Saturday, December 8, 2007

Relocating Public Safety Too Close to Youth Program, Playgrounds?

public safety at 504 Main

The following is an e-mail exchange I had yesterday with Steve Shane, the President of RIOC, concerning the relocation of Public Safety from its current location to 504 Main Street, the former Christian Lillies School. I had learned of the planned relocation from a recent blog post on the Roosevelt Islander.

After reading the response I received I feel better about the idea, I still have reservations, but will be looking to see if the community’s has any additional reactions to the plan. I am also not exactly sure where the public safety vehicles will be parked if not on Main Street. I expect and hope no part of Blackwell Plaza will be sacrificed to a parking lot. I also am assuming the entrance for any "apprehended persons" will be at the rear / side entrance of the building.

Dear Mr. Shane:

Upon learning of the possible relocation of Public Safety to 504 Main Street I wanted to ask what consideration was given to the fact that this location adjoins the Youth Center and that there is a public playground / sprayground directly behind it?

Upon reading of the need to create "holding cells" and the obvious increase in car and scooter traffc I have concerns regarding the proximity of all this activity to the sland's children.

Thank you.

The response I received (within an hour of my inquiry) from Mr. Shane:

On balance, and in consultation with the director of the Youth Center, we think it a good idea. The proximity of a public safety office to a youth activity is the underlying foundation of PAL activities. The opportunity to get the public safety vehicles off the street (relieving the much discussed congestion), eliminating the need for publicly parading any apprehended persons through a Main Street entrance, creating a much, much better environment for both visitors and employees (the present facility approaches appalling), central location with the build out of Southtown, etc., were all factors considered. The existing playground and sprayground will not be impacted, other than to be sure that safety concerns are carefully met by appropriate barriers. The architectural study to realize the programmatic goals has not yet been undertaken, but will, of course, consider the various other issues and in any event, will be available to be thoroughly vetted by the community.

Stephen H. Shane
President & CEO
Roosevelt Island Operating Corp.

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