Spring 2001, p.21

Volunteer Profile: Frank Todisco

Name: Frank Todisco
Neighborhood: Upper East Side
Occupation: Actuary
T.A. member since: Since 1991
Volunteer activites: Car-Free Central Park Campaign; and tabling at festivals.
How did you get involved with T.A.?
I met Ken Coughlin (CFCP organizer) on a bike ride a few years ago and he told me about the Car-Free Central Park (CFCP) campaign. Several months later I gave him a call to get involved.
Why are you so interested in the CFCP campaign?
I live near the park and use the park a lot. I run, bike, walk, and sit in the park and find it mind-boggling to be there and have cars whizzing by.
So you decided to do something about it?
Yes. I started by contacting recreational clubs I belong to, such as the New York Flyers (a running club) to try and get them to endorse the CFCP campaign and spread information about it to club members. I also help get names for the CFCP petition in the park. Last summer we collected 10000 signatures.
What does CFCP plan to do with the signatures?
Our goal is to present the petitions to the next mayor of New York. It is an election year in NYC, and we are very excited about injecting this issue into the mayoral campaign. It has become clear that we do not have an opportunity under the current mayor to advance this issue any further. So we have been working hard on the CFCP campaign to present a proposal to the next mayor. I recently posed the question of car-free Central and Prospect Parks to Alan Hevesi at a mayoral forum and he responded that he would support a 3-month trial period for both parks. I will be posing the question to the other mayor candidates at upcoming forums.
Any other CFCP pressure points?
Yes, the campaign recently met with the police Central Park Precinct to discuss speed enforcement, and more timely closing of the entrance gates which prevent cars entering the park during car-free hours. We have also met with elected and appointed officials to try and win their support. The CFCP campaign is looking for more volunteers to help, especially now in the city-wide election year.
How do they get in touch?
Interested people can call the T.A. office 212-629-8080 or e-mail CentralPark@transalt.org. Visit www.Car-FreeCentralPark.org for more information on the campaign and join our e-mail announcement listserve.