Broad Coalition Calls for Parity in Capital Region
Albany, NY Rebuild NY Now, a broad-based coalition seeking to raise public awareness about the issues impacting New York State’s infrastructure, continued it campaign and call for parity today in Albany with local elected officials, members of organized labor, and private local businesses. This diverse coalition stood together at a press conference at the Albany County Executive Office Building to call on the Legislature and the Governor to include funding parity between the capital plans of the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the New York State Department of Transportation in the 2016-17 Executive Budget.
Mike Elmendorf, President and CEO of Rebuild New York Now said, “A coalition unprecedented in its breadth and diversity has come together around this issue. Everyone from Labor to Chambers of Commerce and Elected Officials from across Upstate New York have come together in our state’s capital today because our crumbling roads and bridges are in serious need of attention and, more importantly, are in serious need of a multibillion dollar capital commitment from the State. Renewing a commitment to the historic parity agreement between roads and bridges and transit will not only create jobs and save New Yorkers money – but it will ensure the safety and well-being of Capital District families who every day ride on roads and bridges that are in a state of disrepair.”
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, “Capital Region drivers and their families deserve safe and reliable roads and bridges just as New York City commuters deserve a transit system that is second to none. Many commute every day on roads and bridges that need to be fixed. We must restore parity to New York’s millions of drivers who are pay billions only to travel on unsafe roads and bridges.”
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, “Much like New York City, many people who work in Albany are commuters. Unlike New York City, however, most people drive to work in the Capital Region, causing traffic to swell on our roads and bridges, which are already in a terrible state of disrepair. Restoring funding parity between mass transit and our roads and bridges will help ensure that upstate New Yorkers have a safe and efficient commute to work. The State Legislature and Governor must make a commitment to address the woeful state of disrepair of Albany’s bridges and roads.”
Senator Hugh T. Farley (R, C, I – Niskayuna) said, “I represent the second largest Senate district by land in New York State, and our communities rely on an extensive network of roads and bridges. Unfortunately, many of the roads and bridges throughout Upstate New York are in great need of repair and improvement. For the health of our local economies, as well as the safety of motorists, it is essential that we make the necessary infrastructure improvements to maintain and improve our transportation system. It is also essential, and a matter of fairness, that any transportation investments occur throughout the entire State, not just in one region.”
“It is critical that we make smart investments in our infrastructure throughout Upstate New York, where everyday commuters and families are traveling on roads and bridges that are in desperate need of improvements. We must advance a strong capital plan in this year’s budget and renew the parity that used to exist between upstate roads and bridges and the mass transit systems downstate. Investing in our infrastructure will create jobs, protect taxpayer dollars, and improve the safety of our communities,” said Senator George Amedore.
“It is critical to families throughout the Capital District and upstate New York that we renew our commitment and make sure that our roads and bridges are in good repair,” said Senator Neil Breslin. “A safe and well-maintained infrastructure is a critical component to a thriving economy. Increasing this investment will not only create jobs but will save New Yorkers money as well.”
“Long overdue Investments in infrastructure make good economic sense in local communities in addition to addressing critical public safety needs. These investments also create jobs in the community, which in turn help to stimulate local economies. It is essential that there be a clear prioritizing of needs, such as in public transportation, along with the highest return on investments for jobs and for environmental sustainability at both local and state levels. Infrastructure investments will provide critical economic benefits throughout our state,” said Assemblymember Patricia Fahy.
“As mayor of a city that is home to six bridges and the second busiest traffic corridor in the Capital Region, I am acutely aware of the critically important role our transit system plays in the lives of our residents,” said Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia. “We need to commit to improving the condition of our regions’ roads and bridges while ensuring that investment in our aging infrastructure will benefit all New Yorkers across the state.”
“The New York State Conference of Operating Engineers strongly supports fair and full infrastructure funding throughout the entire state. NYS roads and bridges are in desperate need of repair,” said Marina O’Donnell. “We need to rebuild our battered roads and failing bridges to make New Yorkers safer and create good local jobs here in the Capital District and throughout the state.”
Greg Biryla, Executive Director of Unshackle Upstate said, “As the leading voice for Upstate taxpayers and employers, we’re proud to join Rebuild NY Now’s call for fair transportation investment. The Upstate economy and its quality of life are reliant upon safe and dependable infrastructure yet in almost every Upstate community from Buffalo to Binghamton, costly water main breaks and road closures have become all too common. All New Yorkers should have confidence in their local infrastructure and Upstate projects deserve adequate funding.”