It’s not a bridge too far.
Activists and bike-friendly legislators are making a ultimate push to get a flooring vote for a stalled invoice that will carry bike owner and pedestrian enter to the MTA’s planning course of, a longtime oversight and sore spot for anybody who’s tried to bike over an MTA bridge such because the Triboro or Gil Hodges.
The invoice, one model, A6235, sponsored by Meeting Member Jessica González-Rojas and its counterpart S4943 by state Senator Alessandra Biaggi, would add the mellifluous voice of cyclists and pedestrians to the MTA planning course of to make sure that the authority takes their issues severely when it considers future plans.
González-Rojas mentioned that the she’d been aggressively selling the invoice within the waning days of the legislative session, which ends on June 10. The invoice is presently within the Meeting Methods and Means Committee, the place it will likely be debated Wednesday amid a slew of payments that legislators are hoping to get out the door earlier than they depart Albany. The invoice would then be moved to the Guidelines committee to get a flooring vote by the top of the day on Thursday, however the Meeting member mentioned she was assured it could get there. (The senate model is already calendared for a vote.)
Nothing has modified so far as the laws’s goal of getting the MTA to take cyclists severely, which may result in a world the place it’s truly authorized to bike throughout the bridges that the authority controls or perhaps a day the place bringing your bike on a prepare isn’t topic to seemingly arbitrary restrictions. It may additionally imply that the following time one thing like Moynihan Station will get constructed, there’s a motorbike rack or perhaps a safe bike parking facility within the ultimate design.
What did change is the way in which that cyclists and pedestrians could have their voices heard. González-Rojas mentioned that as an alternative of making a brand new committee contained in the MTA, the invoice will now add biking and pedestrian representatives to the MTA’s rider councils for New York Metropolis Transit, Metro-North and Lengthy Island Rail Highway. These consultants would nonetheless be in control of making a strategic plan to higher combine bike owner and pedestrian viewpoints into the MTA’s bigger course of, which the the Meeting member mentioned would give the legislation greater than only a ceremonial sheen.
“Finally, the cost didn’t change, they nonetheless should give you a strategic plan to handle biking and pedestrian entry on the MTA bridges,” mentioned González-Rojas. “The place it’s distinctive is that the appointees must be a topic skilled on biking and pedestrian security and advocacy. Which is sweet, as a result of whereas I used to be a member of a New York Metropolis Transit Riders Council, it wasn’t mandated to have experience to be on it. They simply attempt to get a various set of transit riders, however this may require experience, or subject material skilled on this subject.”
A spokesperson for Speaker Carl Heastie’s workplace didn’t return a request for remark, however biking advocates have saved up the strain on the chief of the Meeting (and you may too).
Listening to we’re shut with the #MTABikeAccess invoice in Albany!
The hot button is getting a vote within the Meeting
The MTA should plan for ? on bridges & at its stations! pic.twitter.com/MO0cwzqd8K
— Bike New York (@bikenewyork) June 8, 2021
“We want the legislature to behave,” mentioned Bike New York Director of Advocacy Jon Orcutt. “Even when the legislation passes, it should solely be the beginning of a protracted course of bringing the MTA to twenty first Century transportation planning. This primary step shouldn’t be a giant raise for the Meeting.”