1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Highway
  4. Article 2: Commissioner of Transportation


Section 22 Multi-use areas adjacent to and recreational, natural and scenic areas along state highways

Highway (HAY)

Multi-use areas adjacent to and recreational, natural and scenic areas along state highways. The commissioner of transportation is hereby authorized and empowered to acquire property in order to provide multi-use areas adjacent to state highways and recreational, natural and scenic areas along, but not necessarily contiguous to, state highways, except that the commissioner may acquire property anywhere in the state for the purpose of constructing bikeways. Such multi-use areas may be utilized for, but not limited to walking, hiking, bicycle, trail-bike, recreational vehicle and snowmobile trails and the installation of public utilities. Such acquisitions shall constitute a state highway purpose. Property acquired for multi-use areas shall be such as to complement the highway facilities by providing the multi-use areas adjacent to the highway facilities. Property acquired for recreational, natural and scenic areas along, but not necessarily contiguous to, state highways shall consist of predominantly unimproved, natural or scenic areas suitable to serve the recreational needs of the expanding population of the state, or desirable to preserve the natural or scenic resources of the state, and shall lend itself to restoration, preservation or enhancement as a recreational, natural or scenic area or provides visual access from the highway to such an area. The commissioner is hereby authorized to undertake work of construction, improvement, restoration, preservation or enhancement of such areas and the expense of such work may be a proper charge against funds available for the construction, reconstruction, improvement or maintenance of state highways. The commissioner shall submit plans for such acquisitions and work to the department of state, the office of parks, recreation and historic preservation and the department of environmental conservation for review and recommendation prior to such acquisitions and work being undertaken. Such acquisitions and work, and any agreements entered into in connection therewith, shall not be undertaken unless approved by the director of the budget. Such acquisitions and work in multi-use areas may be undertaken pursuant to a written agreement with a person, firm, corporation, public authority, city, county, town, village, or state department or agency, which agreement shall provide for the funding of such acquisitions and work. Such acquisitions and work in recreational, natural or scenic areas may be undertaken in cooperation with other state departments or agencies and provision shall be made for the funding of such acquisitions and work. Any real property which the commissioner deems necessary for the purposes of this section may be acquired and disposed of by him in the name of the people of the state of New York according to the procedure provided in this chapter for the acquisition and disposition of property for state highway purposes. The provisions of this chapter shall also control the meaning of property as used herein, the manner in which possession of such property may be obtained and the circumstances under the procedure by which it may be sold or exchanged. Adjusted claims for such acquisition and awards and judgments of the court of claims made in respect thereto shall be paid out of the state treasury from moneys available for the purposes of this section. All state departments, agencies, counties, towns and villages are hereby authorized to enter into agreements with the commissioner of transportation for the purposes of this section.

  When a bikeway constructed on property acquired in accordance with the provisions of this section must cross a railroad, it shall be deemed a public crossing. If the commissioner shall determine that it is impracticable to construct such bikeway above the grade of the railroad, the commissioner shall determine the manner and method of crossing at grade and what safeguards shall be maintained.

  The commissioner is hereby authorized to provide for the separation of such bikeway-railroad crossing or for the construction of a bikeway-railroad crossing at grade. The cost of construction of such separation facilities or grade crossings, including the cost of such crossing protection as is ordered by the commissioner, shall be a proper charge against funds available for the construction, reconstruction, improvement or maintenance of state highways.

  Upon completion of construction, the bikeway-railroad crossing shall be maintained as follows:

  The grade crossing surface shall be maintained and kept in repair by the railroad for the width of the crossing as constructed, between the rails and for a distance of two feet either side or outer rail at the crossing. The railroad shall also maintain and keep in repair any protective devices installed by the railroad at the crossing.

  Notwithstanding the provisions of section ninety-three of the railroad law, bikeway-railroad separation structures constructed pursuant to this section shall be maintained and kept in repair by the state department or agency, public authority or municipality responsible for the maintenance of the bikeway.

  The commissioner is hereby authorized to submit plans for such acquisitions and work to the chief engineer of the railroad crossed by the bikeway for review and recommendation prior to such work being undertaken and the commissioner may enter into agreement with the railroad for the entry upon lands owned by the railroad, for the construction of the bikeway-railroad crossing and for the reimbursement to the railroad for all construction cost incurred by the railroad, in the same manner as is used in connection with the construction of state highways.

  In the event the commissioner and the railroad are unable to agree upon the terms of such agreement, the procedure for the resolution of such disagreement as outlined in subdivision twenty-four-c of section ten of this article shall apply.