Friday, August 18, 2023

Discuss Upcoming Major Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Service Disruptions With New RIOC Resident Directors At This Saturday Farmers Market - No F Train Service From Manhattan This Weekend, No Roosevelt Island F Train Service At All Next Weekend And New Subway Shuttle Starts August 28

There will be no Roosevelt Island F train service from Manhattan this weekend and no Roosevelt Island F Train service in either direction next weekend

as the MTA begins preparation for the 63rd Street Tunnel Track Rehab project beginning August 28. 

According to the MTA, the 63rd Street Tunnel Direct Fixation Track  project will replace:

... track along the F line between 47-50 Sts-Rockefeller Center in Manhattan and 36 St in Queens. The project will improve reliability, mitigate leaks to prevent future corrosion and deterioration and extend the life of existing infrastructure.

Crews will remove existing direct fixation track and construct new concrete track and new direct fixation track, install new contact rail, protection boards, brackets and insulators, remove and replace cables, furnish and install new signal equipment, repair spalled concrete and cracks and seal active leaks.

The following service changes will be in effect through the first quarter of 2024:

Beginning Monday, August 28, F service will be rerouted via the E line in both directions between 47-50 Sts-Rockefeller Center and Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Av....

... Weekdays and weekends between 5 a.m. and 11:59 p.m., F shuttle trains will operate between Lexington Av/63 St and 21 St-Queensbridge, and free Q95 shuttle buses will operate between the 21 St-Queensbridge and Queens Plaza stations.

Overnights between midnight and 5 a.m., F shuttle train service is suspended and free Q94 shuttle buses will connect the Roosevelt Island, 21 St-Queensbridge, and Queens Plaza stations....

The Q94 (overnight bus shuttle from Roosevelt Island to Queens Plaza) is scheduled to run every ten minutes, not necessarily on the hour.

The Q95 (daytime bus shuttle between 21st Queensbridge and Queens Plaza) will run every 10 minutes off-peak, and as frequently as every 4-6 minutes during peak hours. 

A Roosevelt Island resident shares this message sent today to Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Shelton Haynes:
Please run both trams when the f train stops

This archaic schedule does not support the islanders and the tourists anymore. This made sense before the internet and every tourist began riding it. That was the 90s. It’s horrible to deal with this now, can’t imagine in September when school starts.

As of today, RIOC has been silent on any plans for increased Roosevelt Island Tram service during the 63rd Street Tunnel Rehab Project.   

You can discuss Roosevelt Island transportation problems or any other community issue in person with the newly appointed RIOC Board Directors tomorrow at the Farmers Market.

According to RIOC Board Director Ben Fhala:

I wanted to share an exciting initiative that RIOC Board Directors Lydia Tang and Fay Christian have been working on to enhance community engagement.

We have come up with a wonderful idea of setting up a table this Saturday at the outdoor Farmers/Flea Market to provide information and answer questions related to the upcoming MTA changes over the next few weeks. This event will also serve as a great opportunity for the community to connect with our board members and discuss various topics.

The event is scheduled to take place from 9 am to 1 pm this Saturday, and we have divided the time into two windows: 

9 am to 11 am - Dr. Micahal Melamed and myself will anchor. 

11 am to 1 pm - Lydia will be anchoring that time slot.

Here's a summary of the MTA's project presented to the June 7 CB 8 Transportation/Roosevelt Island committees

and a presentation by MTA representatives to the June 29 RIOC Board of Directors meeting describing the project to those in attendance.

During the next two weekends of Roosevelt Island F Train subway service disruptions,


RIOC will run the Red Bus shuttle to and from Manhattan. 

According to RIOC:

Dear Roosevelt Island Community:

The MTA will be doing track work that will affect F-Train service for several weekends in August before the start of their major Track Replacement Project on August 28th.

To help accommodate Roosevelt Island residents, RIOC's Transportation Department will be providing a Shuttle Bus to and from Manhattan during the following weekends:

  • August 19-20
  • August 26-27

The Roosevelt Island Shuttle Bus to Manhattan will start Saturdays at 3:00 PM. The shuttle will depart hourly from the Tramway, making all northbound local stops to Capobianco Field (Opposite PS/IS 217).

Return Red Bus service from Manhattan to Roosevelt Island will start at 3:30 PM. This bus will depart on the half hour from the Southwest side of 2nd Avenue, between 58th & 59th Street, and will make all southbound local bus stops (starting with 591 Main Street) to the Tram.

The last trip will depart from the Roosevelt Island Tramway at 7:00 PM. The last trip will depart Manhattan at 7:30 PM. Please note that regular Red Bus service may run on an adjusted scheduled to accommodate the additional Tram shuttle service.

Please keep an eye out for future communications regarding this upcoming MTA project. Thank you!

-Team RIOC

Also, there is no Roosevelt Island F train service from Manhattan 9:45 PM to 5::00 AM Monday August 21- Friday August 25.

