Senator Fuschillo Applauds Governor Cuomo for Announcing Support of “Complete Streets” Legislation

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

August 15, 2011

                                Governor to Sign Legislation Into Law 

Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today applauded Governor Andrew Cuomo for announcing that he will sign “complete streets” legislation to help make roadways safer for all who use them. Senator Fuschillo sponsored the legislation in the Senate. 

"Complete streets design principles have been proven to reduce fatalities and injuries, and by taking them into consideration on future projects we will greatly improve the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers of all ages and abilities. This new law will result in safer roadways and I thank Governor Cuomo for supporting this law which will help save lives, prevent injuries, and make New York a safer place for all,” said Senator Fuschillo, Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee. 

The law will require all state, county, and local transportation agencies to consider complete streets design principles on all projects which receive both federal and state funding. The law was developed in consultation with all interested parties, including the New York State Department of Transportation, County and Town Highway Superintendents, and advocacy groups. 

Complete streets design principles are roadway design features that accommodate and facilitate safe travel by pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists of all ages and abilities. These features include sidewalks, paved shoulders suitable for use by bicyclists, bicycle lanes, share the road signage, crosswalks, pedestrian control signalization, bus pull outs, curb cuts, raised crosswalks, ramps and traffic calming  measures designed to allow pedestrian and motor traffic to easily coexist.  

A Federal Highway Administration safety review found that streets designed with these features improve safety for all users, enabling pedestrians to cross busy roads in two stages, improving bicycle safety and reducing left-turning motorist crashes to zero. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 300 pedestrians were killed on New York’s roadways in 2009, more than 45 other states. 26 percent of all traffic fatalities in New York State in 2009 involved pedestrians, more than double the national average. Between 2000 and 2009, over 3,200 pedestrians were killed in New York State, according to Transportation for America, a coalition of organizations seeking to improve roadway safety. 

Wantagh resident Sandi Vega, whose 14 year old daughter Brittany was killed while walking across Sunrise Highway last September, has been a strong advocate for the complete streets legislation. Mrs. Vega said, "I'm overjoyed by the knowledge of the impending signing of Complete Streets. I know Brittany is looking over us thinking it's wonderful that we are helping other families keep their loved ones safe from these busy, congested, dangerous streets. I will sleep a little better knowing that we are moving forward toward making NY a more pedestrian friendly state. I can't thank Senator Fuschillo enough, he's stood by my side literally every step of the way.” 

The law was also supported by a number of organizations, including AARP, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, the New York State Association of Town Superintendents of Highways, the New York State County Highway Superintendents Association, the Business and Labor Coalition of New York, and the New York Academy of Medicine.  

AARP, in a memo of support, stated that “safe and accessible roadways and sidewalks are a critical link in our transportation system and vitally important to access community services” and that the legislation would “bring more of a balance to our roads and make them safe for all users.” 

Tri-State Transportation Campaign, in a memo of support, stated that “relatively small design and capital investments can result in significant safety improvements in our communities.”