||May 24, 2012
For National Bike to Work Day, T.A. served breakfast to some
of the 200,000+ New Yorkers on bicycles last Friday.
Image courtesy Caleb Ferguson
T.A. in the News
"In other words, pedestrians are safer from bicycles than they are from cars. Part of the reason for the public misconception is the “startle effect,” says Paul Steely White of Transportation Alternatives, which encourages cycling. Pedestrians have come to expect drivers to speed through red and yellow lights."
-- In City Journal
, a must-read on bicycles, cars, walkers and the NYPD in the urban landscape, 5/18.
Help Choose BikeNYC's Next Host
BikeNYC.org is powered by New York City bicyclists. To keep the content in top form, curators pick and choose the best events and discounts.
BikeNYC.org curators are notable bicyclists like Shelma Jun. Shelma comes to BikeNYC.org from an organization she helped found: People on Wheels (POW). If that sounds like an all-inclusive name, it's no mistake. POW is dedicated to correcting the dearth of diversity in the fight for better bicycling. By boosting people of color, women and delivery workers to the forefront, POW hopes to elevate the profile and amplify the voice of these often marginalized bicyclists.
“Our goal is not to speak for riders who are traditionally excluded from the conversation,” Shelma explains. “Instead our goal is to encourage all riders, regardless of age, race, gender or cycling ability, to let their voices be heard.”
For the month of May, BikeNYC.org has had a whole pack of curators: Velojoy blogger Susi Wensch, #BikeNYC Twitter hashtag creator Noel Hidalgo, bicycle messenger Tony Monroe, world champion racer Evelyn Stevens, T.A.’s own Executive Director Paul Steely White, and Charlie McCorkle, owner of Bicycle Habitat in Park Slope and SoHo, all tweeted tips and tricks for bicycling in New York City.
“BikeNYC.org is a great resource for New Yorkers to have one place where they can find out about what's happening for cycling in New York City,” said Shelma. “Because BikeNYC.org allows anyone to add their events to the calendar, you will be able to find events and groups that you did not know existed and that is really exciting.”
Who’s curating BikeNYC.org in June? It’s up to you! Let T.A. know whose tricks and tips about bicycling in New York City you want to hear.
Midtown's New Way to Walk
While office buildings tower over Midtown Manhattan airspace, at street level, it’s walkers who dominate. Streets, sidewalks, bike lanes and crosswalks in Midtown Manhattan are packed with people -- working New Yorkers, a fair share of out-of-towners and every other coffee-carrying, texting-while-walking bipedal persona. There are so many people walking there, even the pedestrian plazas are packed.
In Fort Greene, Brooklyn, a new pedestrian
plaza follows Times Square’s example,
creating a neighborhood space for respite.
Image courtesy Nicole Rosenthal
Now, all that gridlocked ground-space is scheduled to get a reprieve. Midtown Manhattan’s Community Board 5 just lent their hearty endorsement to two exciting projects that will help streets in the neighborhood work better for the supermajority of walking New Yorkers. T.A. expects these Midtown models will inspire new ways to walk citywide:
Truly a product of the people, this shortcut long-known by Midtown walkers is about to become official. A series of midblock arcades, plazas and other privately-owned public spaces between 6th and 7th Avenue connect block after block, from 51st to 57th Street. Community Board 5 voted to make the midblock crossings an official “avenue.” Soon, stop sign-regulated midblock crosswalks will paint a path between the 11 privately-owned public spaces, creating a virtual street for “walkers-only,” allowing walkers more midtown space. Learn more about Sixth-and-a-Half Avenue and the spaces that make it up in the latest issue of Reclaim magazine.
Times Square, Forever
When T.A.’s idea to transform Times Square became a reality in 2009, the biggest tabloid complaint was about the lawn chairs that allowed for lounging in the suddenly car-free street. Those plastic seats were just a place holder while officials waited to see if the pilot project would succeed; and succeed it did! Times Square’s pedestrian plaza is packed day and night. Now, Community Board 5 has approved a new, permanent design to stretch the pedestrian pavement all the way across Broadway in Times Square. Benches, and everything else that makes a plaza, will be included in the $40 million redesign.
