Rockland’s cyclists and commuters have another reason to look forward to the new year. This week, Governor Hochul passed legislation which requires the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to develop a plan to promote cycling and pedestrian access on its bridges and at its passenger stations; the new law will also require the MTA to consider bicycle and pedestrian access in its capital plans.
“Public transit in New York should be welcoming, safe and accessible for cyclists and pedestrians,” Governor Hochul said. “I’m proud to sign legislation that will expand access to public transit, no matter how you choose to get around. This new law will make the MTA more walk-able and bicycle-friendly, a major step in improving our transit system.”
The new law, designated Legislation S.4943B/A.6235, requires the MTA to encourage cycling and pedestrian access on MTA bridges, bike parking at MTA subway and commuter rail stations, and bike access on board MTA equipment. The new requirement will affect all Metro North Stations, including the trains that link Rockland to NYC, and ideally provide a safe and easy way for commuters and tourists to cycle through the city or travel to their station on bike.
“During the height of the pandemic, we saw cycling increase by 33% which means almost a million New Yorkers are cycling,” said Assembly-member Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, one of the sponsors of the bill. Increasing access for pedestrians and cyclists to MTA bridges is good for public health and good for the environment. If New York is going to adequately recover we must bring the voices of cyclists to the table when capital plans are developed by the MTA. I want to thank Senator Biaggi for working with me on this bill and to Governor Hochul for signing it into law. Most importantly I thank Bike New York, Streets PAC, Transportation Alternatives, and all of the advocates that recognize that addressing the bike boom in New York is part of how we build back better.”