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 has been busy on three fronts: establishing a campaign to win separated bike paths on Fifth and Sixth avenues; urging local police precincts to enforce idling laws; and lobbying CB 6 members to resist efforts to scale back bike share at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza. They’re all tough battles, but the East Side Volunteer Committee has a track record that inspires confidence, and they won’t give up without a fight.

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 Volunteer Committee has been signing up Bike Friendly Businesses in hopes of building support for more bike tourism in the borough. They’ve also been helping to organize a T.A. Transit Town Hall in August and continuing with their Grymes Hill traffic calming campaign.

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

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

contact: Meredith Sladek,

The big news in Brooklyn last month was the Fourth Annual Brooklyn Waterfront Epic Ride, organized by T.A.’s Brooklyn Volunteer Committee, the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, the Regional Plan Association, the National Parks Service and REI SoHo. The ride took more than 500 participants on a tour of the Brooklyn Greenway route, helping them imagine what it will be like once it’s complete.

But the past few months weren’t all fun in the sun. For years, the Committee has been advocating for a bike lane extension to 5th Avenue. Finally, the idea has gained traction, and the DOT brought the plan to the local community board, which should vote on it by the end of July.

Bay Ridge has also seen some positive momentum. Thanks to the Southern Brooklyn volunteers, CB 10’s Transportation Committee has finally held a discussion about bike routes in the neighborhood, proposing half-a-dozen new lanes. In the fall, the full Board will take up the issue, and the Brooklyn Volunteer Committee will be there to represent.

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

  The Bronx
The Bronx Volunteer Committee is pooling the energy of active community members to advocate for a Summer Streets-style event on the Sheridan Expressway. They want to remind neighbors and elected officials that streets can serve a different purpose and also provide a day of healthy activity for kids and families!

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

The Queens Volunteer Committee has spent the last few months enjoying the summer by hosting and helping with all sorts of events, including a Greenmarket Ride, a Jane Jacobs Walk in Elmhurst and a trip along the LIRR right-of-way that could become the Queensway.

They’ve also been advocating for a pedestrian plaza in Astoria (check out the Friends of Newtown Plaza Facebook page), continuing their traffic monitoring efforts on Greenpoint and Borden avenues and reviving their Queens Boulevard Campaign.

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