Spring 2005, p.23

Volunteer Profile
David Snetman

For volunteer David Snetman, T.A.'s mailing parties were just the beginning.
For volunteer David Snetman, T.A.'s mailing parties were just the beginning.

Occupation: Student

Age: 24

T.A. member since: August 13, 2004

Neighborhood: Upper East Side, Manhattan

Why joined T.A.: I had worked for T.A. as an intern for several months and decided to get a membership as a birthday present to myself.

Volunteer activity: Bicycle Projects Intern. I assist the Projects Director in bicycling advocacy projects. I have worked on getting the Williamsburg Bridge bumps removed, including conducting surveys, filling out Freedom of Information Act requests to get information from the City and encouraging people to go to public meetings and speak out against the bumps. My recent projects have included researching bicycle parking in cities around the world and writing a report with suggestions on how New York City could improve its bicycle parking. I also have started to analyze some CrashStat.org
data about bicycle crashes in
relation to installation of bicycle lanes.

Reasons for getting involved: I ride around New York City on my bike a lot and I started to get frustrated about the street conditions for cycling, especially the bumps on the Williamsburg Bridge. I got a flyer about T.A. and looked up your volunteer opportunities on VolunteerMatch.org and I came to a volunteer mailing party. Stuffing envelopes and meeting other T.A. volunteers was nice but I wanted to do more. So I asked about how I could get more involved and the Volunteer Coordinator put me in touch with the Projects Director who offered me an internship. I have been interning with T.A. ever since.

Hours (volunteering) per month: 20-30 hours per month

Philosophy: Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. In that order.

Upcoming Projects: I am going to continue to put pressure on the NYC Department of Transportation to remove the ridiculous bumps from the Williamsburg Bridge. I am also interested in getting more involved with the Car Free Central Park Campaign. During ďThe GatesĒ installation I got used to having a car-free park 24 hours a day. Riding to my friendís house one afternoon after the Gates where gone I was surprised to find myself in a park filled with speeding cars. It was scary.

The work that T.A. does is really important; it is of benefit to everyone regardless of whether or not you're a cyclist.

Thoughts on Volunteer night: Itís a good starting point for new volunteers or for those who donít have a lot of time to offer. It wasnít enough for me though. I wanted to do more.

Youíre Mayor/Director of T.A./God/etc. for a day, what do you do? 1. Institute congestion pricing; 2. Make Central and Prospect Parks car free; 3. Remove the bumps from the Williamsburg Bridge; 4. Convert one major Avenue in Manhattan to a cyclist/pedestrian mall running the entire length of the island; 5.Complete the greenway ring around Manhattan.

Thoughts on each other/ working with each other: It is great working at T.A. The staff is friendly and truly committed to what they do. Everyone is so passionate about their work and really loves their job.

Issues that concern you as a cyclist in NYC: Safety on the streets and access to bridges are my two biggest concerns.

Thoughts on T.A.: The work that T.A. does is really important; it is of benefit to everyone regardless of whether or not you are a cyclist. In addition to the concrete benefits that T.A. provides, the organization is also important because it is a fine example of a grassroots organization fighting for peopleís rights.

Skills Learned While Volunteering: Iíve learned a lot about how the city government operates and what the process is for creating change here in New York City. It has been a huge reality check to see how complicated and bureaucratic the city government can be. But is has also been incredibly empowering. I now know what it takes to get the City to take action and I can apply that to a lot of different issues that I am interested in.