CB6 Resolution on Sammy's Law

Supporting "Sammy's Law"

At the December 14, 2022 Full Board meeting of Manhattan Community Board Six, the Board adopted the following resolution:

WHEREAS, New York City currently lacks authority to control the speed limits on its streets without prior state authorization or making the reductions contingent on implementing traffic calming measures;

WHEREAS, NYC’s current speed limits are 25 mph generally, with some lower speed limits in specific zones;

WHEREAS, other densely populated US cities from Washington, DC to Seattle, WA have widely authorized speed limits below 25 mph;

WHEREAS, New York State Senate Bill S524/New York State Assembly Bill A4655, also known as “Sammy’s Law”, amends existing Section 1642 of the Vehicle & Traffic Law to empower New York City to lower existing speed limits without state authorization;

WHEREAS, Sammy’s Law is named after Samuel Cohen Eckstein, a 12 year-old who was killed by a vehicle;

WHEREAS, Sammy’s Law would have allowed New York City to adjust speed limits within its jurisdiction freely, provided that requirements relating to public notice/comment had been met;

WHEREAS, Sammy’s Law could have further helped New York City’s Vision Zero efforts, which since 2014 has lowered traffic fatalities by up to 36%;

WHEREAS, S524/A4655 will expire and will not become law in the current legislative session, in part because the Legislature noted that the New York City Council did not pass a “Home Rule Message” requesting for the changes within to become law (as this is the policy of the New York State Legislature, to hold legislation controlling law in a municipality unless the municipality advances such a message);

WHEREAS, the same legislation can be presented in the next legislative session by representatives in either/both the State Senate or State Assembly, and it could advance if the New York City Council passes a home rule message;

WHEREAS, Manhattan Community Board Six supports the legal changes in S524/A4655, and has already passed a resolution supporting those changes, and believes both our state and municipal government should coordinate to enact these changes;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Manhattan Community Board Six urges the New York City Council to pass a “Home Rule Message” supporting legislation to empower New York City to lower existing speed limits on its own authorization;

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Manhattan Community Board Six urges the New York State Legislature to introduce legislation in the next session mimicking S524/A4655, also known as “Sammy’s Law,” and to pass that legislation and send it to the governor for signing into law.

VOTE: 34 In Favor 0 Opposed 1 Abstention 2 Not Entitled

Best regards,

Jesús Pérez District Manager

Cc: Hon. Mark Levine, Manhattan Borough President
Hon. Carlina Rivera, Council Member
Hon. Keith Powers, Council Member
Hon. Julie Menin, Council Member
Hon. Harvey Epstein, Assembly Member
Hon. Richard Gottfried, Assembly Member
Hon. Dan Quart, Assembly Member
Hon. Brad Hoylman, State Senator
Hon. Liz Krueger, State Senator
Alex Bores, Assembly Member-elect
Kristen Gonzalez, State Senator-elect
Brian Van Nieuwenhoven, Chair, CB6 Transportation Committee