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Is it expensive living on Roosevelt Island? Not when you know where to look

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“This just made me so sad for this lovely Island…

“I just observed a woman urinating in a cup in the sitting area at top of subway steps/elevators.  No public safety, no NYC police and no mta  employees visible,” our friend wrote.

By David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

“I have only been working on RI 5 years.  Many noticeable quality of life declines I have observed.”

You can imagine, we told her, what it’s like for those of us who’ve been here for much longer and watched so much slide downhill.

What’s so sad for this lovely island?

The longer you’ve lived here, the sadder you’re likely to be over the circumstances.

Roosevelt Island’s still a great place to live, but in core areas, official neglect, indifference and gross lack of government talent set things at a precarious edge.

The woman in the subway…?

Appalling as public urination might be, it’s worse where a homeless person has no choice.

For decades, the community complained about the lack of public facilities without significant response from our absentee landlord, RIOC. In fact, the restroom at the Tram, once available for the public, has been “out of service” for over a year.

And we can’t imagine that the woman squatting in the subway was any more happy about it than those watching her. Imagine going to the trouble of finding a cup when you can’t find a home.

But what choice had she?

But is it expensive living on Roosevelt Island…?

Not when you know where to look…

Living on Roosevelt Island…. under the Roosevelt Island Bridge Helix.

The photo above was taken just after noon. Under the helix where the state wants to spend millions on a bike ramp.

Let’s be clear. This is all on RIOC.

Out of a $30 million per year budget, much of it absorbed by bloated staffing and excessive salaries, we are not aware of a single dime set aside for dealing with our growing homeless problem.

No one should be living on Roosevelt Island under these conditions, let alone anywhere else in America.

But locally, the community’s being managed in an especially callous manner.

When the pandemic hit, the best RIOC could come up with was free face masks. A hearty team of volunteers did all the work while RIOC stood by, most of them “working” at home.

But they wasted a good part of half-a-million dollars on COVID testing without considering alternatives of doing any kind or research.

In the meantime, homelessness grew much worse while the state did nothing to help.

Conclusion: Is it expensive living on Roosevelt Island?

The pandemic slowed the center of local gravity drifting south. But as a general trend, living expenses are rising, even as quality of life is in serious decline.

And, when you think about it, all those improvements we read about and RIOC boasts about…? None are residential, and none help local businesses.

Parks and campuses and a first hotel are great, but let’s be realistic. Although Cornell Tech adds over the top community outreach, none of what’s new was done with the people who live here in mind.

The state overseers in Albany left residents behind.

From landscaping to roadwork, neglect is the rule with RIOC, and as long as they are here and without oversight, nothing will improve enough.

The talent’s not there because it’s become a political dump, but worse, commitment and good intentions aren’t there either.

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