PASS Coalition Statement to Speaker Quinn
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn has been a valuable supporter of accessible pedestrian signals. On September 28, 2011, while announcing plans to install these signals at 25 intersections in the city, Speaker Quinn stated: “The installation of additional accessible pedestrian signals across the city will improve quality of life for New Yorkers by making it safer for the visually impaired, and for all people, to cross the street.” Following is a statement by the PASS Coalition expressing gratitude to Speaker Quinn and the Council for their work on a new bill that would ensure that the interests of people with disabilities will be considered when planning major transportation projects.
Dear Speaker Quinn:
We at PASS, Pedestrians for Accessible and Safe Streets, are delighted that Intro 626 was unanimously voted out of Committee today and that it is proceeding toward passage by the full Council.
For years, we who are blind and visually impaired citizens of this incredible city have struggled to have our requirements for safe and independent travel taken into account when intersection redesigns, resignalization, or redesign or creation of a pedestrian plaza are undertaken. This bill affirms us in this mission and is a wonderful first step on the path. It assures that when major projects are undertaken, we and our concerns will be front and center as designs are being developed and implemented. We at PASS are aware of solutions and best practices in the areas of street and signal redesign. We have in our ranks professionals with enormous expertise. We stand ready to work collaboratively with the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, the Department of Transportation, community boards, and the Council.
Thank you for this important step in bringing the concerns of people with vision loss into the public square and helping us move toward the day when accommodating blind and visually impaired citizens will be a normal and everyday aspect of planning for mobility in New York.
Karen Luxton Gourgey Ed.D.
Chair, PASS Coalition