Got a problem with the condition of the street you live on, work on, or anywhere else in the Bronx? A bill recently passed by the City Council will require the Department of Transportation to have an interactive map on its web site, which residents will be able to find more information about city streets, such as how their condition is rated by the DOT, and the last time each was paved.
The Transparency In Paving Streets (TIPS) bill passed the City Council on Wednesday, January 4. Its primary sponsor was James Oddo, of Staten Island.
Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who chairs the City Council’s transportation committee, also supported the bill.
“The purpose is so that people can see how the surface condition is indicated by the city’s Depart of Transportation,” Vacca said. “
“We want people to understand that they can advocate for their own streets.”
Citizens concerned about the status of local roads often go to their community boards to get their questions answered or shine light on a perceived problem.
Several Bronx community board district managers agreed that the interactive map would be a valuable resource.
“The more information the better,” said Jeremy Warneke of CB 11.
Residents will also be able to use a low rating as evidence that a given street need repairs when reaching out to elected officials or the DOT. And if they disagree with a rating, they can lobby to have it changed,
Ken Kearns, of CB 10, expressed optimism about the impact of the bill and its value to his board.
“When enacted, and it is our sincere hope that it is signed into law, this measure will give our Community Board a vital tool in assessing the condition of our streets, and advocating for necessary repairs or resurfacing projects,” Kearns wrote in an e-mail.
Rafael Salamanca of CB 2 said the bill would make it easier for both community boards and citizens to keep track of the city’s progress on road construction projects and directly interface with the DOT.
“I think it’s a great bill,” he said. “When you call 311 you would like to see updates on the progress. Now you can. It’s a great way to communicate with the community.”
Bill Weisbrod can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3394.