Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus announced on Thursday that the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) in consultation with the Orange County Transportation Council (OCTC) has approved the County’s application for $530,000 in funding for its Pedestrian Safety Action Plan (PSAP).
“The walkability of any community is a vital part of its overall quality of life and helps to support economic development,” Neuhaus said. “Our residents want access to local amenities within walking distance of their homes and offices and I appreciate that the State supports making our communities pedestrian friendly. Orange County appreciates being awarded these funds.”
Orange County’s Department of Public Works reviewed intersections on County roads with pedestrian routes in areas of schools, commercial zones, and highly trafficked residential areas and applied for the PSAP grant program for the most crucial locations. The program includes intersections where there are uncontrolled pedestrian crossings and improvements to signaled intersections where there are substandard pedestrian accommodations. The selected candidate intersections that met the requirements for the grant program were in Chester, Cornwall, Goshen, Wallkill, Warwick, and Woodbury. These candidate intersections will be studied in detail and the allocated grant monies will be applied toward the most critical crossings. The State Department of Transportation is also planning to upgrade numerous intersections on State Roads throughout Orange County under this program.
The County’s grant is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s $62 million investment into the PSAP, a multi-agency initiative to utilize engineering, education and enforcement campaigns to enhance pedestrian safety throughout Upstate New York and on Long Island. More than $22 million is earmarked for the first batch of pedestrian safety projects on State roads, which are currently underway, while $40 million is being invested to enhance pedestrian safety on local roadways.
Pedestrian safety site evaluations began last year on state-owned roadways, including at 2,000 crosswalks without traffic signals and 2,400 signalized intersections. The assessments identified cost-effective upgrades that greatly improve safety for pedestrians. Upgrades include the installation of high visibility crosswalk markings and additional signs, as well as signalization enhancements, such as extended crossing times, countdown timers that tell pedestrians how many seconds they have to cross the street, and leading pedestrian intervals that help make pedestrians more visible to motorists by giving them a head start before traffic can turn onto the street.
“Safe pedestrian access is critical in enabling and encouraging walkability throughout our communities and in turn improving our local economies and the quality of living for our residents,” said Erik Denega, Orange County’s Department of Public Works Commissioner. “It helps make local business viable and supports public transit options. We are grateful for the grant and the opportunity to make these improvements.”
For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations at 845.291.3255 or firstname.lastname@example.org.