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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gov. Andrew Cuomo
ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced Monday approximately $70 million in awards to fund 68 bicycle, pedestrian and multi-use path transportation projects across the state, although none of the funds are designated for eastern Niagara County.

"These projects will help communities become more walkable and bicycle friendly, as well as show off the natural beauty that exists in every corner of this state,” Cuomo said.

The projects include the addition of accessible sidewalks, improved pedestrian access to public transportation services, construction of new bicycle and pedestrian facilities and the preservation and conversion of abandoned railroad corridors for trail use.

Locally, the funds will be used to extend trails in Tonawanda ($760,000), do streetscaping on Buffalo Avenue in Niagara Falls ($404,000), and create a West Niagara River Trail in Niagara Falls ($1.6 million).

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said, "We are investing in projects that meet the increasing public demand for walkable and bikeable communities, while promoting sustainable transportation alternatives, tourism and recreation, and local and regional economic development."

The projects announced were chosen through a competitive solicitation process and rated on established criteria that included public benefit and community support for the project; connectivity to an existing transportation system; how well the proposed improvements benefit walking and bicycling; impact on local or regional economies; availability of matching funds; and ability to deliver the project within federally required timeframes, according to the governor's office.

Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand said, "We must ensure that our communities have safer streets that protect our children, seniors, and pedestrians. This federal funding is a step toward making New York's bicycle paths, sidewalks and roadways more accommodating for our families. I will continue to fight for vital infrastructure funding that enhances the quality of life for New Yorkers and keeps more residents safe."

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