T.A. StreetBeat

November 20th, 2008

A Better Bikes in Buildings Bill

Next stop bike access! A new City Council bill would mandate reasonable provisions for bike access to buildings. That's big news for bike commuters.

After years of negotiations between City Council members, the real estate lobby, commercial building owners and transportation advocates, a better Bikes in Buildings Bill has made it to the floor of City Council.

On November 13th, Council Members David Yassky and Gale Brewer introduced Intro. 871, a piece of legislation that mandates bike access to all existing commercial buildings, and insists that new residential, commercial and retail construction include bicycle parking from the get-go.

Not only does this landmark legislation complement the Department of City Planning's recent changes in the zoning code, it also addresses the single biggest impediment for today's would-be bike commuters: draconian policies by building management that keep bikes from entering most commercial buildings.

The City Council's Transportation Committee has scheduled a December 8th hearing on the bill. Before that, T.A. will make every effort to educate legislators about the myriad benefits of sensible Bikes in Buildings legislation.

Take Action!

Contact your City Council Member and Mayor Bloomberg. Let them know that you support bike access to buildings and they should too.

What a Difference a Few Months Make

Image courtesy Environmental Defense.

Last week, the MTA announced that its 2009 operating budget deficit ballooned from $900 million to $1.2 billion between July and November of this year. In addition, the agency's five-year capital plan is about $17 billion short of where it should be.

Certainly, the global financial crisis has wreaked havoc on the dedicated tax revenues that help the MTA pay for its day-to-day operations, but the City, State and federal governments' consistent underfunding of the authority is also to blame for the current troubles. With money drying up in the City and State, everyone's eyes are on Washington to invest in the nation's public transit.

New York City's subways, buses, ferries and regional rail routes are the circulation system of our city. They cannot weather service cuts or fare hikes that disrupt their efficacy, and elected officials need to hear as much from every New Yorker.

Take Action!

Big MTA cuts and fare hikes are on the way. Call your Representative in Congress and urge them to set aside more funding to keep public transit rolling.

Livable Streets Blueprint for the Upper West Side

Community Board Districts

Click here to watch a Streetfilm about the Upper West Side Blueprint.

The Upper West Side Streets Renaissance Campaign unveiled its "Roadmap for Truly Livable Streets" (PDF) last week.

The end result of more than a year of public workshops, this groundbreaking neighborhood-wide blueprint for bikeable, walkable, high-performance streets is a high-water mark for New York City community-driven planning.

Some of the brightest minds in engineering, design and transportation lent their expertise to residents' efforts. Acclaimed Danish urban planner, Jan Gehl, brought a lifetime of experience reworking the streets of Copenhagen, London and Stockholm to better serve bicyclists and pedestrians. The world's foremost expert on parking reform, Dr. Donald Shoup of UCLA, showed how to eliminate double-parking altogether. But it was the intimate knowledge of local residents and businesses that drove the campaign, and helped craft recommendations like safer crossing for pedestrians, physically-protected bike lanes and restricted through-traffic on residential streets

Many of these strategies are already being used by the Transportation Department in other neighborhoods around the city and could be simply and inexpensively modified for use on the Upper West Side.

Armed with this amazing document and lots of momentum, it is now imperative that Upper West Side community members and all livable streets advocates make sure that these plans move from the drawing board to the real world as quickly as possible.

Take Action!

Send a letter using these templates, use them as they are, or modify them to suit your needs. Elected-Officials and stake holders need to hear from their constituents that livable streets are of vital importance.

New York's New Bike Rack

New York City's "Hoop" dreams get a boost with 5,000 of these beauties on the way.

Congratulations to Ian Mahaffy and Maarten De Greeve (Bettlelab) of Copenhagen, Denmark, whose Hoop (PDF) won the outdoor portion of the CityRacks Design Competition.

Their simple and elegant rack will now be the New York City standard, and that's saying something, as the DOT promises that 5,000 bike racks are on their way to city streets in the next three years.

