Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the award of approximately $67 million in funding for 63 bicycle, pedestrian and multi-use path transportation enhancement projects that will encourage tourism and economic development opportunities across the state. The projects include the addition of accessible sidewalks, improved pedestrian access to public transportation services, construction of new bicycle and pedestrian facilities and the preservation and conversion of abandoned railroad corridors for trail use.
We are modernizing New York States transportation system while making it safer, Governor Cuomo said. From building new facilities for bicycles and pedestrians to supporting historic highway programs, these projects will provide new tourism and recreational opportunities for New Yorkers and visitors. We will continue to upgrade New Yorks infrastructure to expand tourism and economic development while improving our communities.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner (NYSDOT) Joan McDonald said, Todays announcement demonstrates the States sustained commitment to investing in bicycle and pedestrian safety efforts to improve the livability of communities statewide. Thanks to the leadership of Governor Cuomo, we are investing in projects that are promoting transportation alternatives, tourism and recreation, and local and regional economic development.
These funds are made available to the State through the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and are administered by NYSDOT. The funds cover 80 percent of the cost of each project, with the remaining 20 percent coming from the project sponsor. The funds are dedicated for strategic investments in transportation alternatives. With the 20% local match, these projects will support a total investment of $96.5 million. The selected projects are required to address one or more of the following categories:
- Facilities for bicycles and pedestrians;
- Scenic or historic highway programs;
- Landscaping and other beautification initiatives;
- Preservation of abandoned railway corridors, including their conversion and use as pedestrian and bicycle trails; and
- Environmental mitigation to address water pollution due to highway runoff or reducing vehicle-caused wildlife mortality.
The projects announced today were selected through a competitive solicitation process and rated on established criteria that included environmental enhancement to and for the transportation system; connectivity to an existing transportation system; encouragement of smart growth; impact on local or regional economies; availability of matching funds; and level of community support. A full list of the projects is below.
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said, Improving New Yorks transportation systems be they rail, highway, pedestrian pathways or bicycle lanes encourages tourism, improves the environment and spurs business growth along those routes, pumping vital dollars into our economy and cleaner air into our lungs. As we watch these exciting projects take off, I will continue to work with New York State to bring federal resources to bear to improve New York States transportation network.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, Despite attempts in Congress to cut funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects, I fought alongside many of my colleagues to maintain our federal commitment to projects like those being announced today. Investing in bicycle and pedestrian projects not only improves safety for cyclists and pedestrians, but promotes tourism, outdoor recreation and economic development, enhancing the quality of life for millions of New Yorkers.
Congresswoman Nita Lowey said, These exciting investments in Westchester and Rockland Counties will improve public safety, offer new opportunities for tourists and Lower Hudson Valley residents to explore our region, and boost our economy. This is yet another example of how smart federal investments in transportation infrastructure can strengthen our communities.
Congressman Jerrold Nadler said, I thank Governor Cuomo for today's announcement of Federal highway trust fund dollars for bike and pedestrian enhancements. In particular, the funding of two projects, the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway and the Hudson River Park, will greatly impact a large number of my constituents. These investments will improve the local quality of life and are a vital part of ongoing civic improvement. I will continue to work with the Governor to make sure these projects get the attention and funding they deserve.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said, Funding for these projects will make it easier for pedestrians and cyclists to safely commute and travel throughout our city. I will continue working to pass funding for important projects like these, and Im pleased to see the funds we were able to secure last year are being put to good use.
Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy said, As a lifelong resident of Long Island, I understand the importance of the environmental resources we have here and throughout New York State, and the benefits they bring to our economy and way of life. Governor Cuomos announcement and the funding to improve bicycle, pedestrian and multi-use path transportation enhancement projects are an important investment in our communities for our citizens, especially our young people. This funding will encourage tourism and economic development opportunities across the state and provide access to safe and welcoming means of transportation.
