Friday, August 30, 2019

Roosevelt Island Citibike Update, RIOC Meets Last Week With Bike Sharing Company To Discuss Possibilities - Citibike Will Do Analysis To Determine Best Docking Station Locations, But For Whom?

An update on Citibike

coming to Roosevelt Island. As reported last July 17, Mayor Bill deBlasio announced a major expansion of Citibike into more NYC neighborhoods, including all of Manhattan, but there was no mention of Roosevelt Island docking stations. On July 19, I asked NYC Department of Transportation (DOT):
The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) told me that Citi Bike is requiring RIOC to pay for any Roosevelt Island Citi Bike Docking stations. Is that accurate?

If it is true, why is Citi Bike not paying for Roosevelt Island docking stations as it does for all other neighborhoods? How much money is RIOC being asked to pay for installation of docks?

Are there any other neighborhoods that are required to pay for the docks? if yes, which ones?

When do you anticipate Citi Bike coming to Roosevelt Island?
The DOT replied:
To clarify, Roosevelt Island is included in the expansion and due to the deal with Lyft to expand Citi Bike, Roosevelt Island Operating Corp is not obligated to pay for docking stations.
and RIOC President Susan Rosenthal added:
I’m very happy to hear about this change in the Citi Bike program. My staff and I look forward to discussing the idea of bringing Citi Bike to Roosevelt Island with NYC DOT in the near future.
Last Thursday, August 22, RIOC staff together with representatives from NYC Council Member Ben Kallos' staff, met with Citibike to discuss bringing the bike sharing system to Roosevelt Island. During a conversation I had with Ms Rosenthal, she said of the Citibike meeting:
We met with Citi Bike today. They’re doing an analysis and will come back to us in a month or so with possibilities we can present to the public.
I asked RIOC and Council Member Kallos:
... what factors are going into the analysis.

For instance, if emphasis is to place the docks where residents are more likely to use them will lead to a different outcome than placing them where tourists are more likely to use them.

If placed for tourist use, what will that do to crowding on Main Street and waterfront promenades?

Also, if placed for tourists, how will that impact Tram overcrowding.

There's alot of issues involved in where the Citibike docks are located.
Council Member Kallos replied:
I've been working with the Roosevelt Island Residents Association since 2012, before I was elected to bring CitiBike to Roosevelt Island and this is a promise that along with all others, I intend to keep.

We called attention to the fact that initial and additional rollout in Community Board 8 Manhattan somehow omitted a huge portion on Roosevelt Island. We've met with CitiBike, DOT, and RIOC multiple times over the years.

After initial requests for more than a million in subsidies we have found a way to move forward without cost to tax payers. Under the leadership of RIOC President Susan Rosenthal we continue to move forward on bringing on CitiBike to Roosevelt Island.
Here are closest current Citibike docking stations to Roosevelt Island in Long Island City and Astoria.

More info on the long journey to bring Citibike to Roosevelt Island at this prior post.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Roosevelt Island Transportation This Weekend - No Roosevelt Island F Train Service To Manhattan For Labor Day Weekend, Watch Video Of MTA Rep Talking Roosevelt Island Subway Service

There is no Roosevelt Island F Train service to Manhattan this weekend.

According to the MTA:
... TRACK MAINTENANCE Aug 30 - Sep 3, Fri 9:45 PM to Tue 5 AM (includes Labor Day ) Coney Island-bound F trains run via the E from Roosevelt Av, Queens to 5 Av/53 St, Manhattan

Trains resume regular service at 47-50 Sts.

No Coney Island-bound service at 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St and 57 St.

Travel Alternatives:
For service to these stations, take the F to 47-50 Sts and transfer to a Jamaica-bound F.

For service from 21 St-Queensbridge and Roosevelt Island, take the F to Roosevelt Av and transfer to a Coney Island-bound F....
 Both Roosevelt Island Tram cabins are operating and here's the NYC Ferry 2019 Ferry Summer Schedule. 

During June 13 Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting organized by Council Member Ben Kallos, MTA representative Markus Book spoke about Roosevelt Island F Train subway service. Watch the full MTA Roosevelt Island presentation below. 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Sponsored Post - Atlantic Hurricane Season Is Here, NYC Emergency Management Department Wants You To Know Your Hurricane Zone, Be Ready And Be Prepared - Roosevelt Island Is Zone 2 & 3

The Atlantic hurricane season began June 1.

The New York City Emergency Management Department (NYCEM) wants you to be prepared and Know Your Zone.

According to NYCEM:
There are six hurricane evacuation zones, ranked by the risk of storm surge impact, with zone 1 being the most likely to flood. In the event of a hurricane or tropical storm, residents in these zones may be ordered to evacuate.
Roosevelt Island is located in two zones - Zone 2

and Zone 3.

