T.A. StreetBeat

February 26th, 2009

Earlier today, the Bloomberg administration, heeding years of T.A.'s advocacy, announced major bike and pedestrian enhancements to Broadway. Image courtesy NYCDOT.

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T.A. in the News

  • "Ideally, the city should make Broadway car-free. It's not as crazy as it sounds: it would be a boon for pedestrians that are currently spilling into the street, and traffic patterns would actually improve. Imagine a pedestrian friendly promenade connecting the crown jewels of Battery Park, Union Square, Times Square and Central Park."

    --Paul Steely White quoted in Gothamist, November 22nd, 2005

Opening Soon on Broadway: A 21st Century Street

Acres of new pedestrian space are coming to Broadway. Image courtesy NYCDOT.

This morning, Mayor Bloomberg announced New York City's biggest-ever livable streets initiative. Broadway and the great public squares that it joins will be reclaimed as pedestrian space. What was once the Wickquasgeck Trail will once again become New York City's great walking street. The pilot project will be implemented by the DOT this spring, transforming sections of Broadway in Times Square and Herald Square into pedestrian zones. The stretches of Broadway between Columbus Circle and Times Square, and between Times Square and Herald Square, will be endowed with protected bike lanes, increased pedestrian space, and local traffic-only vehicle access.

T.A. has long sought to see Broadway become New York City's great pedestrian street. As it crosses the grid, Broadway's current configuration causes some of the city's worst traffic back-ups and most hazardous pedestrian conditions. The stretch of Broadway included in the Department of Transportation pilot project witnessed 562 crashes between pedestrians and motor vehicles between 1995 and 2005, according to CrashStat.org, making it one of the most dangerous stretches of roadway for walkers in all of New York City. Similar improvements made last year on Broadway between 42nd Street and 35th Street have led to a 50% reduction in traffic related injuries, according to the DOT, while simultaneously smoothing traffic congestion.

In solving the perennial traffic tangles that Broadway creates, the City will ease Midtown congestion, safe dozens of lives and create a new generation of public spaces in the heart of Manhattan.

Show Us the Money

The stimulus bill sure could help transportation in NYC, but will it?

With Governor Paterson already announcing the first New York State projects to receive federal stimulus money, New York City bikers, walkers and transit-takers are eagerly anticipating word of what's coming their way.

Although a finalized list has yet to be made public, draft documents posted on the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council's website last week included everything from street milling and sidewalk repair to bridge and on-ramp reconstruction to park improvements and pedestrian and bike programs. MTA and New York City Transit's projects included 340 new rail cars, raised ventilation grates with bike racks, track replacement funds and other preventative maintenance and renewal projects.

In total, New York State will receive about $1.2 billion in stimulus money to spend on public transit and $1.1 billion on highways and bridges. Although this is only a small portion of what is needed to bring the city up to speed, some advocates are heartened by recent comments made by President Obama that suggest more serious and sweeping transportation funding reforms will come with the reauthorization of the Transportation Act later this year.

We hope so. And when the time comes, we'll be sure to let you know how you can help.

Tell Speaker Quinn About Bike Access to Buildings

Speaker Quinn needs to hear from you about the Bicycle Access to Buildings Bill.

Because of your support, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn knows all about the Bicycle Access to Buildings bill. She knows from your letters and efaxes, and now she needs to know through your phone calls.

Call 212-788-7210 and respectfully tell Speaker Quinn and her staff that you support the Bicycle Access to Buildings Bill, Intro. 871, and she should too.

Let the person you speak to know that:

  • The bill is supported by a majority of Council Members, the Mayor, the Department of Transportation, and thousands of New Yorkers!
  • Speaker Quinn supported the bill in 2004 when it was known as Intro. 155.
  • The bill is a commonsense measure and is the biggest single way for City Council to grow bicycling in our city and support healthy, sustainable transportation. Plus, it will enable thousands of New Yorkers to save money by commuting to work for free via bicycle.
  • The bill will not require building owners or tenants to set aside any space for bicycle parking.

Tonight: Indoor Bike Parking Solutions for NYC

Join New York City's bicycling community for a discussion about innovative designs and new legislation for indoor bike parking. Speakers include Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, Paul Steely White of Transportation Alternatives, and Rich Conroy from Bike New York.

A reception sponsored by Hazon will follow the program.

Indoor Bike Parking Solutions for NYC
Thursday, February 26th
6:30 pm
Museum of the City of New York
1220 Fifth Avenue

Reservations Required
$9 General admission
$5 Museum members, Seniors, and Students

Indoor bike parking available!

Tonight: Brooklyn Committee Monthly Meeting

Help make Brooklyn streets better for biking, walking and public transit.

Brooklynites, stop by this month's volunteer committee meeting and help to establish a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists on every street and in every neighborhood of Brooklyn. Come and see what has been achieved so far, and what you can do to help!

T.A. Brooklyn Volunteer Committee Meeting
Thursday, February 26th
7 pm
Center for the Urban Environment
168 7th Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenues)

F to 4th Ave, R train to 9th Street, of F/G to Smith-9th

Taking on the East Side

Help make a difference in your neighborhood.

T.A. is kicking off an exciting new campaign focused on winning better biking, walking and transit on the East Side of Manhattan. Join us for the inaugural meeting of the East Side Volunteer Committee.

In 2009 we will work together for:

  • Protected bike lanes and neighborhood bike lane networks
  • Wider sidewalks and more crossing time for pedestrians
  • Re-designs of 1st and 2nd Avenues that incorporate fully-wrought Bus Rapid Transit and protected bike lanes
Inaugural East Side Volunteer Committee Meeting
Wednesday, March 11th
6-8:30 pm
The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, 2nd Floor

For more information, or to get involved, e-mail bike@transalt.org.

Register your Bike Month NYC Event

Got a great Bike Month NYC Event? A waterfront tour? A high-hill climb? An adventure unthought of? Or something else entirely? The easiest way to register it is online at BikeMonthNYC.org/register.

Share your Bike Month NYC fun with the world!

Become a Bike Tour Sponsor

T.A. is looking for sponsors for three of our amazing tours in New York City: the Tour de Brooklyn, the Tour de Queens, and the NYC Century Bike Tour. Becoming a sponsor of a T.A. bike tour opens up all sorts of opportunities to connect with the New York cycling community and support better biking, walking and public transit. Please contact events@transalt.org for more information on becoming a sponsor.

Past tour sponsors have included everyone from Brooklyn Brewery to Bicycle Habitat to City Bakery to Chiquita Bananas, and with biking booming this year supporting great rides makes more sense than ever.

We're Looking for a Few Good Photographers

If you're a professional photographer interested in volunteering your services for some small compensation and lots of odd assignments, send a link to your portfolio to info@transalt.org.


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 Saturday the 28th at 11 am. You can also email info@teamta.org or visit TEAMTA.org for more information.

TEAM T.A. Info Session
Saturday, February 28th
11 am
T.A. Office
127 W. 26th, Suite 1002

NYCC Youth Cycling Program 2009

The NYCC Stan Oldak Youth Cycling Program exposes New York City young people to the sport of cycling and to the feelings of accomplishment and self-confidence cycling can offer, not to mention the opportunity to meet new, like-minded friends who enjoy cycling and the discovery of routes through some of the most scenic areas of Westchester, Long Island, New Jersey Palisades and beyond.

Any young person between 16 and 22 who has access to a serviceable road bike (no fixed gears) and a helmet is eligible. Youths under the age of 18 must have a signed parental consent form to participate.

Online registration ends February 27th and orientation is on February 28th, so be sure to check out nycc.org/youthprogram today to find out more.