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Safety checklist near for new road projects

New York State Department of Transportation Regional director

New York State Department of Transportation Regional director Joseph T. Brown speaks at The Complete Streets Summit at the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College sponsored by Vision Long Island held in East Farmingdale, Friday, April 10, 2015. Credit: Steve Pfost

A checklist intended to make future road projects on Long Island safer for pedestrians will soon be finalized, a top state transportation official said at a summit in Farmingdale Friday.

Joseph Brown, Long Island regional director of the state Department of Transportation, said the checklist of design features would require planners to consider crosswalk placement, bus pullout lanes and other measures.

A draft of the checklist on the agency's website listed 28 specific areas planners would have to consider, including:

efforts "to reduce conflicts between vehicles and bike, pedestrian and transit users."

whether "there are opportunities to include landscaping which may help reduce storm water runoff and create a more inviting pedestrian environment."

whether the roadway is used for street fairs and other special events that might have an impact on bicycle riders and pedestrians.

if there were existing ramps, pedestrian signals or sidewalks that do not meet standards under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The checklist would help formalize the principles behind the Complete Streets Law, DOT spokeswoman Eileen Peters said. That law, signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in 2011, was designed in part to make streets safer for all users.

The law, and the checklist, do not apply to roads where bicyclists and pedestrians are prohibited, where there is a public safety issue and where the cost of compliance "is disproportionate to the need," according to a summary of the law on the DOT website.

The design standards must be considered for road projects that get federal or state money, not including resurfacing, maintenance and pavement recycling projects.

Brown made his remarks at the 2015 Complete Streets Summit at Molloy College. The summit was sponsored by the college's Sustainability Institute and Vision Long Island, a planning group.

State Sen. Jack Martins (R-Mineola), who also addressed the summit, said he has seen a shift toward less car-oriented planning among state transportation officials in recent years.

"They were more concerned about moving cars, and that was not that long ago," he said.

Nassau County Legis. Laura Curran (D-Baldwin) said that the county was working on Complete Streets guidelines that would apply to its projects.

The Suffolk County Legislature passed a Complete Streets measure in 2012.


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