Second-place went to Andrew Lang and Harry Dobbs of London, and third-place to Ignacio Ciocchini of New York. An award also went to the innovative indoor bike parking systems designed by RSVP Studio of New York as well as Jessica Lee and Anthony Lau of London.

Right now, Your Gift Goes Twice As Far

Give Today
Please make a year-end gift to Transportation Alternatives today and support the change you wish to see in New York City tomorrow.

This Holiday Season, a very generous T.A. donor has pledged to match every year-end contribution dollar-for-dollar.

T.A. Holiday Party

T.A. Holiday Party 2008

When the weather turns cold and the sun sets early, New Yorkers know it's time to party, T.A. style.

You are cordially invited to T.A.'s Ninth Annual Holiday Party, a celebration of biking, walking, public transit and all of our amazing volunteers, members and supporters.

Mark Thursday, December 4th on your calendar right now, and come out to Housing Works Bookstore Café that night! There will be music by The Jones Street Boys Band, great company, plenty of snacks and free drinks, as well as a raffle with awesome prizes. You can even do some last minute holiday shopping at our gift shop.

T.A. Holiday Party
Thursday, December 4th
8:30-10:30 pm
Housing Works Bookstore Café
126 Crosby Street (Between Prince and Houston)

FREE for T.A. Volunteers
$10 for T.A. Members
$30 for Future Members

T.A. Holiday Party Sponsors: Brooklyn Brewery and Cycles Gladiator Wines
W/R to Prince Street
B/D/F/V to Broadway-Lafayette
6 to Bleecker Street

Valet Bike Parking available

Socks, Hats and T-Shirts Galore

Why not kick-start your holiday shopping with a visit to the T.A. Gift Shop? We've got loads of new merchandise, and prices on our popular bike tour shirts start as low as $5. As always, T.A. members get a discount.

T.A. Brooklyn Committee Elections

Tour de Brooklyn

Brimming with Brooklyn pride? Come out tonight and run for office with T.A.'s Brooklyn Committee. Image courtesy Emmanuel Fuentebella.

T.A.'s esteemed Brooklyn Committee is meeting tonight. If you have what it takes to get lead, are interested in setting the next year's agenda or just want to meet some friendly folks who believe in biking, walking and public transit, stop by Soda Bar at 7 pm.

Brooklyn Committee Meeting
Thursday, November 20th
7 pm
Soda Bar
629 Vanderbilt Avenue
Prospect Heights, Brooklyn

Community Board Jammy Jam

New York City's Community Boards are the first tier of government and often the last group to sign off on lots of livable streets projects. In order to make real change in New York City, we want to make real changes to the ranks of these boards. That's where you come in.

Let T.A. help you apply to your local board. We'll make sense of the process and have Community Board members on hand to answer questions. If you want to find out more about what Community Boards do and how you can get involved, come out to T.A.'s Community Board Jammy Jam, a fun and educational party that'll give you the long and short on all things relevant.

Community Board Jammy Jam
Monday, November 24th
6:30-8:30 pm
The Open Planning Project, 1st Floor
349 W. 12th Street

Delancey Street Cycling Survey

Do you regularly ride your bike to and from the Williamsburg Bridge? Do you frequently find yourself navigating Delancey Street's harrowing traffic? Take this survey and help Transportation Alternatives prepare for a discussion of pedestrian and cyclist safety improvements at an upcoming Manhattan Community Board 3 meeting.

George Washington Bridge Construction

In the coming weeks, the Port Authority will be working on the George Washington Bridge, necessitating some sidewalk closures as well as a detour of the Riverside Park bike path in the vicinity of the George Washington Bridge. For the most up to date information, check the Port Authority's website or sign up for their e-alerts.

Brooklyn Bridge Bike Detour

The Brooklyn Bridge will be closed to cyclists this Saturday, November 22nd, from 10 am-4 pm. The closure is needed to continue implementation of new markings on the bridge path. The nearest alternate East River crossing is the Manhattan Bridge. The NYC Cycling Map has detailed insets of bridge access points that you can use to plan your route.