(Albany, NY)—Recognizing that the state's five-year capital program is essential to our state's economy and infrastructure, Senate Transportation Chair, Martin Malavé Dilan announced today that the Senate will be holding statewide hearings on how best to move forward with a cost-effective transportation infrastructure plan.
The State Department of Transportation’s Five Year Capital Plan, released last week, is a significant, essential first step to provide for the future needs of a modern, safe, reliable and efficient multimodal transportation system. The hearings have been called to give stakeholders the opportunity to identify those needs and the resources both necessary and available to meet them.
The first of such hearings have been scheduled for Thursday, October 29th, in Syracuse and Friday, October 30th, in Buffalo. In the coming weeks additional hearings will be scheduled throughout the state.
“We must afford New Yorkers every opportunity to familiarize themselves with this plan. It’s no secret that the State is fiscally strained, but the long-term return on responsible investments could prove to be a turning point for local economies, not to mention the safety of our families,” said Senator Dilan, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. “The State cannot immediately dismiss this plan because of its price tag.”
The 2010 to 2015, $25.8 billion five-year program identifies the resources to carry out the vital maintenance and rehabilitation of highways and bridges and to support public transportation, rail, aviation and port facilities.
Witnesses have been asked to address the following points:
- Potential revenue streams for the Dedicated Highway & Bridge Trust Fund
- Capital Plan priorities
- Feasibility and integrity of current transportation infrastructure
- Alternative modes by which to move both people and freight
- Investment in New York’s rail systems to reduce strains on New York’s Highway System
- Mitigating/avoiding hidden costs of continuing current transportation strategy
- Maintaining current Federal funding levels while developing a modern transportation system
- Multimodal investment
- High Speed Passenger Rail
- Budget development procedure relating to Federal, State, and Local Government
- Complete streets and sustainable communities
While the state capital program seeks to address core multimodal infrastructure needs, it also serves as a compass for federal funding and initiatives, such as high speed rail, improved technologies and climate change mitigation. More importantly, this capital plan must represent a break from traditional transportation investment and look forward to reducing future costs and making more effective investments while stabilizing current road and bridge conditions.
“Now is not the time to throw in the towel. Now is the time to sit down, speak with Metropolitan Planning Organizations, local governments and constituents and together forge a strategy that allows us to invest in our roads and bridges; not only for the sake of upkeep but for the sake of every New Yorker’s safety and quality of life,” said Senator Dilan.
Syracuse – October 29, 2009, 12-4 pm
Syracuse City Hall (Third Floor, Common Council Chambers)
233 East Washington St.
Syracuse, NY 13202
Buffalo – October 30, 2009, 12-4 pm
25 Nottingham Court
Buffalo, NY 14216