Governor Hochul Signs Legislative Package to Support Pedestrians, Bikers and Transit Riders
Governor Kathy Hochul today signed a legislative package that supports pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders across New York State. These new laws would increase Department of Transportation support for municipal “complete streets” projects and require regional transportation boards to have voting locations for transit-dependent individuals.
“Whether you’re on the sidewalk, in the bike lane or riding the bus, you deserve a high-quality ride that gets you safely to your destination.” Governor Hochul said. “Transportation is about connections: getting people closer to their jobs, their homes and the people they love. I’m proud to sign two new laws that will make our roads safer and our communities more connected. “
The legislation (S.3897/A.8936-A) provides increased funding for “Complete Streets” projects, which include a holistic approach to street design. A thoroughfare is a route planned and designed to take into account the safe, convenient access and mobility of road users of all ages and abilities. This includes pedestrians, cyclists, public transport riders and motorists; includes children, the elderly and the disabled. Complete road design contributes to a cleaner, greener transportation system. This bill increases the state’s share of funding for municipalities that include Complete Street features. Under the new legislation, the state’s contribution to the unfunded portion of Completed Road projects will increase to 87.5 percent, which will help municipalities implement these road projects.
State Senator Timothy Kennedy said, “By signing these two pieces of legislation, New York is making it clear that we are prioritizing alternative forms of transportation and those who depend on them. From securing a designated seat on the boards of transit authorities in the state of high for transit-dependent commuters, to make sure our roads are safe and inclusive for all users, regardless of age, ability and mode of transportation, these bills show we can have a safer transportation infrastructure and most collaborative 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.”
Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy said, “With pedestrian deaths in the United States reaching a 40-year high, as noted by the Governor’s Highway Safety Administration, New Yorkers are at constant risk of injury or death due to road traffic violence ours today more than ever. I sincerely thank Governor Hochul for signing the Complete Streets funding bill (A.8936/S.3897), which will serve to protect more pedestrians and bicyclists by increase state funding for comprehensive local street projects such as sidewalks, crosswalks, curb cuts and other pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, undoubtedly saving lives and making streets friendlier for everyone. 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, multi-communities of modal commuting while reducing emissions in the transport sector, comprehensive road design is a proven component in achieving this objective. I congratulate Senate sponsor T im Kennedy, hundreds of advocates such as Families for Safe Streets, Transportation Alternatives, families affected by traffic violence, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, and Congressman Joe Morelle who originally sponsored the Assembly bill and now leads the effort in Congress, and more about getting this bill across the finish line and protecting more New Yorkers on our streets.”
The legislation (S.3959-B/A.7822-C) would require the non-voting transit-dependent representative to be moved to a voting position on the boards of various transit authorities. The New York and Western New York regional transit authorities provide critical services to tens of millions of riders each year. These services include bike shares, buses and paratransit, and cover hundreds of thousands of miles in service each year. This new legislation provides a critical voice for leaders who rely on these services permanently and will improve governance within these authorities.
Assemblyman Jonathan D. Rivera said: “In a region like ours, where transport is largely centered on personal car ownership, it is imperative that we create long-term solutions for those who remain unable to drive. Many of the decisions about rerouting and ending of bus services, and fare increases, have been made without input or representation from those directly affected. This bill will give voice to the disabled community by allowing them a direct say in all matters related to the advancement of public transportation in our region. I want to thank Sen. Kennedy for his years of advocacy in trying to get this bill to the table.”
Transportation Alternatives Senior Director of Advocacy and Organizing, Elizabeth Adams said, “The Fully Funded Roads Act empowers cities and towns across the state to invest in the safe road infrastructure that is proven to keep everyone safe on our roads. Traffic violence is preventable, and this legislation gives communities another tool to combat this public health crisis. We are grateful to Governor Hochul for her leadership in signing this bill into law, along with Senator Kennedy, Assemblyman Fahy, and all of the bill’s sponsors who worked together to pass it of this important legislation. We look forward to our continued partnership in the upcoming session to take additional action to stop traffic violence.”
Families for Safe Streets co-founder Amy Cohen said, “Losing a loved one to road violence is a pain no family should have to experience. After losing my son Sammy in a crash, I fought for vital and life-saving improvements to road safety. I am delighted to see funding new funds available for cities and towns to build safe roads thanks to the Complete Roads Funding Bill. This law will undoubtedly save lives and prevent more families from experiencing the unimaginable loss of losing a child. Thank you Governor Hochul, Senator Kennedy, Assemblyman Fahy and all the elected officials who made this legislation a reality.”