“As we reimagine New York City streets, safe walking must come first. Every trip between A and B begins and ends with a walk,” T.A.’s Pedestrian Advocacy Manager, Jennifer Godzeno, explains. “According to our research, more cars hit walkers in Community Board 5 than anywhere in the city, by far. When we make changes to streets in Midtown, we don’t just change that statistic, we're setting the stage for what's possible in other neighborhoods.”
T.A. has introduced radical new ways to walk the streets of Midtown Manhattan. But that isn’t the only place. Across New York, T.A. is an authority for community boards seeking a new vision for local streets. Could streets in your neighborhood be doing more than parking cars? Tell T.A.’s Jennifer Godzeno your vision, and T.A. will help make it an on-street reality.
Word on the Street: Every Way in East Harlem
“The new way is every way;” that’s the mantra of the newest issue of Reclaim magazine. Last weekend, that mantra went live on the streets of East Harlem.
From Reclaim magazine to T.A. campaigning in Harlem, New Yorkers’ new way is every way.
Here’s the gist: More than ever before, New Yorkers have a choice in how they get around. There’s all the new forms of transit, like the 5-Boro Taxi, the East River Ferry and Citi Bike, the coming public bike share program. They’ve fit in great with our old standards: yellow cabs, livery cabs, bicycles, buses, subways and feet. The new way to get around isn’t prescriptive. For New Yorkers, transportation is more flexible than ever before.
At T.A., our advocacy staff is just as nimble. Last weekend, on the streets of East Harlem, Bicycle Ambassadors and Transit Rider Rebels -- street teams that talk to New Yorkers about safe bicycling and more affordable public transit, respectively -- were out in tandem.
The occasion was the Union Settlement Association’s 20th Annual Ethnic Festival, but for T.A.’s street teams, any gathering of boisterous New Yorkers is a reason to break out the clipboards. Campaigning for better bicycling and campaigning for affordable public transit, T.A. advocates are watching New York City’s expanding transportation choices and following suit.
On East 104th Street, Bicycle Ambassadors and Transit Rider Rebels alike talked to local residents about how our streets, sidewalks, buses and subways can better serve us all. Here’s what those folks had to say about how they get from A to B in their neighborhood:
“I’m a plumber. For work, I drive and take the bus, too. On weekends, I bike to Central Park and go over the bridge to Randall's Island. It’s a beautiful ride, and great exercise!”
-- Rafael Gonzales, age 55
“As a family, we mostly walk and take the subway. When we get a bike seat for our nine month old, we’ll use bicycles again.”
-- Stella Padnos-Shea, age 38
“Overall, I take the bike almost everywhere, but when I’m going to Brooklyn, I take the train. I walk when I’m with a group of friends. The Queensboro Bridge is how I bike to school. Around the neighborhood, I use everything; I’m on foot, bicycle, my skateboard!”
-- Eric Nava-Perez, age 21
“We walk to school sometimes. We took the subway to Bowling Green and the ferry to Staten Island! There are good pretzels there. Our aunts bicycle in Harlem and the Bronx, and our uncle bikes for work.”
-- Christian, age 9 and Jose, age 6
However many ways you get from A to B, T.A. is your resource. We're fighting for safer streets, more affordable transit and a more equitable transportation network; a better way for every new way.
Rising property values mean Brooklyn can be a pricey place to live. Seeing the borough’s sights doesn’t have to be. T.A. members ride the Tour de Brooklyn, our 20-mile scenic cycle through the borough, for half price. Ride from brownstones to Brighton Beach and everywhere in between on June 3rd. This tour sells out every time, so T.A. members should register today. Not a T.A. member but desperate for this deep discount? Become a T.A. member when you register for the Tour de Brooklyn, and you’ll save a whopping $20 off the membership and tour package. Join today and save.
Tour de Brooklyn
Every year, the Tour de Brooklyn sells out faster than any other T.A. bicycle tour. Now, we’ve made it even better.
T.A.'s 20-mile tour of diverse Brooklyn neighborhoods has undergone a radical redesign for its eighth year. Now, with two waves of riders and a Bike Bonanza for the youngest set, the Tour de Brooklyn has an option for everyone. Here's how it'll work: advanced and intermediate riders will depart in Wave One, bicycling at their own pace. Wave Two departs second, so novice riders and children can enjoy an NYPD-escorted parade through Brooklyn. The Bike Bonanza is a festival on two wheels, with Bike New York teaching kids to ride, Recycle-A-Bicycle on hand to swap children's bicycles and the New York City Department of Transportation offering free helmets to youth.
