||May 10, 2012
On Monday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg took New Yorkers one step closer to the nation's largest bike share system -- announcing Citigroup as the sponsor for NYC Bike Share. Their $41 million sponsorship means
NYC Bike Share won't cost taxpayers a dime.
T.A. in the News
"An October 2011 Quinnipiac University poll found that 72% of New Yorkers support New York City's public bike share program, Transportation Alternatives -- an advocacy group for improved transportation programs -- said in a statement hailing the announcement of the corporate sponsors."
-- "Citigroup Sponsors New York's Bike Share Program" Crain's New York Business
A Sneak Peek at NYC's Newest Street Improvements
This winter, community boards from Brooklyn to Harlem heartily endorsed new bicycle lanes and pedestrian improvements. Vote after vote set a barometer for the buzz and, for months, T.A. members and volunteers have been chatting up their neighbors about bicycling and walking. From street corner petitioning, like the campaign for a bike lane on Brooklyn’s Lafayette Avenue, to widespread community endorsement, like the west and eastside Manhattanites who fought for lengthing the bike lanes and installing pedestrian islands on 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th avenues, the benefits of bicycling and walking have been the local tête-à-tête in neighborhoods across New York.
Now that’s fresh.
Now, New Yorkers are tapping their toes, waiting for the paint and asphalt to dry on New York City’s latest bike lanes and pedestrian improvements. Here’s the dish on where you will find newly safe bicycling and walking in the month of May:
When the paint and asphalt does dry on these new projects, everyone will be safer than before. By simply paving a separate space to ride, bicycle lanes better organize our streets. That little separation has proven to reduce speeding, crashes and pedestrian injuries by a big margin.
- In Brooklyn, pedestrian islands installed on Prospect Park West
- In Manhattan, the protected bicycle lane on First Avenue extended from 60th to 72nd Street and the installation of pedestrian islands
- In Brooklyn, a bike lane installed on Classon Avenue
- In Manhattan, the protected bike lane on 8th Avenue extended to Columbus Circle and the installation of pedestrian islands
- In Manhattan, cross-town bicycle lanes installed on 29th and 30th Street
- In Brooklyn, more space on Prospect Park's loop drive for walkers, drivers and bike riders
- In the Bronx, a bicycle lane installed on Louis Nine Boulevard
If you’re looking for some company to test out these new lanes, try T.A.’s brand-new New York City-sourced events calendar: BikeNYC.org. That's where you can get your new bicycle crew all lined up to try out New York City’s newest bike lanes.
T.A. at the TLC
Whether it is painted yellow or “apple green,” it’s cars-for-hire that often leave New Yorkers seeing red.
Explaining the science of traffic and the importance of enforcement at a morning roll call for TLC inspectors.
For-hire vehicles are regulated by the City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) and include a wide swath of New York City transportation: taxicabs, dollar vans, livery cabs and the outer-borough’s new hail-able Five Boro Taxis, too. These for-hire vehicles are ubiquitous, but their safety record is less than stellar:
Economics is the go-to excuse when discussing the hazardous behavior displayed by for-hire drivers: high gas prices and the pay-to-play relationship most for-hire drivers have with their vehicle make picking up fares their highest priority. And no one is more used to hearing those excuses than the squad of enforcement officers dedicated to policing for-hire vehicles in the five boroughs: Taxi and Limousine Commission’s inspectors.
- There are over 34,000 taxi and livery cabs in New York City, carrying close to 1 million passengers a day.
- Per million miles traveled in New York City, bicyclists and pedestrians are most likely to be killed or injured by a taxi or livery cab driver.
- Of all livery cab crashes that result in injury, one out of every six injures or kills a bicyclist or pedestrian. For taxicabs, that number jumps to one out of four.
On Monday, T.A. General Counsel Juan Martinez was at the head of the class at the TLC’s Woodside training center. He spoke to new inspectors, ensuring the class of officers knew the most common crash-causing violations. As with all drivers in New York City, speeding leads the list of the most dangerous violations.
"The same as police or firefighters, these ladies and gentlemen are on the front lines of public safety. Taxis are such a massive portion of city traffic that they end up setting the pace for everyone else," explained Martinez. "The more these inspectors vigorously enforce the law against cab drivers, the more traffic will become safer all over the city."
T.A. has a long history of helping New York City taxis toe the line. In fact, we’re responsible for the first-ever effort to make drivers and their fares aware of the danger taxi doors pose to bicyclists. At the tail end of Taxi TV, you can catch our contribution: the video declares to every passenger, “Watch for cyclists when you exit the cab.”
