“Here’s your headline,” the caller said. “Is RIOC re-striping Main Street of just painting over their problems?” Details about what the state agency was doing sent me out on an inspection. And then, another after the work progressed. Here’s what I found.
By David Stone
We’ve always gotten RIOC complaints, and almost always, they want their names left out of any reporting. The state’s reputation for retaliation is well-grounded, and we’ve seen plenty of abuses here.
But frankly, RIOC’s hates me so much, they’ve ghosted me at ever level for the last year. So, I can take the hit. Why put others, some who depend on RIOC support, at risk?
This was no different.
So, off I went. The day, sunny and nice.
Views: RIOC’s re-striping Main Street
A crew laid down white, restoring long lost crosswalks and No U Turn markings drivers can’t easily read.
Before finishing my second walk through, I appreciated some humor. The condition of the road’s surface was so bad, the crew curled a middle stripe away from its normal course.
Look closely, it no longer matches its partner on the other side of the intersection.
Pretty awful, I thought, but whimsical. And there just ain’t enough of that.
After two days of life, a refreshed crosswalk was already badly scuffed and deteriorating. Red Z-brick was never intended for heavy vehicle traffic, but RIOC allows it anyway without much effort at fixing countless potholes and deep ripples.
Want a fuller experience of Main Street deterioration. Try riding a RIOC red bus standing up. It’s enlightening, if you have the knees for it.
Near PS/IS 217, it was worse. After re-striping Main Street where it was already falling apart, the workers left it vulnerable to unfixed conditions. Gravel was already biting into and removing the paint.
Yes, RIOC was painting over problems without fixing them, a consistent pattern with the state agency that never makes a mistake…
First time out, I took a picture of Main Street before the re-striping crew arrived. Who’d paint over this, knowing the work would fail?
Well, RIOC would, of course, but it was no exception to standard operating procedures.
Current conditions were terrible, but they also reflected a history of painting over without fixing.
A really smart friend, Ben, used to say this about work: “There’s only one way to do things. And that’s the right way.” Implying that everyone knows what the right, conscientious, responsible way is.
RIOC’s lost that navigational tool. If they know the right way, they don’t let on.
Re-striping Main Street, two days later, left a surface with patches over patches over patches host to a freshly redone crosswalk that was already falling apart.
The story was similar all along the re-striped Main Street. After letting the tone-setting Z-brick streets and sidewalks go pretty much to hell with neglect, the best RIOC comes up with is laying down layers of white paint over broken surfaces.
Missed and ignored while re-striping Main Street, collapsed curbs taking the Z-brick sidewalk with it.
RIOC’s known about this for years, but unlike over areas along the route of this project, it can’t be painted over.
So, they did nothing. It’s a pattern, but since they won’t deal with it, we can only guess about future repercussions.
Maybe the sidewalks will fall into the street, and RIOC will rush in with traffic cones and creaky metal fencing.
One thing for sure: they will never say they made a mistake.
A re-striping Main Street message…?
Surrounded by potholes and falling apart Z-bricks, a message may be trying to reach the state agency before the recent painting over deteriorates further.
“Here’s your headline,” the caller said. “Is RIOC re-striping Main Street of just painting over their problems?”
The evidence is vanishing before our eyes.
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