Yesterday, the NYS legislature put its weight behind the campaign to build safer streets and communities in New York State—both the Assembly and the Senate unanimously passed a state Complete Streets bill (S5411.A and A8366). The bill is now headed to Governor Cuomo’s desk for signature into law.
In a statement released yesterday after the State Senate passed the bill, Tri-State Executive Director Kate Slevin said, “Today, we are one step closer to viewing our roads in New York State differently—not just as conduits for cars, but as public spaces in which all citizens have a right to travel safely, whether they are young or old, in a car, on foot, in a wheelchair, or on a bike.”
The bill would require that, for all road projects receiving state and federal funds, the agency in charge of the project consider the needs of everyone who uses the roads, using complete streets features such as sidewalks, curb cuts, road diets, and bike lanes.
Last year, as a candidate, Cuomo voiced his support for the concept of Complete Streets in his Cleaner, Greener New York. The time is now to remind the Governor of his pledge to support safer communities—urge him to sign this important piece of legislation into law.
Once signed, this bill should be dedicated to the memory of Brittany Vega, who was tragically killed last year while walking to school on Sunrise Highway, on Long Island. Simple changes in the design of Sunrise Highway—such as a count-down clock and pedestrian median—could have saved her life. As Brittany’s mother, Sandi Vega, told NewsLI.com, ”This law would help save lives, improve safety, and prevent tragedies. Saving even one family from the heartache and lifelong pain that comes with losing a loved one, which my family feels every day, will make this law well worth it.”