T.A. StreetBeat

July 24th, 2008

With dozens of car-free events happening all summer long, New York City's streets are alive with the sound of people.

forward this e-mail to a friend Articles and Actions

Events and Alerts

Urgent Action!

Following the tragic crash that took the life of 22-year-old bicyclist Asif Rahman, T.A. will join with stakeholders from across Queens to call for safer bicycling and walking on Queens Boulevard. We need your help to bring a protected bike lane and pedestrian safety improvements to this perennially dangerous street.

What: Rally for a Safer Queens Boulevard
When: Sunday, July 27th, 12 pm
Where: Queens Boulevard and 55th Road (Elmhurst, Queens)
Getting There: E/G/R to Grand Ave./Newtown Station
Contact: bike@transalt.org

NYC Considers Paris Style Bike-Sharing

Bike Share in Action

In Paris, Vélib and other public transportation options connect seamlessly to expand and improve the city's larger transit network

On July 9th, the NYC DOT issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to bring a bike share program to New York City. The announcement came days before the one-year anniversary of Paris' Vélib bike share program, and amidst a bike-share craze spreading through cities as far reaching as Washington D.C., Chicago, Montreal and Barcelona. What all of these urban centers have in common is the realization that public-use bicycles can help municipalities reduce auto-use and switch many trips to more efficient modes.

When implemented correctly, bike share holds enormous potential to add a low-cost, sustainable and healthy transportation option, expand the reach and flexibility of the existing public transportation system, discourage the use of single occupancy vehicles, free up space on overcrowded subways and buses and enable a network of bicycle transit in a dense urban environment, all of which go hand-in-glove with Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC.

In fact, New York City is perfect for bike share because it has a rapidly expanding on-street bike network, the density and mixed land use necessary to generate sufficient ridership and relatively flat terrain. As the City collects expressions of interest from bike share operators around the world, Transportation Alternatives, along with the newly formed NYC Bike Share Coalition, will be working hard to advocate for bike share characteristics that have best predicted success in cities around the world:

  • 1 bike per 200-400 residents
  • A dense network of stations (1 every 1000 feet or a 5-10 minute walk)
  • Connectivity to where people need to go
  • Connectivity to other modes of public transportation
  • Strong anti-theft technology
  • Strong Mayoral leadership and inter-agency cooperation in planning and implementation
Please contact bike@transalt.org if you are interested in supporting T.A.'s advocacy efforts to bring a world-class bike share to NYC. And check out the Streetfilm about Vélib, arguably the world's most successful bike share program to date.

Prospect Park Youth Advocates Now on Duty

Youth Adovcates

The Prospect Park Youth Advocates are T.A.'s first completely youth-oriented and youth-run campaign, and they're working to get cars out of Prospect Park.

Transportation Alternatives is proud to announce the arrival of our youngest, newest and most enthusiastic staff members: Michael, Farah, Oswald and Kelena, the Prospect Park Youth Advocates. This summer, these four young Brooklynites will be leading our historic Car-Free Prospect Park campaign with new energy, fun events and a soon-to-be award winning blog.

The Prospect Park Youth Advocates represent T.A.'s first completely youth-oriented and youth-run campaign. These high school age interns have planned a summer's worth of action and are grinning with enthusiasm for their goal: finally creating a Prospect Park safe for strollers and cyclists and healthy for teenagers and seniors--a car-free Prospect Park for everyone.

Their plans are exciting and creative, a new way of approaching a near 20-year-old campaign: everything from street theater (in which the trees of Prospect Park strike for a car-free park, refusing to provide shade until their park is car-free); to data collection (clocking the cars speeding through the park and timing how long it takes for the car entrances to be closed after-hours); to setting up rest stations for park-goers who support a car-free park (with water and snacks, plus free tune-ups for cyclists and foot massages for pedestrians). Throughout the campaign, the Youth Advocates will collect postcards urging Mayor Bloomberg to close the park to cars. At the campaign's close, they'll hand-deliver them to City Hall.

