Tomorrow: Packed Agenda for Council Transpo Committee as Liu Eyes Exit

The City Council Transportation Committee will consider a slate of bills Thursday. Several of them should be of particular interest to livable streets advocates. Here’s a rundown.

  • Intro 624: This is Jessica Lappin’s effort to hold businesses responsible for traffic law violations committed by bike delivery personnel. The bill was inspired in part by Upper East Side constituent complaints about restaurant employees and other commercial delivery workers riding on sidewalks.
  • Intro 901, from committee chair, presumptive comptroller-elect and rock star John Liu, would mandate all commercial parking facilities to set aside 10 percent of spaces, or 10 spots, whichever is less, for car-sharing programs.
  • Intro 947: Responding to the deaths of Robert Ogle and Alex Paul and Diego Martinez and Hayley Ng, Queens Council Member Elizabeth Crowley’s bill would raise the fine for unattended idling vehicles to $250. The current fine: five bucks.
  • Continuing his crusade against the travesty that is parking enforcement, Vincent Gentile’s Intro 1076 would require DOT to give 60 days notice to community boards and council members in advance of changes to parking meter regulations.
  • Intro 1077, another Gentile bill, looks as if it would basically codify DOT’s current practice of presenting new projects — pilot projects, specifically — to community boards prior to implementation.

In the end the votes matter most, but it’s interesting that Gentile, for instance, is not a co-sponsor of Crowley’s anti-idling bill or Liu’s car-sharing intro, but is on board with Lappin’s commercial cyclist regulations. Guess we all have our priorities.

Tomorrow’s hearing, one of the last of Liu’s tenure as committee chair, convenes in the council chambers at 10 a.m.

  • Okay, so what’s the best way for someone with a day job to try to get comments on one of these bills seen timely by the Council Members on the Committee?

    Of course I’ve called and written emails to Council Members at times. And once I went down to City Hall on an early lunch hour for a public hearing; that was totally useless.

    Anyone have precise suggestions on how a private citizen can best get his comments to the Committee in time for tomorrow’s session? (One suggestion I think I want to make is for the three minute grace period to be taken out of CM Crowley’s bill. Why is it okay to leave a running vehicle unattended for two minutes, but not 3:01?)

  • I also have notice that Intro 1063 is on the agenda at tomorrow’s hearing. That’s Alan Gerson’s bill requiring that DOT provide specific notification to community boards and council members whenever a “major street construction project” is contemplated, and provide follow-up notification as to the agency’s course of action after responses have been received.

    It’s ironic that a bill containing this provisions is being considered at a time when the agency is more open and responsive than ever before, and the agency has been especially cognizant of the reactions of council members and community boards in considering major projects (think Times Sq. or the hold that has been placed on Chatham Sq.).

    And where was this bill when our streets were being cleared of public space in order to accommodate ever-increasing volumes of motor vehicles that got us to the miserable state we are just recovering from today? Can we start with a clean state and have a hearing on whether to allow a first lane of cars on Broadway or on the street in front of my apartment?

  • The three-minute grace period is probably going to kill enforcement. I wouldn’t expect a traffic agent to camp out cold chillin for such a long count; and that’s the sort of observation that’ll be required to make the ticket hold up to a challenge.

  • Native NYer

    The Crowley bill actually eliminates the 3 minute grace period. When reading bills, brackets around words means they are being removed and underlining means the words are being added. I also wouldn’t characterize this hearing as Liu’s exit. He is one of the hardest workers on the council and has always held a lot of hearings. I bet he will hold many more before he moves on.

  • J. Mork

    Why can’t we give street parking for car sharing? Why do we only give street space to people who want to own their own car?

    Heck, if the city charged a price between $0 and what garages currently charge the car-sharing companies, there would be three positive outcomes:

    1. The city would make money.
    2. Prices for car-sharing would come down, encouraging people to own fewer cars.
    3. Space for private autos would decrease, further encouraging people to own fewer cars.

  • Definitely. Portland has lots of reserved street spaces for car sharing, in convenient locations.

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