SPONSORED POST - Upcoming NYC Annual Saturday Summer Streets Celebration August 19 & 26 - Miles Of Streets Are Open For People To Play, Walk And Bike

NYC Department of Transportation presents 2023 Summer Streets Program.

Summer Streets is an annual celebration of New York City's most valuable public space – our streets.

Summer Streets takes place on select Saturdays between 7 am and 1 pm. Miles of NYC’s streets are open in both directions for people to play, walk, and bike. Take a break along the route at one of our rest stops to enjoy free activities. Summer Streets provides space for healthy recreation and encourages New Yorkers to use more sustainable forms of transportation.

On all five Summer Streets days, Citi Bike will offer a limited number of complimentary day passes to non-members, presented by Citi. Go to purchase a Day Pass in the Citi Bike app and use the code CITISUMMER to receive unlimited complimentary unlocks on Citi Bike for 24 hours.

Check out locations for 2023 NYC Summer Streets.

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Roosevelt Island Main Street Smoke Shop Packed Up And Moved Out Last Night - Hudson Related Working On New Concept And Quality Tenant For The Space

A Roosevelt Island Tipster reported last night: 

The Stationery/Smoking/Paraphernalia  shop is at this moment packing up and leaving Roosevelt Island

Today, I asked Main Street Master Leaseholder Hudson Related's David Kramer:

It looks like the Smoke shop packed up and moved out last night.

Is that true?

Any comment on the removal of smoke shop and plans for the space? 

A Hudson Related representative answered:


The tenant and Hudson Related came to an agreement where they surrendered the space. We are working on a new concept and hope to share more information soon. We are glad to put this behind us and look forward to bringing a quality tenant and use to the island.

Hudson Related had initiated eviction proceedings against the tenant. A Hudson Related spokesperson reported last year:

We are using all our legal recourses to have the tenant either comply with the agreed use or give us back the space

The current use is not in accordance with the lease agreement and we don't condone their operation.

We are extremely frustrated with the operation and direction of the store. We work very hard to procure the right mix of retail to offer the island's residents. It is very upsetting when we have a rogue tenant.

The store located at 559 Main Street opened in 2022 

was supposed to be a stationery/gift shop, not a smoke shop.

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Hot Dog Cart Vendor Moved From Front Of Roosevelt Island Subway Station Entrance To New Location At Sidewalk Pathway Leading To Promenade Pier - What Is RIOC Policy On Food Carts and Trucks?

Last July, a hot dog food cart vendor began selling food and drinks in front of the Roosevelt Island F train subway station. Several local Roosevelt Island Riverwalk Commons businesses raised objections about placing the Hot Dog Cart so close to their stores and some residents thought the Cart was an eyesore and created crowded conditions by the subway entrance and Red Bus Stop. Others were happy to have another food option on Roosevelt Island.

Today, the vendor moved across the street from the subway entrance to the sidewalk pathway on Main Street leading to the waterfront promenade.

I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Shelton Haynes and Assistant Vice President of Communications Akeem Jamal:

The hot dog food cart vendor who recently started selling in front of the subway entrance has moved the Cart to the pathway leading to the waterfront promenade.

Why was the food cart vendor moved to the new area from in front of the subway?

What is RIOC’s policy on food cart permits?

Are there designated Roosevelt Island spots for food carts and a limit on the total number of food carts?

What is the cost of a food cart permit?

What is RIOC’s policy on food trucks?

Are there designated spots for food trucks?

What is the cost of a food truck permit?

Who within Rioc is responsible for issuing these permits? Is it Public Safety Department?

It would be helpful to the Roosevelt Island community to have an explanation from RIOC on the Roosevelt Island Food Cart/Truck policy.

No response yet from RIOC.

The Hot Dog Food Cart appeared to have alot less customers at the new location today than previously in front of the subway entrance.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

RIOC Says Prep Work Begins Tonight On Long Delayed Roosevelt Island Tram OMNY Installation As Terms Continue To Be Negotiated With MTA - But Will Residents Still Be Able To Skip Long Tram Lines Using Metro Card?

Roosevelt Island residents have been waiting for the installation of the MTA's OMNY payment system on the Roosevelt Island Tram since at least February 2020.

Today, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced:

Dear Roosevelt Island Community:

Prep work will begin tonight on the Manhattan side of the Tram in anticipation of bringing OMNY to Roosevelt Island. While RIOC and the MTA continue to negotiate the terms of an agreement, this work is a good sign that both parties are continuing to act in good faith in finalizing this project.

Thank you for your continued patience, we will be providing more updates on this exciting initiative soon!

-Team RIOC

But hold on. 

With major Roosevelt Island F Train service disruptions scheduled to begin August 28, is it still of benefit for Roosevelt Island residents to have OMNY installed at the Roosevelt Island Tram at this time?

