Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
In my prior post referring to the Columbia studio regarding Roosevelt Island transportation issues I stated that for the study to be relevant regarding crowding on the platforms and cars that more than one day was needed to test conditions. I had incorrectly stated that the students only tested for one day but also stated my recollection could be wrong.
Well I admit I was wrong and the below emails and photos prove out that the students did indeed witness three morning rush hours which they documented. The photo montages also, as discussed below, indicate times when riders were indeed left behind on the Manhattan bound platform. I can't argue with the images portrayed on these images unless I can prove nobody went to the work on those days.
I still believe overall that during the 815am to 845am period, that the trains and platform are overcrowded. I have no solution to this problem other than encouraging residents to arrive on the platform earlier as I TRY to do as I have encountered little issue at any time before 8:10am.
Again I thank the students for their work although I disagree with their conclusions in this segment of their studio. By next Friday, the students will be putting up a website with a link to their final report in full detail and recommendations. You can be sure it will be linked to from here.
From: David Krulewitch
Date: Fri, 1 May 2009 12:46:58 -0400
To: Roosevelt Island360; Dr. Floyd Lapp
Here are the photomontages of the 3 surveys we did on Roosevelt Island in the am peak. If you look closely, the times with an asterisk are the times not all people could get on the train. I hope that clarifies some things. Also, we attempted to get the data from the MTA regarding how many times these trains do not run on time, but they did not have that data (shocking!). Feel free to post these photomontages.
I actually was the point person on the subway, we will be submitting a final report to RIOC next week which will flesh out the subway data in more detail. Just to make clear what my conclusions were: If the subway runs on schedule there is little to no overcrowding at the Roosevelt Island Subway stop. The train is scheduled to run 15 times an hour (every 4 minutes). There are only serious problems if trains get backed up in queens. We did three surveys and two of the surveys there were no delays because 15 trains ran in an hour, and on the 3rd survey only 9 trains ran in an hour and there were significant delays. I will have more analysis for you soon, but the report is still in a draft stage, and we have to get a bunch of stuff done by next Thursday.
Subsequent to the email received below, Ms. Parker, clarified that "weeknights" for purposes of these changes refers to Tuesdays through Fridays. Southbound refers to Trains Bound for Manhattan and Brooklyn and Northbound refers to trains coming from Manhattan bound for Queens.
From: Deirdre Parker
To: Roosevelt Island 360
Sent: Apr 29, 2009 2:34 PM
Subject: RE: Projected Subway Service Changes
- Weeknights, from May 5th - June 16 (except May 26th), 12:01 AM - 5 AM, there will no southbound service at Roosevelt Island.
- Weekends, from May 23rd, 12:01 AM, to May 25th, 5 AM, and May 30th, 12:01 AM, to June 1st, 5 AM, there will be no southbound service at Roosevelt Island.
- Tuesdays to Fridays, June 23 to July 2nd, 12:01 AM to 5:00 AM, there will be no northbound service at Roosevelt Island.
These changes are needed to support tunnel and track work.
Deirdre K. Parker
Deputy Director, Public Affairs
MTA NYC Transit
Thursday, April 30, 2009
There is currently a vast difference of opinion between residents and the students from Columbia who are now concluding a study of transportation issues affecting Roosevelt Island. The students spent time on the Manhattan platform and documented their findings via photo snapshots and data collected through at least one sample morning before, during, and following that day's heaviest rush hour period. [Update: If the data was collected from multiple dates I missed that in their verbal and slide show presentation].
The residents who attended the public presentation two weeks ago strongly disagreed. My own experience is that the problems occur during the 815am to 900am period as the trains are either full coming into Roosevelt Island or riders don't move from the doors making it difficult to enter trains.
Frank Farance, President of RIRA, continues to argue that the study had flaws to which the Columbia students reply look at our proof look at our photos. I can"t argue with the photos in question but I must conclude that the day in question must have been an anomaly as my experience, mirrors my neighbors, that during the peak times there is problem. And during the period just prior to the peak, as I have photographed, the situation is closer to what the Columbia students claim.
