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Lack of Accessible Street Crossing in NYC Was Found To Violate ADA Now Remedy by 2031

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon
BBC - Guardian UK - Honduras - ESPN

SDNY COURTHOUSE, Dec 27 – The ongoing lack of accessible pedestrian signals (APS) in New York City was the subject of an oral argument on October 2, 2020. U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Paul A. Engelmayer held the argument. Inner City Press covered it.

  The plaintiffs argued that NYC is pitiful and that "in comparison Phoenix has a policy requiring APS in all new pedestrian signals... San Antonio, Seattle and LA do so for all new pedestrian signals AND all replacement of old signals." They moved for partial summary judgment.

  On October 20, 2020 Judge Engelmayer ruled: "the Court grants plaintiffs’ summary judgment motion in principal part. Most significantly, the Court finds, on the undisputed facts, that the near-total  absence at the City’s signalized intersections of crossing information accessible to blind and low- vision pedestrians denies such persons meaningful access to these intersections, in violation of  all three statutes cited above. The Court also grants plaintiffs’ motion as to liability on their claim that the City’s failure to add non-visual street-crossing information at particular intersections at which it installed new traffic signals after June 27, 2015, violates the ADA and Rehabilitation Act. The Court otherwise denies plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment. The case will now proceed promptly forward on two tracks: (1) to determine the remedy for the violations that have been established; and (2) to resolve plaintiffs’ open claims."

  More than a year later in December 2021, Judge Engelmeyer set forth a remedy - but 2031: "the Court directs the City to have installed, by the end of 2031, APS at at least 10,000 of its signalized intersections. That will entail APS installation at just over 9,000 intersections during the next 10 years. The Court further directs the City to have installed, by the end of 2036, APS at all of its signalized intersections; however, the City may move to adjourn this latter deadline upon a showing that the pedestrian grid has by then become meaningfully accessible to the blind and visually impaired. The Court further sets out annual APS installation targets that the City must meet en route to these goals."

  During the October 2, 2020 oral argument, Judge Engelmayer zeroed in on Broadway on the Upper West Side.   

The City of New York on the other hand is arguing that "the installation of APS at every intersection that contains a pedestrian signal would fundamentally alter the natures of the APS Program and would impose undue financial and administrative burdens."

The case is American Council of the Blind of New York, Inc. et al v. City of New York et al., 18-cv-5792 (Engelmayer)


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