ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Whether it’s buses, cars, or cyclists rolling along busy Capital Region roadways, room needs to be made for all walks of life.

“It is an equity issue. Not everybody in Albany has a car. Not everyone can afford a car, and it’s very important that we aren’t making people go through unsafe situations just to get to school or to work,” says Jackie Gonzales, the vice president of Walkable Albany.

Wednesday, Governor Hochul announced she signed a bill package for inclusive street design and transit leadership. The first piece of legislation increases funding for “complete streets” projects — any improvement to local infrastructure that can better protect pedestrians, bikers and transit riders.

Local activists in Albany say they’ve already got some ideas where the city could use some work.

“We went out to Central Avenue, we looked and we researched a bit and there’s been over 45 or so people that have been killed on Central Avenue [since 2000],” says Albany Bicycle Coalition President Ed Brennan.

“These streets are designed in a way that makes it honestly feel scary to walk, drive, or bike on them, and yet they have pretty heavy traffic of all of those,” Gonzales explains to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan’s office says one of the city’s next projects does include taking a closer look at Central Avenue. Gonzales says she believes the city’s work on Madison Avenue is a good example of progress.

“It not only has bike lanes now, which is great if you bike, but because it only has one lane of traffic in each direction and then that center turn lane, that actually reduces confusion and makes things safer for all users,” Gonzales says.

The funding can also be used for new or improved sidewalks, street crossings, curb additions, and improved access to bus stops. Brennan says he believes a focus should be put on improving sidewalks and reducing speed limits.

“Anything we can do to separate vulnerable road users from traffic is a big help,” he says. “You look around Albany and some of the sidewalks are in horrible shape and other areas don’t have sidewalks at all.”

“It’s just simple physics. The lower the speed limit, the less likely it is that people are going to die,” he says of areas across Albany where speed limits can get up to 45mph. “As time has gone on, people are driving faster, they are driving with less attention to what they’re doing, and they’re driving ever larger cars. You increase the size of a car at any given speed, the more likely it is that people are going to die.”

Over in Troy, Mayor Patrick Madden says increasing “complete streets” funding is hopeful news, writing:

For Troy, the new Complete Streets cost sharing legislation is good news.  Troy is committed to safe, walkable neighborhoods and traffic calming methods.  The City was an early adopter of Complete Streets approach, implementing a city ordinance in 2014.

As we move forward with some exciting projects, like the reconfiguration of Federal Street to connect the already walkable downtown with the Hedley district, the possibility of enhanced state funding is encouraging.

A second piece of legislation the governor signed ensures transit authorities, like CDTA, will need to add a new position to their board of directors to include a person who relies on public transit every day.

“It would be somebody who relies solely on CDTA, either due to a disability or something else that prevents them from being able to drive a car,” explains CDTA Director of Corporate Communications Jaime Kazlo.

She says the transit authority hasn’t yet had time to discuss how the board will go about finding and selecting its new member, but adds the addition will make CDTA service stronger.

“Talking about what the service looks like not just on a fixed level, but what does service look like with our STAR Service? They will be a very valuable voice to our board to get the perspective of somebody who depends on the system every day, multiple times a day,” Kazlo says.