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Streets of NYC may be more 'complete' in the near future

In an attempt to improve the safety of motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcyclists, as well as control the general flow of vehicle traffic, lawmakers in 24 states have enacted "complete street" legislation.

While the term may conjure up images of large-scale construction projects connecting major thoroughfares or improving the general conditions of roads/highways, complete street laws actually have very little to do with the existing infrastructure.

Rather, complete street laws mandate that the future design/construction of any roads in that particular state will not only account for cars and trucks, but also pedestrians, buses, bicycles and motorcycles.

According to the proponents of complete streets legislation, this approach prevents serious accidents, encourages people to utilize alternative means of transportation, prevents traffic congestion and is altogether more eco-friendly.

Interestingly, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently expressed his support for the complete streets legislation making its way through our State Assembly, vowing to make it the law here in the Empire State.

"[Complete streets legislation would] facilitate improved joint use of roadways by all users, including pedestrians, motorists, and bicyclists as well as promote a cleaner, greener transportation system with reduced traffic congestion and the resultant air pollution," read a released statement from the governor's office.

If a so-called complete street were to be constructed in New York City, what elements would it possibly include?

While designs vary, transportation experts seem to agree that a complete street could include sidewalks, bike lanes, elevated crosswalks, pedestrian signals (if elevated crosswalks aren't present), curb cutouts, ramps, bus stops/pull outs, motorcycle lanes and enhanced traffic control measures.

While complete streets legislation is not yet a reality in New York, State Senator Charles Fuschillo - a sponsor of the measure - has reiterated his belief in its inherent value.

"Complete streets design principles have been proven to reduce fatalities and injuries, and by taking them into consideration on future projects we will greatly improve the safety of pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers of all ages and abilities," he said.

Stay tuned for more from our New York traffic law blog ...

A ticket for violating a vehicle traffic law can result in serious consequences, including fines, points against your license, increased insurance rates, license suspension/revocation or even jail time. Accordingly, if you or a loved one has received a citation, don't just dismiss it.

Instead, consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.

This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Related Resources:

Transportation Nation "NY Gov will sign complete streets law" Aug. 15, 2011

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