Proposed local laws directed toward DOT’s bike projects

Intros would create formal outreach and reporting requirements for proposed bike lanes and any major transportation project. On September 26, 2011, the City Council’s Transportation Committee held a public hearing to consider three proposed local laws concerning the Department of Transportation’s outreach efforts for proposed bike lanes, and addressing consultation and reporting requirements for major transportation projects.

Intro 412, introduced by Council Member Lewis Fidler in November 2010, would require DOT to notify and request to hold a public hearing in affected community boards at least three months prior to constructing a bike lane.

Intros 626 and 671, introduced by Transportation Committee Chair James Vacca in June and September 2011, respectively, would apply to any major transportation project, defined as an alteration of four or more consecutive blocks or 1,000 consecutive feet of street, and involving the removal of vehicle or parking lanes or the addition of vehicle lanes.

Intro 626 would require DOT to formally consult with the Police and Fire Departments, the Department of Small Business Services, and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities before undertaking a major transportation project. DOT would be required to produce a written report documenting the consultation, which would be forwarded to local council members and community boards. 

Intro 671 would specify the type of data that DOT would be required to collect and report after the completion of a major transportation project. According to Intro 671, eighteen months after the completion of the project DOT would be required to report on, among other things, the average number of crashes in the five years preceding the project and one year following the implementation of the project. DOT would also be required to report on the average speed of vehicles on the streets affected by the project in the year prior to implementation and the year following implementation.

At the well-attended public hearing, Council Member Fidler stated that there had been more controversy surrounding the implementation of bike lanes than had been anticipated, and believed that creating a law requiring the City to seek community input was sensible. DOT’s Deputy Commissioner of External Affairs David Woloch supported the notification and consultation requirements of Intros 412 and 626, testifying that the laws would essentially codify DOT’s existing community outreach and consultation practices. Woloch, however, expressed concern about Intro 671 as drafted. He argued that the law’s specific statistical requirements did not account for the unique nature of particular DOT projects, and that customized data collection plans would be more appropriate.

Residents and community groups spoke both in support of and in opposition to the proposed laws. Transportation Alternatives’ Juan Martinez criticized Intro 412 because it did not distinguish between major bike lanes and those he referred to as the most minor and routine bike lanes painted by DOT. He claimed that delaying the implementation of bike lanes would compromise public safety.

Dr. Karen Gourgey of Pedestrians for Accessible and Safe Streets testified in support, noting the importance to the visually impaired community of ensuring DOT consultation with the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities.

Committee Chair Vacca closed the hearing, and no date was set to vote on the proposed laws.

Council: Intro 0412-2010; Intro 0626- 2011; Intro 0671-2011 (Sept. 26, 2011).

One thought on “Proposed local laws directed toward DOT’s bike projects

  1. the idea of a cleaner safer world ,which is focused on city life and safety
    Is what the people of our world have to recognize as the evolution of their
    minds .
    this age of intelligence should be open to the suggestion of all its citizens
    and most of all be flexible enough to change with suggestions that will
    bring improvement with the same ease that paint changes division as well
    as rules that set the laws of motorist and pedestrians
    All changes should bring us closer to a better world in the future .Using
    this code or rule is and has been the foundation of progress.
    ideas are ours to grow with and benefit from .
    Making us capable of listening .
    Transportation and recreation have taken for some the lead in concern
    I believe that for that reason judgement of these should be conducted
    with a flexible margin for the paths of the vehicles that can and will make
    recreation and transportation possible within the city streets without
    the fear of the other functions that make us part of a world of business
    schools homes and all other functions .
    I am not saying that all transportation nor recreation should be underground
    What i am saying is that allow for open suggestion that may reach you thru new avenues other than the ones gotten at community meetings
    Which some of us don’t have the chance to participate in .
    Since it is a well known fact that if all of us attended them would be overcrowded .
    That is the reason for the flexible and the painted divisions of lanes . Plus all other intelligent mathematical division that are used .
    some of the bicycle lanes are well placed , Now the important thing is
    or are these lanes for events only and what kind of bicycles , does it include
    children on slow bicycles or roller skates or disabled bikes and strollers .
    Or does bicycles have a domain for just them like cars or should I say vehicles.
    If so then they should be kept far from the pedestrian and others that
    make up are city. so that safety is the true law in the real domain.
    i suggest that bikes should have there lane in the middle dividing the flow
    of the other vehic les that way following the other laws of the motorist.
    and far from pedestrians .which include the working class and the children
    the seniors,+ pregnant women and students + others .

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.