Photo: Pat Arnow under a Creative Commons license.
New York City's policy of installing bike lanes has generated a lot of discussion, but Governor Andrew Cuomo has decided that he's not going to let Michael Bloomberg get all the credit for pushing a sustainable agenda. Cuomo is set to sign the "Complete Streets" bill, which will require that planners throughout New York State consider the needs of pedestrians and cyclists when building new roads or doing major work on old ones. Neither the idea of nor the term "Complete Streets" come from New York, but the state may be the first place to apply the policy on such a large scale, in the United States, at least.
Cuomo's office issued a press release that gave some details:
"Complete Streets" principles facilitate improved joint use of roadways by all users, including pedestrians, motorists, and bicyclists as well as promote a cleaner, greener transportation system with reduced traffic congestion and the resultant air pollution. Design features may include sidewalks, bicycle lanes, crosswalks, pedestrian control signalization, bus pull outs, curb cuts, raised crosswalks, ramps, and traffic calming measures.
An earlier version of the bill was proposed last year, but never got to former Governor David Paterson's desk. This, successful, incarnation of the bill was supported by the AARP and the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, which lobbies against dependence on cars.
Cuomo's green record is far from perfect, but this soon to be law helps even out his karma after lifting a moratorium on fracking.
The law applies to all road work that receives state or federal funding.
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More on the fight for equal streets:
Time for a Street Renaissance! (Video)
A 72 Hour Challenge Will Make a Dallas Street into a Grand Boulevard, Shared by All
Reclaim the Streets, Put the Brakes on Car Traffic
Bike Nation to Ford Nation: "We Just Want To Share"