All but one of the Roosevelt Island residential building and the Cornell Tech campus are located in Zone 3. The NYCEM KnowYour Hurricane Zone Map below shows Zone 2 in cream color and Zone 3 in yellow.

The Octagon Building, Coler Hospital, Lighthouse Park and FDR Park are located in Zone 2.

Check out the NYCEM web page for more info:

on Hurricane Zones and preparedness.

Here's some scenes of what Roosevelt Island looked like during Hurricane Sandy in October 2012

and report on damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.

You're Invited To NYPD 114 Precinct Build The Block Neighborhood Policing & Safety Meeting Friday August 30 Held For First Time On Roosevelt Island At Cornell Tech Campus - But Labor Day Weekend May Limit Attendance, Can Meeting Be Postponed To Later Date So More People Attend?

The NYPD 114th Pct announced yesterday that it will host it's Sector D Build The Block Neighborhood Policing & Safety Meeting tomorrow, Friday August 30 for the first time on Roosevelt Island at the Cornell Tech Campus.

Unfortunately, tomorrow is the Friday of Labor Day weekend which makes it unlikely many in the Roosevelt Island community and surrounding neighborhoods who might be interested in the Build The Block neighborhood meeting will be able to attend.

Yesterday, I asked the NYPD 114 precinct if possible to postpone the Roosevelt Island Build The Block to a later date when more are likely to attend but was told:
Wish I could but the Department gave us this date.
According to the NYPD:
Neighborhood Policing is changing the way the NYPD keeps your neighborhood safe. Neighborhood Coordination Officers (NCOs) are assigned to and remain in a sector, or neighborhood, for the duration of their tour. Additionally, NCOs are given the time and flexibility to make strong bonds with the community they serve.

This is a new way of doing business for the NYPD, and we need your help to make it work. We want to hear from you about what it will take to keep your neighborhood safe. Search for upcoming meetings in your neighborhood, or sector, below, and come to a Build the Block meeting to talk about neighborhood safety and to make sure your concerns are heard and your questions are answered. Join us in sharing responsibility for the neighborhood that you live in.
114 Precinct, Sector D

August 30, 2019, 6:00 PM
Cornell University Tech
2 West Loop Road
New York, NY 10044

All meeting times, dates, and locations are subject to change. Please call your local precinct and speak to a Neighborhood Coordination Officer to verify correct meeting information.

Neighborhood Coordination Officers

Rank/Name Email
PO Joseph Esposito
PO Keith Matthes
During the September 20, 2018 Roosevelt Island Emergency Preparedness Town Hall Meeting, Officer Keith Matthes described working with the Roosevelt Island Public Safety Department

and NYPD 114 Precinct Commander Deputy Inspector Osvaldo Nunes spoke to the Roosevelt Island community following the waterfront promenade gunshot incident last summer. Here's what he had to say.

In addition to Roosevelt Island, the NYPD 114 precinct covers Astoria, Long Island City,

Woodside and Jackson Heights.

Final Roosevelt Island Outdoor Summer Movie Of The Season - Clueless Showing At Southpoint Park Friday August 30, Enjoy The Movie And Fantastic East River Waterfront View

The Roosevelt Island Southpoint Park

2019 Outdoor Summer Movie Series

concludes this weekend with the showing of Clueless on Friday August 30.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
'Clueless' will be shown @ Southpoint Park. Music, trivia, food & fun start at 7 PM. Movie begins at sunset, weather permitting. Admission is free.
Clueless was originally scheduled for last Friday but was postponed due to the weather.

For the last time this summer, enjoy the movie, East River waterfront view and have fun.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Aging Roosevelt Island Sportpark Community Pool In Need Of Repair Says RIOC - Swimmers Say Water Temperature Too Cold For Some, Too Hot For Others, Can RIOC Find A Pool Water Temperature Compromise?

The Roosevelt Island Sportspark community pool is used by swimmers of all ages (infants to elderly),

abilities (beginners to masters) and purposes (competition training, laps, health, exercise and more).

As far back as 2014, some Sportspark users have sought a compromise on the appropriate water temperature for the multi-purpose Sportspark pool. The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) responded in 2014 to Sportspark swimmers concern about the pool water temperature:
.... we have adjusted the Sportspark Pool temperature to remain at 83 degrees Farenheit. While the ideal temperature for swimming pools varies based on programming, this temperature is suitable for a wide range of activities and users (according to USA Swimming's guidelines for various aquatic activities). This temperature adjustment has been in effect for some time already and is frequently monitored for consistency.

