City Persuaded To Take Down Fence Cover

RIOC Pushes DEP for Safer, More Attractive West Promenade

Updated 21 weeks ago
Safety increased as did the pleasures of a stroll along the West Promenade.
Safety increased as did the pleasures of a stroll along the West Promenade.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Six months past an emergency access road's announced completion date, the city's Department of Environmental Protection seemed impervious to the unsightliness and threat to public safety caused by a 100 yard stretch of protective fencing along the West Promenade. Then, RIOC stepped in.

Responding to resident concerns about ugly green fencing that remained in place along the West Promenade behind The Octagon, gobbling up picnic tables and grills long after the job appeared finished, RIOC President Susan Rosenthal was able to get a tour of the project being protected. DEP ignored requests by concerned citizens and news media.

Not only was the fencing an unsightly obstruction along the waterfront, it created a safety hazard by isolating a long stretch of the West Promenade from public view, a condition worsened at night because streetlights meant to increase visibility were also hidden behind the fence.

Unobstructed views returned as the industrial green peeled away.
Unobstructed views returned as the industrial green peeled away.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

For joggers and strollers, it was like entering a dark alley with no end in view.

What Rosenthal learned was that, while appearing finished, the environmentally friendly, grass-paved emergency access road constructed inside the fence still needed time to "knit" to the permanent soil beneath.

That required a wait until sometime in the spring.

But Rosenthal had an idea, as she reported at December's Board Meeting.

DEP even took time to remove the protective wrap from Sabrina.
DEP even took time to remove the protective wrap from Sabrina.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Why not at least take the cover off?

As of yesterday, her suggestion worked. With its industrial cover pealed away, the fence seemed far less offensive and the area safely opened to view.

"It’s great that DEP listened," Rosenthal told The Daily

Credit where credit's due. They listened to her after turning a deaf ear on residents. 

 

Nighttime view shows streetlights again light up the West Promenade.
Nighttime view shows streetlights again light up the West Promenade.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

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