Dispatches from the Front

Transportation Alternatives’ Volunteer Committees host monthly meetings and social outings, and support vibrant online communities. They also make fighting for local street improvements a lot of fun.

The East Side Volunteer Committee spent the past three months organizing for a busy summer. They focused on the small stuff, building a weekly calendar of events and an email protocol to alert members of actionable items. They also invited several decision-makers to their recent meeting and were graced with the presence of a local elected official and representatives from two others, who spoke about their commitment to cyclists and pedestrians. In the coming weeks and months, they’ll focus their efforts on building support for the DOT’s bike share program, reaching out to delivery cyclists about safe riding and encouraging Bike to Work Day events.

when: First Tuesday of every month,
6:30 – 8 pm

where: Vanderbilt YMCA,
225 E. 47th Street, 5th Floor

contact: Steve Vaccaro, Chair,
vaccaro500 [at] gmail.com

On Staten Island, the T.A. Volunteer Committee has been working to gather signatures on a petition for traffic calming along Howard Avenue in Grymes Hill. They’ve nearly hit 200. In the next few months, the Committee will focus on their Jane Jacobs Walk through New Dorp on May 5th and a survey of cyclists who ride the Staten Island Ferry.

when: Third Thursday of every month,
6:30 – 8 pm

where: Everything Goes Book Cafe
208 Bay Street (St. George)

contact: Meredith Sladek,
meredith [at] transalt.org for more information on how to get involved


The unusually warm winter allowed the Brooklyn Volunteer Committee to keep up its schedule of monthly rides. They made outings to identify potential expansions for bicycle infrastructure in undeserved neighborhoods like East New York, Brownsville and Sheepshead Bay. But riding is only part of their safe streets advocacy, so members also spent the past few months attending key meetings with borough community boards. Next on the calendar is a push to ramp up the Bike Friendly Business campaign with a weekend workshop and group outing to sign up more shops before bike share arrives. The Committee will also be expanding their group rides to gather more members in southwest Brooklyn and to build support for the ‘Harbor Ring’ project, an effort to emphasize the need for a bicycle pathway over the Verrazano Bridge. Also coming down the line is a Brooklyn-specific Transit Town Hall that will keep the looming fare hike on voters’ minds and get citizens ready to press Albany for better transit funding.

when: Last Thursday of every month,
7 - 8:30 pm

where: Cobble Hill Community Room,
250 Baltic Street (Cobble Hill)

contact: Dave ‘Paco’ Abraham, Chair,
dave.paco.abraham [at] gmail.com for more information on how to get involved

  The Bronx
After a busy fall, the Bronx Committee took a few winter months to hibernate. But spring has now sprung, so they’re back and they’re more organized than ever, with a meeting scheduled for May 9th and follow-up meetings every second Wednesday of the month. The location is to be determined.

when: Second Wednesday of every month
where: Check T.A. Events Calendar at transalt.org/events for locations
contact: Mel Rodriguez
bikethebronx [at] gmail.com for more information on how to get involved

The Queens Volunteer Committee has been busy planning what’s next. In short: lots of new bicycle and pedestrian projects in the borough. The Committee and Community Board 2 member Emilia Crotty organized a bike forum to develop recommendations for new bike lanes and traffic calming in the district. They presented their findings to the DOT and were met with positive feedback. The Committee is also ready to begin a traffic monitoring project on 21st Street, which connects the Queensboro Bridge to the RFK Bridge, and other traffic monitoring projects on Borden Avenue and Greenpoint Avenue. They’ll use the findings to encourage traffic calming strategies on these busy thoroughfares.

when: Second Monday of every month,
6:30 – 8 pm

where: Greater Astoria Historical
Society, 35-20 Broadway
4th Floor (Astoria)

contact: Jessame Hannus, Chair,
belleoflonglake [at] gmail.com