January/February 1998, p.14

Volunteers of the Month

Mike Cairl

Occupation: Foreign Contracts Manager, EDO Corporation
Neighborhood: Park Slope
T.A. Member Since: 1993
Volunteer Project: Bridge Access! Working for new bike/pedestrian access to Brooklyn Bridge, improved and safer bike access to other bridges in Brooklyn.
Philosophy: Improvements in the quality of life, whether bicycle and pedestrian improvements or anything else, won't be handed to the community -- we have to work hard for them and sometimes butt our heads against brick walls. But safe non-motorized transport, the quality of life improvements, and Brooklyn are all worth the work and the bruises.
Hours per week: 4-8 and increasing.
Upcoming Events: A plan for changing Brooklyn Bridge access in Manhattan is well advanced and will result in much improved bike/pedestrian safety. On the Brooklyn side, the city has a plan for adding bike lanes to Adams Street leading to the Bridge, but the current unsafe conditions for bikes and pedestrians at the Tillary Street intersection at the entrance to the bridge are completely unaddressed. There are alternate plans which will result in new, safe access to the bridge. For details on this project, other access improvements which are needed in Brooklyn (especially in Williamsburg/Greenpoint), and what you can do to help - because help is needed - feel free to contact me at directly at macairl@earthlink.net or macairl@aol.com.
And of course, don't miss the next Brooklyn Committee meeting!

Ken Coughlin

Occupation: Editor
Neighborhood: Upper West Side
T.A. Member Since: 1991
Why Joined: Initially, to get the cars out of Central Park. But my membership has given me a growing appreciation of the many ways cars detract from the city's quality of life, and how much better New York life would be if alternatives were more feasible.
Volunteer activity: I contribute the occasional article to the magazine, I've started doing the "Auto-Free World" column (love that travel budget!), I edit or proofread at deadline time, and I help out at mailing parties and on volunteer nights when I can. I'm also a member of Ken Zirkel's roving band of pedaling paparazzi.
Philosophy: Coming to T.A.'s office is a welcome change from the semi-arid corporate environment where I spend most of my working hours. There's a great sense of community and a collaborative spirit that results from bright, vibrant people working together for a cause they believe in. Also, the level of humor is quite high, and the T.A. staff really makes you feel appreciated.
Hours: Probably 10 or so hours at magazine time, and a couple hours for volunteer nights. The funny thing is, it doesn't feel like work. T.A. has become one of my hobbies.
Upcoming Projects: I have some article ideas for future issues of the magazine, including "The Top 10 Least-Enforced Traffic Laws in the City" (ideas welcomed). I'm also on a campaign to get the Parks Commissioner, Mayor Giuliani, and the DOT Commissioner more involved in T.A. I don't think they've been pulling their weight.