Public Safety Officer Says Not Her Job To Open Roosevelt Island Tram Gate Entrance For Dad With Daughter and Stroller Despite RIOC Policy That Says It Is Her Job
A Roosevelt Island Dad reports on the ongoing difficulties of parents with baby strollers at the Roosevelt Island Tram gate entrance. According to the Dad:
On or about 815am on Wednesday morning, May 9, 2013, I approached the tram with my daughter as we do each morning as I take her to preschool in Manhattan as I go to work. That morning, like many mornings, there was no attendant stationed at the booth to open the security gate for parents who have young children with strollers.Last month, Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Member Eva Bosbach sent the following letter to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC)
That morning, there was a female Public Safety Officer stationed in the booth.... I swiped my card and I asked the Officer if she would open the gate so I could enter with the stroller. My daughter wanted to go in to be with her friends who were waiting for the tram with their mother and she also wanted me to come with her.
The Officer said it was not her job to open the gate. I then asked her if she would contact someone who would and she refused to do that. Meanwhile my daughter was getting anxious to enter to be with her friends and asking me to come.
I told the Officer that other Public Safety Officers open the gate when the tram employees are not around but she still refused and became very un professional and hostile towards me. My daughter started to cry and panic reacting to the Officer’s un professional conduct and temper.
Finally the tram came and the operator opened the gate but the Officer continued her hostility towards me and my poor daughter cried all the way over on the tram. The Officer blamed me for causing my daughter to cry when in fact it was her misconduct which created the situation. Public Safety is to assist the public. It is not their job to treat us like thugs or criminals but to help us.
A few months ago on behalf of the Roosevelt Island Parents Network and the RIRA Island Services Committee I brought up the problem of the access to the Tram boarding area for parents with strollers, which also affects people in wheelchairs and bikers.The issue of Baby Stroller access to the Roosevelt Island Tram entrance gate
Parents with strollers have to wait until someone from the Tram personnel, usually the Tram conductor, comes to open the gate for them. While the cabins are not in the station, all other passengers can go through the turnstiles and pre-load. Especially during long winter months like this year, this can affect the health of the residents and their babies. For example, mothers who just gave birth and their newborns have to wait in the cold in front of the gate and cannot get to the heaters of the pre-boarding area. But even in warmer times, the current situation is unfair and affects timing: Especially in rush hour a parent or another care-giver can miss the Tram even though she or he was the first one at the station – but had to wait for the gate to be opened while everybody else pre-loaded – causing the parent to be late for work or another appointment.
We suggested a number of solutions to RIOC and we are very pleased to have received a positive progress report last week by RIOCʼs Community Relations Specialist Erica Spencer-El. As a short-term solution, an additional staffer has been assigned who should now assist with opening the gate during rush hours. Unfortunately there is still feed-back from parents that this is not always the case. In the long run the plan is to hire an extra person designated to opening the gate and supervising the whole area permanently. We hope this can happen as soon as possible. On behalf of the many parents who live on Roosevelt Island or visit it, as well as the wheelchair- users and bikers we would like to thank RIOC for the progress already made and for further acting on this issue!
was discussed during the February 13 RIOC Operations Committee meeting. RIOC Director Michael Shinozaki said:
... all Public Safety Officers should be instructed to assist parents, when feasible, with opening the Tram Station Entrance Gate door when the Public Safety Officer is stationed in the area....
Apparently the message has not been received by all of the Public Safety Officers as discovered by the Roosevelt Island Dad last Wednesday morning.
Here's the full RIOC Operations Committee discussion of the Roosevelt Island Tram Gate Entrance Baby Stroller Issue.