FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2005
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSIONER WEINSHALL ANNOUNCE PLAN TO USE $71 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDS TO EASE TRAFFIC CONGESTION AND IMPROVE AIR QUALITY
Money will Fund Traffic Safety Improvement at Dangerous Intersections, Alternative Fuel Vehicles, Bicycle Corridors and Asthma Control Programs
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Iris Weinshall today announced plans to use $71 million in Federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) funding to improve air quality, traffic congestion and safety across the City. Over the next four years the City will invest in Citywide Congested Corridors Mitigation, Pedestrian and Bicycle Network Development, Downtown Brooklyn Mobility improvements and a Private and City fleet Alternative Fuel Program. In addition, the project will fund Walk to School Programs, and various intelligent transportation projects to link additional major arterials to the DOT Traffic Management Center in Long Island City. The announcement was made at Nostrand Avenue and Avenue V in Brooklyn, which is one of nine roadways to be studied under the Congested Corridor initiative.
"Keeping traffic moving safely and improving our air quality is a top priority for our administration," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Thanks to the excellent planning of DOT and $71 million in Federal Funding we will be able to invest in a host of innovative programs and initiatives to improve traffic flow and reduce pollution. We will attack problem intersections with new technology we will encourage the use of bicycles and alternative fuel vehicles and will do extensive education and outreach on asthma prevention and the link between environmental quality, health and academic performance."
"CMAQ is an important funding source that brings tangible benefits to our City," said Commissioner Weinshall. "These funds will allow us to study busy streets in all five boroughs and take the necessary steps to relieve congestion."
Congested Corridors Mitigation - $5 million
The Citywide Congested Corridors Project will make improvements which will reduce delays and improve traffic flow, thereby reducing vehicle emissions on major traffic corridors in each of the five boroughs. Possible measures to reduce congestion include signal timing changes and computerization, roadway alignment changes, bus priority lanes and changes to curbside regulations (parking control). All changes will be done in consultation with local community leaders and with public input.
The following traffic corridors will be examined and are slated for improvement:
Pedestrian and Bicycle Network Development - $21 million
The Pedestrian Network Development Project ensures that new construction and transportation improvements integrate the needs of pedestrians into their design. It also promotes walking and encourages New Yorkers to commute by foot. The Bicycle Promotion, Parking, and Network Development project will encourage the use of the bicycle as a healthy and low-cost alternative to motor vehicle travel and as a compliment to public transit. The Bicycle Promotion initiatives will further improve the City's 900 mile bicycle network as well as provide wide-spread and secure bicycle parking. Funding will also be used to promote public awareness of the network and the availability of bicycle parking spaces and encourage their use.
Downtown Brooklyn Mobility Management Study - $1.8 million
The Downtown Brooklyn Mobility Management Study will explore ways to reduce traffic and promote mass transit in Downtown Brooklyn. The area is undergoing a large scale redevelopment and is the City's third largest central business district. Under consideration are alternative fuel shuttle buses to the area's ferry landing and HOV dedicated parking.
Alternative Fuel Program - $26 million
The Private Fleet Alternate Fuel program will award funds on a competitive basis to private fleets for the costs of converting to alternative fuels. Private fleets would be required to put up a minimum 20% match of the conversion costs. By targeting high mileage, heavy duty, private fleets, particularly in asthma hot spot neighborhoods, this program will improve air quality and reduce asthma. The Citywide Fleet Alternative Fuel program will continue to expand the use of both alternate fuels and exhaust treatment devices within the light and heavy duty municipal fleet. This program will also initiate the groundwork for emerging fuel cell technology by providing funds to assist the New York City Fire Department in the development of regulations for these new technologies.
Walk to School and Asthma Free School Zone - $3.7 Million
The Walk to School Program educates school-aged children and encourages them to walk, bike and use other non-motorized means to travel to school. It is part of a larger program that teaches children the skills to walk safely and identify officially-designated safe routes to school. The asthma free school zone project addresses the environmental causes of asthma by training communities to make their schools and neighborhoods as environmentally safe and healthy as possible. To reduce particulate pollution the program educates New York City drivers (especially diesel bus and truck) to respect existing anti-idling legislation and agreements between school bus fleets and the State Attorney General.
Electronic Traffic Management Improvements - $14 million
This program will install a fiber cable network linking principal City arteries to the Traffic Management Center (TMC) in Long Island City. Connection points include: The Cross Island Parkway, The Henry Hudson Parkway, The New England Thruway, Jackie Robinson Parkway, The Belt Parkway and The Korean War Veterans Parkway. These networks will allow for the installation of remote traffic monitoring systems, closed circuit video cameras, variable message signs and other traffic improvement technologies.
Edward Skyler/Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
Kay Sarlin (Department of Transportation)
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