The Council will also vote on bills related to physical education reporting and portable ramp accessibility
City Hall – The New York City Council on Wednesday will vote on a bill that would create a street design checklist, an important planning tool that will help make our streets safer for all New Yorkers. In another step forward for keeping our streets safe, the Council will also vote on a bill that will require Department of Transportation permit holders to preserve bike lanes during street work.
In addition, the Council will vote on a bill to improve signage for portable ramps and that would establish accessibility standards for ramps. The Council will also vote on several reporting bills concerning physical education. Lastly, the Council will also vote on bills requiring mental health training for senior center caseworkers and providing resources for veterans who wish to continue their education.
Finally, the Council will vote on several finance and land use items.
The Development of a Street Design Checklist
Introduction 322-A, sponsored by Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, would require the Department of Transportation to develop a checklist of design elements that enhance safety that must be considered for all major street redesign projects. For each project for which the checklist requirement applies, the department would be required to provide an explanation for why any safety-enhancing design element was not applied.
“As Chairman of the Committee on Transportation ensuring that New Yorkers remain safe while on the roads has been my top priority. My goal is to make New York City one of the most walkable, pedestrian and cyclist friendly cities in the nation. The Vision Zero Street Design Bill, will ensure that the DOT increases their transparency while implementing the safest street designs elements to our streets,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez.
Preserving Bike Lanes During Street Work
Introduction 1163-A, sponsored by Council Member Carlina Rivera, would require holders of Department of Transportation permits for work affecting a street or intersection with a bike lane to maintain a temporary bike lane. This legislation also requires that the department of transportation must provide notice to affected council members, borough presidents and the district manager of the affected community board upon approval of a permit for work affecting a street segment or intersection with a bike lane.
“When construction impacts a bike lane it doesn’t just inconvenience bicyclists – it becomes a public safety hazard to all New Yorkers who have to navigate around these projects. I’m proud that my bill mandating DOT permits contains rules for the maintenance and protection of bike lanes during on-street construction work is passing today, and I want to thank Speaker Corey Johnson and Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez for their continued dedication to making our streets safer for all. I also must thank Commissioner Trottenberg and the team at DOT for recognizing the importance of this issue and working with my office to implement strong permit stipulations immediately, which will go a long way towards accomplish our Vision Zero goals,” said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera
Requiring signs and establishing standards for portable ramps
Introduction 342-A, sponsored by Council Member Deborah Rose, would require building owners who provide portable ramps for access to their buildings to post a sign at each inaccessible entrance stating that a portable ramp is available and the phone number to request use of the ramp. This legislation would also establish requirements for portable ramps to ensure their safety and utility.
Requiring the Department of Education to Report on Funding for After School Athletics
Introduction 242-B, sponsored by Council Member Antonio Reynoso, would require the Department of Education (DOE) to provide a report on after school athletic funding to the Council and post the same report on its website. The report would include data with respect to funding for coaches, referees, athletic directors, equipment, uniforms, and transportation. The bill would also require reporting on student demographic information, athletic teams’ requests, and athletic facilities used for after school athletics.
“It is unconscionable that in 2019 Black and Latino public school students still do not have equal access to sports teams and resources. Black and Latino students are twice as likely as their peers to attend schools that don’t have a sports team. Such staggering statistics offer reason to believe that these disparities are due to systemic issues in how the DOE allocates funding and resources to schools. My bill will increase transparency between the DOE and the public by requiring the Department to produce a report on how schools are currently being funded for sports teams and resources. Using this information, I will continue to hold the Department accountable in providing all NYC students with equal access to sports. I thank my Council colleagues for their support of this legislation,” said Council Member Antonio Reynoso.
Reporting by the Department of Education on Physical Education
Introduction 1294-A, sponsored by Council Member Helen Rosenthal, would amend Local Law 102 of 2015 to require additional reporting on whether students with disabilities are provided with adaptive physical education, including the number of students receiving each of these options per individual school. The bill would also require a summary of key findings in the report issued by DOE and whether the department is in compliance with state physical education requirements.
“Our school system has a fundamental obligation to ensure that every child, including those with disabilities, receives the required amount of physical education instruction. But the NYC Dept of Education’s severe lack of data on adaptive PE compliance means that resources aren’t well placed and students with disabilities are slipping through the cracks. The legislation we are passing today requires the DOE to report on the number of students actually receiving adaptive PE per school — and schools not in compliance must provide the specific steps they will take to become so. We will continue to shine a spotlight on the DOE until every child has full access to education,” said Council Member Helen Rosenthal.
Requiring the Department of Education to Report on Physical Education Curricula in New York City Public Schools
Introduction 1298-A, sponsored by Council Member Mark Treyger, would require the DOE to report on physical education curricula in New York city schools, including average physical education class size, a description of the department’s physical education scope and sequence, including the topics covered by such physical education scope and sequence. The bill would additionally requiring reporting on professional development received by certified physical education instructors.
