Galef Announces Passage of Legislation Promoting Safer Streets for All

Governor signs “Complete Streets” bill into law
August 16, 2011

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef announced today that the legislation passed in June by the New York State Assembly and Senate which promotes planning safer crossings and roadways that take into account the needs of all citizens, including pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists of all ages and abilities, and public transportation users (A8366/S5411-A), was signed into law yesterday, August 15th, by Governor Cuomo.

“Sadly, some of our streets today are not safe for all who use them,” Galef said. “This new law will help with many issues relating to transportation, from reducing the danger for bicyclists to making streets safer for elderly and disabled pedestrians, while not being a financial burden on local government. Last year, I received many calls from constituents supporting this legislation, so I am pleased to report it has passed both houses and been signed into law by the governor.”

This legislation promotes the use of “Complete Street” guidelines. “Complete Streets” are streets that make roadways better for everyone, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation. These specific guidelines help reduce traffic, both car traffic and pedestrian traffic, make roads safer for buses to navigate, encourage bicyclists by providing better bike lanes, and make crosswalks safer for pedestrians.

The legislation, of which Galef was a sponsor, passed the Senate and the Assembly on June 20th. It requires that transportation projects, undertaken by the State Department of Transportation or local transportation projects receiving federal and state funding overseen by the Department of Transportation, consider Complete Street guidelines. Local governments are not required to use local funds to make Complete Street improvements, but they may do so if they wish.

In addition to making streets safer, this bill will provide health benefits for all involved, by reducing air pollution and promoting healthier alternative forms of transportation, such as bicycling.

Galef concluded, “This legislation provides safer streets for all citizens, whether they drive, walk, or bicycle. Doing everything we can to save lives must be a priority in our state, and this new law should work to improve the health and safety of all New Yorkers.”