Cuomo Announces $67M for Bike/Ped Projects, Including Pulaski Bridge

Image: NYC DOT

[Editor’s note: Streetsblog will not be publishing Monday in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.]

Via the Tri-State Transportation Campaign: Earlier this week Governor Andrew Cuomo announced $67 million in funding for walking and biking infrastructure statewide, after advocates had pressed the state to follow through on the recently passed complete streets law with actual resources. These are federal funds that will be distributed by the state DOT.

One of the local projects that will receive funding is the protected two-way bike lane on the Pulaski Bridge, which will double the amount of space for walking and biking on this increasingly well-used connection between Queens and Brooklyn. The state contribution is $2.5 million, with the remaining $625,000 provided by the city.

NYC DOT revealed the design for the bikeway in December, and Assembly Member Joe Lentol, who has fought for the project since 2012, sent out a press release today with the news that Brooklyn Community Board 1 voted in favor of the plan earlier this week. Lentol says work on the project should begin once the weather warms up and construction season resumes. Here’s his full release:

Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D-North Brooklyn) applauded Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Joan McDonald for funding allocated to construct a dedicated bike lane on the Pulaski Bridge, which connects Brooklyn and Queens.

The funding provided by Governor Cuomo and NYSDOT Commissioner McDonald totaled $2.5 million and required that the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) provide the remaining balance of nearly $625,000.

On Tuesday Brooklyn Community Board 1 approved NYCDOTs design plan and schematics for the dedicated bike lane. It now awaits Queens Community Board 2 approval.

The project, which has been in the works for nearly four years, is nearing the construction phase, as approval for the design was recently granted by the state to the NYCDOT. The implementation of the bike lane will begin following the winter construction stoppage.

With the impending closure of the G train tunnel for five weeks in the end of July, Assemblyman Lentol, the Pulaski Bridge Coalition, and community members have been advocating for the construction to be completed before July to accommodate the inconvenienced ridership.

“I applaud Governor Cuomo and Commissioner McDonald for making pedestrian and cyclist safety a top priority. This allocation will go a long way in protecting the ever-growing population that utilizes the Pulaski Bridge to access the 7 and L train, and will certainly expand the transportation infrastructure in North Brooklyn.”

“A special debt of gratitude is owed to Commissioner Sadik-Khan for seeing this project through to its near completion,” Lentol concluded.

  • Kevin Love

    $67 million? Peanuts.

    What is that as a percentage of NY State’s spending on car infrastructure? I would be willing to wager that this percentage is lower than the existing cycle mode share. Let alone any future mode share goal.

    In other words, we are not even getting close to our fair share based on present use.

  • krstrois

    It’s been wonderful to have the full support of Assemblyman Lentol. I no longer live in North Brooklyn, but I still ride up there often, and very much appreciate his efforts. Thank you!

  • Ian Turner

    FY 2013 capital spending on transportation: $4.4b (including thruway, MTA, DMV, and DOT)
    NYS commute bicycle mode share: 0.6%

    $4.4b x 0.6% = 26.4m

    In other words, the $67 number looks generous on a mode share basis.

  • Emmily_Litella

    Yeah, watch him point to things like this as balancing a potential decision to approve fracking. Thanks guv, but I suspect we are not being given this for the right reasons.

  • Joe R.

    There will be hell to pay, especially from NYC residents, if Cuomo ever approves fracking. The most onerous part is we would need to spend a few billion for additional water treatment facilities. The companies doing the fracking should bear that expense, not the NYS taxpayers. Frankly, we shouldn’t be burning stuff at all for energy. It’s the 21st century. We have solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, hydro, and nuclear. We can use nuclear for baseline power production. As energy storage improves, intermittant power sources like wind or solar can provide more and more baseline power. The fossil fuel industry seems determined to suck every last drop of oil and gas out of the ground for their bottom line, even though neither would be needed if we had a sane energy policy.

  • J

    $67m is for bike AND ped projects. Together, they account for 3.4% (0.6+2.8) across the US, and 6.9% (0.5+6.4) in NY State. Based on these numbers, bike ped projects should receive $303.6m ($4.4b x 6.9%).

    That’s just one way to look at it. Another way is to recognize that 27%, 1 out of 4, people killed on NY roads were pedestrians or cyclists, and that since they are experiencing such an undue burden of human suffering as a result of our existing transportation system, much more money should be spent on bike/ped modes to compensate for the current disparity. 4.4b x 27% = $1.19b. Instead, we get $0.067b.

  • Kevin Love

    Ian, the problem with this analysis is that you did not use transportation mode share. Only commuting, which tends to have a lower cycling rate than overall transportation.

    So you have compared overall transportation spending (for all trip purposes) with commute only cycling mode share. Apples to oranges.

    For example, I see that the State of New York’s goal for active transportation commute only mode share for the year 2015 is 8.5%. But for all trips it is 16%. See:

    There is no walk/cycle breakdown of this goal. But if we assume 50/50 this means an 8% cycle transportation goal. 8% of the overall $4.4b funding works out to $352 million.

    So the appropriate share of spending to attain the stated goal is $352 million but we are only getting $67 million.

  • Kevin Love

    As J correctly points out, the $67 million is for both walking and cycling. I’ll redo the previous math.

    Since New York State’s stated transportation mode share goal for walking and cycling is 16%, that proportion of the funding is $704 million. Instead, we get less than a tenth of that. Peanuts.

    I will also point out that the plan for a 16% mode share by the year 2015 dates from 1997. Are we on-track to achieve that goal? (Kevin bursts out laughing…)

    Walking and cycling infrastructure is far, far cheaper than car infrastructure. However, failure to allocate proportionate funding has resulted in failure to meet the goal.

    To quote the noted philosopher Gomer Pyle, “Surprise, surprise, surprise.”


  • anon

    1/4 killed are peds or cyclists?

    In NYC it’s much higher than that. So far this year it’s 11/16 (10 peds, 1 bike)

    In 2012, it was 18 cyclists, 148 pedestrians, or 164/274.

    Statewide it was 303 peds, 36 cyclists, or 339/1200, so yes, about 1/4

  • Daniel

    Thanks Ian and Kevin, this context is really useful.

  • anon

    If Cuomo allows fracking outside of NYC’s watershed, will most NYC residents really care? A lot might see it as a balanced decision.


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