“Introduction 1298, a bill I am proud to sponsor, amends the existing Department of Education (DOE) physical education curricula report. More robust reporting will lead to a better understanding of the physical education courses that New York City public school students are receiving, and who is providing that instruction. Physical education has many long-term health and wellness benefits, including improved cognitive functions, like creativity and concentration. Introduction 1298 will help this Council in its oversight role of holding the DOE accountable for providing high-quality instruction for our 1.1 million students. I thank Speaker Corey Johnson and my Council colleagues for supporting this legislation as it moves forward to a vote,” said Council Member Mark Treyger.
Requiring Mental Health Training for Senior Center Caseworkers
Introduction 1180-A, sponsored by Council Member Diana Ayala, would require each caseworker providing services at a DFTA senior center to complete a mental health training course in older adults offered by DOHMH, or any successor agency. This training would help caseworkers recognize the signs and symptoms of mental illness in the older adults they work with. This bill would also require these same caseworkers to complete a supplemental refresher course at least once every three years.
“Introduction 1180-A will help ensure frontline staff at senior centers have the tools to recognize signs of mental illness, respond without judgment, and identify appropriate resources for their participants. As our city’s aging population continues to grow, it is crucial we support them and those who serve them. As a former senior center director, I am incredibly proud to sponsor this legislation and look forwards to its implementation,” said Council Member Diana Ayala.
Requiring Providing Veterans with Outreach and Engagement on Issues Related to Higher Education
Introduction 1047-A, sponsored by Council Member Chaim Deutsch, would require the Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS) to coordinate with the Department of Consumer Affairs and other agencies to establish outreach and engagement efforts that educate student veterans on financial issues and resources related to higher education. Such outreach and engagement would include information and resources on, for example: government programs available to veterans, resources on how to minimize student debt, student loan repayment options for veterans, and information about risks of for-profit or fraudulent colleges and trade schools. DVS would also be required to post any materials developed on the department’s website and make them available in each Veterans Resource Center.
The Council will act on the recommendations of the Banking Commission to set the interest rates that will be applied in Fiscal 2020 for taxpayers who pay their property taxes early and late. For property owners who pay early, the Council is adopting a 0.5% discount rate. For property owners who pay late, the Council is adopting a 7% rate for properties with an assessed value of less than $250,000 and a rate of 18% for properties with an assessed value of more than $250,000. These are the same rates that were adopted for Fiscal 2019.
The Council will also vote on the following Article XI property tax exemptions approved by the Committee on Finance:
Black Spruce-Central Harlem, in Council Member Perkins’ district in Manhattan, will receive a partial, 30-year property tax exemption to preserve 224 units of affordable housing.
Black Spruce-Washington Heights, in Council Member Levine and Council Member Rodriguez’s district in Manhattan, will receive a partial, 40-year property tax exemption to preserve 420 units of affordable housing.
5 Teller HDFC, in Council Member Salamanca’s district in the Bronx, will receive a partial, 40-year property tax exemption to preserve 42 units of affordable housing.
Walton Avenue Senior Housing, in Council Member Gibson’s district in the Bronx, will receive a partial, 40-year property tax exemption to preserve 74 units of affordable housing.
Jennings Terrace Gardens, in Council Member Gibson’s district in the Bronx, will receive a full, 32-year property tax exemption to preserve 41 units of affordable housing.
Fairstead 48th Street, in Speaker Johnson’s district in Manhattan, will receive a partial, 40-year property tax exemption to preserve 54 units of affordable housing.
Fairstead 53rd Street, in Speaker Johnson’s district in Manhattan, will receive a partial, 40-year property tax exemption to preserve 41 units of affordable housing.
Lexington Court, in Council Member Perkins and Council Member Ayala’s districts in Manhattan, will receive a partial, 30-year property tax exemption to preserve 229 units of affordable housing.
Finally, the Council will also vote on the following land use items:
66 Hudson Yards Streetscape Text Amendment in Speaker Corey Johnson’s district would modify the Special Hudson Yards District text, relating to ground-floor regulations and planting regulations in order to facilitate the development of an approximately 2.2 million square foot “Class-A” office building.
47-15 34th Avenue Rezoning in Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer’s district would facilitate the development of a new mixed-use building with 187 units including 57 permanently affordable units.
East Harlem Follow-up Actions
in Council Member Diana Ayala and Bill Perkins’ districts were agreed upon and
codified in the East Harlem Neighborhood Rezoning Points of Agreement. These
actions will add height restrictions, and requirements for subway entrance
Mana Products Text Amendment in Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer’s district would facilitate the enlargement of an existing building in an M3-2 district to allow an existing business to consolidate its operation in one location. The Council will be modifying the application for clarity.
Residential Voids Text Amendment in Council Districts 1-9, 16, 26 and 27 would modify existing bulk regulations for residential buildings in non-contextual R9 and R10 Districts and their Commercial District equivalents. The Council will be modifying the application to restore a 25-foot height threshold for establishing whether a building’s enclosed mechanical space would be counted as zoning floor area.