As previously reported some residents see a good reason in not having OMNY on the Tram yet:

Not having a OMNY scanner is actually the best thing it can happen to RI residents as it allows us to cut the long line of people looking to purchase tickets and go straight to the tram.

Today I asked RIOC President Shelton Haynes and Assistant Vice President of Communications Akeem Jamal:

Once the OMNY is installed at the Roosevelt Island Tram stations, will Metro Card holders be able skip the long lines as they do now?

With the upcoming disruption of regular Roosevelt Island F Train service starting August 28 and scheduled through the first quarter of 2024, being able to avoid the long line of tourists by using the Metro Card would be a great service to Roosevelt Island residents and workers.

Any comment from RIOC to the Roosevelt Island community on continued use of the Metro Card to skip the long lines at the Roosevelt Island Tram once OMNY is installed on the Tram?

Is it worth having OMNY at the Roosevelt Island Tram if residents are not able to skip long Tram lines with the Metro Card?

Will update if RIOC responds.

Monday, August 14, 2023

Worker Injured Falling From 25th Floor Of Roosevelt Island Riverwalk Building 9 Construction Site This Evening - FDNY Says Worker Fell 1 Floor And Taken To Hospital

This evening at about 5:30 PM, the FDNY 

came to the aid of a worker injured at the Roosevelt Island Hudson Related Riverwalk building 9 construction site

at 430 Main Street.

I was told by the FDNY on scene that the worker was injured falling from the 25th Floor to one floor below and taken to a hospital.

According to the FDNY press office the worker was taken to NY Presbyterian Hospital and:

We have reported that patient fell 1 floor, we do not have any further information.
This is preliminary information and will be updated when more becomes available.

UPDATE 8/15 - Hudson Related's David Kramer reports:

DOB inspected this morning and determined the accident as a worker error. No violations were issued.

According to the NYC Department of Buildings:

Do not know the condition of the injured worker at this time.

Man Punched In Face And Bloodied Outside Of Roosevelt Island Starbucks On Sunday Afternoon, Second Incident In Area During Past Week - Continued Silence From RIOC, What Happened To Promised 100% Transparency?

A Roosevelt Island eyewitness Tipster reported yesterday, August 13, at approximately 5 PM:

An older gentleman sitting outside of Starbucks got punched pretty hard by a young man. The two continued to  argue with the younger man retreating to the subway. I didn't see the whole thing but Public Safety arrived right away and spoke to both. NYPD is here too.

He got punched really hard because there is blood all over his chin.

The August 13 RIOC PSD Blotter reported:

08/13/23 – 1645 – 455 Main St – Juvenile Related – PSD and EMS responded – Report filed.

The RIOC PSD Blotter says nothing about a man being punched in the face and bloodied.

Yesterday, I asked Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Public Safety Department Chief Kevin Brown and Assistant Vice President of Communications Akeem Jamal:

...  Does RIOC have any comment to the Roosevelt Island community on this incident and any more details of what happened?.

There has been no response from RIOC.

Today, I asked the NYPD:

Yesterday, August 13 at approximately 4:30 pm an older male was punched in the face by a younger male at the Starbucks outdoor patio on Roosevelt Island 455 Main Street. The younger man escaped into the subway. I'm told that NYPD 114 officers arrived, spoke to the victim and took a statement.

Do you have any info on this incident?

Also on Thursday August 10 at approximately 9 AM a teenager was robbed by a masked wearing suspect at 465 Main Street (which is nearby to the Starbucks) and ran into the subway as well. The 114 precinct responded and took statements.

Do you have any info on this incident? Are the incidents related?...
The NYPD spokesperson replied:
There are no complaint reports on file with information you’ve provided.

A Starbucks worker confirmed today that an older man was punched in the face by a younger man yesterday outside Starbucks and that the victim's face was bloodied and scratched. 

RIOC has still not commented on the August 10 morning robbery of teenager near the subway.

During the July 25 PSD Community Engagement meeting, Chief Brown said that PSD:

... will address issues when they come before us and we will do 100% to be transparent... 

Unfortunately, answering public safety questions from the local Roosevelt Island press in a timely, or at all, is apparently not part of RIOC's transparency definition.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

Take A Look At The Retired Concorde Supersonic Airplane Being Refurbished At The Brooklyn Navy Yard, Only A 27 Minute NYC Ferry Ride From Roosevelt Island

After getting off the NYC Ferry yesterday from Roosevelt Island, I was surprised  to see the retired British Airways Concorde supersonic airplane

at the Brooklyn Navy Yard dock.

The Concorde is getting a facelift at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. After being stripped down, sanded and repainted the Concorde will be returned to its home at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum on the Hudson River.

Take a ride on the NYC Ferry from Roosevelt Island to the Brooklyn Navy Yard and check out the Concorde. 

Learn more about the Concorde supersonic airplane.