Friday, December 21, 2007

Ending Illegal Curb Cuts, and Self-Certification

I went to the CB6 Transportation Committee hearing last night to comment on Intro 619 and 620, which aim to crack down on illegal curb cuts. (For the record, although the committee didn't have quorum, those present overwhelmingly favored the measures).

Last night was the first time I was able to see the language of the bills (which I wholeheartedly support). Intro 619 operates by adding a clause to a sentence in Section 27-143 (which governs DOB's examination of applications and plans) to expressly forbid the commissioner to allow self-certification of curb cuts. A good start.

I would go further and end self-certification altogether. Section 27-143 includes one little sentence that has been an endless source of chicanery and malfeasance:
The commissioner may, at his or her discretion, when the application is submitted by an architect or engineer, designate portions of the examination for limited supervisory check.
This sentence allows a horror show of a DOB commissioner, for example, say, Patricia Lancaster, to abdicate responsibility for building plans to a developers hired guns.

Intro 619 would limit that power to exclude curb cuts. I would eliminate it altogether and put an end to self-certification once and for all. Chalk it up as one more miserable failure from the hand of Rudy Giuliani.

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