New York State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi and state Assemblywoman Jessica González-Rojas joined bike and sustainable transportation advocates Thursday to urge Gov. Kathy Hochul to sign legislation designed to promote cycling and pedestrian access on MTA bridges and transit stations in New York City.
The bill requires the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) to develop a strategic plan to promote cycling and pedestrian access on all MTA bridges and commuter rail stations. Additionally, the legislation requires the MTA to consider and prioritize bicycle and pedestrian access when planning capital projects.
The bills were approved unanimously by the state Senate and Assembly in June. The measure does not impose budgetary or project mandates on the MTA, but does signal that bike and walking access to MTA bridges and better linkage between bike facilities and transit are important policy areas the agency must begin to address.
The officials and organizations gathered at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, where the city recently converted a lane for cars into a separated bikeway. They cited the project as an example of sustainable and equitable transportation policy that today is not under consideration at the MTA.
“As the Senate sponsor of this bill, I strongly urge Governor Hochul to sign this necessary legislation and ensure that the MTA is meeting the demands of hundreds of thousands of working and commuting New Yorkers,”Biaggi said. “With nearly 800,000 New Yorkers cycling regularly, we have a responsibility to ensure that our infrastructure is safe, welcoming, and accessible to cyclists and pedestrians. Implementing this bill will allow us to bring our public transportation system into the 21st century while advancing our climate goals. Governor Hochul must heed the calls from legislators and New Yorkers alike and sign this bill to improve the transportation options and lives of all New Yorkers.”
This bill requires the MTA and relevant Permanent Citizen Advisory councils to develop a strategic action plan to improve cycling and pedestrian access on MTA bridges, bike parking at MTA subway and commuter rail stations, and bike access on board MTA equipment. Within one year, the MTA must submit a report to the governor and state Legislature and make it available online.