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Senator Kennedy gets behind a more thorough Complete Streets

When the Complete Streets initiative rolled out, it gave many great hope that Buffalo would become a pedestrian and bike friendly city in no time. In one regard, we are lucky to see a number of infrastructure projects include safety features, but in the end it’s not nearly enough, especially when you stop to consider the amount of bike and ped related accidents that occur in and around Buffalo.

That’s why Senator Tim Kennedy (a member of the Senate Transportation Committee) wants to hold The State more accountable when it comes to making our roadways safer for non-auto users. Kennedy is pushing reform legislation that would “revise and expand The State’s Complete Streets law” that, up until now, only warrants Complete Streets tactics when a street or a highway is being constructed or reconstructed. That means that there are countless streets that will have to wait their turn before cyclists and pedestrians are given the proper safety measures to ensure that they are not put into harm’s way… even if a street is scheduled to be resurfaced (not reconstructed).

“Safer roadways lead to stronger communities, and an expanded Complete Streets law will pave the way to an improved transportation network and a stronger state,” said Senator Tim Kennedy. “At least two children have been struck by vehicles near the intersection of Union Road and Maryvale Drive in Cheektowaga (where a press conference was held in conjunction with in the last two years. By reforming our state’s Complete Streets law, our legislation would make dangerous intersections like this one much safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. It would ensure our children have safer routes to school and improve quality of life for local families by providing more opportunities to walk and bike safely. Our Complete Streets bill combined with targeted investment in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure will make a long-lasting impact on the safety of our roads and highways, and help strengthen neighborhoods in Buffalo, Cheektowaga and throughout all of New York State’s towns, villages and cities.”

Justin Booth, Executive Director of GOBike Buffalo, commended Kennedy for taking a stand, saying “With the highest fatality rate in the nation for pedestrians and bicyclists, 27 percent, New York State is only spending a few pennies on the dollar to protect the most vulnerable users of our roads. For the good of the economy and the health, safety, and quality of life of all New Yorkers, an increase in the state’s financial commitment to pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure should be paramount.”

Alarming rates of people being struck by cars has finally warranted additional State funding to be diverted to enhanced safety measures. At last, the bogus loophole in the Complete Streets initiative is being addressed that made it possible to evade safety standards when workers were merely resurfacing, or conducting maintenance and road preservation on State roads. Declining State funding for safer roads is no longer acceptable, especially when the data shows the ever-present dangers that cyclists and pedestrians face simply trying to get to and from their destinations.

Image below: Proposed re-striping of Broadway to three lanes with 5′ bike lanes – an example of a Complete Street project in the city of Buffalo. Kennedy is pushing to see more of these types of actions in a wider range of infrastructure projects. 

Broadway-Buffalo-NY-Complete-Streets

 

Written by queenseyes

queenseyes

Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

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