Legislation provides funding for ‘Complete Streets’ projects inclusive of a holistic approach to street design; adds board seats to NFTA, RGRTA, CDTA, and Central New York Regional Airport Authority dedicated to a transit dependent individual
Gov. Kathy Hochul recently signed a legislative package supporting pedestrians, bikers and transit riders across New York. These new laws aim to increase Department of Transportation support for municipal "Complete Streets" projects, and require regional transportation boards have voting seats for transit dependent individuals.
"Whether you're on the sidewalk, in the bike lane or riding the bus, you deserve a high-quality trip that gets you safely to your destination," Hochul said. "Transportation is all about connections: bringing people closer to their jobs, their homes, and the people they love. I'm proud to sign two new laws that will make our streets safer and our communities more connected."
Per Hochul’s team:
“Legislation S.3897/A.8936-A provides increased funding for ‘Complete Streets’ projects, which incorporate a holistic approach to street design. A ‘Complete Street’ is a roadway planned and designed to consider the safe, convenient access and mobility of roadway users of all ages and abilities. This includes pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation riders, and motorists; it includes children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. ‘Complete Street’ designs contribute to a cleaner, greener, transportation system. This bill increases the state share of funding for municipalities incorporating ‘Complete Street’ features. Under the new legislation, the state's contribution to the non-federally funded portion of ‘Complete Street’ projects will increase to 87.5%, which will help municipalities to implement these street designs.”
New York State Sen. Timothy Kennedy said, "With the signing of these two pieces of legislation, New York is making it clear that we are prioritizing alternative forms of transportation and those who depend on it. From providing a designated seat on the boards of upstate transit authorities for transit-dependent riders, to ensuring that our roadways are safe and inclusive for all users, regardless of age, ability and mode of transportation, these bills show that we can have a safer and more collaborative transportation infrastructure in New York state. Thank you to my Assembly colleagues who sponsored these bills, and to the advocates who never gave up or lost sight of their goal."
Assembly member Patricia Fahy said, "With pedestrian deaths in the United States hitting a 40-year high as noted by the Governor's Highway Safety Administration, New Yorkers are at continued risk of injury or death due to traffic violence on our roads today more than ever before. I sincerely thank Gov. Hochul for signing the ‘Complete Streets’ funding bill (A.8936/S.3897), which will serve to protect more pedestrians and cyclists by increasing state funding for local complete street projects like sidewalks, crosswalks, curb cuts and other pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, undoubtedly saving lives and making streets more user-friendly for all. This law will empower local governments to pursue more of these projects by reducing their cost burden and increasing the state's share of funding for these projects.
“If our goal is to build strong, multimodal walkable communities while reducing transportation-sector emissions, complete street design is a proven component for achieving that objective. I commend Senate sponsor Tim Kennedy, the hundreds of advocates like Families for Safe Streets, Transportation Alternatives, families affected by traffic violence, Assembly member Donna Lupardo and Congressman Joe Morelle who originally sponsored the Assembly bill and now leads the effort in Congress, and more for getting this bill over the finish line and protecting more New Yorkers on our roads."
“Legislation S.3959-B/A.7822-C will require the non-voting transit-dependent representative be moved into a voting position on various transportation authorities' boards. Upstate and Western New York regional transit authorities provide critical services to tens of millions of riders every year. These services include bikeshares, buses and paratransit, and annually cover hundreds of thousands of miles in service. This new legislation provides a critical voice to riders who permanently rely on these services, and will improve governance within these authorities.”
Assembly member Jonathan D. Rivera said, "In a region like ours, in which transportation is mostly focused on personal car ownership, it is imperative that we craft long-term solutions for those who remain unable to drive. Many of the decisions regarding the rerouting and terminating of bus services, and the increasing of rates, have been made without input or representation from those directly affected. This bill will give a voice to the disabled community by allowing them a direct say in all matters related to our region's public transportation progress. I want to thank Sen. Kennedy for his years of advocacy in pushing to get this bill to the table."
Transportation Alternatives Advocacy & Organizing Senior Director Elizabeth Adams said, "The ‘Complete Streets’ funding bill empowers cities and towns across the state to invest in safe streets infrastructure that is proven to keep everyone on our roads safe. Traffic violence is preventable, and this legislation gives communities another tool to combat this public health crisis.”
Families for Safe Streets co-founder Amy Cohen said, "Losing a loved one to traffic violence is a pain no family should have to experience. After losing my son Sammy to a crash, I fought for vital, life-saving street safety upgrades. I am heartened to see new funding become available for cities and towns to build safe streets thanks to the ‘Complete Streets’ funding bill. This law will undoubtedly save lives and prevent more families from experiencing the unimaginable loss of losing a child.”