Volunteer of the Month:
Andrew Hay McConnell
feel much younger.
Occupation: Treatment Coordinator, for people with developmental
Neighborhood: Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.
T.A. Member Since: On and off for four years, but this time it's
What got you started? I've been cycling, since I was "dragged
up" in London, England. I started in pre-puberty, when I was delivering
newspapers. The USA beckoned to me when I thought I heard George Bush talking
about "a thousand pints of lite." After coming to New York, I
decided to risk cycling again, and heard about T.A. around 1991 via a friend
living on the Lower East Side. I had been a member of a British version of T.A.,
called Cycle Bag.
Cycle Bag!? Yes, Cycle Bag. It's a great organization. We cleared miles
of disused railway line and rebuilt it as a car-free cycling and jogging lane.
Currently, they are developing the 8,000-mile National Cycle Network.
Volunteering endeavors? Since re-joining T.A., I've taken part in
mailings, phone campaigns for a Car-Free Prospect Park, and tabling at public
events. I also represent T.A. on the Brooklyn Downtown Traffic Calming
What would Austin Powers say about a Car-Free Prospect Park? "Groovy,
Baby! Particularly if it means more 'Prospect' of lotsa shagging!! Oh
Close Encounters: During a tabling at Grand Army, I talked to one
elderly, rather eccentric gentleman, dressed in a suit and a grubby Parks
Department baseball hat. He kept mumbling about a car-free park not being
nirvana. I thought he was probably a Buddhist who knew what he was talking
about, until he identified himself as the Parks Commish, Henry J. Stern!
What did you do in England before immigrating? Jumping out of planes 28
times, the same number Jimi Hendrix made in the US Airborne! Also, I was
patrolling stupid oil installations in Libya, in the early 1960's B.K. (Before
London vs. NYC: I commute to work, but when I'm hyperventilating and
breathing in noxious fumes, I feel sick. I now wear a GreenMask, which
although uncomfortable, helps me breathe more easily. Cycling here compares
favorably with London. Drivers speed more there, and will not honk to let you
know they are coming. I am biased since I still have two long metal pins in my
tibia, obtained after a nasty hit-and-run in the UK. I was hit, and he ran!
But thanks to a top orthopedic surgeon, I did not lose the full use of my
right leg below the knee. In any case, cycling in both cities demands maximum
We want you to: Join the Brooklyn Committee! We are an enthusiastic bunch
who want to improve conditions in our neighborhoods for all peds, cyclists,
and skaters and take back the streets from an out-of-control car-centric
culture. We also want to have fun, while using our collective 21st century
imaginations to improve the quality of life.