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New York eyes pedestrian safety through better road design, lower speed limits, and technology

Safety for pedestrians in New York State could improve under a package of measures proposed by Governor Kathy Hochul in her State of the State address this week.

The proposals and new law come during heightened concerns for pedestrian safety across New York State. The Governor’s office estimates that 300 people are killed and 15,000 people injured by motor vehicles a year.

Hochul approved a measure meant to encourage projects that use safer designs and are backed by local governments. The move is meant to create more pedestrian-friendly paths and walkways, bike areas and improved curb cuts.


Assemblywoman Pat Fahy and Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Tim Kennedy backed legislation that would expand the use of “complete streets” designs and boost the state’s share of funding for those projects.

“This law will empower local governments to pursue more of these projects by reducing their cost burden and increasing the state’s share of funding for these projects,” Fahy said. “If our goal is to build strong, multi-modal walkable communities while reducing transportation-sector emissions, complete street design is a proven component for achieving that objective.”

Hochul also wants to allow New York City to control its own speed limits, a long-sought move by officials there as well as traffic safety advocates. But those advocates are also pushing Hochul to do more, including requiring vehicles to have intelligent speed assistance and similar safety features in new cars and requiring drivers to pass bicyclists at a distance of at least three feet.



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