We applaud Governor Cuomo and Commissioner McDonald for recognizing the importance of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure to the health, safety and economy of New York residents by announcing $70 million in federal Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) funding for 68 projects in communities across the state. We are especially pleased that these awards will further the development of the Erie Canalway Trail and several of PTNY’s original Healthy Trails, Healthy People program projects.
Erie Canalway Trail – improvements, community connections, and one step closer to closing the gaps
It is clear that Governor Cuomo and Commissioner McDonald recognize the importance of completing and enhancing the Erie Canalway Trail. The NYS Canal Corporation was awarded $985,600 to construct 1.5 miles of trail between Fort Herkimer Church and Lock 18, helping to close the seven-mile gap between Ilion and Little Falls in the Mohawk Valley.
In western New York, Erie County received $980,160 and the City of Buffalo $1,580,000 for improvements to the Shoreline Trail/Erie Canalway Trail which extends from Buffalo to Tonawanda along the Niagara River.
Erie County also received $760,000 for a former PTNY Healthy Trails, Healthy People program project, the Tonawanda Rails to Trails Extension, which will link North Buffalo to the City of Tonawanda where trail users can access the Erie Canalway and Shoreline Trails and the Niagara River Greenway. Earlier this month, PTNY hosted its Bicyclists Bring Business Roundtable and Bike-a-Round events in the Tonawandas and found improved access and trail connectivity to be major selling points both for trail users and for the local economy.
In Central New York, the Canalway Trail community of Oneida was awarded $716,000 for continuing work on the Oneida Rail Trail and City Center project. When complete, the Rail Trail will be an 11.3-mile trail network running through the heart of downtown Oneida, with connections along three abandoned railroad lines to the Village of Wampsville, the City of Sherrill, and the Erie Canalway Trail. Also in central New York, the Canalway Trail Village of Canastota received $250,513 for Phase II of enhancements to South Peterboro Street, the village’s main thoroughfare which intersects the Erie Canalway Trail.
New trail for former Healthy Trails, Healthy People program partners
In addition to the Tonawanda Rails-to-Trails project, PTNY was thrilled that other former Healthy Trails, Healthy People program projects received funding to initiate trail development efforts. Nassau County’s Long Island Motor Parkway (LIMP) Multi-Use Trail was awarded $1,820,000 for the Salisbury Park Drive Segment.
Parks & Trails New York has been an active supporter of the LIMP for many years, joining local environmental groups and interested citizens in advocating for creation of a cross-county, multi-use trail following the route of the historic Long Island Motor parkway. The trail would offer much needed green space linking neighborhoods, schools and shopping areas, and ensuring safe alternative transportation and recreational opportunities for millions of nearby residents.
In the Catskills, a former Healthy Trails, Healthy People community, the Town of Mamakating, was awarded $1,057,190 for development of additional trail along the abandoned Wurtsboro D&H Canal towpath.
Parks to become more bikeable, walkable, too
Included in the line-up of TAP projects are several state parks.
- $1.6 million to the City of Saratoga Springs for the Geyser Road-Saratoga Spa State Park Bicycle-Pedestrian Trail
- $2.5 million to NYS Parks for Jones Beach State Park
- $1.6 million to NYS Parks for the West Niagara River Trail
PTNY is extremely pleased that so many of the projects funded in this TAP round will build-out existing trail networks and make it easier for persons of all ages and abilities to safely access their local trail or shop and run errands without the use of a vehicle.
Congratulations to all the communities and trail groups that received funding. Great work! Read the full list of funded projects.