LI Awarded Over $5 Mil to Upgrade Pathways for Cyclists & Pedestrians
By Chelsea Triola Published: January 17 2014
$67 Million is being awarded to New York State in the funding for pedestrian, bicycle and multi-use path enhancement projects.
At a press conference yesterday, it was announced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo that approximately $67 million is being funded for enrichment projects that will promote tourism and economic development opportunities across New York State.
The funding is going towards 63 bicycle, pedestrian and multi-use path transportation enhancement projects. These projects will include improved pedestrian access to public transportation services, accessible sidewalks, construction of new bicycle and pedestrian facilities and the preservation and transformation of abandoned railroad corridors for trail use.
Governor Cuomo said, “We are modernizing New York State’s transportation system while making it safer.” He stated that, “From building new facilities for bicycles and pedestrians to supporting historic highway programs, these projects will provide new tourism and recreation opportunities for New Yorkers and visitors. We will continue to upgrade New York’s infrastructure to expand tourism and economic development while improving our communities.”
Long Island itself is being awarded $5.1 million for these enhancements at the following locations:
• Village of Freeport ($1,655,871) – Sunrise Highway Streetscape Program
• Town of Islip ($1,615,514) – The Bay Shore Corridor Project
• Village of Port Jefferson ($1,001,208) – Downtown Main Street Sidewalk and Roadway Improvements
• Village of Great Neck Plaza ($838,000)– Shorewood Drive/Welwyn Road Pedestrian and Bicyclist Enhancements
The selected projects above will be required to address one or more of the following categories:
• Amenities for pedestrians and bicycles
• Historic or scenic highway programs
• Landscaping and other beautification initiatives
• The maintenance of railway corridors that have been abandoned, including their renovation and use as bicycle and pedestrian trails
• Environmental mitigation to concentrate on water pollution due to highway runoff or reducing vehicle-caused wildlife mortality.
The projects were rated on established criteria and selected through an aggressive solicitation process that incorporated environmental improvement to and for the transportation system, their connectivity to an existing transportation system, support of smart growth, the impact on regional or local economies, availability of matching funds and the level of community support.
“I am pleased this federal investment in Great Neck Plaza will help local businesses along with pedestrians and cyclists.” Congressman Steve Israel said. “As we focus on healthier lifestyles and more walkable downtowns, funding for improvements like these boost quality of life for residents and strengthen communities.”
The funds will be administered by The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) and will be made available to the State through the Federal Highway Administration. (FHWA) These funds will cover over 80% of the cost of each project, the remaining 20% coming from the project sponsor.
Congressman Tim Bishop stated, “As a member of the House of 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.”
[Source: Governor Cuomo's Office.]