New York on the Road to Having More Pedestrian, Bike-Friendly Streets

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A "complete street" with space marked not only for vehicles but pedestrians and bikes. (NYC DOT/WNYC)

New York State is poised to have more "complete" streets.

Governor Andrew Cuomo will now be presented with the bill that requires transportation planners to consider pedestrian and bike-friendly features when building and redesigning roads following its passage in the State Assembly Monday. The Democrat has expressed support for signing it into law.

The so-called complete streets include not only space for vehicles but also elements such as bike lanes, pedestrian islands, countdown crosswalk signals and expanded curbs for people waiting to board a bus.

"New York has some of the most dangerous roads in the nation," said Nadine Lemmon of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, who is using state transportation statistics to lobby for the governor's signature. "Our research at Tri-State shows that one of the leading causes of these deaths is faulty road design."

Some highway superintendents complained about the cost of adding bike lanes and similar features to road projects, and the bill was changed in late negotiations to require them only in the design phase. Towns and counties don't have to add them if they will put a project over-budget.

For more on the debate over street design, go to Transportation Nation.


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