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Roosevelt Island's Green Tram Station Causing Envy, Strife

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Last week, we scored our first glimpse of the new tram terminal at Second Avenue and 60th Street that will ferry Manhattanities over the torrid waters of the East River to the sanctuary that is Roosevelt Island. Not bad, we thought. Not bad at all. But then comes this reveal of the tram terminal that'll grace the Roosevelt Island side and—yowza, is that a green roof and living wall that our eyes espy? Why yes, it is! And it's got the Manhattan contingent royally pissed off.

Blogger Roosevelt Islander secured a copy of a letter from eight Manhattan officials to the head of the Roosevelt Island Operation Corporation suggesting that perhaps Manhattan's terminal could be greened up as well? Key passage:

We are writing to encourage the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) to take advantage of a key opportunity to provide leadership in improving New York’s environment by installing energy efficient roofing on the renovated Roosevelt Island Tramway stations. With the overhaul of the Tramway, RIOC is afforded a chance to become a leader in New York’s environmental sustainability efforts by incorporating affordable and cutting-edge green features into the design and construction of its renovated tram stations... ... By choosing a green roof, RIOC would be setting an example for developers across the city and nationwide, helping to raise crucial awareness of an innovative building technique with multiple environmental benefits. There would be significant positive impacts on the quality of life of area residents, commuters, workers, and visitors. And during this challenging time, the adoption of green roofing would contribute to the growth of a nascent industry, helping to create green jobs here in New York City. We also believe that a forward-thinking design for both stations would go a long way in continuing to build on the good relationship between Roosevelt Islanders and their neighbors on the East Side. And finally, it would uphold the tradition of Roosevelt Island as a laboratory for better and more sustainable living. We strongly encourage RIOC to take advantage of this opportunity....

Laying it on a little thick, but hey, they've got a point! There's tradition to uphold here, people! Also amusing is the RIOC chief's response to Roosevelt Islander, which includes this politic line: "Rather than have this discussion in the media, I suggest you contact 'them'". (Be careful, sir, or we might just "do" that.) Upshot: some sort of design review by the end of July. Please stand by.
· Green Roof Sought for Manhattan-Side Roosevelt Tram [Roosevelt Islander]