Roosevelt Islander Online: RIOC Agrees To Reposition New Southpoint Park Shoreline Benches To Face East River Waterfront View After Residents Complain Of Bizarre Placement Looking Away From Water

Reported last Monday: 

Roosevelt Island resident Matt Katz shares this message he sent today to
Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) President Shelton Haynes:

I visited Southpoint Park this past weekend and was appalled to see the
new benches located on the new east promenade walk.  

They are ugly, look uncomfortable and were placed bizarrely, facing, at
one point, the brick wall at Strecker Laboratory rather than the East
Channel of the East River.  

Clearly, no resident, no future user of the facility, was ever included in
the decision making for the project.  There are several experienced
resident members of the RIOC board of directors, not to mention a
Roosevelt Island Residents Association, that could have been consulted
should common sense been lacking in the landscape architects hired for the

It is not too late to reconsider the placement and nature of the seating
and I hope RIOC will do so before the benches are, literally, set in

I asked the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) on Monday:

Why are new Southpoint Point shoreline renovations facing inside the park
and not the East River?

Is there any seating facing the East River?

Will Rioc change benches so they face East River?

RIOC Public Information Officer Amy Smith replied today:

The seating design, including directional positioning, were all part of the
original plan for the beautification of Southpoint Park. However, after
reviewing the current layout and taking the height of protective berms into
consideration, there are areas where seating can and will be repositioned or
added so visitors are able to enjoy a view of Manhattan’s skyline.

As always, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation not only appreciates but
truly takes into consideration, community feedback.

Anticipated opening will be early fall. 

Visitors to the new Roosevelt Island Shoreline East Promenade pathway and
seating will now be able to enjoy the Queens and Brooklyn waterfront view as
shown in this
early RIOC rendering of the project.

Let’s see where RIOC places the seating on the Southpoint Park shoreline west
promenade facing Manhattan.
Here’s an early rendering

of the site.


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