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Nassau Complete Streets program approved

Norma L. Gonsalves, candidate for Nassau County legislator,

Norma L. Gonsalves, candidate for Nassau County legislator, 13th District. (June 13, 2013) Credit: Howard Schnapp

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano announced Tuesday that the Nassau Legislature has approved the Complete Streets program, a state policy that ensures consideration of all users of roadways — drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders — in the planning and design of new and renovated thoroughfares.

“The standards and guidelines set forth by Complete Streets will help us better plan road projects to make Nassau’s roads the safest they can be at all times,” Mangano said in a statement. “Not only does this law encourage residents to walk, bicycle and take public transportation, it also helps create a situation that will relieve congestion and pollution caused by motor vehicles.”

The state law, enacted in 2011, applies to projects undertaken by the New York State Department of Transportation, and to local projects receiving both federal and state funding and subject to state DOT oversight. The law does not cover projects 100 percent locally funded, but local agencies can choose to adopt Complete Streets practices.

These design principles include paved shoulders and bicycle lanes suitable to encourage bicycle riders. Other designs would improve sidewalks, signage, crosswalks, pedestrian signals and traffic calming methods designed to allow pedestrians and motor vehicles to safely coexist.

“This program will help increase awareness of this topic and hopefully save lives,” Presiding Officer Norma L. Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) said in a statement.

“From 2009-2011, 84 pedestrians were killed on roads in Nassau County,” Ryan Lynch, associate director for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said in the statement. “A Complete Streets policy will not only help prevent these tragic fatalities, but also create the transportation choices that add resiliency into our transportation system, helping residents weather future storms like Hurricane Sandy.”

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