Spring 2002, p.10

Join T.A.'s Advocacy Committees and Chapters

T.A.'s advocacy committees are made up of members who are energized to win better cycling, walking and car-free parks in their neighborhoods. They are led by experienced volunteer advocates who know how to use and blend the talent of our members. These volunteer leaders work closely with T.A.'s professional staff, who provide expertise and additional community organizing experience. Whether you are a good talker, artist, letter-writer or rabble rouser, T.A's advocacy committees need you. All across New York City and in New Jersey, our volunteer advocates are making a difference. We believe in the power of our membership-our executive director and president both started as volunteer advocates.

The Mighty Brooklyn Committee

Committee Chair: Clarence Eckerson
Meets: The third Monday of the month at EcoBooks in Park Slope. Meetings start at 6:30 pm with a short episode of bikeTV. Eco Books is at 837 Union Street, above the EcoMat near 7th Avenue. Upcoming meeting dates are April 15, May 20, June 17 and July 15.
Contact: Join our list serve for updates, information and volunteer opportunities. Brooklyn-list-subscribe@topica.com. Visit www.transalt.org/brooklyn. For more information on becoming a volunteer advocate, please e-mail Clarence at Brooklyn@transalt.org.

The Brooklyn Committee regularly draws thirty or more people to its entertaining monthly meetings and has grown so explosively that it has spawned four advocacy campaigns. Attend one of the monthly meetings to see what project appeals most to you. The people will make you feel welcome, and Clarence and the other volunteer leaders are happy to answer your questions. The committee is gearing up for an extra big Bike Week and needs your help with a joyride to Long Beach, LI, a family event in Prospect Park, an OpHazID sortie and a bikeTV marathon at Eco Books. As a special treat, ride with new Borough President Marty Markowitz to the Bike Week breakfast on the Brooklyn Bridge on Tuesday May 14.

Brooklyn Committee Special Projects

Car-Free Prospect Park: Join fellow Prospect Park-lovers every weekend and help make Prospect Park car-free. Collect signed postcards in favor of a car-free park and send them in en masse. Collecting signatures is a fun way to spend some time with like-minded Brooklynites. We are usually easy to find (between 11 am-1 pm on weekends near Grand Army Plaza), but call project leaders Andrew at 718-282-5106 or Alan at 718-625-7734 to find out when we will be out next.

Read the latest news on this issue.

Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project: Traffic in residential Downtown Brooklyn is a mess. If you are fed up with having your neighborhood used as a BQE service road and want to win real pedestrian, bicycle and traffic calming improvements, e-mail project leader Michael Cairl at gowanus@transalt.org.

Read the latest news on this issue.

Brooklyn Hazard ID: Brooklyn's Operation Hazard ID is out identifying potholes and dangerous cycling conditions. Join the team (use spray paint!). E-mail Project Leader Diana Gavales at pitchfork100@yahoo.com.

East River Bridge Bike Counts: T.A. needs to document the number of cyclists to make a stronger case for cycling improvements. Volunteer to do some basic math and help make the case for better cycling conditions on city bridges. E-mail Project Leader Kerri Martin at bikecounts@transalt.org.

Car-Free Central Park Committee

Committee Chair: Ken Coughlin
Meets: Regular petitioning in park, occasional meetings. Check www.car-freecentralpark.org  
Contact: Ken Coughlin at Central Park@transalt.org. Join the Central Park e-mailing list Centralpark-subscribe@topica.com and visit www.car-freecentralpark.org.
Remember: a car-free park will not happen by itself. The Car-Free Central Park Campaign is stepping up its efforts to gather 100,000 signatures. You can help get cars out of Central Park!

  • Serve as a liaison. This spring the Campaign will be approaching other sympathetic park user groups to gather their support. Some may be willing to publicize the petition to their memberships. Let us know if you are willing to represent us to a group you belong to.
  • Help us collect signatures! The Campaign will continue petitioning in the park and at other events at least one day a week.

Read the latest news on this issue.

The Bronx Chapter

Committee Chair: Rich Gans
Meets: Meets once every two to three months. E-mail bronx@transalt.org to be added to mailing list.
Contact: Rich Gans at 718-653-2203 or bronx@transalt.org.
T.A.'s Bronx T.A. Chapter is looking forward to a busy spring and summer. This Spring we are pushing for:

  • Re-opening the Highbridge, a pedestrian and bicycle bridge across the Harlem River.
  • Reinstating car-free Sundays on the Grand Concourse.
  • Advocating for a new segment of the Hudson River Greenway in Riverdale Park.
  • Increasing Parks funding to a fair amount for Bronx parks and greenways. We represent T.A. in the Bronx Parks Coalition.

Gowanus Expressway Tunnel Project

Committee Coordinator: Michael Cairl, Gowanus Community Stakeholder Group Vice-President
Contact: Michael Cairl at gowanus@transalt.org.
T.A. is a core member of the Gowanus Community Stakeholder Group, which seeks to ensure full environmental review and an unbiased study of what it will take to replace Brooklyn's hulking elevated Gowanus Expressway with a tunnel.

T.A. urges members, especially those living in the Gowanus Corridor, to get involved with this important project.

Read the latest news on this issue.

New Jersey

Read the latest news on this issue.

T.A.'s New Jersey operatives are on the way to winning a major victory for cyclists and pedestrians in the Garden State. At issue is building a link between the Jersey side of the George Washington Bridge and the Palisades Interstate Park below.

In meetings called by T.A. and a coalition of New Jersey bicycling groups, the officials overseeing the two controlling agencies agreed to the principal and pledged their support.

James F. Hall, New Jersey superintendent of the Park, promised the land necessary for building the half-mile, off-street path. When presented an idea for a ten-foot wide bicycle-only path, he rejected it and volunteered a 14-foot right of way, large enough for a four-lane path segregated between bicycles and pedestrians. T.A. is thrilled at the leadership Hall has taken in calling for this wider path.

Steve Napolitano at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the bridge's owner, immediately recognized the value and safety the path would bring to bridge users. He promised to look into funding sources.

The project is so important because the bridge is the only bicycle connection between New Jersey and Manhattan. Additionally, it is the only Hudson crossing for bicycles for 35 miles. It will connect New York's Hudson River Greenway, the busiest bicycle path in the country, with some of the most beautiful bicycling in New Jersey.

T.A. is joined on this project by Bike New Jersey, the Central Jersey Bicycle Club, the New Jersey Bicycle Advisory Council and, most importantly, the Bicycle Touring Club of North Jersey, led by Ted Semegran, legislative affairs director.

Write to the Park and Port Authority officials and thank them for making bold, visionary steps to fix New Jersey's biggest bicycle "missing link" and urge them to forge the necessary cooperation to get this project built soon.

Write to:
James F. Hall
Palisades Interstate Park
P.O. Box 155
Alpine, NJ 07620 

Steve Napolitano
Assistant Director, Operations
Tunnels, Bridges & Terminals
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
One PATH Plaza, 6th Floor
Jersey City, NJ 07306