Village. Originally from Brixton, London.
Occupation: Sound Engineer
T.A. member since: I am not a T.A. member, but I am a member of the
London Cycling Campaign (London's equivalent to T.A.) back home.
Volunteer Activities: I coordinated two bicycle counts, which meant
that I developed the projects and arranged for other T.A. volunteers to help
me. The first project was a bimonthly count of the number of bikes and
pedestrians crossing the four east river bridges [see page 4]. The second
project was a count of the volume of traffic and bikes in the East Village on
a single morning and evening.
How did you learn about T.A.? When I found out that I would be living
in New York for a spell, I researched cycling groups and decided to contact
T.A. to see how I could help. We decided to conduct the counts because it is
important for T.A. to have its own database of traffic, bike and pedestrian
volume that it could use for its advocacy efforts. Plus, it was a good time to
study the impact of the opening of the Manhattan Bridge.
Compare London and New York. Learning to ride in New York was a real
adjustment. I had to get used to riding on the right side of the road, the red
signal indicators (the ones in Europe are orange) and the fact that cyclists
hardly ever obey the lights (in London, you get a huge fine for running
lights) [Editor's note: this is also true in NYC]. Some of the other
big challenges of cycling in Manhattan are that traffic speeds are often very
high and intersections very frequent, increasing the risk of cars overtaking
you, only to turn in your path. But, with all the difficulties and obstacles
of cycling, it's still the best way to get around town, just like it is in
London-come and visit!
What was it like to work with T.A. volunteers? Being the volunteer
coordinator for the two counts was a great experience. I met with the
volunteers in person at the counts and at a few social events, which was great
because talking to everyone helped me understand both T.A. and cycling in New
York better. I want to say thank you so much. You all have made my stay in New
York and my work for T.A. so much fun, even though there is no kettle at the
office to make a nice cup of tea. You're fabulous. Keep going!
What's next? I hope that my time at T.A. will help connect T.A. and
L.C.C., since the cycling situation is quite similar in the two towns. I'm
heading back to London. Meanwhile, Kerri Martin, the super-fabulous long-term
T.A. volunteer, will be continuing the counts here in New York.