Four months after the state budget passed, authorizing billions for transportation projects, New Yorkers finally know where their tax dollars are going. Over the last couple weeks, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) released both its five-year capital plan and the State Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP).
The capital plan includes all projects in the state (including those funded exclusively by state dollars) and won’t be subject to a public comment period. The STIP, however, involves projects using federal dollars and thus, requires a public comment period. Those comments are due by Friday, August 26.
Fortunately, NYSDOT released STIP documents for all regions in Excel format (unlike last time), greatly improving the ability of organizations like Tri-State to analze where our tax dollars will go, as we have in the past. Stay tuned!
The New York Legislature, however, failed to pass a transparency bill requiring NYSDOT to release its five-year capital plan in conjunction with the MTA’s capital planning timeline, including opportunities for public comment. Tri-State will be pushing hard for this bill again in 2017 to ensure transparency and public input for these crucial decisions.