FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2005
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG SIGNS LEGISLATION CREATING PUBLIC REVIEW PROCESS FOR STREET CLOSINGS
Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws
"The last bill before me today is Introductory Number 185-A, sponsored by Council Members Gerson, Yassky, Brewer, Jackson, Koppell, Lopez, Quinn, Stewart, Gonzalez, Avella, Martinez, Gennaro and Nelson. This legislation creates a public review process in the event of the closure of a publicly mapped street.
"The Department of Transportation issues approximately 170,000 permits each year for construction related activity. In addition, there are a number of streets closed throughout the City due to security concerns. When essential construction work or a security threat necessitates closing a street, every effort is made to mitigate the impact on the surrounding residents and businesses.
"Intro. 185-A includes several provisions that ensure the public remains well informed and has an opportunity to voice their concerns in the event of a full street closure. Among them is a requirement that the City issue a Community Reassessment Impact and Amelioration Statement (CRIA), for full street closures of greater than 180 days. This CRIA Statement must detail the objectives of the street closure, the alternatives to the closure, if any, the impact on traffic, and any recommendations to mitigate the impact. In addition, this bill requires notification of closures lasting more than five days and that a public forum be held prior to the issuance of a CRIA Statement.
"I am pleased that our Administration reached an agreement with the Council on a bill that will not hinder the pace of essential construction projects or jeopardize public safety when security concerns have resulted in a street closure. While much of what this bill requires is already performed by various public and private entities for projects with significant community impact, it is important that these practices are codified to ensure that impacted communities are made aware of street closures, are engaged in the process, and have an opportunity to articulate their concerns.
"I would like to thank Department of Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall and Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly and their staff for their work on this bill. I would also like to thank the Council for guiding this bill through the legislative process."
Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
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