Traffic Control, Security and More Managed

RIOC: Plans Already Underway To Insure FIGMENT NYC 2019 Success

Updated 2 weeks ago David Stone
RIOC President/CEO Susan Rosenthal welcomed visitors at last month's Cherry Blossom Festival event in FDR Four Freedoms Park.
RIOC President/CEO Susan Rosenthal welcomed visitors at last month's Cherry Blossom Festival event in FDR Four Freedoms Park.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Reverberations from last month's Cherry Blossom Festival still filtering into conversations, RIOC President/CEO Susan Rosenthal took time out from her conversations with attendees at CBN's Senior Resource Fair to answer questions about planning for FIGMENT NYC 2019, set to take place in Lighthouse Park on June 1st and 2nd.

"We've already had two meetings with Emergency Management," Rosenthal said. 

Emergency Management coordinates all City agencies when planned events require crowd control, security and other concerns.

It's exactly what the Cherry Blossom Festival lacked. The Common Council committee overseeing the festival staged a successful afternoon of Japanese cultural events in FDR Four Freedoms Park but failed to pay attention to crowds flooding the Island elsewhere.

Unmanaged crowds heading for Roosevelt Island found lines for the Tram trailing over a full block back to Third Avenue, and congestion at the subway station was so intense the MTA used emergency measures, rerouting for extra trains and shutting down escalators, to avert a potential disaster.

RIOC's management team is acting to make sure neither happens again.

Among other measures, they are reminding drivers that Roosevelt Island access is limited to a single, two-lane bridge and parking at Motorgate only.

"They may get turned away" is the message Rosenthal wants relayed, loud and clear.

Not enough food and water is another challenge RIOC's begun addressing. Unlike with the Cherry Blossom Festival, local merchants are being advised to expect increased business just as visitors will be encouraged to stop in town before heading north to Lighthouse Park. Some food will be available at the festival, however.

Last year, FIGMENT NYC brought an estimated 12,000 to Governors Island. Even with only a ferry available for art lovers hoping to reach the event in New York harbor, it took place without serious issues. 

RIOC hopes to duplicate that and guarantee a rewarding Roosevelt Island experience for visitors as well as residents.


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