NYBC Press Release Objects to NYS DOT draft Capital Plan

Media Release:

NYS Dept. of Transportation’s Draft Capital Plan misses 1/4 of traffic       deaths/injuries

Complete Streets Law mandates also ignored in draft Plan 

Upon careful review of the recently released New York State Department of Transportation’s (NYSDOT) Two-year Capital Plan, the New York Bicycling Coalition (NYBC) is dismayed to report that this critical planning document entirely excludes walkers and bicyclists. In fact, while all other transportation modes (automobile, transit, plane, etc.) are accounted for throughout the draft Plan, bicycling and walking are never mentioned. The Capital Plan is available at http://esd.ny.gov/PublicMeetings_Notices/NYWorks/10092012_DOT_TwoYearCapitalPlan.pdf 

NYBC Board President Paul Winkeller stated, “To say we are puzzled thatNew York’s Transportation Department could develop a capital program omitting bicycling and walking, two critical and increasingly popular modes of travel would be a huge understatement. Bicycling and walking are primary transportation modes for many state residents – including the young, the elderly, people with disabilities, and low-income populations. Official statistics show that citizens biking and walking are involved in a quarter or more of traffic related injuries and fatalities. These accidents are tragic and collectively represent a tremendous, ongoing societal expense in terms of health care and legal costs.”

The NY Bicycling Coalition web page briefly describes the very high return-on-investment of providing equal safety and access to bicyclists and pedestrians. These infrastructure enhancements are critical for the health of New York’s citizens and in creating a 21st century work and lifestyle environment that are key to fostering economic development throughout the state. http://www.nybc.net/a-few-quantitative-reasons-why-bike-ped-infrastructure-has-high-roi 

Brian Kehoe, NYBC Executive Director, added, “NYSDOT’s Draft Capital Plan is frightening in its complete neglect of critical transportation modes and NYBC has expressed these concerns to the Governor’s Office. Many citizens, including children and the elderly, rely solely upon walking and bicycling. People around the state consistently cite safety concerns as the biggest reason they don’t walk and bicycle more often. NYSDOT has a responsibility to at least attempt to address the serious safety concerns these citizens face every day. DOT should amend the draft Plan to explicitly address walking and bicycling safety concerns.” 

The purpose of the New York Bicycling Coalition (NYBC) is to serve the State of New York and its residents by promoting the safe use of the bicycle and walking as modes of transportation, sport, recreation, health, environmental protection, energy conservation, tourism and economic development. For twenty years, NYBC has advocated for the rights of all bicyclists and pedestrians throughout New York State by supporting safety, education, and access for road and trail users.

For additional information contact: Brian Kehoe, NYBC Executive Director   518-436-0889  brian@nybc.net

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