Funds Will Support Municipalities in Meeting the Requirements of the Clean Air Act
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the availability of $98.7 million in funding to support bicycle, pedestrian, multi-use path and transportation-related programs as well as projects that reduce congestion and help to meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act. These projects will be selected through a competitive solicitation process and rated based on established criteria that include public benefit, air quality improvement, and innovation.
“By supporting much-needed improvements and making our roads safer, this funding is a win-win for the state,” Governor Cuomo said, “New York is now investing more to revitalize our cities, towns, and villages than any other time in our state’s history, and these upgrades will move us even closer to fulfilling the requirements of the Clean Air Act, all while making our transportation safer for bicyclists, pedestrians and motorists alike.”
Projects must be related to the surface transportation system and provide full access to the public. Applications for funding may be developed by any municipality or non-profit incorporated group, but projects must be sponsored either by a municipality, a state agency or public authority eligible to administer federal transportation funds. Eligible project activities include the addition of accessible sidewalks; construction of new bicycle and pedestrian facilities, preservation and conversion of abandoned railroad corridors for trail use; enhancements to traffic signals or intersections that improve traffic flow; and travel demand programs that shift traffic demand to non-peak hours or other transportation modes.
Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said, “Strategic investments that improve air quality, promote healthy transportation alternatives and spur economic growth in our local communities is a smart use of funding. I applaud Governor Cuomo for recognizing the importance of these critical transportation initiatives.”
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Intelligent investments like this build on the Governor’s strong commitment to protecting New York’s environment while simultaneously supporting thoughtful economic development, improved public health and pedestrian safety. This funding will help spur innovative solutions that will pave the way to cleaner and greener communities throughout New York State.”
Congressman Eliot Engel, Senior Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said, “Though we have come a long way since passage of the Clean Air Act, the burning of fossil fuels continues to pose significant health and environmental risks, especially for those living in major metropolitan areas. I represent portions of the Bronx, which has one of the highest rates of asthma-related ER visits in New York. The poor air quality caused by excessive vehicle exhaust plays a major role in that. If we don’t make a concerted effort to reduce our carbon footprint by transforming our transportation sector, those problems, in addition to the huge problems posed by climate change, will only get worse. I applaud Governor Cuomo for making this financial commitment to fund clean air and alternative transportation projects in New York, and I will continue to push for similar initiatives and funding in the House.”
Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey, Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee said, “These federal highway funds have the potential to provide relief from congestion and better protect our environment and public health. I’ll keep fighting in Washington to bring resources that can improve our quality of life home to the Hudson Valley.”
These funds, made available to the State through the Federal Highway Administration and administered by the New York State Department of Transportation, are provided through the Transportation Alternatives Program and the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program. These programs will provide up to 80 percent of project-related cost, with the remaining 20 percent provided by project sponsors.
Congressman José E. Serrano said, “As a champion and advocate of cleaner and healthier environments in urban areas, I am thrilled to see Governor Cuomo making this funding available for clean air and alternative energy projects. I encourage local organizations to apply and take advantage of this opportunity to continue growing this important sector in the Bronx.”
Congressman Joe Crowley said, “Our streets are the arteries of our communities and it’s imperative that we continuously invest in them to ensure the safety and health of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike – but also of our planet. These funds will allow innovative projects an opportunity to reduce congestion and improve our air quality, while enhancing the shared experience of our streets. I thank Governor Cuomo for his role in making these federal grants available and I look forward to the great benefits these programs will bring to millions of New Yorkers.”
Congressman Brian Higgins said, “Investing in transportation projects such as sidewalks, bicycle paths, state-of-the-art traffic signals, and converting former railways into trails allows us to upgrade existing infrastructure and make new opportunities to appreciate what our own backyards have to offer. I encourage communities to take advantage of this opportunity for federal funding to support efforts to increase walkability, improve quality of life, and create environmentally-friendly transportation.”
Congressman Paul Tonko said, “This program will go a long way not to just to ease wear and tear on our infrastructure and decrease congestion on our roads -- but it will improve the quality of our air as well. I thank Governor Cuomo for identifying and acting upon this issue and I look forward to continuing to work in Washington to promote a cleaner and more sustainable environment for the next generation.”
Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney said, “Working together with Governor Cuomo we can invest in local transportation projects that will allow my neighbors and visitors to safely travel on our roads and walkways, expand green transportation options, and keep our air clean – all while creating jobs and growing our local economy.”
Congresswoman Elise Stefanik said, “Prioritizing these projects will help our communities reduce congestion and meet our transportation needs. Our environment is our lifeblood in the North Country and I applaud this effort to promote clean transportation alternatives. I will continue to work at the federal level to protect our North Country treasures.”
Congressman Lee Zeldin said, “As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I acted on a bipartisan basis within the 2015 Surface Transportation bill to help secure $835 million in annual funding, which will increase to $850 million by 2020, for the Transportation Alternatives Program; key funding to improve walkability and bicycle access on Long Island. In 2014 alone, the First Congressional District received $4.8 million in federal matching funds through this program, which is used to construct new recreational trails and bike lanes, and to maintain and improve the ones already on Long Island. This funding also supports the Safe Routes to School Program, which helps school districts repair cracked sidewalks, unsafe intersections, and bike lanes that local students rely upon. Our roads, overpasses, and bridges are essential to the Long Island economy, way of life and safety, and I will continue working to ensure that states and local governments have the flexibility and resources necessary to strengthen our infrastructure and improve transportation safety, job creation, and our overall economy and quality of life.”
Congressman Dan Donovan said, "Thank you to the Federal Highway Administration and the NYS Department of Transportation for administering these funds. Of course, a top priority for me is improved transportation for Staten Island and South Brooklyn, including the North Shore Bus Rapid Transit project. I look forward to collaborating with Governor Cuomo and other officials -- regardless of party affiliation -- to make transportation improvements a reality."
The New York State Department of Transportation will be accepting applications for this funding opportunity through October 21, 2016. Program guidance, applications and workshop schedules may be found here.
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