Congressman Joe Crowley said, Investing in bike and pedestrian paths, sidewalks and crosswalks is an essential part of making our communities safer, greener and better suited for the transportation practices of the 21st century, and Im glad New York is taking full advantage of the funds available to make these critical improvements. The projects announced today will not only improve safety and encourage tourism and recreation, they will also create jobs and promote economic development.
Congressman Tim Bishop said, As a member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, I understand that critical investments to revitalize local sidewalks and roadways are vitally important to Suffolk County residents and businesses; infrastructure improvements encourage tourism and expand economic growth across Long Island. I applaud the Governor and the State of New York for qualifying for this federal funding and for his commitment to economic development.
Congressman Steve Israel said, I am pleased this federal investment in Great Neck Plaza will help local businesses along with pedestrians and cyclists. As we focus on healthier lifestyles and more walkable downtowns, funding for improvements like these boost quality of life for residents and strengthen communities.
Congressman Brian Higgins said, As our region continues to grow and transform, Western New Yorkers are eager to have new and improved methods of getting around their communities. This funding will support vital infrastructure improvements in Amherst and Williamsville, making it safer and more accessible for cars, pedestrians and bicyclists and providing a more user-friendly neighborhood and visitor experience.
Congressman Paul Tonko said, These federal funds will enhance the quality of life and leisure for those in our area who enjoy the great outdoors. The more we work to beautify and protect our environment, build up our infrastructure, and promote tourism, the more attractive and marketable the Capital Region becomes for families and businesses to lay down their roots and grow.
Congressman Chris Gibson said, Path enhancement projects have a real impact on our communities, with economic benefits through increased tourism and recreation. Upstate New York is a leader in expanding these projects and I look forward to continuing to work with the state and localities to advance these initiatives. Notably, I would also like to thank my constituents Heather Andersen and Brian Kehoe for their work leading on this effort.
Congressman Dan Maffei said, The funding to assist development of the Onondaga Lake Canalways Trail and the Owasco River Greenway Trail in Auburn is a huge win for Central New York. This important investment will bolster local tourism, expand recreational opportunities in our region, encourage more environmentally-friendly transportation alternatives, and in turn help our economy in Central New York continue to grow.
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney said, I am proud to have supported these investments in our communities that will allow my neighbors and all visitors to safely enjoy the scenic Hudson Valley all while creating jobs and growing our local economy.
Josh Wilson, Executive Director of NY Bicycling Coalition, said, On behalf of New York Bicycling Coalition and our members across the state, I want to commend Governor Cuomo for doubling the amount of grant funding awarded by NYSDOT this year for bicycle and pedestrian projects under the Transportation Enhancements Program. This federal funding is in high demand as more communities than ever are looking for ways to increase foot and bike traffic to downtown business districts and local tourism destinations, and to make roadways safer and more appealing to pedestrians and cyclists of all ages. NYBC applauds the cities, counties and towns that are investing in the safety, health and quality of life of their residents through these projects.
Veronica Vanterpool, Executive Director of Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said, We applaud Governor Cuomo for heeding the call of New Yorkers to increase funding for pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure with a 50 percent increase in TEP funds. This additional funding will be used by towns and municipalities trying to meet the soaring demand for safe, walkable, bikeable, economically vibrant streets. Its a significant step forward in the spirit of the states Complete Streets law.
Robin Dropkin, Executive Director of Parks & Trails New York, said, New Yorkers clearly want more opportunities to walk and bike and these grants are going to help them do that. We are pleased that so many communities will now have the resources to build the trails, sidewalks, and other active transportation infrastructure that will foster revitalization of main streets, attract tourism dollars, and ensure that all New Yorkers are more physically active and thus enjoy better mental and physical health.
Projects Awards by Region
Capital Region - $5.7 million
Mohawk Valley - $4 million
Central New York - $4.5 million
Finger Lakes - $4.7 million
Western New York - $7.8 million
Southern Tier - $3.3 million
North Country - $3 million
Mid Hudson Valley - $14.2 million
Long Island - $5.1 million
New York City - $14.8 million