far longer than they should and I will admit it adds up fast so the "go under" mentality is easy to fall prey to when to do anything you need to leave the island. Thank g-d for the school issued Metro cards once the Fall school term begins.
Apparently the MTA has been having problems with child fare beaters on the subway. According to this July 20, 2011 NY Daily News article:
Some of the subway's littlest riders are its biggest fare-beaters, a new study says.

Kids taller than 44 inches - the height limit for a free ride - made up 43% of fare-beaters observed by NYC Transit surveyors last year, an agency staff report says.

The "predominant mode of evasion is children over 44 inches ducking under turnstiles," the report says.

The surveyors noted that a subway surveillance camera even spotted a young boy enter without paying - and then open an emergency exit gate from the inside so his stroller-pushing mother could also ride free....
Will the MTA follow RIOC's lead and put the 44 inch sign on subway turnstile?