Alarming RIOC Negligence During Tram Work in Active Plaza


RIOC negligence often shocks, but active heavy equipment and maintenance in the Tram Plaza during rush hour should be grounds for immediate dismissal. They won’t be though as Team Hochul has left the worst administration in Roosevelt Island history to “flourish” in its own way.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

RIOC Negligence, Stark & Casual

As we reported yesterday, RIOC’s insurance carrier for employee matters jumped ship after a flood of lawsuits targeting President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes. Maybe their physical liability carrier will be next.

It’s a busy rush hour, Tram Plaza crowding enhanced by erratic Red Bus service. Workers on a never announced Tram cable project load what looks like some kind of I-Beam from a storage truck near Firefighter’s Field.

With the heavy object lifted in front, an equipment-carrying vehicle maneuvers through a two-way traffic circle, angling toward the Tram Plaza where dozens of people wait at the bus stop.

There is not a single Public Safety Officer in sight.

A construction crew of about six, on foot, hustles into the plaza as the equipment operator angles left past the bus shelter and along the path where the RI sign and a hotdog stand narrow the passage.

Until the gruff and rude operator shouts at the crew to clear people out of the way, they scramble in confusion. No one has a sign or a flag, just reflecting safety vests. While they try organizing, the operator insults confused pedestrians trying to go about their business.

Tram cabins continue loading and releasing passengers. There are no instructions. No signs. And although RIOC Advisories have repeatedly encouraged attendance at Roosevelt Island Day, none have warned about construction in the busy plaza.

A man and a woman edge sideways toward the hotdog truck, with just a couple of feet of clearance and the I-beam now dangling across the Tram exit.

If no one got hurt, it’s through no fault of RIOC’s. While all this went on, not a single RIOC employee, let alone Public Safety Officers, were anywhere on hand.

Red Bus to the Rescue

Finally, two delayed Red Buses arrive, bumper to bumper, relieving the crowd, a tragedy averted. RIOC negligence did no damage, this time, except in Roosevelt Islanders’ trust.

Chaos fell like a dust cloud over the community in recent weeks with the state agency in turmoil, missing key staff positions and leadership absent or ineffective, one being just as good as the other.

On a trip to Manhattan Park and back, I never saw a single PSD officer anywhere. I saw a half-dozen speeding scooters whip down the helix, zooming through the stop sign onto Main Street. I saw a bicyclist riding through the intersection, grandstanding with only his rear wheel on the ground.

And I saw more passengers on Red Buses without face masks.

But no Public Safety anywhere. Roosevelt Islanders chip in over $4 million annually for the department. Chief Kevin Brown pulls down around $150K with an assistant chief also in six figures.

President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes pulls in at least $216K, but he’s nowhere to be found either.

Chip in and help with our expenses here:

Thank you.

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