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Mayor de Blasio Signs Legislation to Increase Transparency of Capital and Maintenance Spending in Parks

November 4, 2015

NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today signed six pieces of legislation – Intro. 154-A, in relation to an annual report on park maintenance and capital expenditures; Intro. 712-A, in relation to conducting community air quality surveys and publishing the results annually; Intro. 210-A, in relation to compiling bike share usage data; Intro. 225-A, in relation to bike share financial reporting; Intro. 462-A, in relation to the referral of certain elevator-related violations to HPD for consideration under the emergency repair program; and Intro. 644-B, in relation to reporting on physical education in New York City schools.

The first bill, Intro. 154-A, requires the Department of Parks and Recreation to provide an annual report on the amount spent on maintenance performed in each park property. The bill also requires the Department to publish regular updates regarding the status of capital projects on its website.

“This legislation is an important part of our efforts to ensure all New Yorkers have access to great parks. Through our Community Parks Initiative, we’re already investing $285M to transform 67 underserved neighborhood parks. But another key element of parks equity is seeing how and where our dollars are being spent, and this bill will allow the public to see just that,” said Mayor de Blasio. “I want to thank Speaker Mark-Viverito for her leadership, and Council Members Levine and Lander for sponsoring this legislation.”

"From improving the city's air quality to increasing transparency in the Citi Bike program to ensuring our public school students are receiving proper physical education, the Council is proud to continue making New York a better place for all of our residents," said Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. "These laws are part of an ongoing effort to improve quality of life across the five boroughs, and I thank the de Blasio Administration along with my colleagues on the Council for their continued partnership in these matters."

“For neighborhood parks to flourish, they need regular maintenance and upkeep. To achieve this goal, the city must distribute resources fairly, so green spaces in poor- to moderate- income neighborhoods are not overlooked. This bill will collect the data the city needs to more effectively allocate resources where they’re needed most. I thank Mayor de Blasio and Council Member Lander for their leadership that will help ensure small local parks receive the care they need to be vibrant centers of our communities,” said Council Member Mark Levine, Chair of the Committee on Parks.

“The two bills being signed today will bring greater transparency to our government, and I’m thankful for Mayor de Blasio’s support on both of these pieces of legislation,” said Council Member Brad Lander. “CitiBike is a great new transportation option for the City, but we need to make sure that the system works fairly and expands to serve all New Yorkers. Transparent and open data about NYC's bike-share is one key step in that direction. And in each of our parks, for too long, it has been impossible to know what the City is spending, whether our capital program is on track, and whether every community is getting its fair share. This new law will solve that problem. Thanks to support from a number of colleagues in the Council including Speaker Mark Viverito, along with Transportation Committee Chair Rodriguez for his help creating a more open CitiBike, and to Parks Committee Chair Levine, Commissioner Silver, and strong advocates like New Yorkers for Parks for their work making sure that every NYC neighborhood has the first-rate parks our families need. Thank you to Mayor de Blasio  not only for signing these bills today, but for his continued support for transparency and work to ensure we have the data we need to ensure our city resources are working for all New Yorkers.”

The second bill, Intro. 712-A, requires the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to conduct an annual community air quality survey to measure air pollution around New York City, and to determine the relationship between air pollution levels and factors such as traffic and building emissions. The survey measures common air pollutants that are important for public health, including fine particles, black carbon, oxides of nitrogen, sulfur dioxide, and ozone. In his remarks, the Mayor thanked the bill’s sponsor, Council Member Johnson, Chair of the Committee on Health.

“One of our government’s highest priorities should be to ensure that the air we breathe will not pose a risk to our health,” said Council Member Corey Johnson, Chair of the Committee on Health. “By mandating air quality data collection and analysis, this legislation will make sure that New York City identifies the major sources of air pollution, a key step if we are to improve our air quality. Ultimately, this effort will save lives by helping to prevent the development of pollution related ailments such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. I want to thank my colleague Council Member Costa Constantinides and Mayor Bill de Blasio for their strong leadership on this issue.”

The third bill, Intro. 462-A, requires the Department of Buildings to refer immediately hazardous elevator-related violations to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development for consideration under the Emergency Repair Program. In his remarks, the Mayor thanked Speaker Mark-Viverito and the bill’s sponsors, Chair of the Committee on Housing and Buildings, Council Member Williams, and Council Member Vacca.

The fourth bill, Intro. 644-B, requires the Department of Education to report on physical education in our public schools, including the frequency and duration of P.E. classes, facilities used for those classes, and the number of instructors, among others. In his remarks, the Mayor thanked Speaker Mark-Viverito, Chair of the Education Committee Council Member Dromm, and Council Member Crowley.

“Our city is obligated to provide all public school students with the physical education they need to live happy, healthy lives," said Council Member Daniel Dromm, Chair of the Committee on Education. "I am pleased to have worked with Council Member Crowley on this legislation which will provide us with the information we need to improve and reinforce public school physical education in the City of New York."

“Comprehensive, quality physical education during the school day has been shown to improve children’s health, focus and academic performance. This bill is about fairness for our students. When we know which schools are falling short in giving physical education, we can provide resources to help them meet New York State’s standards," said Council Member Elizabeth Crowley

The fifth and sixth bills, Intros 210-A and 225-A, increase the transparency of the Citi Bike program. Intro. 210-A requires the Department of Transportation to compile and publish Citi Bike usage data, including trip duration, start and end time, and starting point and destination. Intro. 225-A requires Department of Transportation to compile and publish all financial data related to Citi Bike program. In his remarks, the Mayor thanked Speaker Mark-Viverito, and the bills’ sponsors, Council Members Lander and Council Member Rodriguez, Chair of the Transportation Committee.

"Our city and our citizens have invested so much in our new bike share system. As is typical with all public goods, our citizens deserve the knowledge that their investment is both sound and stable. INT 225 will ensure that the public is armed with the information they need and deserve to ensure the stable future of our bike share system," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chair of the Committee on Transportation. "I commend Mayor Bill de Blasio and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for their commitment to ensuring our public goods remain financially sound."

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