T.A. StreetBeat
T.A. StreetBeat May 12, 2011    
May is Bike Month, and the perfect occasion to prove New York City cyclists are a well behaved bunch. From the length of every avenue to the breadth of every borough, you can ensure every New Yorker welcomes New York's 440 percent growth in daily cyclists: Be an ambassador for better bicycling by always biking polite.
Image courtesy Andrew Hinderaker

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  • "Bicycling is good for business -- it brings customers to stores and deliveries to homes and businesses," White said. "Streets that prioritize biking and walking with bike lanes and pedestrian plazas have been proven to boost local retail sales by 10 to 25%."

    -- T.A. Executive Director Paul Steely White explains the economics of bicycling. With T.A.'s Bike Friendly Business campaign, you can recommend your favorite local businesses to be officially Bike Friendly too. New York Daily News, 4/25.

Speaker Quinn, You Can End Bogus Parking

Before universal healthcare,
we had Police Benevolence
Association surgeons. Bogus.

In the crosswalk, blocking the hydrant, all four wheels on the sidewalk -- in New York, with a vehicle and some detritus on the dash, you can park most anywhere. For two days last year, a white van was parked illegally in Times Square with no license plates and a bomb in the backseat. On the dashboard? A bogus parking permit. New York's parking permit problem is not just about equity of space on any given block; it's a matter of public safety.

According to a new T.A. report, more than 57 percent of parking permits are illegitimate. The report, Totally Bogus: A Study of Parking Permit Abuse in NYC, found a majority of government-issued parking permits were used to park illegally, and nearly half were counterfeit. From construction vests to union cards to slips of paper that just say NYPD; parking permit abuse is not only prolific, it has become a creative art.

This is not the first time T.A. has taken on New York's dirty parking secret. In two prior studies, T.A. uncovered massive abuse in the parking permit system and our exposÚs resulted in real change: In 2008, Mayor Bloomberg reduced the number of parking permits issued to elected officials and city agencies by 46 percent. But those cuts have proven not to be enough. In the report released last week, T.A. researchers found one in four parking permits within the study area was a sham. Expand T.A.'s study area to encompass all New York, and there are between 10,000 and 25,000 ersatz parking permits in use citywide.

There's only one way to finally roust all the fakers: Arm the city's parking space watchdogs, NYPD Traffic Enforcement Agents, with the tools to ensure every permit is a real one. That's why Councilmember Daniel Garodnick has introduced the Authentic Permit Act (Intro. 465) to mandate bar codes on all city-issued parking permits. When every true parking permit sports a set of digits to be scanned, forged permits will become futile.

The next step is a hearing in the City Council. Council Speaker Quinn can make bogus parking permits impermissible; T.A. has faith that her leadership will clear New York City's parking slate.


Ask Council Speaker Quinn for relief from parking permit abuse. The Authentic Permit Act needs a City Council hearing now.
National Bike to Work Day: NYC Style

Bring a buddy and
biking to work is a breeze.
Image courtesy Georgia Kokolis

Since 1956, bicyclists across the country have dedicated a single day each year to celebrating their commute as a holiday. That holiday, National Bike to Work Day, is a time of joy and revelry for bicyclists nationwide. It is celebrated by simply following the instructions in its name, and on Friday, May 20th, hundreds of thousands of cyclists will celebrate Bike to Work Day by doing just that.

T.A. advocacy is often about sitting down with high-level powerbrokers or herding thousands of letters from your keyboards to New York's policymakers. With all that laboring at the top of the heap, it is easy to forget the advocacy that matters most. Riding your bicycle is simply the most significant advocacy you can do every day. And because media outlets and elected officials citywide will be observing the holiday too, National Bike to Work Day is the most important day to be advocating.

National Bike to Work Day is ideal for every rider, but most especially important for providing new cyclists an excuse to stretch the limit of their wheels, and convincing weekend warriors their bike can take them to the office too. T.A. knows you will ride on Bike to Work Day. Please take a minute now to think of colleague, friend or lover who you can convince to come with. It's the most important advocacy anyone can do.
Reclaim magazine is more than just a glossy guide to all of the ways T.A. is rewriting New York City streets; it's the reason T.A. members are so much smarter than other New Yorkers. In every issue, the award-winning Reclaim educates and entertains. The newest issue is about New York as a great city of neighborhoods and introduces the powerbrokers changing each one. Up-to-date T.A. members should have just received Reclaim in the mail. Have you lapsed? Or never joined? Join T.A. today.

The 7th Annual Tour de Brooklyn

Act now! Registration for the
Tour de Brooklyn is on fire.

Bicycling in Brooklyn is so great that every day, more people choose to ride a bicycle there than in the entirety of cycling mecca Portland, Oregon. That's why T.A.'s Tour de Brooklyn is the most popular group bicycle ride T.A. hosts.

Registration for the 18-mile tour is now open. This family-friendly trek around beautiful Brooklyn sells out quick, and T.A. members have already been given access to early registration, so don't delay registering today.
Calling All Urban Planners

This summer, you could turn a game of Hot Potato into an occupation.

Play Streets have hit the big time, with a featured plug in the newest iteration of PlaNYC. Now, T.A. needs extra help with all the work we do to make Play Streets great. T.A. is offering an internship to qualified urban planners, designers and enthusiastic wannabes. T.A.'s Play Streets Planning Intern will enable young people citywide to play hard at New York City Play Streets all summer long.

T.A. is also still seeking a Communications Coordinator, a Web Intern and a pack of Bike Ambassadors. Apply today!
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