The key is I believe that any study may need an increased number of test mornings and also must take into account the residents own experience by perhaps selecting 200 residents who will record their experiences over say a one month period. The record should include the time they enter the station each morning with additional notes regarding wait time, platform positioning etc.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Update: After playing a bit with the site described below it is not so far off to be unreasonable but still generally these things don't work from Roosevelt Island.
Monday, April 20, 2009
FYI, it is this dock (NYT image directly above) which should be upgraded to handle ferry traffic from Roosevelt Island as it has the size and proximity to the central subway / tram transportation hub that exists for the island.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
The MTA is replacing an 800-feet stretch of track between Queens’ Roosevelt Avenue and Forest Hills-71st Avenue stations as part of ongoing subway maintenance, said NYC Transit spokeswoman Deirdre Parker.
The work is being done on the weekends, but trains must constantly travel at slower speeds because they are running over temporary track, she explained.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Due to rain last night's scheduled closure was put off. We should expect the scheduled closure to be in effect unless notified otherwise. [via Denise Lynch of RIOC].
I sent an inquiry regarding last night's planned bridge closure to Roosevelt Island PSD Director Keith Guerra to learn if the preparations all worked out as planned but have not heard back from his office yet.
According to a post on NYC Fire.net the closure may have been delayed a day. RIOC's Steve Shane had indicated in prior emails that the rain may cause delays hence all the extra days of scheduling.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Times affected 12:30 am to 5:30 am
From: Steve Shane
To: Roosevelt Island 360
To: Roosevelt Islander
To: Dick Lutz / The Main Street WIRE
Cc: Fernando Martinez
Cc: Keith Guerra
Cc: Tom Turcic
Sent: Apr 7, 2009 5:26 PM
Subject: Bridge Closure
You have all received a copy of the DOT Notice of Bridge Closure.
1. It is absolutely necessary.
2. The Fire Department will station an engine (pumper) and a ladder truck on the Island during the outage to respond to any emergencies. In addition, there will be a fireboat available to deliver additional personnel if a big emergency occurs. An engine company (with 5 firemen) will be at the Vernon Ave. end of the Bridge to provide additional bodies as needed.
3. The Fire Dept. (EMS) will station an ambulance on the Island and an ambulance at the Vernon Ave end of the bridge. In the event of a medical emergency, the victim will be treated and taken to the RI end of the bridge and conveyed on a gurney to the other side where the other ambulance will be waiting to transport. In addition to the 4 EMS persons, there will be the 5 firemen there to assist. If the bridge is completely impassable (one of the procedures will require it to be 6'-8' above the connecting streets), then transport will have to be by Tram to a waiting ambulance on Manhattan side.
4. RIOC will run the Tram all night on 1/2 hour intervals (except in emergency) with the Red bus to match up. The Subway (F Train) should be available.
5.Only 2 nights are needed, and if the weather permits, the later nights will not be required. Steelworkers union contract and OSHA rules do not permit workers on exposed iron surfaces at heights when it is raining.
6. NYPD is also likely to station a squad car on the Island to assist.
We have coordinated all of this with NYPD, NYFD, EMS, DOT, HHC, etc. A necessary evil, but we should get through it. Please try to quell the hysterics.
Stephen H. Shane
President & CEO
Roosevelt Island Operating Corp.
Monday, April 6, 2009
While I do believe the transportation infrastructure needs to be strengthened and increased, I am also of the belief that as long as island residents leave at a reasonable time they do not have to encounter the packed trains from Queens that arrive starting at and after 815am and continue through 845am.
Again this week may not be a good test, it is a holy week for many and schools are off starting Thursday. So be it. Again the above picture shows one family's experience at 7:54am after getting onto a Manhattan / Brooklyn bound F Train from Roosevelt Island.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
The evening began with an introduction of Dr. Floyd Lapp who laid out the purpose of the study, or studio, as it called and that he will fade into the background and let the students hit the ground running. After delivering his introductory remarks he opened the floor to local residents and employees to each voice our major concerns and in many cases what we each believe will solve the major problems.
