Friday, February 23, 2024

Roosevelt Island Tram Passengers Were In No Mood For Pop Up Music & Dance Last January, DJ Told To "Turn It Off"

Roosevelt Island Tram riders were not in much of a mood for music and dancing on this trip last January telling the DJ to "turn it off".

The increased crowds on the Tram in recent years may have have changed the enjoyment level of pop up musical and dance performances for Roosevelt Island Tram riders. 

In 2015, the bluegrass band Hot Rize played A Cowboy's Life,

the Brooklyn hipster rock duo Matt & Kim played Hey Now

and some popping dance moves

were performed on nearly empty Roosevelt Island Tram cabins.

No Roosevelt Island F Train Subway Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend Says MTA - Tram Cabin Repair Completed But Must Undergo NY State Labor Dep't Inspection Tomorrow Morning Before Returning To Service Says RIOC

According to the MTA, there is no Roosevelt Island F Train service to and from Roosevelt Island this weekend.

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):

Dear Roosevelt Island Community:

We received word from Tram operator Leitner-POMA that they have completed their repair work on the North Tram Cabin as of this afternoon. However, the cabin must now undergo inspection by the New York State Department of Labor, scheduled for tomorrow morning, before returning to service.

We hope to have the North Tram back in service as quickly as possible tomorrow and will alert the community when full service is restored. We apologize for any inconvenience you may incur during your weekend travels.

-Team RIOC

Hopefully, both North and South Tram cabins will be in service this weekend.

You're Invited To RIVAA Gallery Vernissage XXIII Exhibition Opening Reception Celebrating 23rd Anniversary Of Art For Everyone On Roosevelt Island Saturday February 24 - Beatles Jam Session Sunday February 25 Too

The Roosevelt Island RIVAA Gallery

is celebrating it's 23 anniversary with an opening reception on Saturday February 24 for their Vernissage XXIII exhibition - and you're invited to the celebration.

According to RIVAA Gallery:


It’s 2024, and RIVAA is celebrating its 23rd year as a Roosevelt Island nonprofit arts organization. We are looking forward to another year filled with exciting exhibitions and programs. We make these programs for you, the Roosevelt Island Community, our friends and neighbors.

Please come and celebrate with us at RIVAA Gallery. The exhibition opens on February 16, and the opening reception is on Saturday, February 24 from 6-9 PM. It’s free, and remember: ART IS FOR EVERYONE!


More info on RIVAA Gallery at their website and Instagram page.

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Roosevelt Island Tram Platform Jam Packed With Riders Waiting For The One Operating Cabin - Residents Getting Frustrated And Angry With Shoving And Pushing By Some At Times, PSD Officers Doing Their Best To Keep Tram Safe And Orderly Says RIOC

The Roosevelt Island Tram has been operating with only one cabin since last Tuesday.

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced on February 16:

Dear Roosevelt Island Community:

We have been informed by Tram operator Leitner-POMA that the North Tram cabin needs to be taken out of service for a scheduled four-day period to perform emergency repair work on a hydraulic tension cylinder at the Manhattan Tram Station. We have scheduled the repair work to take place from Tuesday, February 20th through Friday, February 23rd so as not to interfere with weekend Tram service while the F-train is offline.

Please be advised that the South Tram cabin will remain in service during this four-day work period (2/20-2/23). Travelers should consider utilizing other modes of transportation, including the F-train, Ferry, and Q102 bus for off-island travel while the work takes place.

We apologize for the inconvenience and will work to ensure full service is restored as quickly as possible.

Yesterday I asked RIOC Communications Director Bryant Daniels:

I received reports about overcrowding, pushing and shoving at the Manhattan Tram Station yesterday with only one cabin in operation. Do you anticipate both cabins operating this weekend when there will be no subway service at all?

Any comment from RIOC about the status of Tram repair and these comments below from residents about problems with overcrowding yesterday at the Tram?

