FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: LIA: Stacey Sikes, Vice President of Government Affairs and Communications
LICA: Thomas Meara, (718) 309-3506
Long Island Association and Long Island Contractors’ Association Urge House to Pass Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
September 29, 2021 - Today, the Long Island Association (LIA) and Long Island Contractors’ Association (LICA) urged the U.S. House of Representatives to vote for the bipartisan infrastructure package already passed by the Senate. New preliminary data from the Institute for Traffic Management and Research found that Suffolk County was number one in motor vehicle fatalities and crashes in New York State in 2020, with Nassau second in crashes and third in fatalities.
Matt Cohen, President and CEO of the LIA, said, “the new data that found Long Island had the most roadway deaths in the entire state demonstrates that infrastructure is not just an economic development issue, but an urgent matter of human life and safety. As America’s first suburb, Long Island’s roadways were not designed for today’s traffic levels. Investment is urgently needed to make our hazardous roadways safer and reduce the staggering number of motor vehicle fatalities our region experienced in 2020. The House should vote for the bipartisan infrastructure bill and not delay getting funding to the communities who need it now.”
The LIA has long advocated for Long Island’s fair share of funding, including for Long Island’s infrastructure. Out of the $515 billion in new infrastructure investments that is included in the federal bill for the entire nation that was passed by the Senate, $11 billion is projected to be allocated for transportation safety to help states and localities address fatalities and crashes.
Marc Herbst, Executive Director of LICA, said, “We have to stop building roadside memorials and start building safer roads. Right now, Suffolk and Nassau counties have the highest death toll out of any other county in the state. We must pass President Biden’s Build Back Better plan and begin investing in safer roadways for all Long Islanders. We are a community of drivers. If our roads are not appropriately designed and continuously maintained then it will impact every facet of our life - the economy, trips to family functions and, most importantly, our safety.”
LICA has played a leading role in advocating for roadway safety and developing New York State policies that could address dangerous roadways on Long Island. LICA proposed a Highway Safety Corridor for stretches of dangerous roadways on the Southern State Parkway also known as “blood alley” and has worked with local elected officials to draw attention to safe driving practices.
Local officials have implemented more road management measures and traffic enforcement in an effort to prevent accidents, but assistance is needed from New York State and the federal government to enhance safety and revamp dangerous roadways.
“My administration has enhanced traffic safety measures by investing $50 million in infrastructure improvements, such as traffic signals, pavement markings, signage and various traffic calming devices on County roadways. But after decades of neglect of our roadway infrastructure, there is more work to be done, with far too many people losing their lives. Federal infrastructure funding is critical to fast-tracking necessary improvements that will also create jobs and power our economic recovery,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.
“Roadway safety should always be a top priority and the funding this bill will provide will have a significant impact keeping residents safe,” said Suffolk County Executive Bellone. “The newly released data from the Institute for Traffic Management and Research that found Long Island's roads have among the highest number of motor vehicle crashes and fatalities is completely unacceptable. We join our partners in urging quick passage of this bill to help create safer roads across our region and save lives.”
About the Long Island Association
The Long Island Association (LIA) is the region’s leading non-profit and non-partisan business organization and amplifies the voice of the business community. As Long Island’s chamber of commerce, the LIA works to ensure the region’s economic vitality and provides leadership to guarantee a bright future for Long Island. The LIA has been active for nearly century – it was founded in 1926 and its work has resulted in positive change. The LIA leads and unifies the region in order to enhance, strengthen and protect Long Island as a premier place to live, work and play. For more info: www.longislandassociation.org
About the Long Island Contractors’ Association
As the “Voice of Long Island's Highway and Infrastructure Professionals, the Long Island Contractors’ Association (LICA) represents Long Island's premier heavy construction general contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and industry supporters. Focused primarily in the infrastructure construction industry, such as highways, bridges, sewers, parks, other public works and private site development, LICA's member companies play a significant role in sustaining the region's quality of life and economic engine that is Nassau and Suffolk Counties. https://licanys.org/
New Data on Road Safety on Long Island Highlights Critical Need for Funding