Requires the department of transportation to maintain a website or webpage where users may report defects on state highways and bridges.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the transportation law, in relation to requiring the department of transportation to maintain a website or webpage where users may report defects on state highways and bridges
PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to make available a public website for the purposes of reporting defects on New York State highways and bridges
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1. Section 14 of the transportation law is amended by adding subdivision 36, directing the department of transportation to develop and make available a website for the purpose of reporting, mapping and tracking, reports of defects on state highways, bridges and arteries within department jurisdiction, and communicating departmental actions in response to reported defects.
EXISTING LAW: Currently the state department of Transportation maintains a toll-free telephone hotline for the reporting of defects and road hazards.
JUSTIFICATION: Since the advent of the internet, New York residents have come to expect the incorporation of online services as a means to access information and openly communicate. The Governor of New York, the New York Legislature, and many state and local agencies have largely adopted an online presence to better communicate and represent the people of New York. Considering the state's population and the many agencies that exist in service to it, maintaining an online presence is often the best and most cost-effective means to provide those services.
Similarly, at nearly a quarter million total lane miles, the state's transportation infrastructure is expansive. Each day millions of New Yorkers traverse its roads and bridges. However, for its longest stretches of road and bridge spans in upstate, and in Nassau and Suffolk counties, the state maintains the toll-free 1-800 POTHOLE hotline for reporting potholes and road defects.
Not only does this reporting system fail to reflect the changing culture of government and populations that rely on the internet, it also fails to keep pace with many of the state's own municipalities.
Further, providing an internet portal for reporting of defects and other system issues should expedite repairs, making it easier for the agency to identify issues in the same area and focus repairs more specifically. It could also reduce the need for expenditure of resources on outside consultants for hotline maintenance.
By providing an internet portal for the reporting of defects, state transportation agencies would be able to expedite repairs throughout the state. Not only would the ability to identify and address defects be greatly improved, the ability to coordinate repairs would be streamlined, making the most of available workforce, material and financial resources.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Legislation
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: The Office for Information Technology Services could create a department webpage internally, without additional cost to the state. Additionally, design and implementation could mirror similar programs currently in use in municipalities across the state, minimizing the time needed for designing the website/page.
By improving the reporting of defects, and the realization of efficiencies by way of improved management and allocation of the available workforce and materials, the state could benefit in terms of both the cost and extent of repairs.
LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7568 IN SENATE May 15, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. DILAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the transportation law, in relation to requiring the department of transportation to maintain a website or webpage where users may report defects on state highways and bridges THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 14 of the transportation law is amended by adding a new subdivision 36 to read as follows: 36. (A) THE DEPARTMENT SHALL DEVELOP AND MAKE AVAILABLE A WEBSITE, OR DEVELOP AND MAKE AVAILABLE A PAGE ON ITS WEBSITE: (I) PROVIDING AN OPPORTUNITY FOR WEBSITE USERS TO REPORT DEFECTS ON STATE HIGHWAYS AND BRIDGES, AS WELL AS ANY OTHER ARTERIES WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT'S JURISDICTION; AND (II) PROVIDING A WEB MAPPING SERVICE APPLICATION DISPLAYING THE LOCATIONS OF THE REPORTED DEFECTS AND ANY DEPARTMENTAL ACTIONS RESPOND- ING TO AND REMEDYING THE REPORTED DEFECTS. MAPPING SERVICE APPLICATIONS SHALL INCLUDE ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION THE DEPARTMENT DEEMS NECESSARY. (B) THE WEBSITE SHALL (I) MAKE PROVISION FOR EACH DEFECT REPORTER TO PROVIDE HIS OR HER NAME, AS WELL AS AN ELECTRONIC MAIL ADDRESS OR TELE- PHONE NUMBER AT WHICH THE REPORTER CAN BE CONTACTED BY THE DEPARTMENT WITH UPDATES ON THE DEFECT REPORTED; (II) TRACK AND PRESERVE DEFECTS REPORTED IN LIST AND MAP FORMAT; AND (III) PROVIDE AN OPTION FOR REPORTING OF REGION- AND HIGHWAY-WIDE DEFECTS AS WELL AS SPECIFIC DEFECTS ALONG MORE PARTICULARIZED LOCATIONS, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, MILE MARKERS. (C) THE LISTING AND MAP SHALL BE UPDATED NO LESS THAN ONCE EVERY TEN DAYS TO REFLECT ANY DEFECTS REPORTED AND REPAIRS MADE. DEFECTS AND REPAIRS REPORTED SHALL BE PRESERVED FOR A MINIMUM OF THREE HUNDRED SIXTY-FIVE DAYS FROM THE TIME OF REPORTING OR REPAIR. (D) THE DEPARTMENT MAY COLLECT AND REPORT SUCH ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND ISSUES WITH RESPECT TO HIGHWAY AND BRIDGE CONDITIONS AND DEFECTS AS IT DEEMS NECESSARY. (E) IDENTIFYING INFORMATION FOR THE DEFECT REPORTER SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION EIGHTY-SEVEN OF THE PUBLIC OFFICERS LAW. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD15242-01-4