Are there other laws that for-hire vehicle drivers need to follow better or locations where the TLC should increase enforcement? Tell Juan Martinez what rules and regulations you want to him to expound on the next time T.A. teaches at the TLC.
A Safer Howard Avenue
Ronald Tillman was a nursing student at Wagner College. His family and friends knew him by the nickname “R.J.” He volunteered at a local hospital and often sat and talked with the older New Yorkers there. He was 29-years-old in February when he was struck by a driver while bicycling on Howard Avenue in Staten Island. The hit-and-run driver left him for dead. The NYPD has yet to find the driver.
A Ghost Bike for Ronald “R.J.” Tillman
was installed on Howard Avenue
Image courtesy David Gaul
Howard Avenue is a veritable country road in the middle of a city -- but that doesn’t stop city drivers from treating it like a racetrack. Deep rolling hills and blind curves dominate this significant stretch of Staten Island landscape, and the four heavily trafficked schools located along Howard Avenue, R.J. Tillman’s Wagner College included, face the brunt of its danger. Howard Avenue has few sidewalks, few stoplights, few cautionary signs and zero crosswalks; but now, it has a grassroots coalition demanding that all change.
After the horrible crash that killed R.J. Tillman, T.A.’s Staten Island Volunteer Committee joined forces with educators from Wagner College to calm traffic on the dangerous roadway. Calling themselves the Howard Avenue Traffic Safety Working Group, they’ve been reaching out to officials in the borough, asking for a safer street -- but across the island, officials seem unconcerned with calming traffic. DOT Borough Commissioner Tom Cocola assured the Working Group that Howard Avenue is on his list, but better lighting is his only solution. Borough President James Molinaro had a similar answer. “I’m on it,” was the impression he gave the Working Group, but talk is all he’s done. Council Member James Oddo didn’t even bother to respond. Despite frequent crashes, and the need belied by the numerous academic institutions along the roadway, no Staten Island official has done anything to stand up for a safer Howard Avenue.
To prove that a demanding constituency wants change for Howard Avenue, the Howard Avenue Traffic Safety Working Group created a petition to calm traffic on Howard Avenue. Add your voice to the mix and sign onto the petition here.
Extra! Extra! The newest issue of Reclaim magazine just hit T.A. members’ mailboxes. In the spring edition of the award-winning Reclaim magazine, learn what “multi-modal” can mean for New York City, hear how T.A. is planning our transportation future in an interview with T.A. Deputy Director Noah Budnick and get a sneak peek at bike share. But that’s not all! T.A.’s newest magazine is packed full of fashion-forward bicyclists, fun comics and an insider's look at how New York City gets around. Current T.A. members get Reclaim magazine delivered to their door, so they’re always in the know. Tired of being uninformed and not a T.A. member? You can join today!
Bike to Work with T.A.
Traveling by bicycling from your home to your office may be an everyday adventure or a never-have-I-ever, but next week is the ultimate day to see if your three-piece suit is fit for bicycling.
Bike to Work Day is the day when hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers hold on to their parking spaces and don't pay for the MTA. Enjoying New York City's idyllic rivers and bridges is a rite of this bicycling holiday. T.A. will be staffing every East River bridge, the Staten Island Ferry and a critical commuter path on the Upper West Side with iced coffee, Clif Bars and fresh fruit for breakfast.
When breakfast is provided by T.A., bicycling is quite a way to start your day.
Image courtesy Andrew Hinderaker
For one day only, a nifty set of T.A.-branded bike lights are our gift to all who join or renew their T.A. membership. Know someone who can use a little light in their life? Celebrate Bike to Work Day by bringing a friend or co-worker along for the ride!
If you’ve got a nice smile and believe bicyclists make for better conversation, consider volunteering on Bike to Work Day. You can spend the morning in the sun, chilling out with T.A.’s best and brightest. Volunteer today.
Bike to Work Day
Friday, May 18, 2012
7 - 10 am
Citywide Locations: Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, Queensboro / 59th Street Bridge, Staten Island Ferry and the Hudson River Greenway on the Upper West Side
RSVP for Bike to Work Day!
Tour de Brooklyn
The Tour de Brooklyn, 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. But that’s not all! The surprise addition to this year's tour: exclusive access to a heavily-guarded Brooklyn historical site. The big reveal won’t happen until the day of the ride, so you’ll have to register to find out where.
Sign up today to be notified when registration opens!