With support and generous funding from Bikes Belong, the Prospect Park Youth Advocate program intends to empower a population highly affected by New York City's car traffic to fight for change in their own neighborhoods. This summer's campaign will be the most vocal, visual and youthful movement for a car-free Prospect Park yet, but the Youth Advocates cannot do it without your help. See the Take Action below for how you can aid four young people from Brooklyn in the fight to make Prospect Park for everyone. And don't forget to check out the Youth Advocates' blog at youthforcarfreepark.org for updates and reflections on the campaign all summer.

Take Action!

Contact Jessie, Manager of the Prospect Park Youth Advocates, to volunteer to help fight against car-traffic in Prospect Park this summer: jessie@transalt.org.

Sign our e-postcard telling Mayor Bloomberg you want the cars out of your park!

In the New Issue of Reclaim...

Streets to Live By

Celebrate Summer Streets with T.A.

Watch the Streetfilm

Last Saturday's Williamsburg Walks was a harbinger of many huge successes to come. Be sure to check out the StreetsFilms for all the latest livable streets videos.

New York City's summer of car-free events is in full swing, with block parties, play streets and pedestrian-oriented closures happening in all five boroughs. And Summer Streets, the summer's signature car-free event, is still to come.

On August 9th, 16th and 23rd from 7 am–1 pm, the DOT will create a contiguous car-free route between the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park by opening Park Avenue and cross-streets up to 72nd Street to bikers, walkers, skaters, families, friends and everyone else not in a car.

T.A. is leading nine leisurely-paced, 5-10 mile bike rides from neighborhoods in Queens, Brooklyn and The Bronx to Summer Streets. The rides will be great for cyclists of all ages and riding abilities. Be sure to stop by the T.A. tables at Spring Street and 54th Street to become a T.A. member and receive a special, limited-edition Summer Streets t-shirt.

T.A. Rides to Summer Streets

Saturday, August 9th

  • Astoria
    Meet up in Astoria Park in front of the World War I Memorial along Shore Boulevard
    Ride begins at 9 am

  • Bedford-Stuyvesant
    Meet up in Tompkins Park, located at 254 Tompkins Avenue (between Greene Avenue and Lafayette Avenue)
    Ride begins at 9 am

  • Park Slope
    Meet at Grand Army Plaza (at the entrance to Prospect Park)
    Ride begins at 9 am

Saturday, August 16th
  • Flatbush
    Meet up at 1022 Cortelyou Road (in front of Vox Pop)
    Ride begins at 9 am

  • Co-Op City/Soundview/South Bronx
    In Co-Op City, meet up at the parking lot at 2049 Bartow Avenue
    Ride begins at 8 am
    In Soundview, meet up in front of the the YMCA at 2 Castle Hill Avenue
    Ride begins at 8:45 am
    In Hunts Point, meet at The Point at 940 Garrison Avenue
    Ride begins at 9:30 am

  • Sunnyside
    Meet up at Doughboy Park (enter at 52nd Street and 39th Drive) at 8:30 am
    Ride begins at 9 am

Saturday, August 23rd
  • Williamsburg/Greenpoint
    Meet up at McCarren Park (by Bedford Avenue and Lorimer Street entrance)
    Ride begins at 9 am

  • Flushing
    Meet up in Flushing Meadows Park next to the Unisphere
    Ride begins at 8:30 am

To RSVP for one of these rides send an e-mail to summerstreets@transalt.org with the date and location of the ride, or call Matthew at 646-873-6026. Space is limited.

To volunteer as a bike marshal for any of the neighborhood rides to Summer Streets or at a T.A. table, e-mail Oksana at volunteer@transalt.org or call 646-873-6036. Please include the date and neighborhood for the ride you are interested in marshaling in your e-mail.

To be a part of the City's volunteer efforts, sign up here.

This Tuesday: The First Ever T.A. Summer Mixer

You are cordially invited to the first-ever T.A. Summer Mixer.

Whether you're a new member, a long-time supporter or just looking to have fun on a Tuesday night, we encourage you to celebrate a landmark year for livable streets with good company, great prizes and drinks and food aplenty. The fun starts at 6 pm and goes until 9 pm, when we'll raffle off a $300 gift certificate to Bicycle Habitat, a Crumpler messenger bag, T.A. t-shirts and much more!

