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Schumer Has Been Leading The Charge To Revitalize Downtown Kingston – Securing $21+ Million – The Largest Grant In Kingston’s History To Reimagine The Rondout Waterfront, Increase Walkability, Biking, Flood Protections

Senator Says Dangerous Corridors Like Foxhall & Flatbush, Which Have Had Dozens Of Pedestrians & Cyclists Struck From Lack Of Walkability And Unsafe Railroad Crossings, Hinder Growth And Economic Opportunity – Now He Is Pushing To Land Final Funding Needed To Re-Do Streets And Connect Midtown Kingston To Downtown & Waterfront 

Schumer: Step By Step, We’re Building the Pathways To Reconnect All Of Kingston To The Waterfront, Downtown & A Brighter Future!

Standing at the notorious Foxhall Avenue rail crossing in midtown Kingston, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today launched a major push to secure up to $3+ million in federal funding for Kingston to help overhaul its Foxhall and Flatbush Avenues – primary corridors to the downtown – with increased safety infrastructure and walkability for residents.

Schumer explained these corridors have been the site of dozens of accidents stemming from poor pedestrian infrastructure, along with multiple individuals and vehicles hit at the CSX train crossings, and as the downtown grows, more residents are utilizing these roadways to access jobs, shops, and the waterfront.

Schumer has been leading the charge to reconnect Kingston’s neighborhoods to the waterfront and revitalized downtown, but, according to Senator Schumer, “Right now outdated, unsafe infrastructure like that along Foxhall and Flatbush limit midtown Kingston residents from economic opportunity and puts them in harm’s way – forcing them to walking in the road or along railroad tracks and leading to accidents.” Now the senator is pushing to build on the funding he has already delivered to safely connect Midtown Kingston to surrounding business districts with safer streets, treelined walking paths, and modern infrastructure to keep pedestrians safe.   

“Kingston’s historic waterfront is undergoing a major transformation thanks to the federal funding I secured. The Kingston downtown is growing like never before, but ask anyone who lives in Kingston’s midtown and they will tell you getting downtown without a car is not only no easy task, but can also be dangerous. These Foxhall and Flatbush corridors are the primary connectors for hundreds of residents, but they lack basic walking infrastructure and safety features needed to ensure residents have access to all Kingston has to offer,” said Senator Schumer. “We have seen dozens of pedestrians and cyclists hit, including multiple at rail crossings that need better safety features to keep residents out of harm’s way. That’s why I’m launching my push to secure $3 million in federal funding to boost the work we have already done and safely connect our midtown Kingston families to the downtown, the Empire State Trail, and the waterfront. This will enhance safety and unleash further pent up economic potential by interconnecting the waterfront to the whole community and the vibrant trail network throughout the whole of Ulster County and Hudson Valley. By putting fed dollars towards new sidewalks, crosswalks, and safety measures at these notorious rail crossings, we can bridge the gap and make sure every Kingston resident can get to the waterfront easily – increasing access to job opportunities and creating a sustainable way of life for our residents.”

Schumer explained that Foxhall and Flatbush Avenues are two highly trafficked roads that residential areas use to connect to businesses in the area as well as those on Albany Avenue, which is a major roadway connecting to I587, the New York State Thruway, and a dense business district on Ulster Avenue. Because there are no sidewalks, bike paths, crosswalks, or signals, residents without cars cannot easily access the new downtown and waterfront, which especially impacts residents from reaching new job opportunities. Moreover, the CSX rail line 6 tracks total over two at-grade crossings bisects the City, further limiting travel and disproportionately affecting low-income and minority communities with fewer travel options. There have been dozens of pedestrian and bicycle crashes within the proposed project limits, with five taking place between 2017 and 2020. Safety concerns highlighted by residents make it clear that challenges in accessing the newly vitalized riverfront have impeded equitable growth for many Kingston residents. By better connecting neighborhoods along these critical thoroughfares, residents and visitors alike will soon be able to safely enjoy the city and other adjacent communities across the Hudson Valley.