Although no stable temperature will suit every user's needs perfectly, we will continue in our efforts to accommodate the widest range of swimmers and activities possible. As always, we appreciate the community's feedback regarding the pool and entire Sportspark facility....
In October 2018, RIOC President Susan Rosenthal noted:

In recent weeks, we’ve received a few complaints that the pool water at Sportspark is too cold, although our goal is to keep the temperature in the vicinity of 84 degrees which sometimes fluctuates + or – 2 degrees. From our regular maintenance checks, we’ve determined that Sportspark’s recently-installed boiler is working fine, so we are continuously monitoring the temperatures and sensors and will work with the contractor (who installed the boiler) to determine how we can prevent future temperature fluctuations. We will provide an update once we’ve resolved the situation....

This summer, Sportspark swimmers have noticed colder pool water temperatures. In July, Sportspark swimmer Roberta Kleinman wrote to RIOC President Susan Rosenthal:
First, I would like to thank you and your staff for all that you do to keep Sportspark running. I would certainly imagine that keeping this aging facility running as smoothly as you do is no easy task! Thank you! I would also like to take this opportunity to commend the morning staff. The pool is opened consistently at 7am to a waiting crowd! The lifeguards greet us with a smile, and see to it that each of us has a safe and enjoyable swim. The recent introduction of slow, medium, and fast lanes has been a great addition.

Over the past 5 years, RIOC has repeatedly stated its commitment to keeping Sportspark at an average temperature of 84 degrees because it is a multi-purpose community pool. We all seem to agree that an average 84 degrees is a reasonable compromise for our multipurpose community pool. Consistent temperatures on either end of this range are uncomfortable if not dangerous for various groups of people. Children, babies, families, older swimmers and slower swimmers look for warmer temperatures, and faster swimmers seek cooler temperatures. A recent study by Cornell Tech students sites complaints about cold water temperatures.

I remain hopeful that temperatures will soon normalize, averaging 84 degrees!
A RIOC spokesperson replied:
As all of you know, the Sportspark facility is aging and in great need of repair. We do our best to maintain the pool water temperature between 80 - 84 degrees, but given the poor condition of the controls in the pool area, it is not possible for us to guarantee a consistent temperature of 84 degrees. We hope our planned improvements to the HVAC elements of Sportspark, particularly in the pool area, will allow us to provide more precise temperature control of the air and water.

We are monitoring the temperature in the pool area on a daily basis and will do our best to make sure the temperature is at the ideal level to accommodate all of the activities of all of our customers.

Our goal is to be done with all of the work sometime around mid-2020, depending on how much progress we make in our other improvements at the facility. In the meantime, we will do everything we can to try to keep the water temperature as comfortable as possible for all of our customers.

As you can see by the log our employees have kept from 7/23 – 7/28, the water temperature has been consistent.

Ms Kleinman follows up:
I’ve been swimming regularly at Sportspark for the past 10 years. Over this time period, there have been numerous rumors and agreements regarding the target pool temperature. For example, I’ve been told that the agreement between RIOC and the Marlins is 82.5 to 83.5 degrees. Also, I've repeatedly heard that RIOC’s directive is 83 degrees as the target temperature. These rumors have been floating around at the same time that RIOC has committed, in writing, to the goal temperature of 84 degrees. This difference in goal temperatures actually makes a huge difference.

Regardless of the potential validity of these rumors, over the course of the last 10 years the average temperature, in my experienced estimation, has been around 82/83. So perhaps actions speak louder than words.

I am deeply frustrated and disappointed that RIOC has failed to seek an average temperature for the entire community. The consistent range of 82/83 only serves those who seek colder water, and leaves out huge portions of the community who seek warmer water. Perhaps, in an effort to be reasonable, my error has been advocating for a compromise temperature of 84 degrees rather than seeking the even warmer water that I, and a large segment of the population (children, babies, seniors, families, slower swimmers, cold blooded individuals) actually prefer.

I still remain hopeful that RIOC will consider the needs of the entire community and seek a goal temperature of 84 degrees.
The US Water Fitness Association recommends these water temperatures for specific pool use.

Special Note:Because of varying water temperatures, and for the safety of participants, classes should vary depending on the water temperature. High aerobic activity in high temperature water can be dangerous.

It's important to remember that you can never keep everybody happy regarding water temperature. If a pool is used for just one of the above-mentioned programs, you do not have a problem. However, if your pool is used for a variety of aquatic programs, you have what we call a "multi-purpose pool." The water temperature at the average multi-purpose pool in the USA is 84 to 86 degrees.
More info here on the Roosevelt Island Sportspark Pool, including schedule, rates, classes and more.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Don't Be Alarmed By Roosevelt Island Police Activity And Weapons At Motorgate Helix Tuesday, August 27 - It's A Film Shoot, Pedestrian And Vehicle Traffic May Be Rerouted Says RIOC

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

On Tuesday August 27th, 2019 a production will be filming several scenes on Roosevelt Island between the hours of 3:30PM and 9:30PM.  Filming will take place at the northern end of the Island, with a scene taking place under the helix during the day.

