Senator Fuschillo: New York State’s Complete Streets Law Takes Effect This Saturday

Charles J. Fuschillo Jr.

February 08, 2012

        Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) today announced that New York State’s “complete streets” law, which he authored to help make roadways safer for all who use them, takes effect this Saturday, February 11th.

        "This law will help save lives and make our roads safer for everyone. Complete streets design principles have been proven to reduce fatalities and injuries. Taking them into consideration on future projects will help safeguard drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists of all ages and abilities while they’re on the roads,” said Senator Fuschillo, Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee.

        Under the new law, all state, county, and local transportation agencies will be required to consider complete streets design principles on all future projects which receive both federal and state funding.

        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.

        These design principles have been proven effective in improving safety for all users of the road. A Federal Highway Administration safety review found that streets designed with complete streets features enable pedestrians to cross busy roads in two stages, improve bicycle safety and reduce 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.