The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), an agency allegedly devoted to mass transit, is really cool on the concept. If its behavior on Roosevelt Island is a guide, that is. The transportation behemoth – currently exhorting people to return to their offices and the subways – is also observably anti-art.
by David Stone
UPDATE, OCTOBER 10TH, 2023: Although what we saw last week from MTA operations on Roosevelt Island was ugly, pointing it out did not stir a makeover. Nor did it whisk away suspicions about why nothing ever gets done on time.
Here we have Friday afternoon when the MTA’s virtual parking lot blocked almost the entire mural put up to beautify the otherwise clunky-looking tunnel airshaft. The mural cost the MTA – and, of course, taxpayers – tens of thousands. But it’s wasted much of the time because MTA workers never use mass transit.
Sunday was Fall for Arts on Roosevelt Island. The MTA Gave It a Kick in the Ass
Clearing Up the Question
Why can’t the MTA ever get anything done on time or, sometimes, at all? A couple of midday photos, taken on two different days, tell the story.
How do you feel about congestion pricing while the MTA steals $100K a month from Roosevelt Island now?
End of Update
Although the deeply unpopular agency has a long history of parking abuse on Roosevelt Island, the MTA hit an all-time high in lows this week.
Here’s what we saw:
The parking of MTA-related vehicles was so intense it forced pedestrians into the street. The cars even blocked the entrance to the trash area set aside for Riverwalk Commons businesses.
There were plenty of MTA-identifying permits in the windshields but no tickets.
By all accounts, virtually no one working on MTA projects uses mass transit. They all drive and dump their cars wherever they can jam in on Roosevelt Island, already short on parking spaces.
This also means Main Street gets an additional beating beyond its design and capacity.
But this all raises an even more serious question: With all those MTA workers flooding Roosevelt Island, how come so little work is getting done?
The rumored new elevator is a year overdo with no end in sight. The MTA stopped posting completion dates, which were never met, months ago. The two that are running breakdown all the time.
And workers assigned to the F Train Track Fixation project often look more like they’re on siesta than the job.
And the Art-Hating Thing
In the summer, the MTA opened for view a mural, costing tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars, on the 63rd Street tunnel air shaft. Its intention is improving the site with art.
But a picture really is worth a thousand words when it comes to MTA art appreciation…