Dispatches from the Front

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


Petition signatures and handwritten letters keep rolling in as the Manhattan Activist Committee continues the fight for Complete Streets on 5th and 6th avenues. The numbers are now up to more than 10,000 signatures and 1,500 handwritten letters. Additionally, 42 local businesses and four civic organizations support the campaign. If all that wasn’t news enough, the Committee’s tireless advocacy to make Amsterdam Avenue a Complete Street yielded the unanimous passage of a resolution in favor of the plan from Community Board 7.


when: First Thursday of every month
6:30 – 8 pm
where: Transportation Alternatives
127 West 26th St, 10th Floor

contact: Albert Ahronheim, Chair


The Staten Island Activist Committee has its sights set on a redesign of Forest Avenue. In just a few short weeks, they’ve already found allies in local businesses and community organizations, who’ve signed on in support of bike lanes and pedestrian improvements on the thoroughfare. With a petitioning push planned for the big St. Patrick’s Day parade, that campaign is off to an auspicious start. But that doesn’t mean other projects will be left behind: Council Member Debbi Rose signed on to support their Richmond Terrace campaign, and the Community Board Join Up in December has a handful of neighborhood activists itching to get involved in local politics.


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

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

contact: Laura Barlament, Chair


After winning unanimous approval from Community Board 1, and support from almost every elected official in the area, the Brooklyn Activist Committee’s campaign for a North Brooklyn Street Safety Forum will present to Community Board 4 in March. If all goes well, be on the lookout for more Street Safety Forums around Brooklyn this spring. In political news, Council Members Cumbo, Levin and Lander are leading an effort to recruit all their colleagues to back a Complete Street makeover of Atlantic Avenue. So far, they have the support of over 50 businesses, religious leaders and organizations (which Brooklyn Activist Committee members have helped recruit). With supportive City Council members and progressive community boards clamoring for change, things are looking good for the Brooklyn Activist Committee in 2014.


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

where: Brooklyn YWCA
30 Third Avenue
First Floor Meeting Room
(Cobble Hill)

contact: Dave ‘Paco’ Abraham, Chair


The Bronx

The Bronx Activist Committee held a huge meeting last December to talk about community board process and getting involved in the most local level of city government. More than 50 people turned out to learn the who, what, where, why and how of advocating for change, and now they’re fired up to make a difference. The Bronx Activist Committee also selected a handful of new campaigns to work on in the coming year. Highlights include: Bike-Friendly Belmont, a South Bronx Vision Zero Forum, a fight to fix Westchester Avenue and a Grand Concourse-focused effort called Boogie on the Boulevard.


when: Second Wednesday of every month
6:30 – 8 pm

where: Bronx Museum of Art
1040 Grand Concourse

contact: Rich Gans, Co-Chair
Elizabeth Hamby, Co-Chair bronx@transalt.org


The Queens Activist Committee has assembled a powerful coalition of local stakeholders and elected officials fighting for a safer 21st Street. With the backing of Council Members Van Bramer and Constantinides, and the support of Community Board 1, they’ve reached out to the DOT and requested a feasibility study for traffic calming measures along the dangerous thoroughfare. Committee members have also been canvassing to build momentum for the Queens Boulevard campaign (see "A Chorus of Calls for a Safer Queens Boulevard"). In 2014, the Committee plans to launch a Street Safety Forum in Jackson Heights and a campaign for a better J.J. Byrne Bridge, pushing for more protected bike infrastructure and connecting routes between Brooklyn and Queens.


when: Second Tuesday of every month
6:30 – 8 pm

where: Queens Pride House
76-11 37th Avenue
(Jackson Heights)

contact: Jessame Hannus, Co-Chair
Steve Scofield, Co-Chair