January/February 1996, p.3
Publisher's Letter: A Big Day, A Big Year Ahead
I stood jammed in back of the City Hall press conference, jostled by shouting TV reporters. Then a hush and the Mayor appeared, flanked by Police Commissioner William Bratton and Transportation Commissioner Elliot Sander. He announced a serious move by the police to control and enforce traffic, and by the DOT to make intersections safer to pedestrians and begin "widespread traffic calming" in neighborhoods.
It was a dream come true for T.A., as our advocacy efforts like the Safe Streets Campaign and the Neighborhood Streets Network began to pay off. Commissioner Sander actually thanked T.A. for its help, and, to our delight, repeated his thanks a thousand times on 1010 WINS news radio.
All T.A. members should be proud. T.A.'s strength is an important reason that the Department of Transportation has a thriving pedestrian program and is turning the corner toward useful traffic calming and pro-cycling measures. But revolutionary bureaucratic change at the DOT does not mean that the Mayor and the City's car-bound power elite are now dreaming of Copenhagen-on-the-Hudson. On the contrary, the Mayor and his friends seem convinced that happy motoring equals a happy economy. They need to be reminded that it is not driving, but rather walking, transit, and cycling, that keep New York liveable and prosperous.
We have lots of work to do before we change the big picture, but we are persuading the City to take steps in the right direction. In 1996, we will work hard to push an impressive slate of bicycle and pedestrian projects through the bureaucracy and into reality. The City has spent a year planning, studying, and paper shuffling. Now it's time to build!
This year more than ever, we will turn to you, our members, to do what you can. It took a phenomenal outpouring of volunteer energy to push T.A.'s ambitious efforts through in 1995. More than 500 T.A. members pitched in their time on a huge range of projects: Transit Defense, Recycle-A-Bicycle, Bronx Committee, ped GIS computer crew, Century Ride, T.A. Touring Club, Auto-Free Central Park, City Bike Network scouting, Williamsburg Bridge lights, mailing parties, office help, Bike to Work Week, and many more. And thanks to all of you who gave us a special year-end gift. Thank you one and all! You are the heart of T.A.
P.S. If you would like to be part of any of the efforts listed above or start something new, give us a call.
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