March/April 1998, p.16

Volunteers of the Month

Patsy Whittingham

Occupation: Guidance Counselor at Junior High 120 in the Melrose section of the Bronx
Neighborhood: Parkchester
T.A. Member Since: 1992
Volunteer Project: Over the past six years, I've worked on various projects for T.A., ranging from leafleting to managing a table for the NYC century Bronx rest stop and, now, establishing a Recycle-a-Bike program at M.S. 120. The RAB program has taken a year to get off the ground and is now really coming together. I supervise two teachers and several volunteers to keep the RAB workshop open after school on Mondays and Wednesdays. Much of the time I have devoted to T.A. is due to the gentle yet effective prodding of Rich Gans, the powerhouse behind the Bronx committee.
Philosophy: Biking is the greatest way to get around. I especially love riding around the bike paths in the Bronx and Manhattan and not being hassled by traffic. The best part is that, when I ride, I not only feel great but I also may eat as much as I like.
Hours per week: Because we are getting RAB started, I am devoting 10-20 hours a week.
Upcoming projects: After the first year of teaching kids how to build and maintain their bikes, we will teach the kids and their families how to ride safely in the city. Our long term plan is to have organized rides with the students and teach mapping skills as they explore the Bronx Greenway.

Martha Rowen

Occupation: I teach Classical Greek at NYU School of Continuing Education and also work in my husband's computer consulting company.
Neighborhood: Brooklyn Heights
T.A. Member Since: January 1996
Volunteer Activity: I work mainly for the Brooklyn Committee, focusing especially on getting Prospect Park closed to traffic. The Committee's initiative to close Prospect Park to traffic has a very good chance of being successful. The more volunteers we have, the better our chances. I am also involved in efforts to improve access to the Brooklyn Bridge on the Brooklyn side and to make that intersection at Tillary and Adams Street (one of the most dangerous in the City) safer for cyclists and pedestrians. We need as many volunteers as possible. The next meeting of the Brooklyn Committee is March 9 at 6:30 p.m. at 464 East 19th Street in Brooklyn.
Philosophy: I would love to see New York become a city far more friendly to pedestrians, cyclists, skaters and all modes of gentle transportation, not only for the sake of the environment and public safety, but also to enhance the wonderfully open human interaction that already makes New York such a great city.
Hours per week: I imagine it ranges from 2 or 3 hours a week to considerably more. It's so much fun, who's counting?
Upcoming Events: Borough President Golden is planning a public meeting in mid-March on the issue of closing Prospect Park to traffic.