Time for RIOC to Listen to the Community

Looking at the latest Hey Susan column, I noticed a renovation of Southpoint Park was mentioned.  Planning firm Fitzgerald and Halliday presented the draft proposal for its final recommendations at the February 2017 RIOC meeting. That project was community-driven, and multiple meetings and surveys were held over a year period to gather input from Islanders. Since then, RIOC has not shown the community any plans for reworking Southpoint Park.

 

It is time to show us your ideas, RIOC.

 

Judy Berdy speaks in front of the Public Purpose committee advocating for the Roosevelt Island Historical Society

 

A few things that came out of the those discussions two years ago included how few people use our north and south parks.  In your column, you mention, “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.” Adding some benches and tables would not make the park more desirable to Island residents.  

 

The removal of "scrub brush" that you plan is also a bad idea; you write that “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.” Your plan would completely "pave over" our last wildlife area.  The wild areas should be preserved for our species and not more concrete walls and paved roads.

 

It would be nice to see the plans that RIOC has not revealed to the residents.

 

Your column also explains that the Southtown dog park will be moved to the area just north of 480 Main Street adjacent to the sprinklers and playground. Now that the proponents of dog park placement are no longer on the Island, it is time for common sense to prevail and for RIOC to officially relocate the dog park away from the kids’ area of the Blackwell Park.   

 

No matter what you write and promise, it is not a good idea to put the dog park smack dab in the middle of Blackwell Park. It can easily be moved to the rears of building 7 and 8 or next to buildings 8 and 9. I am sure that Hudson will not mind having an attractive area for dogs closer to their buildings, where the majority of dogs live.

 

 RIOC has chosen to install a dog park on the green space east of the sprinklers

 

We already have a tiny playground squeezed into Blackwell Park.  It is time to OPENLY discuss the future of that park. The community must be kept updated on the plans RIOC has for the park. It must be done in an open manner, similar to measures Fitzgerald and Halliday took in collecting community input for Southpoint.  

 

I think plans for Blackwell, the small parcel outside the new NYPL branch, and the bike path can be discussed at the same time, as part of the same forum. Why not hear what the community wants!

 

With so few resident RIOC board members remaining, RIOC staff seems to forget to consult the members and the community.

 

It’s time to show us your plans, please, RIOC.

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