What happened to the Shelton J. Haynes Traffic Safety Plan?


I thought about the promised Shelton J. Haynes Traffic Safety Plan, last evening. As a Red Bus maneuvered around a double-parker on Main Street, it stopped at the crosswalk at the south end of Roosevelt Landings. There was the stop sign, and a woman was a few steps into the crosswalk. But the Red Bus driver was the only one respecting the pedestrian’s safety. Needless to say, there wasn’t a single Public Safety Officer anywhere.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

It was all too familiar with our hapless Public Safety Department, backed by a missing CEO and a spineless, poorly informed RIOC board. While the bus waited and the woman froze, a car and – of course – a biker whipped straight through the crosswalk.

Coincidentally, earlier that day, I’d checked on the Shelton J. Haynes Traffic Safety Plan, taking some photos when PS/IS 217 students were leaving school. Check the scenes against Haynes’s promises (below).

Bikers, one after another, run straight through the first crosswalk north of PS/IS 217. This is a little after 3:00 p.m. School is letting out, but there is no crossing guard.
Note: Haynes promised crossing guards “…near PS/IS 217 intersections during school hours.” Technically, he was correct because there aren’t any. (Wouldn’t you expect a serious person to know that?) But his blunder won’t help when kids get hit.
Kids leaving PS/IS 217 in the direction of the unguarded crosswalk. Many head across to Capobianco Field, meeting up with friends. They and their parents often assume that their safety can be taken for granted. It can’t.

Crossing guards were the first thing Haynes – a parent of school age kids himself – promised, but there was only one, not two. During most school hours, despited his promise, there are none.

Having also walked the West Promenade several times without once seeing Public Safety Officers “posted,” I can’t find a single one of his promises kept. Can you?

Here is what he wrote.

On October 16th, The Shelton J. Haynes Traffic Safety Plan…


“I am extremely saddened and concerned by the escalating incidents that further highlight a need for reexamination of Main Street and island promenades as it pertains to safely traversing this progressive island.

“Those who were personally and heartbreakingly impacted, as well as all residents and visitors, can be assured that RIOC will be immediately addressing these safety issues with both short-term and long-term plans. We are treating this with the utmost urgency, seriousness, and importance needed to restore the feeling of safety to all.

“Our immediate plans for Main Street and island promenades are as follows:”

Main Street Safety Improvements:

  • Two crossing guards will be posted on Main Street near PS/IS 217 intersections during school hours.
  • Speed bumps will be strategically placed on Main Street.
  • Portable radar signs will be placed in strategic locations on Main Street.

Promenade Safety Improvements:

  • Restriction of vehicles, motorized scooters, and e-bikes on promenades. However, emergency vehicles or permitted vehicles will be escorted by PSD.
  • Public Safety officers will be posted on the west promenade to ensure compliance.
  • New signage will be ordered.

“…the utmost urgency, seriousness, and importance…” must have a meaning on the second floor of Blackwell House than it does on the street where we live.

More from the Roosevelt Island Daily News


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