Articles and Actions
Events and Appeals
T.A. in the News
|Take Action! E-Fax Speaker Quinn for Car-Free Parks
|T.A.'s recent study "Are the Cars Driving Out the People?" found that four out of five park users would use Prospect Park more often if cars were banned. See a short video summarizing the study's findings.
Although any reduction in hours, locations or areas that cars can enter our city's parks is a step in the right direction, T.A. and our allies do not want the mayor's new plan for a fractional closure of both loop roads to lull recreational users into a false sense of security and send a confusing, mixed message to drivers.
We encourage you to contact City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn by electronic fax and let her know that the Mayor's good intentions are not enough to make our parks safe this summer.
If your email program does not support this form (e.g. Hotmail), click here.
Update 6/15/06: We are no longer transmitting e-faxes to Speaker Quinn. Click here for more information.
|Chinatown Sidewalks Reclaimed from Uncivil Parkers
|Finally, the Mayor agrees: Sidewalks are for walking, not parking.
T.A. has long demanded
that city employees stop parking on city sidewalks. After years of getting nowhere, we have finally broken through.
On April 26th, Transportation Alternatives released "Uncivil Servants: A Survey of Government Worker Parking Abuse in NYC's Chinatown and Civic Center." The survey found that between 9 and 10 am on March 29th there were 115 cars illegally parked on sidewalks, many also managing to block crosswalks and fire hydrants. More than 90% of the cars illegally parked had government employee parking placards that allow for free parking in legal parking spots during "official business," but under no circumstances permit parking on sidewalks, in front of fire hydrants or in other illegal ways.
The Transportation Alternatives' study spread like wildfire through the news community, grabbing prime placement in the Daily News and on NBC. All the media attention brought real change to the streets and sidewalks of Chinatown and the Civic Center.
At the end of last week, the NYPD was towing illegally parked cars, providing much needed relief to families, businesses and visitors.
Transportation Alternatives would like to thank Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Inspector Michael Lau, Commanding Officer of the Fifth Precinct, for tackling this issue head-on and improving the health, safety and quality of life of these communities.
Take Action: Do you have a problem with illegal sidewalk parking in your neighborhood? We want to hear from you!
Given the success of "Uncivil Servants," Transportation Alternatives will conduct a citywide snapshot of parking permit abuse in every borough. We know that permit abuse often occurs around courthouses, precincts, and firehouses, but we want to target the worst locations, particularly where cars are parked on sidewalks and in front of hydrants, disrupting communitiy activities and businesses by this uncivil behavior. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to point out particularly egregious parking abuses.
|DOT to Upgrade 6th Avenue Bike Lane
Cyclists will be pleased to know that the DOT's Manhattan office has confirmed that over the next few weeks, as it mills, resurfaces and stripes 6th Avenue from 14th to 32nd Street, it will upgrade the dangerous, substandard bike lane from three-and-a-half feet to a standard five feet in width.
The soon-to-be standard-width bike lane will make drivers more aware of cyclists on the busy avenue and help keep them from squeezing cyclists into parked cars and opening doors. The wider lane should also afford cyclists more room to maneuver in traffic.
In case you've been avoiding the 6th Avenue bike lane, watch this video for a reminder of how treacherous it was:
Believe it or not, more people bike on 6th Avenue than any other Midtown avenue, 1,300 between 7 am and 7 pm, according to the DOT. Maybe a 6th Avenue on-street greenway is the next step?
|City Seniors Demand Safe Streets, Politicians Listen
Fed up with living in fear and isolation, senior citizens throughout the five boroughs are demanding that the DOT do something about wide, uncrossable streets and dangerous intersections. With active seniors' groups like Washington Heights/Inwood Council on Aging (WHICOA) and the Gray Panthers, T.A. has pushed the city to extend crossing time, shorten crossing distances and fix danger spots on streets and intersections throughout the city.
Now T.A.'s Safe Routes for Seniors program is kicking it into high gear with a fresh campaign to establish a new "Elder Districts" designation for city neighborhoods with high numbers of senior citizens. "Elder Districts" would mandate a higher standard for pedestrian safety and amenities, recognizing the special needs (such as more crossing time) of seniors.
The Elder District idea is moving from concept to reality as political support continues to grow. State Senator Liz Krueger's office sponsored a meeting at the Municipal Arts Society on May 5th where many elected officials and their representatives heard the details of how Elder Districts would work in New York City. The following week the idea was presented again at the T.A. co-sponsored conference, "Well-Being of Asian American Senior Citizens," at the Asian American/Asian Research Institute at CUNY. Senior-specific improvements will make city streets safer not just for older New Yorkers, but for everyone.
Read more about the requirements and street improvements that make up Elder Districts.
|Be on Your Best Behavior in NYC's Greenways and Parks
As the weather clears, New Yorkers flock to the city's 120-plus miles of car-free greenway paths. These paths and parks attract bikers, joggers, skaters and strollers of all ages and abilities, out commuting to work or school, to get some exercise, run errands or just take a break.
