Another serious AVAC crash happened sometime over the 4th of July weekend. We don’t know much about it because the standard mismanagement gave rise to an utterly illiterate community alert mainly underscoring the mess RIOC has become.
Governor Hochul, is this the best you think our community deserves?
By David Stone
About the “important message from the RIOC Advisories alert system”
Here’s a gem from the important message: “In the mean time, these building has been asked to close their garbage chutes and bring in garbage directly into the AVAC Plant.”
That literacy bomb refers to: “The west side of the AVAC line is obstructed impacting garbage collection via vacuum along the duct work servicing building complex at Westview and BLG 531 (Rivercross).”
It goes on to say, “NOTE: this only affects the areas noted, and not the entire west line!” Which is not true because there is no detour around Island House which sits between the two.
“Bad news for a lot of apartment dwellers,” one reader commented, “written by someone’s with no grammar skills or even common sense. Can’t even properly identify both buildings…
“AND, obviously, not proof-read or corrected by a supervisor or anyone who should know better. Embarrassing at best.”
But Why Did the AVAC Crash?
Setting aside the illiteracy so common with RIOC that we assume Governor Hochul, who runs RIOC by remote control, and President/CYA Shelton J. Haynes are both good with it, what went wrong?
Because RIOC has a system of lying and covering up the now two+ years crisis, we may never know the details of this specific crash. But we can share an expert’s view of the expanding crisis. This AVAC crash and the many before it, beginning in May, 2021, was predictable because…
- Installed in 1975, the AVAC lines have a predicted lifespan of 25 years. The main lines are now near twice that age. “So you can imagine how bad they must be,” our expert observes.
- Not only has RIOC failed to maintain the lines, they have no plan for replacement, which is inevitable. Design flaws hamper both situations. That is, the main lines run under the buildings, not outside, making them hard to access. But that doesn’t excuse doing nothing.
The only comparable system in America, “Disney lines their tunnels with stainless steel. They have the money, and they are accessible for repairs.”
Like so many public works projects, the politicians disappear when the bragging ceases and the real work of maintenance begins.
Maintenance ain’t sexy, and the politicians don’t fund it. Think about all the bridge collapses. Think of the potholes and incompetent government websites. Park the AVAC crashes in that lot.
So, Where Do We Go From Here?
“The bottom line is the system needs to be replaced sooner rather than later.” But an accompanying truism is that the Haynes/Hochul administration at RIOC is not up to the challenge.
And with its financials now in perilous territory with cash flow dwindling, they don’t have the money either.
It’s not just the bumbling illiteracy, which is more an Albany-delivered kick in the butt than anything else. It’s insulting to Roosevelt Islanders, but the incompetence is overwhelming, the swirling presence of EADD up and down Team RIOC’s ranks.
It’s an infection fertilized by misguided political patronage.
Mix in the now absurd failure to get OMNY installed at the Tram stations, after years of whining and promises. Spiced with the fact that Hochul runs both RIOC and the MTA. Then, add in the lurking giant, the tunnel under the east seawall that was designated as in imminent danger of collapse during Susan Rosenthal’s tenure at RIOC.
If there’s room in the stew of ineptitude, toss in the traffic safety plan Haynes promised two years ago after three people – two seniors and a child – were struck by cars in Main Street crosswalks.
Haynes and his protector, Governor Kathy Hochul, have made no progress on any of it, apart from additional staff bloat and skyrocketing salaries.
The latest AVAC crash is just another brick on the road of failure. Sadly, with Hochul coddling Haynes because of the votes she needs in Brooklyn and Manhattan, there is no end in sight.
Just brick after brick after brick forming a broken road…