David Stone
Crosswalk to Nowhere, including accessibility curb cut and no warning sign or nearby alternative.
Crosswalk to Nowhere, including accessibility curb cut and no warning sign or nearby alternative.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

"Due to the construction of Building 8 by Related," began one complaint we received yesterday, regarding the all-new Crosswalk to Nowhere, "the crosswalk and East Side Of Main Street are closed. Crossing Main Street requires jaywalking." Hudson's actually the builder, which may explain why RIOC cold-shouldered the problem.

After hearing complaints from multiple readers, we sent both Hudson and RIOC the same email:

"Pedestrians needing to cross have a choice of walking the entire length of Southtown or jaywalk. For people with physical disabilities or the blind who’ve memorized the location, it’s worse. This is the only curb cut for accessibility. They can’t even jaywalk. Who gave Hudson’s crews permission to make such an intrusion on accessibility. More importantly, what will someone in authority do to correct it?"

A response from RIOC Public Information Officer Alonza Robertson, oblivious to the concerns of our senior and disabled populations, was approximately as chilly as Ebenezer Scrooge's heart before the first ghost appears.

"The entire street is not being used for construction," he wrote. (Editor: "Duh!") "The permitted construction zone, which includes the closed sidewalk - which is clearly marked - starts on Main Street just south of Southtown 7 and ends just before Firefighters Field.

"Only one crosswalk is inoperable. There are open crosswalks at 425 Main and another at Blackwell Park."

(Editor: "Duh, again.")

"We will re-visit the site to consider if we need additional signage alerting southbound pedestrians on the east-side (sic) walkway, at the Blackwell crosswalk, about the upcoming closed sidewalk."

"Sidewalk Closed" sign offers no alternative but jaywalking.
"Sidewalk Closed" sign offers no alternative but jaywalking.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Robertson included no, "Sorry for the disruption," or "Thanks for letting us know." 

Guess which finger we could just about imagine rising toward the computer screen.

To be fair, RIOC did much better than Hudson, which did not answer at all.

"I got a similar answer from RIOC and the building contractor," wrote our reader, Sylvan Klein, who first brought the hazard to our attention. "Next step I guess will be to contact DOT, Buildings Dept. and the Community Board (and elected officials.)

"Seems like a can of paint and a brush would solve the problem, to create a 'Temporary Crosswalk.'

"Thank you for your assistance."