  1. "My husband told me that a fight almost broke out, so crowded, lots of tourists and pushing and someone almost fell. He couldn’t see much of what happened, a lot of people inside. This was around 6 pm"
  2. “I am a senior and my husband walks with a walker. First, after waiting about 5 minutes for a Tram we couldn’t get on it. We were then about the third row of people from the front of the platform. We waited 15 minutes for the next Tram. When it arrived people stampeded for it, pushing me and knocking over my husband. I grabbed for him and saved him from hitting the floor. I screamed 2 or 3 times STOP, put my arms out to shield him from more pushes and I pushed back the stampeding people near us. This is a very unsafe situation. We need Public Safety staff at the front of this crowd. Instead, a Public Safety man was in the booth eating an ice cream cone. Warn your neighbors of this unsafe situation which happened to us at about 5:50pm tonight”
  3. It was around 4:30. Manhattan side of the Tram. Platform was full of both residents and tourists. As the Tram approached the station, someone violently pushed several rows of people (of all ages, both residents and tourists) to get closer to the Tram. A young man stopped him and called him out for it, and the offender started saying something about "these tourists" but he was called out for his rudeness. As folks started to board the Tram, he actually walked *away* from the Tram as I countered his complaints, and another person called him out saying "I'm also an Island resident and you just pushed me." At the end, it looked like he did not even board the Tram! Not sure if it was because he was embarrassed and/or he did not want to be confronted by the several islanders he had just offended and who started calling him out. I understand we're all frustrated with the situation of not enough train service and now reduced Tram service. We are all upset and frustrated and annoyed, but this is absolutely not the right way to go about it. Shoving, pushing, stampeding, knocking people over, etc. are unacceptable."
  4. Yesterday about 7:20 PM, PSD was having people line up at tramway plaza in manhattan, we waited in line and then they switched tactics and decided to let everybody up the stairs then stood outside the turnstyle and started shouting at us to move in more, even though the platform was packed. Luckily nobody listened to them and nobody was pushing. I believe PSD could be better used doing actual crowd management instead of whatever they are doing now.
  5. There was a long line around 7:30pm today and the tram was packed, but that’s to be expected I guess.

Mr Daniels replied yesterday:

We were also made aware of some of these reports via our online Tikkit system and Deputy Chief Amoroso will be on site personally this evening to monitor rush hour service at the Manhattan station. We understand how frustrating the changes to the F-Train service have been for island residents, and this week’s repair work on the north tram cabin has only compounded those frustrations. It’s important for us to continue to encourage tram travelers to be courteous to their fellow riders and to the PSD officers on site who are doing their best to keep things safe and orderly. Should any issues arise while waiting in line for the next tram, please speak with one of those officers or one of the POMA station attendants so it can be addressed immediately.

Regarding the repair work, POMA has informed us that they remain on schedule, so we still expect service to be fully restored by the weekend.

Last evening at about 7 PM, as I was exiting the Tram Cabin at the Manhattan station I noticed an elderly couple being assisted to a bench seat by Public Safety Department Deputy Chief Amoroso on the next departing Tram. Deputy Chief Amoroso led the couple to a seat 

before allowing the Tram sliding door on the middle platform to open for the large crowd about to rush inside the cabin.

Between 7 PM and 8 PM, the Tram platform was very crowded with riders waiting patiently between the turnstyle entrance and the end of the platform. There was no line in front of the turnstyle or down the stairs. It appeared that most of the waiting Tram riders were residents at the time.

There were 4 Public Safety Officers, including Deputy Chief Amoroso, 

doing a good job managing the crowd of riders keeping the platform area safe and orderly.

Deputy Chief Amoroso said that if you are a senior or disabled person needing assistance to board the Tram, tell the PSD officer and they will make sure you get on safely.

About 100 people were able to enter the cabin before the door closed leaving about 10-12 riders waiting another 15 minutes for the next cabin to arrive. They were first on line to enter the newly arrived cabin. This cycle repeated itself for the hour I was there. 

The Tram platform was jam packed this afternoon between 4:30 PM and 6 PM 
with a line by the staircase entrance too. 

The vast majority were tourists. I spoke to a group of very nice French student tourists in a group of 12. They told me they were very excited to see the "sightseeing views" from the Tram that they learned about on "the internet". The few residents at the time were not very happy describing the situation as "Insane!"

As I got off the Tram this afternoon on the Roosevelt Island side, I saw many of the same tourists on the platform waiting to take the Tram back to the Manhattan station without leaving the Roosevelt Island station.

Here's a Roosevelt Islander Instagram post from yesterday. Take a look at some of the comments.

