For years, Transportation Alternatives has helped empower neighborhood activists and concerned citizens to change their streets for the better, but in the past few months this grassroots approach has gotten the imprimatur of City Hall. As part of its Vision Zero program, the de Blasio administration has held more than 20 public workshops in all five boroughs. Community board members, agency officials, local politicians and thousands of engaged New Yorkers interested in making their streets and city safer have identified problems, shared solutions and worked to find consensus. In the coming months and years, this impressive ground game will not only ensure that communities have had a say in their streetscape, but also that the City has taken time to listen to and learn from the local experts who know what’s best.
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Remembering Steve FaustNew York City lost one of its great bike advocates this spring. Steve Faust, a longtime T.A. member who helped bring bike access to the East River bridges, passed away in late March. An urban planner and engineer by training, Steve pushed for better bicycle infrastructure in New York City for the better part of four decades. From the late 1970s, when he served on former Mayor Ed Koch’s bicycle committee, to the months before his passing, when his long-held dream of bike access to the Verrazano Bridge was a driving passion, Steve tirelessly pressed for commonsense improvements that would benefit generations of New Yorkers. Transportation Alternatives and the entire bike community will be forever grateful for his commitment and support.
Lafayette Bike LaneOne of Manhattan’s most popular bike lanes—which cuts through some of the city’s most stylish neighborhoods—just got a bike facility befitting its ridership numbers and cool enough to keep pace with its trendy location. The new Lafayette Street bike lane, which runs from Prince Street in SoHo to 12th Street just south of Union Square, is a bright green parking-protected lane that, like its predecessors around the city, will help keep cyclists, pedestrians and drivers safer and boost local retail sales. According to a DOT study of 8th and 9th avenues, protected bike lanes can reduce injuries to all street users by up to 68 percent and boost retail sales by as much as 49 percent.