A black and blue theme to today's Buffalo News editorials.
The state needs to require a new way of looking as street and highway design. The city of Buffalo needs to get a handle on the number of police officers and firefighters who are on injury pay.
- Make roads safer - Buffalo News Editorial
A high number of pedestrians and bicyclists are being struck by automobiles while navigating dangerous crossings both in Erie County and throughout New York State, and the AARP is trying to push through practical legislation at the state level that will lay the groundwork for common-sense infrastructure on projects going forward.
All that is now needed is some common sense from the Assembly.
"Complete Streets" legislation (S. 5711-B), sponsored by Senate Transportation Chairman Martin Malave Dilan, D-Brooklyn, recently passed the Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support, 57-4. The bill would provide an innovative and comprehensive approach to the way the state designs its roads. The approach would accommodate vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, people with disabilities and public transportation users -- in other words, the entire public.
Here's where the issue takes a wrong turn.
A companion bill in the Assembly was amended by its sponsor, David Gantt of Rochester, who heads the Assembly Transportation Committee, to eliminate the majority of the roads covered in New York State. This is an unacceptable outcome to AARP and many other groups that support the "Complete Streets" legislation. Under the amendment, the bill pertains only to roads overseen by the Department of Transportation, thus eliminating the majority of roads in the state of New York.
- For the injured only - Buffalo News Editorial
It is not only the law, but a moral obligation, for municipalities to care for police and firefighters who are injured on duty. These men and women put their own safety at risk to protect that of thousands of their fellow citizens. When they are injured in carrying out those tasks, they need to know their health care is in good hands and their incomes are secure.
But the reverse is also true. It is a moral and legal imperative for police and fire personnel to treat fairly their supervisors and the taxpayers who fund these important benefits. As the system has been configured in Buffalo, that has not always been the case. A change that should be helpful is in the works. It is certainly worth trying—or, more accurately, trying again.
Background: Injured-on-duty controversy will revert to department heads - Lou Michel/The Buffalo News
Let's be careful out there on the highway:
-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News
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