Hopefully both Tram cabins will be operating by this Saturday when there will be no weekend Roosevelt Island F Train service at all.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Mayor Eric Adams Reports On NYC Lawsuit Filed Against 5 Social Media Companies To "Hold Them Accountable For Role They Played In Fueling Mental Health Crisis Among Our Young People"

New York City Mayor Eric Adams submitted the op-ed article below to local NYC community media including Roosevelt Islander Online.

According to Mayor Eric Adams:

Community Op-Ed: Social Media and Youth Mental Health

New York City has always been a hub for technology and innovation. And while technology has helped create jobs, opportunities, and prosperity, it has also the potential to cause new dangers, especially when it comes to social media and the mental health of our children.

Our administration came into office two years ago with a mission to protect public safety, and protecting our young people’s mental health is very much a part of that agenda. That is why, last week — along with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, New York City Health + Hospitals, and the New York City Department of Education — we filed a lawsuit against the companies that own and operate five social media companies in an effort to hold these companies accountable for role they have played in fueling a mental health crisis among our young people.

Our most recent data found that young people in New York City are experiencing anxiety, hopelessness, and are even attempting suicide at rates we have never seen before. You don’t need to be a parent or caregiver to realize the effects of social media on our children’s lives. Instead of talking to each other over lunch at the cafeteria, our youth are absorbed in their screens. Instead of playing at the park with friends, they are inside on a sunny day clicking and scrolling. And instead of learning confidence and resilience, they are being exposed to content that often leads to insecurity and depression.

New York City teens are spending an average of three hours or more per day in front of screens — not including time spent on schoolwork — much of it focused on the endless stream of social media that has been designed with one goal in mind: keeping users hooked for as long as possible.

Adults find it hard enough to moderate the use of social media, but it's even more difficult for our young people. We know these platforms are designed with addictive and dangerous features that take advantage of a child's natural interest in novelty and play.

Social media can damage self-esteem, promote addiction, and often encourages reckless behavior like subway surfing and car theft challenges. We have also seen a dangerous rise in misinformation, xenophobia, radicalization, and incitement to hateful acts.

Instead of connecting people to one another, as our social media companies initially promised, their platforms too often tear us apart. Internal TikTok documents reveal that more than 20 percent of children are active on the platform between midnight and 5:00 AM when they should be sleeping. In recent years, there was a 40 percent increase in high school students reporting persistent sadness and hopelessness.

Dr. Vasan, our city’s health commissioner, released an advisory last month declaring social media a public health hazard, and New York is the first major American city to call out the danger of social media clearly and directly, just as past surgeons general did with tobacco and guns. We are treating social media like other public health hazards.

Last week, we also released our Social Media Action Plan, which will help us chart a new course forward in several key areas. First, we are advocating for state and federal policymakers to put in place laws that require social media companies to ensure that their platforms are safe for youth mental health.

Second, we will be providing media literacy and education to support our young people and families. This includes promoting tech-free zones to encourage young people to socialize in person.

And finally, our action plan will study the long-term impacts of social media on our youth to understand how New York City can better address the harms caused by these platforms.

We know that some have begun working to tackle these issues. While we welcome those efforts, this entire industry must do far more. We must have enforceable and agreed upon standards, not a patchwork of voluntary fixes that ultimately shift the burden back to parents, teachers, and young people.

Our children, our families, and our future are more important than profit. That is why we are taking bold actions on behalf of millions of New Yorkers. This is a crucial step in a larger reckoning that will shape the lives of our young people, our city, and society for years to come.

Here's the announcement on February 14, 2024 by Mayor Adams of the lawsuit against social media companies.


 ABC News report on the issue

but a NYC Tech advocacy group disagrees with the Mayor's social media lawsuit.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Roosevelt Island Governance, Tram Overcrowding, Tourism, Possible Solutions And More Discussed By RIOC Director And Community Board 8 RI Committee Chair In CB8 Speaks Interview - Watch The Video

Roosvelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board Director Ben Fhala and Manhattan Community Board 8 (CB8) Roosevelt Island committee chair Paul Krikler were guests on the February 16, 2024 CB 8 Speaks program. CB8 Speaks is:

A monthly broadcast covering various district issues, featuring Board Members and community leaders.

They spoke about a variety of issues including RIOC Governance, Roosevelt Island Tram Overcrowding,  tourism, possible solutions and a lot more.

Watch the interview.