Legislation would require annual installation of one or more speed humps within 50 streets adjacent to public or private schools throughout the city
Council will also vote to permit contributions via text message to candidates running for office in New York City
New York, NY- Today, the City Council will vote on a bill to require the Department of Transportation (DOT) to annually install one or more speed humps within 50 streets adjacent to public or private schools throughout the city. This requirement would apply to schools that have 250 students or more at or below 12th grade level.
The Council will also vote on a bill to authorize contributions via text message to candidates running for office in New York City. These contributions would be capped at $99 per contributor for each candidate during each election cycle.
In an effort to make New York City’s election process less confusing and more efficient, the Council will vote to require the New York City Board of Elections (BOE) to post sample ballots online one week prior to any election, including primary, run-off, special and general elections.
Additionally, the Council will vote to reduce the permitted capacity at solid waste transfer stations in four overburdened community districts located in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens.
Speed humps near schools (Intro732-A)
Speed humps have been shown to reduce speeds by nearly 20 percent and reduce pedestrian crashes by more than 40 percent. The legislation to be voted on today continues the Council’s commitment to making the city’s streets safer than ever before.
“Speeding is the number one cause of deadly crashes in New York City and we must do everything we can to prevent fatalities,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “This legislation will help to protect pedestrians – especially our youngest pedestrians – through innovative roadway engineering. And by implementing safety devices like speed humps near schools, we can better protect our children.”
If the DOT determines that no additional speed humps are appropriate after evaluating all school locations, the DOT Commissioner would be required to inform the Council Speaker of this determination with supporting reasons. However, as new school locations are established, DOT must evaluate these new locations for speed humps.
Council Member Debi Rose said: “I want to thank Speaker Quinn and Transportation Chair Vacca on their leadership and assistance with respect to helping Intro. 732 reach the floor of the Council for a vote. Intro 732, which requires the installation of speed humps on streets adjacent to schools, is critically important public safety legislation. It saves lives. When speed humps are in place, data shows that there is an average of a 19 percent reduction in speed in these zones, and an almost 40 percent reduction in crashes resulting in injury. This bill will help prevent the tragedy of our children losing life and limb to reckless, speeding drivers, and I am thrilled that the council will once again show its leadership in ensuring public safety and protecting our most vulnerable citizens – our children – by passing this important legislation on Tuesday.”
Text message political contributions (Intro 764-A)
Collecting contributions for causes and candidates through text message is an emerging tool with significant impact. For example, in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the Red Cross raised over $32 million from individuals making text message donations.
The Council will vote today on a bill to permit contributions via text message to candidates running for office in New York City. These contributions would be capped at $99 per contributor for each candidate during each election cycle. The contributor would need to affirm that he or she will personally pay the amount donated, along with any other affirmations required by the Campaign Finance Board (CFB).
A text message contribution would be matchable under the City’s Campaign Finance Act as long as it meets all legal and reporting requirements. The CFB would issue rules detailing precise requirements and how the process would work.
“The New York City Campaign Finance system is often lauded as one of the country’s best examples of how to encourage small donors to be involved in political campaigns, instead of relying on large contributions. With this legislation, we hope to make it easier for people who may not be otherwise connected to political fundraising to participate in the process, making elected officials accountable to a multitude of constituents, not just deep-pocketed special interests. This bill is a smart way to merge technology and good governance, and will hopefully attract more New Yorkers to the political process,” said Council Member Gale A. Brewer.
Posting sample ballots online (Intro 488)
Posting ballots online has the potential to mitigate complaints of small fonts on ballots, and gives voters to a better idea about what to expect when casting their ballots. BOE has posted sample ballots online in recent elections, and this legislation would ensure that this practice is continued.
“For years, I have been asking the Board of Elections to post sample ballots on their website, which allow voters to easily enter their address, and view who they will be voting for. To the Board’s credit, they recently took the initiative to launch this service on their website, and it has been a huge hit with the public. My legislation would codify this voter education tool in perpetuity, guaranteeing that future Administrations continue to publish this important information,” said Council Member Brewer.
MAY NOT GO TOMORROW
Reduced permit capacity at waste transfer stations (Intro 1170-A)
The Council will vote to reduce the permitted capacity at solid waste transfer stations in the following Community Districts (CD): Brooklyn CD 1, Bronx CDs 1 and 2 and Queens CD 12. Together, these locations host approximately 80 percent of all of the waste transfer station capacity in the city. This means that of about 19,000 tons of waste that is tipped in New York City each day, 14,500 tons is brought to these four districts.
To address this inequity, the City’s Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) called on the Administration and the Council to explore reductions in permitted waste capacity in these districts. This legislation grows out of that commitment.
The bill would first reduce unused capacity at these facilities by limiting their use to 125 percent of their actual throughput; subsequently, the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner would be required to reduce 18 percent of the actual waste going to transfer stations in each of the overburdened districts.
These reductions would be timed to coincide with the opening of the marine transfer stations, ensuring that there will be additional capacity in the city. Finally, the bill includes a 5 percent capacity cap for all other community districts to ensure that no other district becomes overburdened going forward.
The bill sets forth criteria to guide the DSNY Commissioner’s discretion in imposing both phases of reductions, including proximity of a transfer station to sensitive receptors such as schools and parks; the number and type of violations issued to a particular transfer station and the type of waste handled by a transfer station. In addition, the bill gives the DSNY Commissioner the authority to suspend the permit capacity reductions during emergency circumstances.
Interior landmark at Steinway Hall
The Council will vote to landmark the first-floor reception room and an adjacent hallway at Steinway Hall located at 109 West 57th Street. The neo-Renaissance style room features a rotunda with a crystal chandelier hanging from a ceiling decorated with hand-painted murals. The room served as a meet-and-greet area for Steinway representatives musicians, visitors and customers.