On February 2, 2023, the City Council passed Introduction 92 of 2022. The new law introduced by Council Member Diana Ayala will establish an advisory board to identify, report on, and advise on issues relating to accessibility at homeless shelters. Mayor Eric Adams signed the bill in Local Law 23 of 2023 on February 21.
The plan follows additional commitments to improve safety and accessibility in 1,000 intersections citywide earlier this year. On April 23, 2022, Mayor Eric Adams announced a $904 million investment over the next five years in improving traffic safety and infrastructure. The investments will help advance the “NYC Streets Plan”, the five-year plan developed by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to improve street safety, quality and accessibility.
On October 7, 2021, the City Council voted to approve a new zoning text amendment that would help make public transportation more accessible. The Elevate Transit: Zoning for Accessibility text amendment allows the MTA to leverage private development in order to add elevators or other station access to New York City Transit, Staten Island Railway, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Stations across the city.
The zoning proposals include allowing gyms and spas to open as-of-right. On March 9, 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced several proposed zoning changes to support small businesses, create more groceries stores and improve accessibility across the city. The zoning proposals will enter the public review process later this year.
Bill would increase penalties on property owners for failing to maintain pedestrian curb ramps. On June 26, 2015, New York City Councilmember Ben Kallos introduced a bill that would increase responsibility on the property owner for maintaining pedestrian curb ramps connecting City sidewalks to crosswalks. A study by the Center for the Independence of the Disabled New York found that out of 1,000 curbs located in lower Manhattan, 75 percent were hazardous for disabled residents.