The RIOC Motorgate mess, going on now for over a year, again shows how inept indifference disrupts community life. Residents want calm, and RIOC is unable to provide it.
By David Stone
“I think it is worth a story for you to examine the signage in Motorgate,” one longtime resident wrote.
“Certain areas are closed off due to construction and exiting is a riddle because they post temporary signs which contradict the permanent ones and do nothing to block out the permanent ones. Getting out is a maze and a dangerous one…”
She was right, but we found, the situation is actually worse.
The RIOC Motorgate Mess
A troubling aspect of the mess our reader reported in Motorgate is that it’s far from new.
“Repairing and enhancing a leaky Motorgate, the oddly named, crumbling parking garage serving Roosevelt Island, should be, no sweat, a welcome project. Who doesn’t want a better, safer place to park their cars? But here, this ordinary project somehow manages to generate as much conflict as applause.”
That’s from our report in the Roosevelt Island Daily, well over a year ago.
“We expect work to begin in about a week or so,” Haynes, now acting president/CEO at RIOC, said in an email, rebuking Farance.
But he was wrong. Work was already underway, and his lack of awareness continues. That’s troubling because the project is literally right over his head. His office, during the entire period, is directly beneath Motorgate.
“Please note that all work will be done in strict adherence of New York City Building Code regulations,” he added. “At least two fire exits will remain accessible near the work area at all times during construction.”
We took a walk through about half of Motorgate, circling around the construction. Not only did Haynes’s promises prove false, we found conditions worse than our reader reported.
And the beat goes on…
“Additionally, several parking spots, which look perfectly fine, are painted with slanting blue lines. What do they mean?” Our reader wondered after encountering RIOC’s Motorgate mess.
The blue lines, we later discovered, indicate parking reserved for handicapped drivers, but how could you tell?
Few could, we found, because more than 80% of cars parked in these areas lacked any kind of legally required plates or hangers showing they belonged there.
And true to form, RIOC’s Public Safety Department is lax as ever. No tickets or any other kinds of notices or warnings were visible in multiple locations.
An unsettling surprise not reported before, corrosive chemicals with visible warning labels stacked unprotected alongside a traffic lane.
An errant vehicle? An easy theft? Both were present and immediate hazards, just over RIOC’s head.
Signs like these are on every level in Motorgate. Which way do you go? And in an already confusing environment, how can you be sure?
Far from clear, but if you look closely, you might guess that the blue markings indicate handicapped spaces. Yet they’re nearly invisible to drivers, not to mention rare and completely unenforced.
And how could PSD enforce a requirement that no one’s taken the trouble to make well-known? In every location, only a small percent of parkers fit the requirements, according to license plates and mirror signs.
RIOC Motorgate mess has more to offer…
“Others have yellow lines which I accept to mean ‘no parking’ but don’t understand why,” our reader wrote.
RIOC’s no help. Yellow strips, above, may mean “No Parking” or “Visitor Parking.”
In every area we walked, drivers parked on yellow striped areas. In no location did we find a single sign telling drivers what the stripes mean.
And there were no tickets; so, what do the stripes indicate? Is it a state secret?