No Motorized Vehicles on the West Promenade… Except

No Motorized Vehicles on the West Promenade… Except

When it comes to motorized vehicles, RIOC has two standards. Cars, trucks and ebikes are free to speed and run stop signs and crosswalks as long as they stick to Main Street. But on the West Promenade, they are strictly banned… Except…

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

With the smug defiance of. privileged elites, RIOC has once again carved out special rights for themselves. These are not available to anyone living on Roosevelt Island and paying for a remotely governed state agency blessed with Governor Kathy Hochul’s protection.

No fewer than five “motorized vehicles” line up for streetlike parking immediately behind the big sign banning them. Most sport Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation license plates, making the supposed enforcers the primary violators.

The location abuts the New York State Shelton J. Haynes Parking Area where four spots are set aside for RIOC’s dear leader. That’s not enough for the state agency that never gets it wrong.

About the Motorized Vehicles Ban

RIOC first showed its timidity toward doing anything that might make Main Street safer by restricting bicycles on the promenade.

“Walk Your Bike” and “Yield to PEDS” signs appeared on both promenades. The most remarkable feature, aside from their being too small, was the absence of any kind of enforcement. The signs remain, but bike riders pay as little attention to them as they ever did.

The hopelessly effete Public Safety Department’s efforts ended with putting up the signs. Over their three years of life, they’ve been approximately as useful as breasts on a bull.

From the Series: My Life Passing Before Me


But last year, three people were struck by cars on Main Street. One was a child; another, a senior who went through painful months of physical therapy.

RIOC reacted after the third incident, which involved the child, promising a comprehensive Traffic Safety Plan. That was promised by President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes, but he never came out with it.

Instead, the state agency that never makes a mistake announced the first motorized vehicle ban on the promenades. It was offensive, but not just because it tried shifting focus away from Main Street.

It also severely restricted multiple housing complexes from access to their own properties, even in emergencies. RIOC quickly recognized the problem though, deciding it did not apply to them. They continued driving on the promenades as they always have.

But the New Signs Are Much Bigger

Widely seen as a sorry excuse for not actually prying butts out of chairs at HQ, the bigger signs appear to shout at offenders.

Except for the elites.

But they are still ridiculous because they don’t address any real problem. Instead, they illustrate the privileges RIOC grants itself and denies to those who live here and pay all the bills for their bloated salaries.

8 thoughts on “No Motorized Vehicles on the West Promenade… Except

  1. This is all over the island; the parked cars by and under Island House, the construction refuse bin between Island House and Westview, the loading and unloading in the same area with a sign that forbids it in view (well, partially blocked now by the construction refuse bin).

    1. There’s a difference. The locations you mention are on private, not public property; so, none of the parking rules apply. And Westview is doing extensive renovations on its interior, upgrading the complex now that Mitchell-Lama is gone. That’s not apparent because they’ve limited public exposure to the dumpster. Because of how the WIRE buildings were constructed, leaving little to no open space, there is literally no other place where they can park an active dumpster.

      1. In my experience, unless there’s an empty lot nearby, dumpsters go in the street, right up to the curb, taking away parking spots. Not an option in this case because of the bus stop and the fire hydrant.

  2. How about either enforcing the “no bicycles” signs or removing them if it’s not going to be enforced (which it isn’t) by the tennis club and the Haynes private parking area? In a society of laws, laws should not be mocked.

    1. Bicycle violations are constant here and have been for years and have increased. Why PSD won’t do anything about it puzzles me. Part of it, probably most of it, is poor management. Last weekend after dodging bicycles in a “Walk Your Bike” section of the East Promenade, I ran into a PSO leaning on a railing while cyclists rode by and asked him about why he wasn’t saying anything. We were literally within 100 feet of a sign that’s been up for year, and he insisted that there were no restrictions. How do you beat that?

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