Citing high rates of graffiti, the City Council voted unanimously on Monday to gradually ban the use of roll-down metal security gates, a move that would eliminate what has been an enduring if forbidding feature of the urban streetscape.
Other kinds of security gates — like rolling or sliding grilles, which permit passers-by to gaze into plate-glass store windows and are seen by some as being harder to vandalize — would still be permitted.
The Bloomberg administration gave its support to the legislation — championed primarily by Councilman Peter F. Vallone Jr., a Queens Democrat who is chairman of the Public Safety Committee — only after the Council agreed to a lengthy grace period. Not until 2026 will the roll-down metal gates be entirely banned.
The bill applies to two categories of structures under the city’s buildings code: Occupancy Group B, which includes banks, beauty salons and copy shops, and Occupancy Group M, which encompasses retail stores, drug stores and department stores.
This bill would require that after July 1, 2011, any roll-down gate that is being replaced must be replaced with a gate that allows at least 70 percent of the covered area to be visible.
By July 1, 2026, all of the businesses covered by the legislation must have the new higher-visibility gates installed.
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