Council also voted to increase installation of traffic calming devices and transparency on traffic crash studies, mandate NYPD officer training on autism, require homeless bill of rights, and permit electronic payments for city’s rental assistance programs
City Hall, NY – Today, the New York City Council approved a package of bills to better protect New Yorkers from preventable traffic violence by mandating new street safety infrastructure interventions to protect seniors, children, cyclists, and other vulnerable road users. This follows the deadliest year on record for children killed in traffic since the City’s Vision Zero program began in 2014 and as cyclists face similar record-breaking traffic fatalities.
“Behind every crash is a family and community impacted by traffic violence,” said Speaker Adrienne Adams. “Today, the Council is taking major steps to secure safer streets and neighborhoods for all New Yorkers. It’s important that the Council advances equitable policies, like the bills being passed today, that help us get closer to our goal of eliminating traffic fatalities and injuries. I thank my colleagues for their work on this important legislation that will reduce harm and make people safer throughout our city.”
The Council also voted on several other pieces of legislation that: 1) requires the New York Police Department (NYPD) to train officers on how to recognize and interact with individuals with autism spectrum disorder; 2) creates a homeless bill of rights; 3) facilitates rental assistance payments through the electronic transfer of funds; 4) permits gaming for charitable purposes at sporting venues; 5) and improves government efficiency by eliminating outdated and unnecessary government entities and requirements.
Creating Safer Streets for All Amid Record-High Traffic Violence:
Introduction 854-A, sponsored by Council Member Selvena N. Brooks-Powers, would require the Department of Transportation (DOT) to implement “daylighting”—a street design intervention whereby vehicles are prevented from occupying certain areas near an intersection in order to expand sightlines for approaching motorists—at no less than 100 dangerous street intersections per year beginning in 2025 to improve sightlines and safety for all road users by preventing vehicles from occupying certain spaces near the intersecting streets.
“Every year, far too many New Yorkers are victimized by preventable traffic violence,” said Council Member Selvena N. Brooks-Powers, Chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. “I am proud the Council is passing my legislation, Introduction 854, that will require the Department of Transportation to implement daylighting at intersections across the city. Daylighting is a proven safety measure that increases visibility to oncoming traffic at intersections and reduces danger for pedestrians and drivers alike. I look forward to working with my Council colleagues to hold the administration accountable and passing further legislation to improve street safety.”
Introduction 679-A, sponsored by Council Member Rita Joseph, would require the installation of traffic calming devices within senior pedestrian zones to safely slow or reduce traffic in areas of the City that are especially dangerous to senior pedestrians.
“Our seniors deserve to feel safe and supported while crossing the street, and by installing traffic calming devices in senior pedestrian zones we are making crucial steps toward achieving that goal,” said Council Member Rita Joseph. “This initiative not only enhances safety and accessibility but also promotes healthy and active aging for our seniors. I am proud to sponsor Int. 679 and look forward to working with my colleagues and the community to create a safer and more welcoming environment for our senior residents.”
Introduction 805-A, sponsored by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, would accelerate the timeline for the Department of Transportation to undertake its comprehensive study of all traffic crashes involving a pedestrian fatality or serious injury and to provide such study to all community boards. Likewise, it would require that DOT provide the reports on serious vehicular crashes it publishes every three months to be provided to the Speaker and all community boards.
“By expediting the timeline to review and make changes in response to tragic traffic violence deaths and injuries, my bill will increase transparency, aid collaboration, and help to prevent the traffic violence that takes hundreds of lives a year on our city streets. Traffic deaths are preventable. It is my hope that the street safety package being voted on today will be a key part of that prevention – a foundation, but not a finish line. I thank Chair Brooks-Powers and the Speaker for their commitment to using every tool we have to protect pedestrians,” said Public Advocate Jumaane Williams.
Training NYPD Officers on Autism
Introduction 273-B, sponsored by Council Member Mercedes Narcisse, would require NYPD officers to be trained in recognizing and responding to individuals with autism spectrum disorder. The training would be incorporated as part of a new recruit’s academy process and all uniformed members would receive the training on a biennial basis.
“Requiring our police force to undergo such training could quite possibly save a life. Traditional tactics and approaches that would work for neurotypical people may not work for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Therefore, it is crucial that all NYPD officers receive adequate instruction on how to recognize and properly engage people with ASD to prevent further escalation. Training and better education will surely support better outcomes for New Yorkers with ASD in dealings with police. I thank Speaker Adams, all of my colleagues who supported this measure, including Councilwoman Hanks, chair of the Committee on Public Safety, the NYPD and all the advocates who made passage of this bill possible,” said Council Member Mercedes Narcisse.
