Two women struck by cars in crosswalks. But now, did RIOC learn anything…?

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Did RIOC learn anything? The question must be answered after two women, one 88 years old, were rushed to hospitals in separate incidents over the weekend. The answers are not good.

By David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

On what I planned as my first week off in five plus years, my gears shifted after hearing about an accident on Main Street.

Early Monday, I heard from a reader that a woman was hit by a car while crossing Main Street on Sunday. She was in the crosswalk, but the car didn’t stop.

Sections of Main Street have become obstacle courses where no rules apply and no enforcement exists.

An immediate search meant reaching out to RIOC and Public Safety. And of course, we did, but as is their ridiculous custom, neither answered. The state agency has unlearned what a public benefit corporation is, confusing it with a patronage fueled private source of excess compensation.

So, we contacted actual reliable community sources, and after a joint effort, the Roosevelt Islander came up with enough for a story. No thanks to RIOC.

And there was more to it. In fact, two women were hit, not just one.

But it was somewhat predictable as reports in this newspaper and other resources have repeatedly cited PSD’s failure at securing secure crossings on Main Street.

But did RIOC learn anything…?

By all accounts, no. Nothing. Zero. Zip.

On Tuesday, I got my video going fast enough to record, first, a car and, next, a bicycle rolling straight through a crosswalk without pausing. Watch to the end. You’ll see a PSD officer right there but doing nothing more than looking at her phone.

An isolated incident? Maybe.

So, running an errand today, I kept an eye out.

And, it wasn’t long before I saw a woman drive her car straight through the same crosswalk. But this time, an officer was in a marked car right behind her, standing.

What did he do?

You guessed it.

Nothing.

My irritation rising, I asked him why as he got out of his car just long enough for crossing over to headquarters.

“Was I backing up?”

“No. You were sitting still.”

“I was parking.”

No point in arguing as neither are good excuses for ignoring similar violations after a weekend of life-threatening accidents.

“We’re keeping a close eye on the crosswalks,” he insisted, but… Well, haven’t we heard all this before?

Checking out his claim…

Did RIOC learn anything from two weekend accidents were pedestrians were hit in sidewalks?

In a walk from Public Safety’s headquarters to Westview and back, I saw three more incidents of cars or trucks rolling straight through crosswalks.

In one incident, two adults with a child were well into the crosswalk directly in front of PSD’s offices and had to pause to avoid being hit.

Clearly, local drivers are as disinterested in pedestrian safety as is RIOC and its bloated $4 million per year Public Safety Department.

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