What’s New on Your Street? Council Wants Info Posted Online
By Paula Katinas
Bensonhurst — When is the last time your street was repaved? Is it due for a repaving anytime soon?
You’ll have that information at your fingertips if a bill sponsored by City Councilman James Oddo becomes law.
Under Oddo’s bill, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) would be required to post information on its web site on street resurfacing projects.
The information would include what year each city block was last resurfaced or received a capital improvement, and whether DOT rates the current condition of each city block as good, fair, or poor.
The bill, which was approved by the Council on Jan. 4, is expected to be signed into law by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. It would require the information to be posted starting in January 2013.
Residents would be able visit the DOT’s web site at www.nyc.gov/dot and look up information about specific streets.
“This simple idea utilizes technology to provide New Yorkers with more information about how DOT perceives the condition of their road,” said Oddo, the Council’s minority leader.
“With this bill, we’re not only giving New Yorkers greater information about their communities, we’re also empowering them to make changes in their communities,” Council Speaker Christine Quinn said. “A resource like this web site is just one example of the way the Council is giving more power to the people – power to take information and use it to help shape the future of their neighborhoods, making them better places to live.”
The bill was born out of necessity, according to Oddo.
“There have been numerous occasions when my constituents have come up to me to tell me that their street has not been resurfaced in decades and yet remains in deplorable condition, and they have no idea why it has not been resurfaced,” he said.
“Learning the information required by this legislation will further empower New Yorkers when they ask for their streets to be resurfaced and it will help local elected officials target their efforts more efficiently,” said Oddo, whose district includes parts of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach.
Oddo first asked DOT to explore the idea of putting such information online in a letter he sent to Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan last year.
Sadik-Khan was receptive to the idea from the beginning and began work to make it a reality, Oddo said.
Several months ago, DOT began putting the information on its web site. But the current version requires users to search on the city map for their street or intersection and click on their location to find the relevant information.
The new system will be much more user-friendly, according to Oddo.
The councilman said he is interested in how DOT officially rates streets because the ratings determine which streets will ultimately be resurfaced.
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