Is Manhattan Park splitting a community?

Manhattan Park Splitting a Community by forcing people to walk in the street or turn back.
Manhattan Park Splitting a Community, forcing pedestrians, wheelchairs, strollers into the street.

Roosevelt Island, New York City’s most unique, economically diverse community is being sliced apart by Starrett. Starrett owns Manhattan Park. They’ve acted mainly as an absentee landlord. Until now.

Construction to remake the street level facade at 40 River Road raised eyebrows, then alarms. But the greater, longterm community threat might be missed.

See also: Anything Goes Roosevelt Island

Wheelchairs could not pass the worksite, probably a violation the Americans with Disabilities Act.

And moms with strollers struggle to get over a 4 inch curb.

All are forced into the street, and there is no alternative on the opposite side.

The greater danger for Roosevelt Island…

More worrisome, though, is Starrett’s apparent intention to have 40 River Road, at the north end of Manhattan Park, sever a vital community connection.

Work on 40 River Road appears set to sever sidewalk access north of Manhattan Park.
40 River Road construction breaks the sidewalk, and it may be permanent.

If the build out reflects the finished product, residents lose safe sidewalks north of the Main Street where it meets River Road.

Residents’ and visitors’ looking for play fields, The Octagon, Coler Hospital and Lighthouse Park will be at risk.

As you can see above, people are already making the harsh choice to walk in Main Street to get by, and wheelchairs abandoned the route.

I confronted a foreman.

“You can walk on the curb,” he said. Twice.

Then, he offered to carry me.

Cooperation with Starrett’s contractor is unlikely.

But some relief may be in sight.

Acting PSD chief Kevin Brown met with Manhattan Park, late yesterday. Work stopped for the day, and we are trying to confirm that no Department of Buildings permit is in place.

The work, including the design to cut off community access, may not be allowed to finish.

We are watching this closely, and we will update when new information is available.

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