Enacts the traffic safety compliance act relative to requests for and study of implementation of traffic control devices in the city; creates an independent advisory board.
TITLE OF BILL: REVISED 12/10/12
An act to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to enacting the traffic safety compliance act relative to requests for and study of implementation of traffic control devices in the city
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill sets forth the title of the bill as the "traffic safety compliance act".
Section 2 of the bill amends Chapter 1 of title 19 of the administrative code of the city of New York by adding a new subchapter 4 that will require the following:
1. Section 19-190 will require an engineering study or intersection control study pursuant to the requirements of the National Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices ("MUTCD") to be completed within 3 months of receiving a request to implement a traffic control device.
2. Upon completion of the study the city department of transportation ("department") must prepare a written report detailing the analysis completed during the study, including an explanation of the analysis of criteria or warrants considered pursuant to the MUTCD. If a specific location is deemed to fail the criteria and/or warrants, the written report shall provide a detailed explanation of the reasons therefore.
3. A copy of the department's report shall be provided to the party or parties that requested implementation of the traffic control device and shall be available to the public without cost.
4. If the department determines that no traffic control device is warranted, the requesting party shall be entitled to request a review of the findings within sixty days of the date of the notification. The appealing party shall be entitled to submit new data with the appeal that must be considered and addressed in a supplementary report. If after consideration of the appeal the department still determines no traffic control device is warranted, the commissioner shall refer the matter to an independent advisory board to review the department's findings. A copy of the advisory board's findings shall be forwarded to the party or parties and the commissioner. If the advisory board's recommendation is rejected by the commissioner the commissioner shall state the reasons for such rejection in writing.
5. The advisory board shall consist of five members including the deputy mayor for public safety or his or her assignee, the police commissioner or his or her assignee, one person appointed by the commissioner, and two residents appointed by the City Council.
5. After completion of the study pursuant to this section, the department shall not be required to complete another study at the same location for twelve months following.
6. Section 19-191, entitled "collection of accident data", will require that in performance of the study required by section 19-190 the department shall collect and consider accident data. In addition to information received from the state police department accident index system and individual accident reports, the department shall consider accident data from the following sources: reports of accidents contained in affidavits signed by members of the public and traffic accident data collected by the state department of financial services as a result of automobile insurance claims relating to traffic accidents. The state department of financial services shall provide the department with data relating to the occurrence of traffic accidents within the city with specific information identifying the location of reported accidents.
Section 2 of the bill sets forth an effective of one hundred and eighty days after it shall have become a law.
According to the department, its determinations regarding the placement of traffic control devices are based either in whole or in part upon the federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices ("MUTCD") traffic standards.
Although the MUTCD standards may set forth reasonable and necessary assessments that must be made in determining a need for a traffic control device, the department has failed on a regular basis to provide any substantiation for determinations that a requested traffic control device is "not warranted". There are numerous examples of intersections throughout the city that are clearly in need of some type of traffic control device, yet the department has deemed that no traffic control device is warranted at that location with minimal, if any, explanation of its analysis that led to such a finding.
In addition, it is also appears that much of the information used by the department to make an assessment is inadequate at best. This includes incomplete accident reports and/or statistics received from the police department, which appear to be the sole group of statistics relied upon by department. As a result, the department is incapable of making a fully informed and reasonable decision on a particular request for a traffic control device if it has insufficient evidence of accident reports and/or statistics.
This legislation will require the department to complete a thorough and timely engineering study pursuant to the requirements of the MUTCD and to provide a detailed written report following completion of these studies. It will also provide for an appeals process where a request for a traffic control device has been deemed "not warranted" and ensures that the ultimate determination of the department is fully explained and disclosed to the public. The bill would also require the department to compile additional accident data which would include affidavits from the public. Veracity of these affidavits is insured by the existence of current penal law provisions regarding the making of false statements or providing false information of false testimony. Finally, the bill would allow
for renewed engineering studies to be commenced at a specific location after 12 months, rather than the current 18 months.
Passage of the "traffic safety compliance act", will enhance the department's compliance with the MUTCD and add much needed substantiation and transparency to the department's determination process for the placement of traffic control devices throughout the city.
Yet to be determined.
