June 21, 2011

Assembly Passes "Complete Streets" Legislation To Address The Mobility Needs Of All Transportation Users

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Transportation Committee Chair David Gantt today announced the approval of "complete streets" legislation (A.8366 / Gantt), which requires consideration be given to the access and mobility needs of all users of our transportation network.

"As we strive to reduce air pollution in our communities, become more energy efficient and less dependent on foreign oil, we must provide our residents with a more accommodating transportation infrastructure," said Silver (D-Manhattan). "This bill would help make our transportation networks more accessible to pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and mass transit riders of all ages and abilities."

"With this legislation, future state and local transportation projects will be planned in a way that is more mindful of all users of our roadways," said Gantt (D-Rochester). "Thanks to this new approach to road design, New Yorkers will be able to realize the convenience, energy savings and health benefits that all forms of mobility have to offer."

Under the bill, all Department of Transportation (DOT) projects, as well as those local projects overseen by DOT which receive both state and federal funding, would be required to consider the transportation needs of all travelers through the use of complete streets design. These features include, but are not limited to, sidewalks, lane striping, crosswalks and bicycle lanes, and could vary depending on rural, suburban or urban locations.

The bill also ensures that factors such as land use, population density, traffic volume, community support, public safety and funding availability are taken into account when determining the use of the complete streets design.

The DOT will be directed to issue a report within two years of the bill taking effect regarding compliance with the law, best practices, and the procedures the agency uses to incorporate complete streets design features.

To help the state fully implement the principles of "complete streets" this initiative calls on DOT to identify best practices and to consult with transportation, land-use and environmental officials including local governments, public transit operators, planning organizations, appropriate state agencies and other stakeholders such as disability rights advocates, developers, aging groups and bicycle and pedestrian organizations.