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PR- 524-09
December 7, 2009


Remarks by Mayor Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws

"The second bill before me today is Introductory Number 138-A, sponsored by Council Members Vallone, Jackson, Nelson, Lappin, Yassky, de Blasio, Brewer, Gentile, Ignizio, Oddo, Fidler, Vacca, Gennaro, Mitchell, Recchia, Liu, Mealy, Sears, Weprin and White.  Introductory Number 138-A regulates the use of security gates and grilles on commercial premises.

"Introductory Number 138-A requires that all newly installed commercial security gates allow for at least 70 percent visibility from the sidewalk.  In addition, to accommodate the lifespan of commercial security gates and ensure that working commercial security gates do not have to be replaced, not until 2026 will all commercial security gates need to be replaced to allow 70% visibility.

"Small businesses represent a significant force in our City’s economy.  We have many tools available to help these owners with a variety of challenges – including security – and appreciate the important role that security and design play in the operation of these businesses.  Through AvenueNYC, the Department of Small Business Services regularly works with neighborhood organizations and local development corporations to enhance the safety and aesthetic of businesses throughout the five boroughs.  Through commercial revitalization grants and Business Improvement Districts, many neighborhoods have had an opportunity to study their streetscapes and consider design improvements to enhance the appeal of the neighborhood for visitors, workers, and residents.

"These design improvements also extend to security upgrades. See-through security gates have obvious aesthetic, economic, and safety benefits.  As a streetscape initiative, see-through gates on illuminated storefronts bring more light to the streets, thereby improving the pedestrian experience and quality of life of those that live, work, and shop in the area.  By contrast, solid gates give an area the impression of being dangerous and downtrodden, creating a negative impact for all.  Solid gates also encourage graffiti.  Many business owners can speak to the countless hours spent painting over graffiti ridden gates and walls. See-through gates do not lend themselves to graffiti and the additional light cast by the illuminated storefront within makes a location even less inviting of graffiti.  Finally, and most importantly, the added light on the sidewalks crates a safer environment and gates that allow for greater visibility may assist first responders when they arrive on the scene.

"I would like to thank Buildings Commissioner Bob LiMandri, Small Business Commissioner Rob Walsh, and their staff for working on the bill.  I would also like to thank the City Council for approving this legislation."


Jason Post/Evelyn Erskine   (212) 788-2958

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