Update: Roosevelt Island Goes Lower. RIOC Now Charging for Disabled Parking

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Disabled parking was always free in Motorgate, a nod to an integral part of the community. Forgotten now, but once a source of pride, Roosevelt Island was one of the first barrier-free towns in the world. It was built that way on purpose. But lately, some disabled residents stay home rather than risk Main Street’s uncontrolled electronic two-wheelers. And now, in the latest blow, RIOC contractor, SP+ Parking, began charging for disabled parking spots… without advance notice.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Update, January 20th, 2023.

At least one resident dealing with a physical disability called SP+ Parking. The answer she got was a revelation but not the pleasant kind. Here’s what she told us:

“You should call and see the answer they give you. She (customer service rep) says the invoice was sent to let you know you would be now paying.  But when asked why no notice was given, she said that is the notice. The # is 212-832-4585. I was told by SP plus that having the disability tag from the city does not mean you don’t have to pay. I am going to reach out to RIOC to see if they know about this.”

RIOC, of course, has been silent. The state agency managed jointly by CEO Seldom Seen Shelton J. Haynes and Governor Kathy “Get Lost” Hochul, maintains a see-no-evil approach to communications, guided by $150K/Yr AVP Akeem Jamal.

Disabled Parking Is No Longer Free

“When I go to my account it shows all past invoice amounts as 0. But Feb 1 2023 shows an invoice for $125. Am I missing something? Do all disabled now have to pay for parking?”

The invoice notice from SP+ Parking, of course, came from a No Reply address.

The Daily asked if there had been any prior notification.

The answer was quick and direct: “Absolutely not.”

RIOC’s contractor raised rates for everyone, last year. Now, it appears, they’ve created a whole new category for collecting from disabled parkers for the first time. The $125 monthly fee does not match up with any other rates on their schedule.

On SP+ Parking’s website, they say their management practices are “…designed to maximize revenue and minimize costs.” That would appeal to RIOC.

Don’t Expect Any Help from RIOC

The state agency that never makes a mistake posts the rates on a hard-to-find page on its website. But that location, like most of its website, seems populated with far out-of-date information.

And just last year, the Haynes/Hochul administration made its distaste for the disabled a public display.

For six months, RIOC posted a sign at the Main Street entrance to Blackwell House, directing wheelchairs to use the steps. Preceding it was a sign pointing into nearby bushes.

Typically, RIOC, if it responds at all, will blame its contractor, but ultimately, the state agency that never gets it wrong is in charge. Claiming an immunity to accountability is standard practice on the 2nd Floor at Blackwell House where almost every action is “well-received” in the community, according to President/CEO Seldom Seen Shelton J. Haynes.

Not this time.

You can try contacting SP+ Parking at this email address: krose@spplus.com

This is a developing story, and we will watch for any developments.

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