Advocacy Days X 2

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February is lobby time in Albany, and Parks & Trails New York has been busy promoting the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as New York’s magnificent state park system.

New Yorkers for Active Transportation (NY4AT) reinforced the importance of funding and policy that supports cycling and walking with its 2014 Active Transportation Advocacy Day on February 11. The group’s day at the Capitol came at a time of decreasing funding for bicycling and pedestrian projects in New York, despite the State’s current status as the nation’s most dangerous place to bike and walk, in terms of roadway fatalities. NY4AT’s efforts to highlight this disparity and to create a dedicated funding source for Complete Streets projects are critical.

The group, a coalition comprised of Parks & Trails New York,  Tri-State Transportation Campaign, and New York Bicycling Coalition, brought its message to more than 30 Senators and Assembly members, including key members of the Transportation, Tourism, and Finance committees from both sides of the aisle.

Read more about NY4AT and its efforts here. Also, please take a few minutes to check out Parks & Trails New York’s Director of Programs and Policy, Fran Gotcsik, discussing the need for a strengthened Complete Streets policy and dedicated funding for bicycle and pedestrian projects on Capitol Tonight (only Time Warner Cable customers may access this content).

Supporters of New York’s magnificent State Park System came to Albany from as far away as Long Island and Lewiston to participate in Park Advocacy Day on February 26. Representatives from several Friends groups made the trip, including Friends of Grant Cottage, Friends of Sterling Forest, Friends of FDR State Park, and Friends of Letchworth State Park.

Volunteers sent a message of support for parks to state legislators, urging both houses to pass Governor Cuomo’s proposed $90 million in capital funding for the State Park System for the third consecutive year. Park advocates also urged lawmakers to support a $200 million increase of the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) and an increased operating budget for state parks.

Senator Betty Little and Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, chairs of the committees on parks and tourism in the Senate and Assembly, participated in the morning program.

A special THANKS to all the advocates who donated their time, and in many cases traveled from elsewhere in the state to reinforce the need for increased funding for active transportation and the state park system.

If you were unable to make it to Albany for either Active Transportation Day or Park Advocacy Day, it’s not too late to make a difference. Contact your State Senator or Assembly member today to ask them to support funding for active transportation, as well as the Governor’s proposed $90 million in capital spending for our State Park System that is in urgent need of repairs.

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