T.A. StreetBeat

May 7th, 2009

The Ride of Spring in Riverside Park. Image Courtesy Kat Cheng.

Articles and Actions

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Events and Alerts

T.A. in the News

  • And to combat any notion that the [Dutch] bikes may be less than appealing to men than street bikes and mountain bikes, Mr. Norvell suggested another advantage: flirting can be easier. "It's the bike you are using to chat with someone in the bike line," Mr. Norvell said. "This is the bike you pick up in."

    --Jennifer 8. Lee, New York Times, 4/30

Two-Way Protected Bike Lane Coming to Prospect Park West

The DOT has some exciting plans for Prospect Park West.

It seems like Park Slope will get a bit more bicycle friendly this August when the Department of Transportation installs a two-way protected bike lane along Prospect Park West from Union Street to Bartel Prichard Square (PDF).

The plan--long encouraged by T.A. and unanimously approved by the Community Board 6 Transportation Committee--is designed around a 10' bidirectional bike path running alongside the street's park-side curb. A 4' buffer will separate the path from a parking lane, two travel lanes and another parking lane. A similar allocation of travel lanes has proven wildly successful along 9th Avenue in Manhattan, where it decreased injuries of all street users by 56 percent, calmed speeding motor-vehicle traffic and improved safety for pedestrians by reducing crossing distances.

As an added bonus, the Prospect Park West two-way protected bike lane brings with it the closure of Prospect Park's 3rd Street entrance to motor-vehicle traffic. The Prospect Park Alliance has already implemented this long overdue commonsense improvement and thousands of people traveling from Park Slope to Prospect Park have already experienced its benefits.

In the coming months, T.A. will continue to encourage the City to install similarly innovative designs in suitable locations throughout the five boroughs, and we'll keep you informed about the latest and greatest of them.

Take Action!

Although CB 6's Transportation Committee unanimously supported Prospect Park West's new bike lane, the full board has yet to vote on the proposal. That's scheduled for May 13th, so mark your calendars, show up and speak out for better biking.

General Board Meeting P.S. 32 Auditorium
May 13th, 6:30 pm
317 Hoyt Street (between Union & President Streets)

Albany Agrees on an MTA Bailout

T.A. and hundreds of straphangers told the Albany to save transit. They did their best.

Straphangers narrowly avoided doomsday fare hikes and draconian service cuts this week when Albany's legislators finally brokered a $2.26 billion MTA funding plan. The rescue, a result of thousands of hours of T.A. staff and volunteer efforts, is hardly the best possible solution that was offered up, but it's the plan that was able to pass through the notoriously nasty maze that Albany calls a process, and it will keep New York City moving, for now.

In summary the plan calls for:

  • $.25 increase in the base subway/bus fare
  • $8 increase in the cost of a monthly MetroCard
  • Fare and toll increases on MTA commuter trains and MTA bridges
  • .34 percent payroll tax in the 12 county MTA service region
  • $.50 cab fare surcharge
  • Assorted fees on vehicle registrations and rentals

It is heartening that during this long process, rational, sustainable funding streams like East River bridge tolls were discussed in earnest, supported by powerful legislators and only a few votes away from passing. Perhaps the next time the MTA's finances are revisited a similarly progressive solution will be embraced by all of the necessary parties.

Although the decision to defer some funding for the Capital Plan could create problems for future generations of straphangers, rest assured that T.A. will continue to fight the good fight. In the coming months, we'll study and advocate for MTA funding strategies that make sure everyone who benefits from public transportation--drivers, straphangers and businesses--pay in to the system.

Transit is the lifeblood of New York City and Transportation Alternatives will remain the cardiologist in residence.

Plazas Aplenty

It seems like the DOT got their hands on a draft of the upcoming issue of Reclaim --that, or great minds think alike.

Just days after we sent the Spring 2009 issue of T.A.'s award-winning magazine Reclaim off to the printer--which has an exciting feature on the importance of pedestrian spaces--the DOT announced plans for nine new public plazas, four in Brooklyn, one in The Bronx and four in Manhattan.

As we wrote in Reclaim:

"For Mayor Bloomberg, plazas are becoming something of a legacy issue. It's precisely the sort of tangible, feel-good, photo-friendly reform that makes for a striking political highlight reel. And more than anything else, the quick, dramatic redistribution of space from cars to people is proving that streets can change in our lifetime without the sky falling."

So, while you're waiting for one of the City's new pedestrian plazas to pop up near you, why not curl up with Reclaim? It's a great read, filled with tons of exciting stories and just one of the many benefits of T.A. membership.

May Is Bike Month NYC!!!

If you haven't seen one of the thousands of Bike Month NYC posters or heard about any of the hundreds of awesome Bike Month NYC events, maybe your first trip this Bike Month NYC should be out from underneath your rock.

Your first trip after that one should be to an awesome Bike Month NYC event. Have you considered exploring an old railway line? Checking out a Ladies Repair Workshop? Learning about recumbent bicycles? All those and many more are in store for the next few days, so be sure to check out the Bike Month NYC calendar, tell your friends and ride.

Livable Streets Photo Contest

The Livable Streets Initiative, which publishes StreetsBlog, produces StreetFilms, hosts the StreetsWiki and sponsors the Livable Streets Community, is holding a profile picture contest.

If you create a profile with a picture before May 13th, or update your existing profile picture, you'll be entered to win an amazing bike basket filled with goodies.

Why else should you join?

  • They're building a national network of livable streets advocates. Your membership will grow the movement and help coordinate their advocacy efforts.
  • Membership gives you a bundle of benefits, like the ability to contact other members, contribute to StreetsWiki, open and join groups, and keep abreast of community activity with account pages.
  • To celebrate Bike Month NYC!
Thanks to B's Bikes in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for their generous donation of a classic woven bike basket and its contents.

Please note that profile images can be uploaded in jpeg, gif, and most png formats and will be judged on originality. Contact info@livablestreets.com with any questions.

George Washington Bridge Construction

Due to construction, the George Washington Bridge's south sidewalk may be closed on weekdays and open on weekends through July 17th, 2009. The north sidewalk will be open when the south sidewalk is closed.

For up-to-the-minute GWB sidewalk updates, sign up for Bridge & Tunnel Alerts at btalerts.paalerts.com. Select the "Bicyclists/Pedestrian" Customer Type to have free alerts regarding sidewalk closures sent to your cellular phone, PDA, pager or e-mail account.

Sacred Sites Bike Tour

Explore the history, architecture and preservation of Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn--by bicycle! Urban journalist, preservationist and Museum at Eldridge Street (MAES) founder Roberta Brandes Gratz and MAES Deputy Director Amy Stein-Milford lead a tour of New York City's historic houses of worship. Participants will visit churches, synagogues and temples that have been constructed over the past 200 years and that reflect the rich religious and cultural life of immigrants in New York City.

Sacred Sites Bike Tour
Sunday, May 17th
10 am-1 pm
Leaves from the Museum at Eldridge Street Synagogue
12 Eldridge Street (between Canal and Division)

East Coast Greenway Seeks an Executive Director

The East Coast Greenway is the nation's most ambitious long-distance urban greenway trail project. The Greenway system includes a 3000-mile spine trail stretching between Calais, Maine and Key West, Florida, passing through 15 states and the District of Columbia and linking 25 major eastern seaboard cities. They're currently seeking an executive director with the experience and genuine passion to take the Alliance and the Greenway to a new level of success.

For more information and application details, check out: greenway.org/employment.php