Your $25 admission charge includes two complimentary drink tickets, a raffle ticket and the sense of accomplishment that comes with supporting one of New York City's most effective advocacy organizations.

Not a T.A. member? Join at the door at a specially discounted rate of $20.

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008
6-9 pm
The Black Door
127 West 26th Street
New York, NY 10001

To purchase tickets, visit transalt.org/benefit.

Block Parties Coming to a Street Near You

Block parties are a great way to get to know the people in your neighborhood and enjoy a quiet street. Check the list below for a Block Party NYC event in your area and start making the most of summer!

August 2nd Macdonough St. Macdonough Street & Ralph Avenue, Brooklyn
August 9th Church Avenue Church Avenue & Rogers Street, Brooklyn
August 9th Stratford Road Stratford Road & Caton Avenue, Brooklyn
August 10th 46th Street 46th Street & 43rd Avenue, Queens
August 16th Dean Street Dean Street & Kingston Avenue, Brooklyn
August 23rd 108th Avenue 108th Avenue & Sutphin Boulevard, Queens
August 23rd Ashford Street Ashford Street & Wortman Avenue, Brooklyn

Park(ing) Day Cometh!

Parking Day

Find a spot, make a plan, get a mini-grant and go. Park(ing) Day is right around the corner.

Last year T.A. launched Park(ing) Day NYC, bringing to New York the internationally successful event in which individuals reclaim parking spots for a day, transforming them into vibrant, functional public spaces. It featured 25 high-visibility parking spots located throughout New York City.

This year, Park(ing) Day NYC will expand its presence by doubling the number of locations to 50. In addition, it will facilitate collaborative partnerships between community stakeholders and progressive architects and designers. Each Park(ing) Spot is also eligible to receive a $200 mini-grant to help pay for materials.

To apply to build a Park(ing) Spot or find out more, visit parkingdaynyc.org.

T.A. is Hiring


Transportation Alternatives is looking for a part-time Researcher with a background in urban planning and/or public health to work on a Manhattan-based street survey through the fall. This position would be great for a graduate student, a recent college graduate or a self-motivated, data-analysis inclined individual looking for part-time work. Check out the jobs page for a full description.

We're also looking for outgoing individuals to work as Street Life Ambassadors at some of the car-free events happening this summer. If you want to connect with New Yorkers, spread enthusiasm about pedestrian streets, build affinity for Transportation Alternatives and engage visitors in ideas for improving public space in New York City, you can find out more and apply here.

Livable Streets Network: Drop by, Tune In, Take Action

Livable Streets Network
From the people who brought you Streetsblog, Streetfilms, and the NYC Streets Renaissance comes an online community for activists and advocates fighting for healthier, more sustainable and more people-oriented neighborhoods: the Livable Streets Network.

You can contribute an article to Streetswiki, meet other activists online, organize a project in your community or find out about what's already underway in your neighborhood and around the city.

Join the Livable Streets Network today!

Climate Ride '08

Climate Ride '08 is your chance to raise money for meaningful action on global warming and ride the ultimate emission-free machine: the bicycle.

From September 20th to the 24th, 100 sponsored riders will make the 320 mile trip from NYC to DC. Do you have what it takes? To find out how you can get involved, go to climateride2008.org.

Escape New York

If you can't make this year's NYC Century or want another great ride two weekends after it, be sure to check out the New York Cycle Club's 14th annual Escape New York ride on September 20th. There are 50-, 62- and 100-mile routes that head over the George Washington Bridge and into the historic Hudson Highlands.

Registration is $35 until Midnight, September 6th, $42 until Midnight, September 16th and $55 at Sakura Park on the day of the event (cash only). More details are available at nycc.org/eny.

NYC Century Bike Tour: Beat the Lines

Register before August 15th and you'll get your ride materials in the mail and save yourself from a long line on ride day. Also if you join or renew your T.A. membership along with registering for the NYC Century, you will be entered to win a BaileyWorks messenger bag.

NYC Century: Bike for Better Biking