Advocacy Matters! Funding for Walking and Biking Advances in NYS
February's Active Transportation Advocacy Day was more than a mere exercise for participants. Their efforts have resulted in 46 legislators and more than 60 organizations signing support letters for dedicated funding for biking and walking projects in the state budget.
On February 2, Parks & Trails New York and its New Yorkers for Active Transportation (NY4AT) coalition partners hit the halls of the Capitol, calling for more state funding for biking and walking. Of course, bikes had to be locked up outside, but inside there was plenty of walking, as advocates made the rounds in the Capitol and Legislative Office Building, meeting with more than 40 legislators. Along with their main ask for dedicated pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure funding, they gathered support for "roll-on" bike service on New York's Amtrak trains, a proposal that could bring significantly more visitors to upstate parks and trails like the statewide Erie Canalway Trail. They also called on legislators to improve connections between active transportation modes and public transit.
NY4AT coalition members are happily discovering that the day's exertions were not in vain. In all 46 legislators have signed on to support letters for the primary ask - $20 million annually in dedicated funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects. Signers include 43 assembly members on a letter circulated by AM Patricia Fahy, and 3 Senators on a letter circulated by Senator Rich Funke. More than 60 organizations have also joined the call for dedicated funding through an organizational sign on letter to Assembly and Senate leadership.
We'll be watching closely as Senate and Assembly one-house budgets are released. Stay tuned!
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SUPPORT BIKE-PED FUNDING?
You can share your story.Tell us why you ride or walk, and what more funding for bike lanes, sidewalks, and trails would mean for your community.
You can also use materials provided by NY4AT to make calls or arrange in-district visits with your legislator.