HEY SUSAN! A Q&A with RIOC President Susan Rosenthal

February 28, 2019

HEY SUSAN!

I have a few concerns. There was considerable talk that the dog park would be moved to the area just south of 480 Main Street and adjacent to the sprinklers and playground. This area is already congested in the summer with considerable foot, bike, and RIOC vehicle traffic. Has there been a decision where the permanent home will be for the dog park and if 480 is that location, can you please reconsider?

 

Also, what is the hold up on the new tram station elevator? There has not been any progress for months on that site and the old elevator is breaking down more than ever. Is there a reason why they have not been working on it?

 

Lastly, the construction on the new Southtown building blocking the side walk is a traffic accident waiting to happen. The residents of 480 are forced to cross the street without a crosswalk and the view from both directions is limited for drivers and pedestrians. This paired with area driveways results in a lot of cars turning and people walking with no crosswalk. Can RIOC address this?

 

SUSAN: We chose the dog park location based upon the locations of other dog parks throughout NYC’s parks. The issues you raise can be handled with fencing, gate locations, and landscaping. Also, by locating the run there, we will have more open common space for all residents when Riverwalk buildings 8 and 9 are completed.

 

Prior to the tot lot making way for 480, and the new playground being put in, the area east of Blackwell House was historically a hub for families with young children because of its proximity to playgrounds, grass, the sprinklers, and water fountains. RIOC is putting in a dog run to the south and east of the sprinklers further limiting that open space. Photo taken in 2013.

 

Hudson-Related has shared some of their recreational ideas for that open space and it will be a great addition to the island. We have reviewed the issues you raised about the dog run with PSD (our Chief and Deputy have extraordinary experience in security and safety from their NYPD days) and they are confident that this location will not cause any unmanageable concerns.

 

Regarding the Manhattan Tram elevator, the construction drawings had to be revised because soil borings demonstrated a need to change the pile foundation design to support the structure. RIOC hired additional engineers to assist in the necessary modifications, which have been completed. We are now awaiting NYC Department of Buildings’ and NY Transit Authority approval, as well as the NYC Parks permit in order to proceed.

 

PSD was made aware of sidewalk safety issues around the new Southtown building construction and added signage for the protection of our pedestrians.

 

HEY SUSAN! 

Any thoughts to providing charging stations for electric/hybrid cars in Motorgate? Electric cars are the future. Can you help by providing a means to help clean the air on Roosevelt Island?

 

SUSAN: Yes, we are doing more than thinking about charging stations! After the completion of the waterproofing project at Motorgate Garage, (we expect the project to be approved by the Board in April), we have plans for charging stations, new striping, and new signage. The current plan is for four charging stations, with the possibility of expanding to six.

 

HEY SUSAN!

Hopefully this $8.7 Million sea wall initiative has taken into consideration the rapidly rising sea level that came very close to taking Roosevelt Island out during storm Sandy?

 

SUSAN: The project you are referring to is for new seawall railings around the entire island. The seawall railing contractor has been repairing concrete damage on the face and topside of the seawall as they work northward. We also have a FEMA grant which is being used to repair an existing part of the seawall made of stone that was damaged in hurricane Irene.

 

We are in the midst of a seawall replacement project which will completely transform and beautify the east and west shorelines of Southpoint Park. The existing concrete retaining wall will be replaced by a “rip rap” revetment – basically, a sloping berm of armor stones that serve a similar purpose as a retaining wall, but is more cost effective to install and maintain, while allowing better access to the water.

 

Along with the revetment, the project will remove the scrub brush along the existing seawall and replace it with professionally landscaped paths and seating for island residents and visitors. Once the scrub is removed in these areas, the views will be excellent and this area will become much more attractive as a destination for residents, especially in the warmer months.

 

We are continuing to evaluate the rest of the existing seawall to determine where replacement with a durable revetment is needed.

 

HEY SUSAN!

The men's locker room at the Sportspark pool has fallen into a state of disrepair. Issues include: handicap-access showerhead malfunctioning, one of the urinals malfunctioning, and the swimsuit-drying machine not working.

 

This is on top of the chronic issues of: warped, dusty and rusting lockers, soap dispensers frequently empty, and a lack of anti-slip matting that make the wet floors a daily hazard for little wet feet.

 

Thank you so much for your team's attention to this. I understand that a complete overhaul of the facility (while long overdue) would be a large investment. But routine plumbing repairs, some anti-slip mats, and closer attention to things like soap and paper towels would cost little and go a long way.

 

SUSAN: Thank you for reaching out regarding the locker rooms at Sportspark. We have a significant project addressing the bathrooms, locker rooms, HVAC system, and much more, which we intend to bring to the Board on March 7th in order to move forward with construction/design drawings.  

 

We will address the other points you have raised with our maintenance staff. Thank you for bringing them to our attention.

 

*Do you have a question you’d like to have answered by RIOC President & CEO Susan Rosenthal? Send it to the subject HEY SUSAN! at information@rioc.ny.gov. Want to report a problem? Send us feedback

 

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