Has anyone seen RIOC lately? That’s what I was thinking after watching a PSD officer, his hands in his pockets, ignore cars and eBikes roll through a stop sign right in front of him on Monday evening. Since The Girl Puzzle ribbon-cutting in early December, the state agency faded without explanation.
by David Stone
Have you seen RIOC lately?
Chances are, unless you ride a Red Bus or the Tram, probably not. The Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation has because a big, largely invisible expense for the community.
It’s not just the repeated failures of PSD doing nothing much more than writing parking tickets, even after multiple pedestrians were hit in crosswalks. It’s countless big and little things happening daily, and the absence of important communications.
It may seem small at first, but shouldn’t RIOC’s management team have wished the community happy holidays? Shops On Main did. And the Main Street Theatre and Dance Alliance did, and so did Cornell Tech. But nothing from the state agency that draws almost all its operating expenses from the community.
You can overlook that, of course, except it may signal something more significant. Maybe, this year, RIOC’s invisibility isn’t simply neglect. They are under new management.
Although RIOC has a board meeting on their calendar for Thursday, they missed the Open Meetings Law requirement for a 72-hour notice. And if you check the website, there is no agenda and no collateral. Nor any cancellation or postponement notice.
Although we haven’t seen RIOC meet the requirements, that’s not a huge exception, but it is puzzling. Their vaunted Communications Team has rested away from Roosevelt Island for weeks, pumping out awkward, template-driven “Advisories,” a couple of times a week. Maybe they could wrangle the resources for a board meeting notice.
That’s not all that’s missing, though.
- The Free Food Pantry returned but no notice from RIOC, which previously sent Alerts about it twice a week.
- Face mask and testing giveaways by City Council Member Julie Menin were twice ignored.
- The Farmers Market Returned, last weekend, but nothing from RIOC.
To be fair, a vaccination event by Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright earned an “Advisory,” but it was the exception emphasizing the rule.
Haven’t seen RIOC? Negligence has its cost
Just a half-hour after I sat watching a PSD officer with nothing better to do than ignore drivers rolling through stop signs, a stabbing occurred outside Duane Reade adjacent to the F Train Entrance. (Read a report in the Roosevelt Islander.) Although numerous incidents have been reported in that location – aggressive panhandling, an apparently homeless man threatening to kill a 4 year old girl – Public Safety is almost never in the area. That is, except for parking tickets and rolling by in their vehicles without pausing.
The truth is that safety concerns are escalating fast here. Traffic violations, already with three people struck by cars and a dog killed, pile up while RIOC is missing. Negligence has its cost, and the price is rising.
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