MTA officials will be required to plan for and encourage bicycle and pedestrian access on its bridges and trains, according to legislation signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul on Tuesday.
The new law mandates officials “develop a strategic action plan to improve bicycle and pedestrian access at bridges, stations and other facilities operated by the authority,” and requires bicycle expertise on the MTA’s advisory commuter councils.
“Public transit in New York should be welcoming, safe and accessible for cyclists and pedestrians,” Hochul said in a statement. “I’m proud to sign legislation that will expand access to public transit, no matter how you choose to get around.”
Cycling advocates hope the bill injects some zeal in the MTA’s approach to bike policy. It is currently illegal to peddle over any of the seven MTA bridges within New York City limits, and cyclists who disregard the rules risk getting ticketed by cops.
The legislation was sponsored by State Sen. Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx) and Assemblywoman Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas (D-Queens). Bike New York spokesman Jon Orcutt said the push to force the MTA to improve access is a “start, not an end.”
“The MTA is very long overdue in allowing bikes on its bridges and thinking about increasing access to transit through bike parking,” Orcutt said. “We thank the governor and especially thank State Sen. Biaggi and Assembly Member Gonzalez-Rojas.”