Transit Wins Big in Local Funding Fight
While cyclists and pedestrians will be short-changed by the upcoming budget allocations, the Transit Authority scored big. Subway and bus projects will receive a whopping $9.9 billion, or 64%, of all transportation spending in New York City over the next five years. The Big Apple remains one of the few places in the country where transit gets more funding than motoring.
Transit spending is all to the good, but transit bosses must recognize the importance of supporting bicycle and pedestrian projects. The vast majority of subway and bus riders walk to transit. Yet, the MTA has stomped on funding for bike and ped projects. Additionally, the Transit Authority has done nothing to improve walking conditions around transit stops or to encourage 'bike and ride.' Given the crowding near subway entrances, substantial investment is needed to widen sidewalks and improve crosswalks. One of the City's best forthcoming projects, "Pedestrian/Subway Interface," proposes to do just that. But the project's budget of $3 million is less than a twentieth of what is needed. The Transit Authority must look beyond its trains and buses and help DOT and City Planning with funding for this vital project.