Schumer said specifically, the “Safe and Accessible Flatbush and Foxhall” project will construct and rehabilitate sidewalks across the corridor to help build the safer complete streets the community has desperately needed. This includes better safer install crosswalks, curb ramps, and better safety and signage infrastructure at the 21 intersections and railroad crossings. The City is also actively working with CSX to improve the two railroad crossings situated on the route to reduce the use of the tracks as a walking path, which residents have used because of the lack of infrastructure.

Schumer explained the funding would support Kingston in enhancing pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure to improve connections between residential areas in Midtown Kingstown and surrounding business districts. This is the next phase of development, building on the nearly $22 million Schumer delivered last year to revitalize the downtown and make major upgrades to serve Kingston residents.

This funding will redevelop park spaces across the city, create safe corridors for cycling and pedestrian access to the Empire State Trail and the Kingston Greenway, create a new zoning area for inclusive housing development, and promote climate resiliency for the historic Riverfront.  Schumer said this investment would jumpstart the next phase of development to ensure that communities can safely and easily travel to and from the Kingston downtown and the business district via walking or cycling, helping combat climate change and lower air pollution by reducing reliance on vehicles that emit fossil fuels, while making major infrastructure upgrades infrastructure so residential neighborhoods are safely and easily connected to downtown.

“It’s never been more critical to reconnect our communities and make sure all Kingston residents can get downtown to go the hospital, get to work, or grocery shop. I have been leading the charge to revitalize downtown Kingston for years and last year was proud to deliver a whopping $22 million, the largest federal grant in Kingston’s history, to jumpstart the waterfronts transformation. Now it’s time we start the next phase of development and ensure everyone can get to the new, beautiful downtown! I promise to fight tooth and nail for this funding to pave the way to a brighter and safer future for our communities and thank Mayor Noble for being a strong partner in ensuring we get shovels in the ground to transform Kingston into a city of accessibility and inclusion for all,” added Senator Schumer.

“I want to thank Senator Schumer for his ongoing and steadfast support of Kingston. With his support we will be able to move forward with making our community safer for pedestrians and cyclists while connecting our neighborhoods to the waterfront via the Kingston Greenline and Empire State Trail. The Safe & Accessible Flatbush & Foxhall Project will improve infrastructure on two highly utilized roadways that connect residential streets to surrounding business districts, including two dangerous freight train crossings, in an area that currently lacks sidewalks. This funding will help us create a safer environment on this well-traveled route, spur economic growth, and improve the quality of life for all who live in or near this area,” said Kingston Mayor Steve Noble.

“This would be a critical investment for Kingston, and for our residents,” said Ulster County Executive Jen Metzger. “Currently, when our residents need to travel between Foxhall and Flatbush Avenues – two highly trafficked roads – there are no sidewalks, bike paths, crosswalks, or signals to help them make this trip safely. This especially affects our low-income community members who often have no choice but to travel by foot or by bicycle. I want to thank Senate Leader Charles Schumer for continuing to make the safety of our Ulster County and Kingston residents a priority.”

Schumer said these upgrades will connect Kingston community to the waterfront and downtown in a safe and easily accessible way, as the route is the main way residents travel to commercial areas, the hospital, the post office, and get to streets leading to Broadway, which is the major thoroughfare and

business district in Midtown Kingston. These infrastructure improvements will also greatly improve pedestrian and bicycle safety and access for people traveling from low-income housing complexes and other residential streets in this urban area to schools, employment opportunities, shopping and essential services.

Schumer has been a relentless advocate for developing Kingston. Most recently, Schumer secured $1.5 million in funding to raise the road on two portions of East Strand that experience frequent flooding ensuring that nearby residential neighborhoods don’t get cut off by flooding. Last year, Schumer secured a historic $21+ million Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program to fund the complete transformation of Kingston’s waterfront, after years of advocacy.