Lawmakers passed legislation last week that will improve cycling and pedestrian access on MTA bridges, bike parking at MTA subway and commuter rail stations and bike access on board MTA equipment.
The bills, sponsored by Senator Alessandra Biaggi, will develop a strategic plan to promote cycling and pedestrian access on all MTA bridges and commuter rail stations. Additionally, it requires the MTA to consider and prioritize bicycle and pedestrian access when planning capital projects.
Within one year, the MTA must submit a report to the Governor and Legislature and make it available online. The bill also adds additional members to the Long Island Rail Road Commuter’s Council, the Metro-North Rail Commuter’s Council and the New York City Transit Authority Advisory Council with a demonstrated expertise or interest in bicycle and pedestrian access.
“As a record number of New Yorkers turn to sustainable and cleaner forms of transportation, we must ensure our MTA infrastructure is welcoming and accessible to cyclists and pedestrians,” Biaggi said. “By expanding cycling and pedestrian access on MTA bridges and stations, we can fully connect all five boroughs of New York City for our commuting and working New Yorkers and encourage more residents to switch to clean forms of transportation. I would like to thank Jon Orcutt from Bike NY and Eric McClure from StreetsPAC for their commitment to this bill and advocacy on behalf of cyclists in New York. I also want to extend my gratitude to Assemblymember González-Rojas for her partnership on this legislation in the Assembly and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins for prioritizing this issue.”
Danny Pearlstein, policy and communications director at Riders Alliance praised the legislation.
“Now more than ever, cycling plays a central role in New York’s transportation network,” Pearlstein said. “For too long, MTA bridges have been broken links, when they should provide safe passage for cyclists. Thanks to the vision and leadership of Senator Biaggi and Assemblymember González-Rojas, this bill opens up our infrastructure in a powerful advance for both access and equity. The governor should sign it immediately.”