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State lawmaker says NYSDOT can approve autism signs

NYS Assemblymember Monica Wallace contradicts NYSDOT statements saying the commissioner has the ability to approve the use of "Child With Autism" signs.

LANCASTER, N.Y. — 2 On Your Side gets action for Western New York families struggling to have signs installed in their neighborhoods to protect kids with autism.

After Channel 2's reporting on Tuesday night, another local family reached out to us on Wednesday, saying their request for signs had recently been denied.

MORE: Village of Hamburg mother wants 'Child with Autism' sign on her street

The Tennant family of Lancaster says about two months ago they sent a request to the Village of Lancaster asking that a "Child With Autism" sign be placed on their street.

They got the idea after seeing a similar sign in Amherst off of Bailey Avenue and Cambridge Boulevard.

But they got a response letter from the Village of Lancaster in June denying their request claiming the signs are not approved by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT).

2 On Your Side contacted New York State Assemblymember Monica Wallace after NYSDOT Spokesperson, Susan Surdej sent the following response to our story last night:

"The Department of Transportation adheres to the federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices when authorizing signs on state highways, which unfortunately does not include this particular sign.

"The Department is equally committed to ensure the safety of all children and will work with the community to devise a potential solution that adheres to federal standards."

But Wallace says while the state may adhere to the federal manual, the state has its own manual of signs and the DOT Commissioner has the ability to approve new signs to add to that state manual, "The Department of Transportation actually does have the authority under existing law to do that...I don't think it should be a difficult fix."

Wallace tells us she plans to personally contact the NYSDOT commissioner by the end of this week, and she will be reaching out to the Tennant family, as well.

Since Wallace represents the areas of Lancaster, Depew, and Cheektowaga; she asks any other families in her district who are interested in these signs to contact her directly. 

Contact information for NYS Assemblymember Monica Wallace can be found here: Assemblymember Monica P. Wallace, Assembly District 143

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