David Stone
From Facebook, this morning...
From Facebook, this morning...

At 7:45 this morning, a small tractor rolled down the helix. It was rush hour, but no problem for residents-last-RIOC. PSD took it inching south along Main Street while hundreds of Roosevelt Islanders seethed in frustration, knowing they were going to be late for ferries, subways, trams and, eventually work. RIOC's response was sadly typical and deeply irresponsible.

It's all too familiar with RIOC refusing to admit mistakes, from contaminating water fountains island-wide to failing to monitor Hudson Related dumping a speakeasy into our parks. So, here we go again

"I’m getting multiple angry hits over a PSD escort during peak rush hour this morning that caused delays up to 20 minutes. People say they missed the ferry as well as trains and the tram. Can you explain what urgency made such a disruptive operation unavoidable?" I asked RIOC shortly after 9:00.

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The answer, nearly an hour later, from Public Information Officer Terrence McCauley was a polite stiff arm: "A scheduled construction delivery ran later than anticipated, which caused delays. Sometimes, unforeseen delays happen during the construction process. We apologize for any inconvenience to our residents."

What? Just a shrug of the shoulders apology? No admitting it was a mistake, an error that would not be repeated? Really?

I found that hard to believe and gave it another try:

"Can you explain for our readers why it wasn’t held up until after rush hour and why the escort did not allow traffic the courtesy of an occasional pause to allow stuck travelers to pass? Either would have eased what turned out to be a miserable experience that was fully avoidable. Our readers are using terms like “idiotic” and wonder why this was given priority over hundreds of people trying to get to work. Saying a delivery ran late hardly cuts it."

But no, the cross between contempt and a Jersey salute was not going to change.

"Construction deliveries usually occur at the beginning of the work day when crews are on site to receive the delivery," McCauley began in textbook style for those of us too thick to figure that one out.

It was meaningless excuse making that didn't explain anything about the poor timing and horrible execution.

"The delivery took longer than normal due to equipment that moved slower than anticipated."

No kidding...?

RIOC's spokesman continued, "This kind of delay happens from time to time in a growing community like Roosevelt Island or Manhattan. (Emphasis mine.)

But doesn't Manhattan have more than a single artery? Maybe I'm wrong, but last I knew, the big island had alternative routes. (Make note to RIOC.)

"PSD was on site for the safety of our residents and any delay was due to an abundance of caution for their well-being." 

Stop laughing. The horrible delay was for your own good, crybaby Roosevelt Islanders.

The still absent admission of error or any indication that they'd try to avoid it in the future should make you shudder. People and organizations unable to own up to mistakes are doomed to repeat them and more. At our expense.

"As I said in my previous statement, we apologize for the inconvenience," McCauley concluded.

God forgive me, I was fool enough to take another shot at it. I wrote...

"No answer on why it couldn’t wait until after rush hour or why no steps were taken, like occasional pauses, to relieve the traffic jam? This reads like putting residents last, which is not the impression you want. I’ll use this, but I'd prefer a more positive explanation if you have one."

... and...

"PS: Manhattan doesn’t have a single artery. There are alternatives."

Must've gone too far. RIOC ignored that attempted assist.