Dumb and Dumber at RIOC PSD or Just Selective Enforcement?


We suspected selective enforcement when PSD lazily put up barriers in front of a single fire hydrant on Main Street. Was it just knuckle-headed or something worse?

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Selective Enforcement?

When PSD Chief Kevin Brown was confronted over an ungainly barrier set up in front of Bread & Butter Deli, he admitted that he set it up to prevent parking in front of the fire hydrant.

That’s right. RIOC’s top executive in charge of safety figured that a permanent barrier in front of a fire hydrant was better than an occasional car parking there.

Then, just in case, Brown made the barrier even bigger.

The Kevin Brown Fire Hydrant Blockade. Genius. The PSD fire hydrant zone enlarged and decorated with really nice paper signs.

Fact Checking PSD Claims

First, let’s all concede that this is stupid right outa the gate. After all, one thing PSD does really well is write out parking tickets. Why cut off revenue that might cover RIOC’s bloated payroll?

And how does this help anyway, replacing temporary violations with a 24/7 one?

That’s why we wondered about targeting. Does PSD have bug up its butt over something about the popular deli, Main Street’s longest standing business? Bread & Butter Deli is Muslim-owned and managed. Is that a factor in the targeting?

One good way of finding out how selective this is involves checking how other fire hydrants are “protected” in the canyon. Compare like for like. Here is what we found:

RIOC marked vehicle in prohibited fire hydrant zone. Apparently okay for the state agency but not for deli customers.

At the nearest fire hydrant outside Good Shepherd Plaza, no barrier was found. But a marked RIOC vehicle was illegally parked without interference from Chief Brown’s intrepid enforcers.

And it wasn’t alone.

A private vehicle, not ticketed, joined in the privilege.

Is it selective enforcement, targeted?

That seems clear, but what’s not clear is an honest explanation of why?

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