New York State Assembly Hears testimonies to modify the Complete Streets Act
ALBANY, NY (WENY)--Thirteen-year-old Andrew Alati was riding his bicycle on his way to meet his friends when he was hit by a driver in a pedestrian crosswalk on June 30, 2019. He would have been 16-years-old today.
Twelve-year-old Sammy Cohen was crossing the street on his way to soccer practice when he was struck and killed also by a driver.
Today Sammy's mother Amy and Andrew's mother Diana, advocate with the organization Families for Safe Streets. They traveled hundreds of miles to testify in front of the New York Assembly Transportation Committee Monday.
“Andrew’s life was lost from somebody who was reckless, he was speeding, he never braked, and that’s because he never saw him. We need to act now. And I’m hoping that people who can make a difference can do so," Alati said.
The Complete Streets Act was enacted in 2011 and was designed to achieve a better transportation system by requiring the transportation plans of New York State to consider the needs of all roadway users. This includes pedestrians, bicyclists, public transportation riders, motorists, and citizens of all ages and abilities.
Cohen urged lawmakers during her testimony to pass the complete streets maintenance bills within the Crash Victims Rights & Safe Act. The bills would essentially authorize cities, villages, and towns to reduce the speed limit to 25 mph, and increase state funding for complete street design features.
Those features can vary from painted pedestrian cross walks and bike lanes, to updating maintenance for roads and sidewalks.
“Roads have to be designed in a way to drive the speed limit, to drive safely, to pay attention," Cohen said.
This Saturday marks the nine year anniversary of Sammy's death. During her testimony, Cohen urged lawmakers to remember her story and the many other families in New York who have lost someone.