Unanimous Thumbs Downs for RIOC's “Welcome” Sign

February 18, 2018

As highlighted in our prior column, RIOC and Hudson/Related have been soliciting support for their planned installation of 10-foot-high red RI letters “welcoming” visitors as they exit the Tram directly outside the Roosevelt Island Historical Society’s Visitor Center Kiosk. As part of their campaign to elicit community support, representatives of RIOC and Hudson Related waited in the cold on Saturday, February 3, for arriving Tram passengers to submit comments on the so-called “artwork.” 


In response to this campaign to popularize the proposed installation, your Roosevelt Island Residents’ Association came together during its February 7 Common Council meeting to discuss the proposed photo-op signage and the community’s position on its installation. Overwhelmingly, the consensus of your representatives was that we, as the Roosevelt Island residents and community, are in opposition to the installation of the letters. Comments from representatives ranged from suggestions that the proposed letters are an “eyesore” and “tone-deaf to the nature of our community” to complaints that the “money should be spent on improved wayfinding and appropriate informational signage.” Unanimously (with one not voting for cause), the Common Council passed a resolution in complete opposition to the proposed RI letters, which was submitted directly to RIOC and the RIOC Board. The resolution stated that:


“We, the Common Council of the Roosevelt Island Residents’ Association, oppose the installation of the proposed RI letters at the Tramway Plaza on Roosevelt Island and hereby respectfully request that the letters not be installed in the community. We believe the installation of the proposed RI letters to be an eyesore, not welcoming, and not contributing to the ambiance and spirit of our community.”


Does our little ship in the East River need 10-foot-high pop art, much less one located in front of the historical Trolley Kiosk currently used by the Roosevelt Island Historical Society as a Visitor Center? Do you agree that the structure interferes with the panoramic view of the Tram, the lawn, the landmark-quality Visitor Center Kiosk and the city beyond? Let RIOC know by emailing your opinion to RIOC at comment@rioc.ny.gov and let RIOC and Hudson/Related know that our community vehemently opposes the commercialization of life on our little island and that we vote “NO” to the RI letters on our Tramway Lawn.


Monarchs Are New Yorkers Too!


On Saturday, February 24, 2:00-3:30 p.m. at the New York Public Library’s 67th Street branch, our very own Island environmental educator, founder of iDig2Learn and Monarch butterfly advocate Christina Delfico, will be speaking about the amazing 3,000-mile flight migration of the Monarch butterfly. She will discuss their yearly journey from Mexico through New York City to Canada and back, and iDig2Learn’s efforts to preserve the East River migration corridor, both on our Island and throughout the City. 


Sponsored by the Green Park Gardeners NYC and the Upper Green Side, the talk is free to the public and all of our Island residents are welcome to join. The 67th Street NYPL branch is located at 328 East 67th Street. Spring is just around the corner, so come and find out more about what we, as an Island community, can do to help preserve the migration of this very important member of our global ecosystem, as well as get a preview of iDig2Learn’s planned efforts on our Island and throughout the City this upcoming spring and summer.


Bike NYC Programs


Hard to imagine, as we brace for another wave of cold and brisk temps, that spring is just around the corner. And with spring comes what every child (especially those on our Island) dreams of: riding bikes.


If your child attends an after-school program or you yourself head up an after-school program, consider having your program request a free afterschool biking session from Bike NYC. These free, fun-filled cycling sessions for existing after-school programs teach students the mechanics of riding a bike, the rules of the road, best practices for riding in a group and on the streets, and, of course, the joy and freedom of biking. With 11 different site locations, including right here on Roosevelt Island, students are provided loaner helmets and loaner bikes as they learn how to safely ride. Interested? Contact Kristina Sepulveda directly at ksepulveda@bike.nyc or at 212-870-2092 and find out how you and your after-school program can register.


Protest Run


As discussed here and in recent RIRA Public Safety Committee meetings, public lewdness and how these incidents are reported and handled by our local authorities continue to be issues of great concern and debate. As a means to highlight this issue to the wider Island community, a Protest Run Against Sex Crimes and Fake Stats is being organized by some of our most concerned community members on February 18 at 2:30 p.m. The run will start at the 510 Main Street Breezeway and end at 540 Main Street. Come see if you can complete the run in less than seven minutes.




Jeff Escobar, President

RI Residents Association



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