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State to give LI $5.1M for bicycle, pedestrian paths

Linda Salerno of Wantagh rolls along the bike,

Linda Salerno of Wantagh rolls along the bike, jogging and walking path of Wantagh Parks. (July 5, 2013)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Friday announced that $5.1 million will be awarded to Long Island to fund bicycle, pedestrian and multiuse path enhancement projects in Freeport, Islip, Port Jefferson and Great Neck.

The funding is part of a $67 million package that Cuomo said would be awarded for similar enhancement projects throughout New York State. The funds will cover 80 percent of each project, and the remaining 20 percent will come from project sponsors.

At the four sites on Long Island, the money will pay for improving pedestrian and bicycle safety with reconstructed sidewalks, added street lighting, and other safety enhancements.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Mineola) said that the funding is "an important investment in our communities for our citizens, especially our young people."

Ryan Lynch, associate director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, believes the funding of these projects is a good step in improving pedestrian safety.

According to Lynch, 27 percent of all roadway fatalities on Long Island involve pedestrians and bicyclists.

The Sunrise Highway Streetscape Program, which has received $1.6 million from the funding, will install brick sidewalks on both sides of Sunrise Highway in Freeport, marked crosswalks and medians at every crossing traffic signal and antique-style lighting.

The other projects are:

$1 million to improve sidewalks and roadways in downtown Port Jefferson. The sidewalks will be widened and streets will get new trees and lighting.

$1.6 million to improve pedestrian and bicyclist access between the Bay Shore LIRR station, downtown Bay Shore and the Maple Avenue ferry terminals to Fire Island.

$838,000 to add bicycle racks and a bicycle shelter at the Great Neck LIRR station, brick walkways and a raised median and shoulder curb extension in the village for pedestrian safety.

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