Hey, RIOC! Save this space! You’ve really blown it so far, but this is our space, entrusted to you. You owe us better than this.
By David Stone
When RIOC board member David Kappel stirred discussion about reversing decades of neglect of the Motorgate Atrium, it was a landmark switch.
A miracle on Roosevelt Island’s Main Street?
Maybe, because the board recognized the space for the first time in years. Terribly neglected. Filthy. But there. Maybe change is possible.
But really, reviving the atrium in a vacuum ignores the broader public space. Most don’t even notice it’s there.
Yet, in fact, RIOC contemplates even worse: uprooting vibrant cherry trees, destroying public space by pour tons of wet concrete in to finish off a Palace of Versailles bike ramp.
RIOC: Save This Space Perspective
But even before you get that far, more dumped off construction material greets you.
RIOC: Save This Space… Across the road, adjacent to the atrium, it’s actually worse.
In September, 2018, after an expose in The Roosevelt Island Daily, PSD Public Safety Chief Jack McManus announced a policy for removing the Island’s giant inventory of abandoned bikes.
But before removing all the bikes, Chief McManus went on sick leave. He later retired, and the program was abandoned, along with bike safety.
Treating the historic Tram like debris didn’t stop with the cabins.
RIOC! Save This Space
RIOC needs to save this space, not destroy it with a bike ramp.
In hot pursuit of an Albany grant, RIOC creates a false need for bicycle access to Roosevelt Island. That’s already here, always has been.
The only thing we lacked was Albany cash. So, RIOC invented a need for it.
This should not stand.
Turning this space into a junkyard, then an unneeded bike ramp, is a betrayal of public trust.