Please be advised that the scene will involve actors in police uniform using prop weaponry. PSD personnel will be on hand throughout the shooting to ensure the safety of our residents and stakeholders. Pedestrian and vehicular traffic may be rerouted during filming. Please follow all signage and directions of flag personnel and PSD officers.

RIOC Call For Artists To Paint Outdoor Murals At 14th Annual Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival September 28 - Deadline To Apply September 6

The 14th annual Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival takes place Saturday, September 28.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) is seeking artists to participate in the Festival. According to RIOC:

On Saturday, September 28, 2019, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) will present the annual Fall for Arts Festival on Roosevelt Island.

This community event has a tradition of celebrating creativity and the changing seasons. It combines performance and traditional arts through the creation of free-standing murals during the Festival. This year, our theme is “EarthLove: Protect, Renew, Grow”.

Hands-on arts and crafts workshops, amusements, and live music will also be featured throughout the say. Participation in this event is free; basic paints, brushes, and a primed surface are provided! All participating artists will also receive a free festival t-shirt. Once complete, murals will remain displayed on the lawn for several weeks.

RIOC is looking for artists or groups who are seeking to create works that encourage the importance of respecting the environment. Each artist/group will paint one of several 6’ high by 8’ long or 6’ high by 16’ long murals outdoors during the festival from 10 AM – 4 PM* at one of three locations on Roosevelt Island:
  • Southpoint Park
  • FDR Four Freedoms State Park
  • The lawn south of Rivercross (501 Main St.).
Artists are free to arrange an earlier time to begin their work, if needed

How to Apply: Please submit a sketch of your design, or any inquiries, along with a title and short description of the concept and technical method. Sketches should be sized according to a 6’ high x 8’ long or 6’ high x 16’ long ratio and submitted in jpeg, PDF or hard copy format. Please submit your sketches no later than Friday, September 6th to

After the Festival: Selected artworks will be displayed at Roosevelt Island’s Motorgate Atrium Gallery starting in April 2020. All artwork will remain the RIOC property and may be displayed on Roosevelt Island to beautify the community in the future.
Here are some of the outdoor murals

from 2017 Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival.

If you're interested in painting a mural at Roosevelt Island Fall For Arts Festival, contact RIOC's Jessica Murray.

RIOC Board Of Directors Audit Committee Meeting Wednesday August 28 - Agenda Includes Presentation Of Proposed Budget For Fiscal Year 2020-21

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors Audit Committee is meeting Wednesday, August 29. According to RIOC:


PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Audit Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at 4:30 P.M. at the RIOC Administrative Office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.
  1. Presentation of the Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2020-21.
  2. Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee
The Open Meetings Law of the State of New York requires that all public bodies conduct meetings, convened for the purpose of officially conducting public business, in a manner open to attendance by the general public to observe and listen.
RIOC's proposed budget for next year will show expected revenue, expenses and spending priorities for the Capital Budget.

An audio webcast of the Audit Committee meeting should be available soon thereafter.

RIOC's approved budget for current year (2019-2020) is here. 

We'll see if any of the newly appointed RIOC Directors have joined the Audit Committee.

Monday, August 26, 2019

No Roosevelt Island F Train Service At All Overnight Monday Thru Friday August 26 To 30 - MTA Says Take The Free Overnight Bus Shuttle Between Roosevelt Island And Queens Plaza During Late Night Hours

There is no Roosevelt Island F Train service to and from Manhattan overnight this Monday August 26 thru Friday August 30.

The MTA will provide free overnight shuttle buses between Roosevelt Island and Queens Plaza.

According to the MTA:

Aug 26 - 30, Mon to Fri, from 9:45 PM to 5 AM
F Trains run via the E in both directions between Roosevelt Av, Queens and 5 Av/53 St, Manhattan

No service at 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St and 57 St.

Free shuttle buses provide alternate service and run between Roosevelt Island and Queens Plaza, stopping at 21 St-Queensbridge.

Travel Alternatives:

For 21 St-Queensbridge and Roosevelt Island, take a bus.
Earlier today, I spotted these MTA No Drop Off signs at the Q102 bus stops and asked the MTA via Twitter:

MTA replied:
The Roosevelt Island Tram operates until 2 AM.

Good luck getting to or leaving Roosevelt Island during these hours.