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PR- 137-12
April 17, 2012


Remarks by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg at a Public Hearing on Local Laws

“The three bills before me today will improve our City’s transportation network for people with disabilities.

“The first bill is Introductory Number 183-A, sponsored by Council Members Brewer, Chin, Ferreras, Koppell, Lander, Nelson, Rose, Seabrook, Levin, Jackson, Rodriguez, Gonzalez, Koo, Mealy, Van Bramer, Vacca, Lappin, Dickens, Barron, Gennaro and Williams.  This legislation will codify the Department of Transportation’s existing Accessible Pedestrian Signal Program, and require the installation of twenty-five Accessible Pedestrian Signals every year.  Accessible Pedestrian Signals emit a clicking sound to alert pedestrians who are blind or have low vision when the ‘walk’ phase is available at a given intersection.  In addition to installing these signals, the Department would report on its progress implementing the program, and also identify fifty intersections where it expects to install Accessible Pedestrian Signals in the coming years.  DOT annually installs approximately twenty-five signals, and this legislation will ensure that the Department continues this work in the years to come.

“The next bill before to me is Introductory Number 745-A, sponsored by Council Members Vacca, Williams, Brewer, Cabrera, Chin, Dickens, Eugene, Ferreras, Fidler, James, Koslowitz, Lander, Mark-Viverito, Palma, Recchia, Rose, Seabrook, Rodriguez, Dromm, Koppell, Vann, Jackson, Gonzalez, Koo, Mealy, Van Bramer, Reyna, Lappin, Barron, Gennaro and Levin.  This legislation will ensure that certain information on the Department of Transportation’s web site is accessible to people who are blind or have low vision.  It requires the Department to post information relating to major transportation projects and the installation and removal of bicycle lanes, pedestrian plazas, and certain pedestrian signals — all in a format that can be accessed by those who are blind or have low vision.  The Department of Transportation makes great efforts to ensure that all users of our City’s transportation network have access to the information they need — and this legislation is another step in that direction.

“The final bill is Introductory Number 449-A, sponsored by Council Members Koppell, Cabrera, Chin, James, Mealy, Mendez, Nelson, Palma, Vann, Williams, Greenfield, Foster, Mark-Viverito, Van Bramer, Barron, Brewer, Jackson, Rodriguez, Lappin, Rose, Dickens, Gennaro, Lander and Levin.  Introductory Number 449-A adds text to the livery passenger bill of rights, explaining that a passenger has the right to request a wheelchair accessible vehicle and be provided with equivalent service.  Adding this language to the bill of rights will help inform the entire riding public of the Taxi and Limousine Commission’s rules, helping to get the word out about this critical service provided to passengers who use wheelchairs.

“I would like to thank Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Taxi and Limousine Commission Chairman David Yassky, and Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Acting Commissioner Jason Mischel, as well as the staff for their work on these bills, along with my Office of City Legislative Affairs.  I would also like to thank the Council for approving this important legislation.”


Stu Loeser/Evelyn Erskine   (212) 788-2958


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