REBNY appreciates this opportunity to testify on the draft Open Streets Program today.
REBNY appreciates that streets and sidewalks comprise a large portion of the city’s total space, and that streets have the potential to be used in a number of beneficial ways that go well beyond the movement of private and commercial vehicles and for parking. These uses can contribute to improved neighborhood character, can aid in the success of small businesses, and can contribute to health and well-being.
That said, it is important that closing streets to any degree is done in close coordination with those who will be impacted. Therefore, we would request that the rule includes a process by which all businesses and buildings directly impacted by a closure are notified in advance of the details of the street closure and are given the opportunity to comment on the proposed closing. In addition, DOT should develop a process for impacted entities to request a DOT inspection if a street closing is being mis-managed or not living up to its intended objectives.
Thank you once again for this opportunity to comment on this proposed rule.