New local laws will govern DOT street projects

Laws will formalize hearing requirements for changes to bike lanes and consultation and reporting require ments for major transportation projects. The City Council approved three local laws concerning bike lanes and other major projects proposed by the Department of Transportation. Intro 412-A formalizes DOT outreach efforts to communities affected by proposed bike lanes. Intro 626-A and 671-A create formal consultation and reporting requirements for major transportation projects. Council amended the proposals after the Council’s Transportation Committee held a hearing on the legislation in September 2011. At the hearing, DOT representatives generally supported Intros 412 and 626, stating that the laws would essentially codify the agency’s current practices. DOT, however, asked the Committee to amend Intro 671’s data collection requirements. 8 CityLand 140 (Oct. 15, 2011).

Intro 412-A requires DOT to notify by email each affected council member and community board at least 90 days before constructing or removing a bike lane. DOT must offer to make a presentation about the bike lane at a public hearing held by the community board. On November 3, 2011, the Council unanimously approved Intro 412- A. The law will take effect 90 days after enactment. 

Intro 626-A requires DOT to certify that it had consulted with the Police and Fire Departments, the Department of Small Business Services, and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities prior to implementing any major transportation project, defined as an alteration of four or more consecutive blocks or 1,000 feet of street, and involving the removal of a vehicle or parking lanes or the addition of vehicle lanes. Prior to implementing the project, Intro 626-A also requires DOT to email notice of the project, along with a description, to affected council members and community boards.

Intro 671-A requires that within eighteen months of the completion of a major transportation project, DOT report the average number of crashes that occurred three years before the project and one year after the project’s completion. The Council amended the proposal to permit DOT to report on a broader range of “relevant” traffic-related data, and to require DOT to consult with the Fire and Police Departments about how the project impacted emergency vehicles. DOT must post the data on its website and submit a report to affected council members and community boards.

On November, 29, 2011, the Council approved Intros 626-A and 671-A. Intro 626-A will take effect 60 days after enactment. Intro 671- A will take effect immediately upon enactment, but will only apply to projects completed at least 90 days after the enactment date.

Council: Intro 0412-2010 Version: A (Nov. 3, 2011); Intro 0626-2011 Version: A; Intro 0671-2011 Version: A (Nov. 29, 2011).

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