Greenway use is on the rise, and to promote safety and good public sentiment towards cyclists, Transportation Alternatives reminds everyone--especially bikers, but also joggers, strollers, parents and children, dogwalkers and rollerbladers--to take care and be patient and courteous around fellow path users when enjoying the greenways.
With a variety of different users traveling at different speeds, the greenways can be crowded and confusing. The best way to keep yourself and others safe is to remain alert and respect other path users.
Cyclists & Skaters:
- Pedestrians ALWAYS have the right of way, so yield to them
- Keep right, pass left
- Pass other users safely: look and signal with your voice or bell before changing lanes
- Be mindful of children and older path users
- Children under 14 must by law wear a helmet when biking, but even if you're over 14 it's always smart to wear a helmet
- Never bike on walkways
- All bicycles must have front and rear lights at night and a bell
- Use designated walkways whenever possible
- If you must walk on the bikeway, walk on the right, near the outside edge of the path, and walk no more than two abreast
- Use walkways when possible
- When on bikeway, run on the right, near the outside edge of the bikeway and in the same direction as bicyclists
- Keep dogs on a short leash at all times
- Do not walk your dog on the bikeway
All Greenway Users:
- Do not run, bike or skate while wearing headphones
|Livable Streets Debuts in Times Square
The NYC Streets Renaissance
exhibit, Livable Streets: A New Vision for New York
, has moved from the Municipal Arts Society to the lobby of 4 Times Square, the Conde Nast Building. While at MAS, the exhibit stimulated the debate about how to best use New York City's public spaces and how to more equitably distribute street space.
The Livable Streets installation in the Conde Nast Building will specifically focus on a vision for Broadway as a grand boulevard, containing more than 20 unique destinations, with Times Square as the most iconic. The exhibit will examine some of the "Best Practice" models already being deployed by the Times Square Alliance to transform Times Square into one of the finest public spaces in the world.
Please join the Streets Renaissance team and the Durst Organization for an opening reception on Thursday, May 25th, 6-8 pm. Enter the lobby of 4 Times Square on the north side of 42nd Street, near Broadway.
Please RSVP to email@example.com.
|Sound Off Against Illegal Truck Traffic
If trucks are a problem in your neighborhood, please attend one of the DOT meetings. Public input and pressure is the only way to get the City to crackdown on illegal truck traffic and move big rigs off our neighborhoods streets.
At these meetings, the DOT will provide an overview of:
- Truck Route Policies, Regulations and Enforcement
- Truck Route Education and Outreach Program
- Route Analysis
Draft recommendations are available on the DOT's website.
The schedule of meetings is below. All meetings will be held from 6 to 8:30 pm. Please contact Transportation Alternatives at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Tuesday, May 23
College of Staten Island, Center for the Arts
2800 Victory Boulevard
Wednesday, May 24
Spector Hall, Department of City Planning
22 Reade Street
Tuesday, May 30
Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation
Hearing Room - Suite 201
198 East 161st Street
Thursday, June 1
Queens Borough Hall
120-55 Queens Boulevard
Tuesday, June 6
Brooklyn Borough Hall
2nd Floor Courtroom
209 Joralemon Street
|Bike Month NYC
Bike Month NYC continues to draw huge crowds of cyclists to every event. T.A. staff and volunteers spent last weekend camped out at the 6th Annual Bicycle Film Festival where we provided valet bike parking and handed out hundreds of bike maps and Bike Month NYC calendars to filmgoers. Tuesday was the Staten Island Borough President's Breakfast at the Staten Island ferry terminal. Cyclists who braved the rain were treated to hot coffee and a delicious breakfast from the Borough President's office as well as bike month goodies from DOT and Bike Month NYC calendars of events from T.A. To request a calendar or to check out upcoming Bike Month events please visit BikeMonthNYC.org
This Week Don't Miss:
Friday, May 19th
National Bike to Work Day
Biking to work is good for you, good for the environment and just plain fun. With National Bike to Work Day you'll have a good excuse if you show up a little sweaty. Download our handy flyer (PDF) for tips on getting started.
Manhattan Borough President's After-Work Snack
Please Note: The Manhattan BP's After-Work Snack has been cancelled today due to the weather. It has been rescheduled for this Monday, May 22nd at the same time and place:
Hudson River Greenway at pier 54, near 14th Street (Manhattan)
Stop by on your way home and celebrate cycling in Manhattan with free snacks courtesy of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.
Saturday, May 20th
Pedal & Paddle Day
9 am-4 pm
Entrance of River Park 180th St. and Boston Rd. (Bronx)
A bike ride along the Bronx River Greenway, followed by a paddling trip down the lower Bronx River. Please pre-register so that we can be sure to provide adequate marshals and canoes for all.