It's almost sold out: Register today!
Tour De Brooklyn
Sunday, June 3, 2012
8 am for Wave One riders
9 am for Wave Two riders
Commodore Barry Park
Flushing Avenue and Navy Street
Coming Soon: Tour de Queens
The Lemon Ice King of Corona may limit his reign to the neighborhood, but his ices are so good, he could easily lord over neighboring boroughs. The benign but tart ruler is just one of the “bests” that are a guaranteed part of the Tour de Queens. The Little Bay Park Rest Stop has Queens' best view of the waterfront. And Flushing Meadows-Corona Park isn't only Queens' biggest, it's the best place to see where Men in Black was shot before the sequel hits theaters. See the best of the borough on the quiet, green 20-mile Tour de Queens.
See all the epic relics of Flushing Meadows-
Corona Park on the Tour de Queens.
Image courtesy Daniel S. Burnstein
On Sunday, July 8th, thousands of New Yorkers will ride the best of Queens. Join them: Registration for the Tour de Queens begins on June 5th. Stay tuned to the StreetBeat to find out how.
NYC Century Bike Tour
T.A.’s premier bike tour -- the NYC Century Bike Tour -- will take you through four boroughs, 16 parks and seven scenic rests stops. Whether you choose to ride 15, 35, 55, 75 or 100 miles, you’ll see skyline vistas, grand avenues and neighborhoods streets, protected bike lanes and stretching bridges. Our rest stops are stocked with high-energy snacks to keep you pedaling.
The NYC Century Bike Tour hits the streets in September, but now’s the time to decide to ride. Register today and you’ll save $25 off the cost of the ride.
NYC Century Bike Tour
Sunday, September 9, 2012
Central Park, Manhattan or Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Bike Fetish Day
Bike fetishists are into exhibitionism and metallurgy. Bike Fetish Day is their annual holiday. But whether bikes are your only desire or your only way to get to work, you’ll be at home at Bike Fetish Day. It’s the place to meet other people who really like bicycles. Everyone from Transportation Alternatives to BMX tricksters will be in attendance.
Historic bike fetishists in their natural habitat, at the fourth annual Bike Fetish Day -- now in its eight year.
Image courtesy Andrew Morton
Part street fair and part bike show, at Bike Fetish Day you can ogle all sorts of interesting bicycles. You can even enter yours to compete. Prizes and utmost honors will be awarded throughout the day, for the best vintage bike, mutant bike, commuter bike, handmade bike, small wheel bike, ugly bike and best in show. Are your wheels worthy of a prize?
Bike Fetish Day
Saturday, May 26, 2012
12 - 6 pm
Havemeyer Street between Grand and Metropolitan Avenue
Free to Attend
Walking and the Life of the City
Learning to walk is for babies. Walking everywhere is for New Yorkers. It’s so ingrained in our urban culture, it’s the subject of elaborate theatrical jokes, self-realization projects and great cinema, yet we rarely talk about what it really means.
There’s nothing pedestrian about walking in NYC: At “Jane's Walk” in early May, New Yorkers learned about some of Manhattan’s best public spaces.
Join T.A.’s friends at the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University for a dissection of the research on the distinctive role walking plays in city life. Explore the future of walking in cities and the current socio-economic and psychological factors of walking here. Tom Vanderbilt, author of Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do, will keynote.
Symposium on Walking and the Life of the City
June 7, 2012
8:30 am - 1pm
The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street
Play Streets Outreach Ambassadors
Waited too long to snag that summer job? You’re in luck. T.A. is hiring a crew of Play Streets Outreach Ambassadors to help transform public streets into places to play.
Help T.A. transform streets into public spaces.
Image courtesy Emmanuel Fuentebella
We’re seeking outgoing, gregarious New Yorkers to help create Play Streets in the New York City neighborhoods with the least public space. Play Streets Outreach Ambassadors will do community outreach and recruit new participants for the Play Streets program. Apply today and you can help change a New York City street into a space for neighbors, barbeques, bouncy castles, football, foursquare and every other imaginable way to play.