T.A. StreetBeat

June 4th, 2009

As more people ride streets get safer. Image courtesy Lois Bielefeld

Articles and Actions

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Events and Alerts

T.A. in the News

  • "Bicyclists from all over--Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Virginia, even California--registered for the Tour de Brooklyn. In other years, online registration has sold out before the ride, but this year it sold out within 24 hours."

    -Sarah Tobol, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 6/03

Safety in Numbers

Statistics from around the world show that there is safety in numbers. It's no different here in NYC.Click here to see the full graph.

New data now reveals that there are 185,000 daily cyclists in New York City, an increase of more than one third from just four years ago. This staggering surge is not only a testament to the infrastructure improvements that have been implemented in the last couple of years, but also a contributing factor to the increased safety of cyclists throughout the city.

It's a well established fact that for bikers there is safety in numbers. With more cyclists out and about, more drivers are accustomed to sharing the road. In fact, cycling in New York City is safer now than it has been at any time in recent memory, so spread the word and hit the streets.

If that wasn't reason enough to ride, this summer, T.A. is organizing the largest-ever bicycle valet effort in city history. Ride in style to Celebrate Brooklyn, Movies with a View, and MoMA Monday Nights and leave your wheels with our trusty attendants.

And while you're out riding, don't forget about Biking Rules, a new street code for NYC cyclists that aims to keep everyone safe, sound and cycling!

Bringing BRT to the Five Boroughs

Cities like Curibita, Brazil have shown what BRT can do.

World-class Bus Rapid Transit could boost New York City's mass-transit capacity and efficiency for a fraction of the cost of new subway lines, but the initial investment to get a real system off the ground has long proven too heavy a lift for politicians stingy with street-space and a perpetually cash-strapped Transit Authority.

Although some of BRT's key mechanisms, like pre-pay boarding and dedicated lanes, which have been folded in to Fordham Road's "Select Bus Service" -- a program dubbed "BRT light" by advocates -- have proven their effectiveness by speeding travel times by as much as 20%, there is still much to be done to achieve real BRT in NYC.

With this in mind, we encourage every New Yorker who cares about better mass transit to attend one of the BRT workshops that the DOT and New York City Transit are hosting. They've already held sessions in The Bronx and Queens (we told you about them in the last StreetBeat), but Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island are still to come.

Check out the complete schedule for all the details.

D.A. Debate

The candidates for Manhattan District Attorney debated in front of a full house.

The race to replace Robert Morgenthau, who has served as Manhattan's District Attorney since 1975, heated up yesterday at a candidate's debate sponsored by Transportation Alternatives and the Criminal Justice Society of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Those seeking to replace the nearly nonagenarian Morganthau talked about an issue close to our hearts and minds: traffic justice. Cyrus Vance, Richard Aborn and a representative of Leslie Crocker Snyder discussed their views on vehicular crimes and the role of the District Attorney's office in protecting New Yorkers from reckless and dangerous drivers.

Some of the topics discussed included: the creation of a specific Bureau Chief for vehicular crimes; an approach to traffic justice that reflects its substantial impact on the safety and well being of New Yorkers; a nip-it-in-the-bud approach to lawless behavior such as the offense of reckless driving, which often precedes more dangerous behaviors; and a shift away from fixed, rigid notions of what constitutes an actionable case, often manifested in potential criminally negligent homicide cases.

We were very impressed with what each candidate had to say and believe that new blood will bring great changes to the Manhattan District Attorney's office. We wish each candidate the best of luck and are thrilled that these issues are finding a place in mainstream dialogues. Only time will tell if that can bring safer streets to the millions of people who travel through Manhattan each year.

Last Chance to Ride the Tour de Brooklyn

Online Tour de Brooklyn registration is closed, but you can still sign up to be a volunteer riding marshal. Please register at tourdebrooklyn.org/volunteer, and we'll see you at 8 am at Keyspan Stadium, Coney Island.

Calling All Kent Avenue Cyclists

Image courtesy NYCDOT.

On June 9th, the Department of Transportation will present its plan for a bi-directional bike lane along Kent Avenue to Brooklyn Community Board 1. The lane is not only a sound compromise between varied community interests, but is also a groundbreaking design that establishes space for the much anticipated Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway.

It's imperative that T.A. members, bike-lane supporters and neighborhood residents who believe that a safe, secure space for cyclists on Kent Avenue is in the best interest of the community show up and speak out.

DOT Presentation on Kent Avenue
Tuesday, June 9th
Sign up to speak by 6:15 pm
Swinging 60s Senior Citizens Center
211 Ainslie Street (Corner of Manhattan Avenue)

Bicycle Access Bill

The Monday after next, the New York City Council's Consumer Affairs and Transportation Committees will hold a joint hearing on the Bicycle Access Bill (Intro. 871) (PDF), as well as a bill introduced by Councilmember Oliver Koppell, which would mandate that public garages of more than 50 spaces provide bicycle parking (Intro. 780).

Both bills are a boon to cyclists, and they both need your support.

If you have an exceptional tale of bike parking (be it good or bad) and can make it to next Monday's meeting to testify, please contact peter@transalt.org. A large public presence at City Council meetings lets legislators know that their votes are being watched and their opinions remembered.

Bicycle Access Bill Hearing
Monday, June 15th
110 am
City Hall


With the end of May comes the end of Bike Month, but the T.A. Brooklyn Committee has big plans for June. They're hosting BIKE BKLN, a month-long T.A. membership drive, celebration and awareness-raising campaign that's sure to be as informative as it is fun. Come out and join them at:

Your membership dollars help make these events possible and empower our local volunteer committees to make a difference in your neighborhood. Not a member? Join today! For locations and details on events taking place this month, check out the Brooklyn Committee's page at transalt.org/brooklyn.

Holland on the Hudson

Go Dutch with Paul Steely White!

T.A.'s executive director will give a talk titled Holland on the Hudson?: What the Dutch Can Teach New York City About Streets and Transportation at NYMTC's June 18th Program, Finance and Administration Committee (PFAC) meeting. His presentation coincides with the 400th anniversary of Captain Henry Hudson's historic sail from Amsterdam on a Dutch East India Company ship, the Halve Maen (Half Moon).

This meeting will be webcast live and archived for viewing at a later date on nymtc.org.

Holland on the Hudson
Thursday, June 18th
199 Water Street, 22nd floor