This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after is shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 327 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. AVELLA -- 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 enacting the traffic safety compliance act relative to requests for and study of implementation of traffic control devices in the city THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "traffic safety compliance act". S 2. Chapter 1 of title 19 of the administrative code of the city of New York is amended by adding a new subchapter 4 to read as follows: SUBCHAPTER 4 TRAFFIC SAFETY COMPLIANCE ACT S 19-190 TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICE STUDY AND REPORT. 1. WITHIN THREE MONTHS OF RECEIVING A REQUEST TO IMPLEMENT A TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICE, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PERFORM AN ENGINEERING STUDY OR INTERSECTION CONTROL STUDY PURSUANT TO THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE NATIONAL MANUAL ON UNIFORM TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES (HEREINAFTER REFERRED TO IN THIS SECTION AS "MUTCD"), PROMULGATED BY THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION PURSUANT TO SUBPART F OF PART 655 OF TITLE 23 OF THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS. 2. UPON COMPLETION OF SUCH STUDY, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL PREPARE A WRIT- TEN REPORT DETAILING THE ANALYSES DONE DURING THE STUDY, INCLUDING AN EXPLANATION OF THE ANALYSIS OF CRITERIA OR WARRANTS CONSIDERED PURSUANT TO THE MUTCD. IF A SPECIFIC TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICE LOCATION IS DEEMED TO HAVE FAILED TO MEET ANY OF THE CRITERIA OR WARRANTS CONSIDERED, THE WRITTEN REPORT SHALL PROVIDE A DETAILED EXPLANATION OF THE REASONS THEREFORE. 3. A COPY OF THE DEPARTMENT'S REPORT SHALL BE PROVIDED TO THE PARTY OR PARTIES THAT REQUESTED IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICE AND SHALL BE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC WITHOUT COST AT THE OFFICE OF THE DEPARTMENT.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03399-01-3 S. 327 2
4. IF IN RESPONSE TO A REQUEST AND AFTER COMPLETION OF THE STUDY AND REPORT REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION, THE DEPARTMENT DETERMINES THAT NO TRAF- FIC CONTROL DEVICE IS WARRANTED, THE PARTY OR PARTIES THAT REQUESTED IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICE SHALL BE ENTITLED TO APPLY TO THE COMMISSIONER FOR A REVIEW OF THE FINDINGS WITHIN SIXTY DAYS OF THE DATE OF NOTIFICATION. THE APPEALING PARTY OR PARTIES SHALL BE ENTI- TLED TO SUBMIT NEW DATA WITH THE APPEAL, WHICH NEW DATA MUST BE CONSID- ERED BY THE DEPARTMENT AND ADDRESSED IN A SUPPLEMENTARY REPORT. IF AFTER CONSIDERATION OF ANY NEW DATA, THE DEPARTMENT STILL DETERMINES THAT NO TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICE IS WARRANTED, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL REFER THE MATTER TO AN INDEPENDENT ADVISORY BOARD TO REVIEW THE DEPARTMENT'S FIND- INGS. A COPY OF THE ADVISORY BOARD'S RECOMMENDATIONS SHALL BE PROMPTLY FORWARDED TO THE PARTY OR PARTIES AND TO THE COMMISSIONER. IF THE ADVI- SORY BOARD'S RECOMMENDATION IS REJECTED BY THE COMMISSIONER, WHOLLY OR IN PART, THE COMMISSIONER SHALL STATE HIS OR HER REASONS FOR SUCH REJECTION IN WRITING. 5. THE ADVISORY BOARD SHALL CONSIST OF FIVE MEMBERS. THE MEMBERSHIP OF THE BOARD SHALL CONSIST OF THE DEPUTY MAYOR FOR PUBLIC SAFETY OR HIS OR HER ASSIGNEE, THE POLICE COMMISSIONER OR HIS OR HER ASSIGNEE, ONE PERSON APPOINTED BY THE COMMISSIONER AND TWO RESIDENTS OF THE CITY APPOINTED BY THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL. EACH OF THE MEMBERS OF THE ADVISORY BOARD SHALL SERVE DURING THE TERM OF THEIR RESPECTIVE OFFICES OR, IN THE CASE OF AN ASSIGNEE OF SUCH AN OFFICER AND THE MEMBER APPOINTED BY THE COMMISSIONER, AT THE PLEASURE OF SUCH OFFICER AND THE COMMISSIONER OR, IN THE CASE OF AN ASSIGNEE OF THE NEW YORK CITY COUNCIL, FOR A PERIOD OF FOUR YEARS, RESPECTIVELY. NO MEMBER OF THE ADVISORY BOARD SHALL BE DISQUALIFIED FROM HOLDING ANY OTHER PUBLIC OFFICE, NOR SHALL EMPLOYMENT BE FORFEITED BY REASON OF THE MEMBER'S APPOINTMENT HEREUNDER, NOTWITH- STANDING THE PROVISIONS OF ANY GENERAL, SPECIAL OR LOCAL LAW, ORDINANCE, COUNTY OR CITY CHARTER. ALL MEMBERS OF THE ADVISORY BOARD SHALL RECEIVE ACTUAL AND NECESSARY EXPENSES INCURRED IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THEIR DUTIES. 6. AFTER COMPLETING A STUDY PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE ANOTHER STUDY AT THE SAME LOCATION FOR TWELVE MONTHS FOLLOWING SUCH STUDY, UNLESS IT IS DETERMINED BY THE DEPARTMENT THAT TRAFFIC CONDITIONS AT THE LOCATION HAVE CHANGED SIGNIF- ICANTLY SINCE THE COMPLETION OF SUCH STUDY. S 19-191 COLLECTION OF ACCIDENT DATA. IN PERFORMING A STUDY REQUIRED BY SECTION 19-190 OF THIS SUBCHAPTER, THE DEPARTMENT SHALL COLLECT AND CONSIDER ACCIDENT DATA. IN ADDITION TO INFORMATION RETRIEVED FROM THE STATE POLICE DEPARTMENT ACCIDENT INDEX SYSTEM AND INDIVIDUAL ACCIDENT REPORTS, SUCH ACCIDENT DATA SHALL INCLUDE, BUT SHALL NOT BE LIMITED TO: 1. REPORTS OF ACCIDENTS CONTAINED IN AFFIDAVITS SIGNED BY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC. A PERSON MAKING A FALSE STATEMENT OR PROVIDING FALSE INFOR- MATION OF FALSE TESTIMONY IN A REPORT UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL BE SUBJECT TO CRIMINAL PROSECUTION PURSUANT TO ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED SEVEN- TY-FIVE OR ARTICLE TWO HUNDRED TEN OF THE PENAL LAW. 2. TRAFFIC ACCIDENT DATA COLLECTED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF FINAN- CIAL SERVICES AS A RESULT OF AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE CLAIMS RELATING TO TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS. SUCH DATA, WHICH RELATES TO TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS OCCUR- RING WITHIN THE CITY, SHALL BE PROVIDED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCIAL SERVICES, WITH SPECIFIC INFORMATION IDENTIFYING THE LOCATION OF REPORTED ACCIDENTS. S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it shall have become a law.