T.A. StreetBeat

February 12th, 2009

New York City has a speeding problem, and T.A. is working on a solution.

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Events and Alerts

T.A. in the News

  • "New York City can't keep looking the other way while speeding takes the lives of children, grandparents and neighbors by the dozens," Wiley Norvell said. "Speeding contributes to three times as many crashes as drunk driving, and yet Albany has denied New York City the one tool needed to enforce against this crime: speed enforcement cameras."

    -- NY Daily News, 2/12

Speeder City

T.A. surveyed over 15,000 vehicles at 13 locations throughout the five boroughs.

Thirty-nine percent of New York City drivers speed, according to a new T.A. study, Terminal Velocity: NYC's Speeding Epidemic (PDF).

Although any cyclist, pedestrian or person with a pair of eyes could have assumed as much, this survey of over 15,000 vehicles at 13 locations throughout the five boroughs provides the data to back up that long anecdotal estimation.

The study found: on East Houston Street, 70% of drivers sped through a school zone; on Rogers Avenue in Brooklyn, 88% answered the call of a lead foot; and on Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island's most dangerous road, cars were often clocked traveling more than 60 miles per hour.

Each of these horrifying figures not only shows the below-bar quality of the NYPD's speeding enforcement programs, but also indicates that speeding drivers put hundreds of thousands of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers at risk every day.

Speeding contributes to roughly 2,400 motor vehicle crashes in New York City each year--nearly three times the number attributed to drunk driving. The likelihood of a crash resulting in a pedestrian fatality increases exponentially with speed; a pedestrian struck at 40 mph has only a 30% chance of survival.

Something must be done to address NYC's speeding epidemic. To this end, T.A. is calling on the City to design streets for lower speeds, for the NYPD to collect data that documents the frequency of speeding, and for the State Legislature to pave the way for speeding enforcement cameras in NYC.

Take Action!

Contact State Senator Martin Dilan, the new Transportation Committee Chair, and urge him to give NYC the ability to install speed cameras on our most dangerous streets.

Downturn Express

In the Winter issue of Reclaim, which members can expect in their mailbox any day now, T.A. tells a tale of the MTA, what got it into this financial mess, what can get it out, and how the ongoing campaign to stave off fare hikes and service cuts can help promote safe and sustainable transportation for years to come. Here is a sample:

"Now, the debt is coming due. Tax revenues from business, real estate and gasoline are drying up. The old funding formula is breaking down, and leaders in Albany have until early April to set the books in order or face the crippling service cuts and fare hikes.

But in the current crisis lies the promise of reform—not only to stop the slide of transit, but to turn New York City's car-first transportation system on its head."

You can read more in the Winter 2009 issue of Reclaim. Not a member? Join today!

Cycling in Solidarity on the Kent Avenue Bike Lane

Cyclists stand together for bike lane rights. Image courtesy Sholom Brody.

On Tuesday, February 9th, a dozen cyclists gathered in Williamsburg to ride to the offices of Councilmembers David Yassky and Diana Reyna, and Congressman Nydia Velazquez to voice their support for the Kent Avenue bike lane.

The lane, which was approved by Brooklyn Community Board One and is a placeholder for, and important connection in, the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, has come under fire from residents who prize parking and the convenience of a few over the safety of thousands who travel this route each day, and the many more that will use it as a green transportation option in the years to come.

The cyclists, supported by Transportation Alternatives and the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, planned this event to show elected officials that there are many who support this forward-thinking design solution and believe a safe space for cyclists, on what was once a dangerous street through NYC's most popular neighborhood for biking, is a great idea.

Think Civically, Act Locally

Street Activists are T.A.'s avant-garde; the folks we can count on to make a phone call, send an email or show up at a rally. They don't mind us asking them to take action a few times each month and are more than likely to help spread the gospel of safer, more sustainable streets. If you're interested in joining their select ranks, update your T.A. email preferences.


Sign up and ride with TEAM T.A.

TEAM T.A. is a group of cyclists dedicated to raising funds for T.A.'s advocacy work, while preparing to ride in the 20th annual NYC Century Bike Tour. It's a great way to get in shape, meet some new biking buddies and support walking, cycling and public transit in New York City. You also get an awesome T.A. bike jersey!

To learn more about TEAM T.A., swing by our office for an information session on Monday, February 23rd at 6:30 pm or on Saturday the 28th at 11 am. You can also email info@teamta.org or visit TEAMTA.org for more information.

TEAM T.A. Info Sessions
Monday, February 23rd
6:30 pm
T.A. Office
127 W. 26th, Suite 1002
Saturday, February 28th
11 am
T.A. Office
127 W. 26th, Suite 1002

T.A. Member Meetup Tonight

Celebrate the warm weather and meet your fellow T.A. members for our first Member Meetup of 2009! Join T.A. staff, volunteers and members for a fun, informal event. No cover--snacks are on us, drinks are on you. Open to all T.A. members. Not a member? Join at the door and get a free Summer Streets t-shirt. No RSVPs required, but if you know you're coming e-mail membership@transalt.org so we can get a headcount and be prepared.

T.A. Member Meetup
Thursday, February 12th (Tonight!)
6-8 pm
D.B.A. Bar
41 1st Avenue (between 2nd and 3rd Street)

Bike Month NYC Call for Events

May is Bike Month NYC, so if you know of an awesome bike event happening in the city that month or have plans to put one together, go to BikeMonthNYC.org, register, and share your fun with the world.

Bike Month is a great opportunity to reach out to new riders and show them the ropes or just meet some new biking buds. Check out BikeMonthNYC.org to register your event on-line. Register before February 23rd to get your event in the Bike Month NYC print calendar.

How to Turn a Fare Hike into a Fare Cut

Join Transportation Alternatives and Charlie Komanoff--the transportation guru behind the Kheel-Komanoff Plan--for a discussion on how 21st century tolling can lower or even eliminate fares for public transit. Komanoff and labor leader Ted Kheel have developed an innovative plan combining tolls and transit fares that vary in price based on time of day in order to solve the looming MTA budget crisis and expand public transit in NYC. Hear why T.A. supports the Kheel Plan, and what it could mean for your commute.

Kheel-Komanoff Presentation
Thursday, February 12th (tonight!)
7:15 pm
All Saints Episcopal Church
43-12 46th Street
Sunnyside, Queens

Hudson River Greenway Detour

Due to construction work related to the World Trade Center rebuilding, the West St./Route 9A/Hudson River bike path and walkway from Vesey St. to Liberty St. will be closed for approximately four weeks beginning the evening of Friday, February 6th. The Port Authority recommends that pedestrians and cyclists use alternate routes around the World Financial Center. From the north, they suggest Chambers St., Warren St., or Murray St. to North End Ave; from the south, Battery Place, Morris St. or Rector St. to South End Ave.