Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced a significant amount of funding – $30.1 million – that will be dedicated to improving infrastructure related to cycling, walkability, and air quality in WNY. Altogether, the funding will be awarded to 15 projects dedicated to enhanced roadway safety, improved access to public transportation, and new new ADA accessible sidewalks. Hopefully the ADA accessible sidewalks will go hand-in-hand with municipal sidewalk snow removal someday – ADA compliancy should be a year round issue, which it clearly is not when our city’s sidewalks and crosswalks are not cleared properly when the snow falls. A walkable (and rollable) city, year round, is a happy city.
“New York State is making historic, nation-leading investments in cleaner and more sustainable transportation infrastructure which is crucial to the growth of local economies,” Governor Cuomo said. “These investments in bike and pedestrian enhancements across the state will help revitalize communities, reduce our carbon footprint and demonstrate once again that New York is building for the future.”
“We’re investing in infrastructure initiatives across the state to improve transportation and quality of life in our communities,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “We are committed to providing funding to ensure that enhancements are made to increase access and safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. These projects are improving air quality and revitalizing communities, helping to increase tourism and strengthen the economy of New York State.”
Projects in Western New York include:
- $5 million to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority toward the procurement of 11 new accessible clean-fueled buses (lead image courtesy the Cuomo administration)
- $1.1 million to the City of Buffalo to construct new traffic calming measures and dedicated bicyclist infrastructure along the Busti Avenue corridor
- $723,000 to the City of Buffalo for the installation of new school zone safety signage with flashing beacons city-wide
- $259,000 to Erie County to install electric vehicle charging stations
- $759,000 to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to expand the Go Buffalo Niagara Transportation bike share, van pool and carpool programs
- $3.1 million to the Village of Lancaster to construct new roundabouts at Central and Pleasant Avenues
- $300,000 to the Town of Grand Island for new pedestrian accessibility enhancements along Baseline Road
- $1.5 million to the City of Dunkirk for new pedestrian accessibility and bicycle enhancements along the Lake Shore Avenue Corridor
- $924,000 to the Town of Tonawanda toward the construction of new mini-roundabouts, dedicated bicyclist lanes and pedestrian accessibility enhancements along the Parker Boulevard corridor
- $664,000 to the City of Olean toward the construction of a new multi-use path along East State Street and a new roundabout at the intersection of Barry Street.
- $2.9 million to the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to construct the new multi-use Quaker Bike Path within Allegany State Park
- $889,000 to the Village of Hamburg for new pedestrian accessibility enhancements
- $316,000 to the City of North Tonawanda to construct a new connection to the Empire State Trail along the Erie Canal
- $5 million to the Western New York region toward the reconfiguration of the interchange of Interstate 290 and Main Street in the Town of Amherst
- $2 million to the Town of Randolph for the construction of new pedestrian accessibility enhancements, installation of solar radar speed signs and other traffic calming measures along the Main Street school corridor
The funding supports Governor Cuomo’s Health Across all Policies in New York State initiative, which is geared towards generating enhanced community health and wellness on a number of levels.
The projects were selected through a competitive solicitation process, which will help to revitalize communities, promote tourism, and enhance regional economic competitiveness. The awardees presented plans that would reduce vehicular traffic congestion and emissions, while increasing options for non-vehicular transportation. The funding, which covers 80% of the projects made available through the Federal Highway Administration and administered directly by the New York State Department of Transportation.
New York State Department of Transportation Chief of Staff Todd B. Westhuis said, “Smart investments in all transportation sectors by Governor Cuomo are helping to spur economic growth in local communities across New York State. People want more access to pedestrian and bicycle-friendly accommodations in their communities, and these grants will encourage healthy living and create new opportunities for these popular modes of transportation, while improving air quality and quality of life.”
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, “Governor Cuomo’s comprehensive plan to overhaul New York’s transportation systems is a holistic approach to building cleaner, safer, and more sustainable communities. The projects announced today will reduce climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality in communities across the state, paving the path to a cleaner and greener future for generations to come.”
Senator Tim Kennedy, Chair of the Senate’s Transportation Committee, said, “With these new funding awards, New York State is investing not just in our infrastructure, but in the health and wellness of all New Yorkers. We are reducing emissions, encouraging physical activity, and strengthening neighborhoods by providing options for non-vehicular transportation. I applaud the state for directing these funds into such worthy projects and I will continue to work towards expanding our state’s network of trails, bike lanes, and pedestrian paths.”
Assembly Member William B. Magnarelli, Assembly Transportation Committee Chair, said,“Funding Transportation enhancements is a vital way the state can continue to improve accessibility to regions and attractions unique to New York. New construction of multi-use bicycle and pedestrian facilities, ADA accessible sidewalks, improved access to public transportation and enhanced roadways will continue to improve the safety and accessibility of our area.”