Homeless Bill of Rights
Introduction 190-A, sponsored by Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, would require the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) to create a bill of rights which would inform individuals experiencing homelessness of rights and services available to them. DHS would make this information publicly available on its website and in shelters and social service offices.
“We’re in a moment when the housing and homelessness crisis is deepening, both for the people seeking asylum here and the 50,000 people who were in our shelters before they arrived. Homeless individuals are being targeted, demonized, and dehumanized. Inside and outside of shelters, unhoused people feel like they’re left without support, without options, without rights or recourse, amid a system that has failed for so long, and has left people feeling abandoned and powerless,” said Public Advocate Williams. “I thank the Speaker and Chair Ayala for their support of this bill and the people it seeks to uplift. As we work to get people into permanent housing, we need to codify the rights of homeless individuals into law – to clearly state and make them known -– to ensure that they are upheld, and that people are empowered to demand what they deserve.”
Allowing Electronic Payments of City Rental Assistance Programs
Introduction 704-A, sponsored by Council Member Shaun Abreu, would provide landlords the option to receive payments for rental assistance programs, like CityFHEPS, via an electronic transfer into their bank accounts.
“Across the city, tenants are at heightened risk of eviction, homelessness, and entering our shelter system because city government has missed and even lost rental assistance checks. This is not only a dereliction of duty, it is causing source of income discrimination, in which landlords are refusing to rent to tenants receiving housing vouchers — just because the city failed on its obligations,” said Council Member Shaun Abreu. “By bringing housing assistance payments into the 21st century with an instant electronic delivery system, this critical legislation will allow both tenants and landlords to breathe a sigh of relief that the city will always pay its fair share on time and in full.”
Permitting Gaming for Charitable Purposes at Sporting Venues
Introduction 891-A, sponsored by Council Member Rafael Salamanca, would allow gaming for charitable purposes at professional sporting venues. The City’s charitable gaming laws, which this bill modernizes, have not been amended in decades. This bill would authorize sports venues to conduct gaming for charitable purposes during professional and collegiate sporting competitions, from two hours before the beginning of play until the end of play. Venues like Yankee Stadium and Citi Field would be able to host games of chance operated by an authorized, charitable organization.
“Across the country, professional sports teams are raising incredible sums of money for local charities through games that are wholly separate from the action on the field. The game; 50/50 fan raffles,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca. “The rare exception, however, is teams who play in New York City venues as a result of an antiquated section of the City charter which prohibits ‘games of chance’ at stadiums and arenas. With Intro 891, we are bringing the city in line with what is already allowed at sports venues across New York State and virtually every other state in the country, while paving the way for sports teams to raise notable amounts of money for local charities each season.”
Improving Government Efficiency
Introduction 984-A, sponsored by Council Member Gale Brewer, would amend and repeal certain outdated and unnecessary temporary or pilot programs that have expired, provisions that have been found to be unconstitutional by a court of law and other outdated and unnecessary provisions that have become obsolete due to changed circumstances from the Administrative Code of the city of New York.
“This is good government legislation,” said Council Member Gale Brewer. “The goal is to remove requirements that are no longer relevant in order to improve government efficiency and reduce the amount of time agencies and offices spend on reports and advisory boards. Continual improvement of government operations by repealing outdated and unnecessary provisions is critical for effective and efficient government.”
Introduction 986-A, sponsored by Council Member Amanda Farías, sponsored by Council Member Amanda Farías, would amend and repeal certain outdated and unnecessary advisory boards, task forces and commissions from the New York City Charter and the Administrative Code of the city of New York.
“Today I am excited to see two bills of mine that prioritize making our city more efficient are being voted on today,” said Council Member Amanda Farías. “The first, Resolution 460, which calls on Governor Hochul to fully fund the MTA and make six minute service a reality. This is something all New Yorkers need right now- and while we still have time to make life-saving choices for New Yorkers- this needs to be included in our state budget. The second, Introduction 986-A – the omnibus repeal bill focuses on amending and repealing more than 15 non-essential task forces, advisory boards, and commissions. This legislation is long overdue to remove items that are outdated and no longer serving a purpose to ensure efficiency in our administrative code and city charter. I am proud to sponsor these pieces of legislation to improve the efficiency of our city services for all New Yorkers.”
