NYS Passes Complete Streets Legislation

New York State has passed legislation that will bring about better access to public roadways for all road users—pedestrians, bicyclists, people of all ages and abilities including children, the elderly, and the disabled, and, of course, motorists. Policies of this type are collectively known as “Complete Streets”  policies. It’s a movement that has been gaining ground in the last decade and spreading throughout the country, with NYS emerging as one of the leaders by enacting this legislation.

Complete Streets policies have been endorsed by a slew of advocacy organizations, not the least of which being AARP, who has praised the NYS legislature for its efforts to pass the legislation.

The Bill states that the consideration of complete street design features would be provided for on all projects undertaken by municipalities and public authorities  that  receive  both  state  and federal  funding  and  are  subject  to  department  of transportation oversight.” There are a few conditions and considerations for projects that are grandfathered in before the law goes into effect, and there is some grey area left open to interpretation by the use of the phrase “where appropriate.”

As of April of 2010, NYSDOT had already adopted a policy to “promote pedestrian and bicycle travel for all persons on the state transportation system,” and further, “to develop a transportation system that offers travel mode choices that are inclusive of, accessible to, convenient and safe for pedestrians and bicyclists.” The Complete Streets law would hold DOT accountable, requiring that it produce a report within two years demonstrating the Department’s compliance with the law and how it has modified its procedures to “institutionalize” complete streets design features.

The bottom line is that this new legislation means bicyclists can expect to see better facilities on new road projects in the future—more bike lanes, sharrows, multi-use trails, signage, signals, etc.—which is definitely cause for celebration!

2 responses to “NYS Passes Complete Streets Legislation”

  1. Carrie Ward says:

    This is good news! Thanks for posting.

  2. Molly Gagné says:

    Complete Streets legislation will support the planned multi-use trail along Geyser Rd. in Saratoga Springs. No longer will city residents have to pack their bikes in the car to access the Spa State Park one mile away. The slogan “walkable community” will become fact instead of fiction. Thank you for supporting this important initiative.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *