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New York State to give $67m for bikers, pedestrian safety

Staff writer |
New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced $67 million in federal grants to be applied toward biking and pedestrian projects, and now green transportation groups are asking for a permanent budget and continued funding.

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New Yorkers for Active Transportation, which represents more than 50 organizations, sent 1,300 postcards to Mr. Cuomo and asked for an additional $20 million in funding for the construction of pedestrian and biking infrastructure to be included in the state's annual budget. The governor announced that $67 million will be used for the construction of 63 pedestrian and bicycle path enhancement projects throughout the state.

Nadine Lemmon, legislative advocate for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said the funding made available through the grants far exceeded her expectations of the money available for such projects. However, she added, a dedicated line in the budget that would consistently fund biking and walking paths is still needed.

"We are modernizing New York state's transportation system while making it safer," Mr. Cuomo said. "From building new facilities for bicycles and pedestrians to supporting historic highway programs, these projects will provide new tourism and recreational 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."

The funding is provided by the Federal Highway Administration and will be administered by the state's Department of Transportation. Eighty percent of the cost of each project will be covered by the federal funds and the remaining 20 percent provided through investments made by project sponsors.

New York has the highest percentage of pedestrian and biker fatalities, which make up 27 percent of all fatalities on the road.

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