Enacts "Stefan's law" to direct the department of transportation in the city of New York to establish a process to evaluate the need for traffic control signals at intersections in such city.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the establishment of specific criteria for the evaluation and placement of traffic control signals
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To require the New York city Department of Transportation to consider specific criteria not currently considered when determining the placement of traffic control signals.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This bill requires the Department of Transportation to examine its current policy and establish a new process to evaluate the need for traffic control signals. The evaluation would include consideration of criteria that expands upon the department's current evaluation process. The criteria include, but are not limited to, the likely presence of school children and bicyclists, considerations of any unique characteristic relevant to location in question, average vehicular speeds, and the frequency and types of accidents involving motor vehicles and pedestrians, including property damage, based upon information and statistics provided by the police department and insurance companies.
The bill also requires that if a request for a traffic signal is denied, the Department of Transportation provide a written explanation within ten business days to the individual, group or organization that made such a request. The Department of Transportation would be required to send copies of the written explanation to the state assembly member and state senator in the area.
JUSTIFICATION: Pedestrian safety has become an increasingly important issue in New York city where pedestrian deaths are not uncommon. On April 12, 2003, ten year old Stefan Trajkovski was struck by a speeding SUV in Queens while riding his bicycle. The community had known for years that the corner needed a traffic signal but a light was not installed at that location until months after the Stefan's fatal accident. unfortunately, Stefan's story is only one of many pedestrians and bicyclists crossing intersections that the community has declared dangerous but DOT's criteria determined that a traffic signal would be unwarranted. Current policy is reactive rather than preventative and needs to be changed.
This bill would adjust the current evaluation process for traffic control signals to allow additional considerations to be used when determining if a traffic control signal is warranted for a particular intersection. The current process is based upon federal guidelines for determining the need for traffic control signals. These guidelines are helpful, but limit the considerations the Department of Transportation might use in appropriate situations. The Federal guidelines were designed for use by transportation officials throughout the country including rural and suburban areas such that
the process does not include criteria that are unable to traffic conditions in large cities. This legislation supplements the federal guidelines to tailor the evaluation process more specifically to conditions in New York city.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 01/11/07 Referred to Cities 01/09/08 Referred to Cities S.734S/A.5281 - 2010 - Referred to cities
EFFECTIVE DATE: On the ninetieth day after becoming law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 3166 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE February 10, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. HUNTLEY, ADDABBO, PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Cities AN ACT to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the establishment of specific criteria for the evaluation and placement of traffic control signals THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as "Stefan's law". S 2. The administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new section 19-180.1 to read as follows: S 19-180.1 TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNALS. THE DEPARTMENT SHALL ESTABLISH A PROCESS BY WHICH IT EVALUATES THE NEED FOR TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNALS TO BE PLACED AT INTERSECTIONS WITHIN THE CITY. CRITERIA TO BE INCLUDED IN SUCH PROCESS SHALL INCLUDE, BUT SHALL NOT BE LIMITED TO, MOTOR VEHICLE AND PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC VOLUMES, VISIBILITY FOR BOTH MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATORS AND PEDESTRIANS, ANY UNIQUE CHARACTERISTICS RELEVANT TO THE LOCATION IN QUESTION, PROXIMITY OF EXISTING TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNALS TO THE LOCATION IN QUESTION, AVERAGE VEHICULAR SPEEDS, THE FREQUENCY AND TYPES OF ACCI- DENTS INVOLVING MOTOR VEHICLES AND PEDESTRIANS, INCLUDING DAMAGE TO PROPERTY, AT SPECIFIC INTERSECTIONS BASED UPON INFORMATION AND STATIS- TICS PROVIDED BY THE POLICE DEPARTMENT AND INSURANCE COMPANIES, THE LIKELY PRESENCE OF SCHOOL CHILDREN AND BICYCLISTS AND THE ABILITY TO APPROPRIATELY CONTROL TRAFFIC FLOW BY IMPLEMENTING OTHER TRAFFIC CONTROL TECHNIQUES, SUCH AS SPEED BUMPS OR SPEED LIMIT SIGNS. WHENEVER THE DEPARTMENT UNDERTAKES SUCH EVALUATION FOLLOWING THE REQUEST OF AN INDI- VIDUAL, GROUP OR ORGANIZATION FOR THE INSTALLATION OF A TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNAL AT A PARTICULAR INTERSECTION AND SUCH REQUEST IS DENIED AFTER THE COMPLETION OF SUCH EVALUATION, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PROVIDE A WRITTEN FINDING TO SUCH INDIVIDUAL, GROUP OR ORGANIZATION UPON REQUEST DETAILING THE RESULTS OF THE EVALUATION UPON WHICH ITS DETERMINATION WAS BASED.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD08776-01-1 S. 3166 2
SUCH WRITTEN FINDING SHALL BE PROVIDED WITHIN TEN BUSINESS DAYS OF SUCH REQUEST, WITH COPIES SENT TO THE MEMBER OF THE STATE ASSEMBLY AND STATE SENATOR IN WHOSE DISTRICT SUCH EVALUATED INTERSECTION IS LOCATED. S 3. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law, provided that any administrative actions, including the promulgation of rules, necessary to implement the provisions of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be taken and completed on or before such effective date.