Now, All Motor Vehicles Banned from the Roosevelt Island Promenades

Now, All Motor Vehicles Banned from the Roosevelt Island Promenades

According to flyers handed out yesterday on Main Street, PSD bans all motor vehicles from both Roosevelt Island promenades, “effective immediately.” This follows outrage over a dog killed by a car, last week.

By David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Motor Vehicles Banned

Kicking off enforcement, Public Safety officers were out in force, yesterday afternoon. They stopped electric bikes, scooters and motorcycles, informing each of the new rules and handing out flyers.

Although a rollout of signs and patrols awaits the initial ban, it includes all motor vehicles, including cars and trucks. “There have been some accidents,” one officer explained.

The most obvious was the killing of a dog out for a walk, just one week ago, on the West Promenade. In the aftermath, the dog’s owners, Giovanni and Laura Battistini, sent a scathing email to RIOC president/CEO Shelton J. Haynes. The letter detailed their frustration with PSD’s follow up and witnessing no change.

Motor vehicles banned flyer
Flyer handed out yesterday on Main Street.

“Wait. I thought they were already banned, weren’t they?”

That was Giovanni Battistini’s initial response on hearing about the motor vehicles banned. That’s always been a gray area because any enforcement was, at best, spotty. Two and four wheel vehicles have sparked complaints over reckless driving for years, without any reaction by PSD.

But who can blame the riders? Except for a single, widely ignored and unclear sign at a single entry point, there are no notices along either promenade. And no law justifying the motor vehicle van is cited anywhere.

Yesterday morning, Battistini sent a follow up complaint to Haynes:

“I just reported to PSD that an e-bike almost ran over me near Rivercross on the West Promenade. The same delivery person from the Fuji restaurant who passes by so many times every hour (as also reported yesterday). He did not slow down as my wife and I were walking North and – in order to avoid a few other pedestrians walking near us – he missed me by an inch. I did not see any officers today on the West promenade, but I found 6 of them on Main Street, where I stopped to report what I had just reported at the station.”

Haynes has not responded to the email messages, but by yesterday afternoon, a temporary barrier was set up near the Meditation Steps.

Temporary barriers blocking only large vehicles reinforced an ignored Do Not Enter sign at the West Promenades south entry point. Effectiveness of the motor vehicles ban will require much more.

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