Bronx River Alliance
Star Track Youth Cycling Program Opening Day
Kissena Velodrome-Parson Boulevard and Booth Memorial Parkway (Queens)
Races, cycling information and activities for the whole family. Sign ups will be available for the summer session of Star Track, a youth development program teaching teamwork through the principles of bicycle racing.
NYC Parks and Recreation
Folds Up Folding Bike Festival
Stuyvesant Cove Park, East 23rd St. at the East River (Manhattan)
Learn all about folding bicycles, and see and try out different models. Refreshments courtesy of Swift Folder.
Dich Shea Studios, 104 W. 14th Street (Manhattan)
Benefit party for FreeWheels: Bicycle Defense Fund. Live bands and DJ's on 2 floors and 7,000 square feet of full tilt entertainment.
And mark your calendars for:
Thursday, May 25th
Brooklyn Borough President's Breakfast
Meet a Grand Army Plaza at 7:30 am to ride, meet at Brooklyn Borough Hall for breakfast at 8 am (Brooklyn)
Celebrate bicycling in Brooklyn with a ride and free breakfast courtesy of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. Pedal on with your fellow cyclists to the Brooklyn Bridge afterwards.
Brooklyn Borough President's Office and Transportation Alternatives
|Tour de Brooklyn: Sunday June 4th
The best way to see Brooklyn is on a bike. New route for 2006, 18-miles, family friendly pace, with one rest stop with light snacks and water. Free advance registration strongly encouraged. Register before Thursday May 25th and be automatically entered into a drawing to win a special, limited edition Bailey Works 253 Courier Bag with the official Tour de Brooklyn logo embroidered on the lid.
Like the logo? Get the t-shirt! Show your Brooklyn bicycling pride by pre-purchasing* your official Tour de Brooklyn t-shirt. Proceeds help offset the cost of this fun, FREE event.
Stick around after the Tour for the Brooklyn Borough President's Brooklyn Best Festival in Herbert Von King Park (aka Tompkins Park), where the tour starts and finishes this year.
To volunteer for set-up, rest-stop or finish line crew or as a marshal at the Tour de Brooklyn, email email@example.com.
*Shirts can be picked up on tour day, at the T.A. offices or mailed to you for a small S&H charge.
Watch the 45-second short of last year's tour
|The Waterfront Conference
Fifty years ago this spring the advent of the shipping container triggered the most dramatic land-use transformation of the modern era on our region's waterfront, opening up thousands of acres in the heart of the harbor for new uses and development. Too often, however, the conversation is framed as a tradeoff between the Economy and the Environment. For our region to thrive as a place in which to live, work and play, we must strive to achieve E + E.
Join us on May 23 as we learn from successful case studies and develop strategies to ensure that "Economy + Environment" yields stronger, more vibrant Communities.
Full details and registration at waterwire.net.
|T.A. in the News
Rage Is Afoot in New York, or Should Be New York Times 5/19
Can bikes legally be chained to traffic posts or light poles? New York Daily News 5/16
Fewer Cars in Prospect Park Result from Pilot Plan The Brooklyn Eagle 5/16
City 'To Go' Order on Chinatown Parking New York Daily News 5/15
A Bike 'Hike' New York Post 5/15
NYPD Steps Up Crackdown On Illegal Parking In Chinatown NY1 5/12
The Cycling Commute Gets Chic Wall Street Journal 5/11
Is it a Park or a Parkway? The Brooklyn Downtown Star 5/11
Editorial: DOT Changes Stuck in First Gear Queens Ledger 5/11
Council Move Would Extend Auto Ban in City Parks am New York 5/10
Lawsuit Targets Amphibious Vehicles in Manhattan Consumer Affairs 5/10
'Park-ing' Restrictions New York Post 5/9
Parks to Temporarily See Fewer Cars am New York 5/9
Bicycling Is Booming in Brooklyn The Brooklyn Eagle 5/9
Move To Eliminate Cars within Prospect Park Picks Up Support The Brooklyn Eagle 5/9
Mayor Limits Car Access in Two Parks Newsday 5/9
830,000 Vehicles, 50 Places to Fill Up Washington Post 5/8
Close the Loop New York Times 5/7
Walking Countdown to Come gothamist 5/5
It's Bike Month! gothamist 5/4
Still Pushing for Car Ban New York Daily News 5/4
Gas pains drive many from cars New York Daily News 4/30
Mike in Gear vs. Chinatown Parking New York Daily News 4/27
Illegal Parking in Chinatown WNBC.com 4/27
Survey Shows Illegal Chinatown Parking Metro NY 4/27
Space invaders! New York Daily News 4/26
Report: City Employees Abusing Parking Privileges NY1 4/26
Faster Bus in the Works for Upper East Side WNYC 4/20
Transportation Alternatives is a member-supported non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Join T.A. today!