September/October 1996, p.3

Transportation Alternatives--More Than Bicycling

Most of you probably think of T.A. as New York's bicycle advocates. You are right, but you're only seeing part of the picture. Bicyclists remain at the core of T.A.'s efforts because their personal competition with the automobile seems to most inspire them to change things. Yet winning better cycling ultimately means changing the overall transportation system. For bicycling to thrive, government policies have to start promoting the vitality of cities and towns centered around public transit and walking, and stop subsidizing highways and suburban sprawl. For decades the people who live, bicycle, walk and take public transit in cities like New York have been the victims of our increasingly automobile-oriented transportation system. Many of them have literally paid with their life and limbs: a staggering one million New York City residents have been hit by cars in the last fifty years.

Changing the whole system seems like an impossibly tall order, but T.A.'s doing it with every campaign we undertake. For example, our campaign to preserve a bicycle lane on the Queensboro Bridge kept more cars from entering the city. Our work for pedestrian and cyclist rights asserts that streets are public space, not to be monopolized by the automobile.

The center spread of this issue of the T.A. magazine is intended to give our members and friends a better sense of our work and organization. I hope you enjoy it.


John Kaehny
Executive Director

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