As expected the major culprits such as red bus schedules, subway overcrowding, and concerns what we will all do when the tram is out were raised. But also smaller issues such as switching the pedestrian yield signs on Main Street back to Stop signs and lighting along Main Street were discussed. Issues such as height differentials between subway platforms and subway cars were also brought up which greatly affect many of our wheel chair bound neighbors.
The location and efficiency of a possible ferry was raised but not dwelled by many attendees. The issue of an elevator to the Queensboro Bridge was brought up but the idea of a stair case, which would be the equivalent of 21 stories, was discounted by Dr. Lapp as unrealistic to be actually used by most residents.
One of the more amusing Red Bus tales told was by an Octagon resident regarding an Octagon Express bus that arrives when no passengers are ready at the Octagon which then swings through the stop and seems to park just out of view of the stop almost like it is hiding but still can be seen from the stop. Only after an Octagon Local swings through and picks up the then assembled mass of commuters filling the Local does the Express peek out and pick up the stragglers and then continues, almost empty, down Main Street to the subway and Tram. Is this Express really hiding or it just being bashful and shy? Who knows but it is indicative of a larger transportation system that is clearly out of sync and behind the greater need according to the residents that attended this Town Hall.
Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture’s Urban Planning program, under the direction of Dr. Floyd Lapp, a former Director of City Planning in the MTA’s Transportation Division from 1991-2000, will be examining the transportation alternatives and infrastructure.
The Columbia study will be the second study currently underway of the island by an academic institution. Hunter College's Urban Planning program is conducting a separate studio, termed AccessRI, with a broader focus on access to many issues including transportation, health services, shopping among others. That study is being sponsored by State Senator Jose Serrano.
Dr. Lapp has indicated that for any study to be worthwhile and effective it requires the participation of the public in the gathering of information and feedback. The Main Street WIRE in its last issue, dated Saturday, January 17, 2009, included a front page article about the study and included comments from Dr. Lapp.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
The only real problem was the transportation experts did not speak at all and the public was not given the opportunity to put these folks on the spot. Also while the solutions offered are nice in theory we heard nothing from the elected officials or the transportation officials as to the reality of any one solution being actually attainable or not.
Scott Stringer closed the event stating that this event was only the beginning of the discussions and tonight was more a gauge of where he and the other politicians should start on our behalf. The only problem is we only have until the Tram goes out to start determing what can be improved in the short term. Lets schedule the next meeting soon to keep the feet of these pols to a deliverable fire date to answer the realities of the solutions offered otherwise what was the point of taking away a particular good opportunity to simply rant.
The short and long term solutions and prioritization are below and each can be linked through to Flickr for larger views.
SHORT TERM SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS per the COMMUNITY
SHORT TERM VOTE
LONG TERM SUGGESTED SOLUTIONS per the COMMUNITY
LONG TERM VOTE
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
At 7:00 pm tonight, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer is hosting a Roosevelt Island transportation forum that is billed to include several elected officials as well as representatives from several NYC and MTA agencies that will update us to the current state of our transportation alternatives and also be available for questions and problem solving.
Friday, October 17, 2008
The Community Forum is being lead by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and as this post appears to also include Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Jose Serrano, Assembly Member Micah Kellner and City Councilmember Jessica Lappin.
According to a representative from Borough President Stringer’s office the agenda is not yet final but one of their goals is to make the forum as interactive as possible including discussions of issues as well as possible solutions.
As opposed to Community Board 8’s Roosevelt Island transportation forum which took place in Manhattan at the Blood Center this forum is scheduled to take place here on the Island and as such can expect a much better turnout than the less than a dozen who attended the CB8 meeting.
All residents are encouraged to attend as this is a great opportunity to ask questions and hear from all parties plans for next year when the Tram is offline for several months. The timing of this meeting is appropriate as at least one of the referendum proposed by RIRA for the November elections includes the Tram.