Think twice now before using the Roosevelt Island Subway

Think twice now before using the Roosevelt Island Subway

An assault yesterday forces a warning about using the Roosevelt Island subway station. Risk is becoming acute, especially for women, deep underground. Lots of talk but no help from PSD or NYPD.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Roosevelt Island Subway Station, earlier this month.
The woman who took this photo and shared it was The Daily was terrified but documented open drug use in the Roosevelt Island subway station, anyway.

A Danger Zone in the Roosevelt Island Subway Station

Already known for its filth, abandoned repair projects and abundant mold, the Roosevelt Island subway station added a new identity. Crime. This month, we reported open drug use on the platform in an encampment, and yesterday, a man walked the platform screaming before striking an Asian woman.

Yesterday during rush hour, this…

“There was a disturbing incident on the RI subway platform this morning,” a witness told The Daily. “Waiting for the train- crowded platform – I heard yelling. A young man who looked homeless – disheveled and not wearing a coat – suddenly appeared walking up the platform.

“Everyone looked startled. I was seated on the bench, and he slapped the woman standing next to me on the arm. She was Asian snd looked shocked. The train pulled up and everyone got on. Except for the guy…”

There was no police presence and only an arriving train brought a rescue to the station.

Add to this a pair of underground muggings The Daily has not previously reported. One victim, a professional woman, working long hours and relying on the F Train for work, moved because she found the risks too high.

The Roosevelt Island subway station has long been known for its filth and mold-inducing leaks. Now, add crime and neglect in the mix.


RIOC’s Public Safety Department, known for its gift for creative responsibility ducking, says the subway is not in its jurisdiction. Is there something preventing from making a presence and contacting NYPD about any observed dangers? Uniformed presence alone discourages misconduct and crime.

What about the state agency or any of our elected officials badgering the MTA about years of filth and unfinished projects infested with mold? Filthy, neglected venues are signals that “We are not here,” and anything goes.

As for the NYPD, they rarely now use booths built at either ends of the platforms after 9/11. We see no other presence, except in emergencies; that is, after the fact, the damage already done.

One apparent Roosevelt Island anomaly going unnoticed is the reduced presence of NYPD on the Island. At one time, the community actually had a named officer making occasional patrols. Given the huge PSD force here, paid for by residents, they don’t do that anymore. Unfortunately, neither does PSD.

We are repeatedly reminded by the state that we shouldn’t be alarmed because Roosevelt Island is the safest neighborhood in the city. But those are statistics, and we know some things go unreported here. Pretending the subway station is somehow not part of the Island, a vital part of the community’s lifeblood, is – putting it mildly – misleading.

If we were once the safest, we are not now. Especially around the Roosevelt Island subway station, where, yesterday, yet another crime probably went unreported, swept away in rush hour.

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