Introduction 1004-A, sponsored by Council Member Nantasha Williams, would repeal certain reporting requirements selected for waiver by the Report and Advisory Board Review Commission (RABRC) and amending and repealing certain outdated and unnecessary reports and studies.
“It is essential that we create a more efficient and effective government for our city,” said Council Member Nantasha Williams. “We must work to ensure that our current laws and provisions that are set in place accurately reflect the present day. To accomplish this goal, I believe it is essential to pass Intro. 1004-A, which will enable us to repeal 24 provisions of the Charter and Administrative Code requiring certain reports and studies which are outdated, waived, duplicative, or simply unnecessary. I’d like to thank Speaker Adrienne Adams for prioritizing this good government measure and the wonderful staff that spent countless hours to get this done.”
Resolution 566, sponsored by Council Member Sandra Ung, approves the RABRC’s determination recommending waiver of eight reporting requirements that was communicated to the City Council on January 24, 2023. Under section 1113, RABRC has the power and duty to review all requirements in the Charter, the Administrative Code, and the unconsolidated local laws of the City mandating: (i) the issuance of reports by city agencies, officers, or employees and (ii) the establishment of commissions, committees, boards, task forces or other similar bodies that are solely advisory in nature (hereinafter “advisory boards”).
“Streamlining how government delivers resources and services to everyday New Yorkers has been a priority of this City Council and Speaker Adrienne Adams from day one,” said Council Member Sandra Ung. “We have made great strides to that end, but we can always become more efficient. Today, as chair of the Committee on Governmental Operations, we will send four pieces of legislation to the full City Council for a vote, including bills by Council Members Brewer, Farias and Williams, as well as a resolution sponsored by myself, to eliminate unnecessary or redundant programs, task forces, commissions and reports. I urge my colleagues to join me, and vote in favor of a leaner city government that works more effectively for our constituents.”
Resolution 460, sponsored by Council Member Amanda Farías, would call on the State legislature and the Governor to fully fund the MTA in the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, so that riders have effective, affordable, and frequent public transportation, and so that the MTA maintains fiscal stability in the face of a fiscal cliff.
Resolution 487, sponsored by Council Member Inna Vernikov, would recognize April 29 as End Jew Hatred Day annually in the City of New York.
“I am so proud to be passing Resolution 0487 to recognize April 29 as End Jew Hatred Day in New York City, and the bipartisan support it has received,” said Council Member Ina Vernikov. “As someone who has passionately fought against antisemitism throughout my entire adult life, I fully believe that we can help eradicate the hatred and injustice that the Jewish community faces on a daily basis if we continue to take a strong stand against these vile, hateful acts. There is no place for antisemitism in our city, or anywhere else, and I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure that the Jewish community is safe. I thank speaker Adams and Chair Ossé for their support of this initiative.”
The Council also approved the following:
- Transparency Resolution: Approving new designations and changes of certain organizations receiving funding in the Expense Budget.
- Pre-considered Resolution: Authorizing an Article XI exemption for one building in Washington Heights, in Council Member Shaun Abreu’s district.
- Pre-considered Resolutions: Authorizing one new Article XI exemption and amend four prior Article XI exemptions for four buildings in East Harlem, in Deputy Speaker Diana Ayala’s district.
- Pre-considered Resolutions: Authorizing an Article XI exemption for one building in West Harlem, in Council Member Kristin Richardson Jordan’s district.
- Pre-considered Resolution: Authorizing an Article XI exemption for one building in the Upper West Side, in Council Member Gale Brewer’s district.
25-46 Far Rockaway Boulevard Rezoning – Queens Realty Holdings of NY Ltd., is seeking to rezone the eastern side of Hartman Lane between Far Rockaway Boulevard and Beach Channel Drive in the Far Rockaway neighborhood of Queens from R4-1 to R6B to facilitate development of a four-story mixed-use apartment building with approximately 26 housing units. The Council is modifying the application to change the proposed R6B district to an R5D district and remove an existing school from the rezoning area to better reflect the surrounding community character. The Council is voting on a motion to file the text amendment, which was withdrawn by the applicant, in Majority Whip Selvena Brooks-Powers’ district.
245-06 South Conduit Avenue Commercial Overlay – Tire Heaven, LLC, is seeking to rezone an existing C1-3 commercial overlay to a C2-3 commercial overlay. The actions will bring an existing tire shop into conformance with zoning. The applicant does not propose any new development in the project area, in Majority Whip Selvena Brooks-Powers’ district.