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
Saturday: Tour de Staten Island
From Staten Island’s critical role housing British forces in the Revolutionary War, to its potent efforts to secede from borough-dom in the last two decades, residents know their history is a hands-on affair. On the Tour de Staten Island, you can dive into that antiquity with two wheels. The 21.5-mile self-guided tour begins and ends at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark, home of the Staten Island Yankees. Take a break in Historic Richmond Town, a preserved colonial village in the center of Staten Island. Be sure to check out the Alice Austen House (home to America’s first major female photographer) and the 300-year-old Fort Wadsworth (home to those warring Brits). The South Beach Boardwalk and New York Bay make for impressive scenery along the route. After the ride, stay at the stadium for complimentary pizza while Staten Island's best high school ballplayers take the field.
Registration is limited for this historic tour: Reserve your spot on the Tour de Staten Island today.
Tour de Staten Island
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Richmond County Bank Ballpark
Local art, local food and bicyclists local to the five boroughs: that’s what's on the menu for New York City’s first-ever Slideluck Bikeshow. It’s an interactive art event, a celebration of bicycling, an exploration of one of Manhattan’s best backyards and an unforgettable dining experience. With their art show as slide show, and back-to-back performances by Heelz on Wheels and the Good To Go Girls, it’s an evening of non-stop entertainment. Grub will be sponsored by Taste of the Upper West Side and Harlem, with local restaurateurs like Billie’s Block Gourmet Soul, Miss Mamie’s Spoonbread, Bier International and the 5 and Diamond. All-you-can-drink beers provided by Brooklyn Brewery.
Leave your lock at home because free bicycle valet will be available. And don’t forget to smile! Slideluck Bikeshow comes with not one, but two free photo booths to document your night. A raffle with prizes like a bicycle from Specialized, or surprises from Brooklyn Brewery, Brooklyn Cruiser, Holsteer, Outlier, Peloton, Trimble Racing and We-Flashy, means you can win more than it costs to attend.
Tickets are going fast for this fun-for-all event. Get yours today!
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Hosteling International Flagship
891 Amsterdam Avenue
Sheepshead Bay Transit Rider Town Hall
In Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, there are New Yorkers who rely on buses to get from A to B. But even the most important buses in the neighborhood, like the B4, often don’t run up to snuff.
In Sheepshead Bay, locals who once subsisted on fishing, now rely on buses and subways that don’t always run on time.
Image courtesy Wally Gobetz
T.A.'s Transit Rider Town Halls are holding elected officials accountable for trains and buses across the five boroughs. We hook up transit riders and elected officials to ensure that public transit works for the public who rely on it. This time, we’re bringing a local news blog along for the conversation. Join T.A., Assembly Member Steven Cymbrowitz and local newshounds Sheepshead Bites for a Transit Rider Town Hall in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. If it’s your neighborhood, this is your chance to get heard about public transit in your community.
Sheepshead Bay Transit Rider Town Hall
Thursday, May 17, 2012
7 - 8 pm
Knights of Columbus Baron Dekalb
3000 Emmons Avenue
Walk the Battle for Greenwich Village
If anything is evident from the massive footprint Robert Moses left on New York City, it’s evidence of an ego that didn’t like to lose. From the hills of Inwood to the tolls of the Tri-Borough Bridge, Robert Moses was most often victorious; except when he wasn’t. Urban philosopher and activist Jane Jacobs had a hand in almost every campaign that successfully shut down Robert Moses’ plans. As part of the 2012 Jane Jacobs Walk series, take a tour of the sites where the two great minds battled.
Join Roberta Brandes Gratz, author of Battle For Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, for a tour of the few times our activist forbearers got the best of Mr. Moses. The tour will visit Washington Square Park, and the road that was never built through it; SoHo, and the Lower Manhattan Expressway that would have destroyed the neighborhood, along with nearby Chinatown and Little Italy; plus West Village Houses, and the planned “Urban Renewal” that would have demolished 14 city blocks.
Battle for Greenwich Village Walking Tour
Sunday, May 20, 2012
2 - 4:30 pm
Washington Square Arch
Bronx Helpers Victory Block Party
For two years, T.A. has been helping a group of young people in the Bronx fight for a safer intersection. After thousands of signatures in support of traffic calming for 172nd Street and Townsend Avenue in the Mount Eden neighborhood of the Bronx, they won!
The Bronx Helpers have grown up since they began their fight for a safer intersection.
Image courtesy Andrew Hinderaker
Join T.A. and the Bronx Helpers as we celebrate a little victory that’s going to make a Bronx neighborhood a whole lot safer. At this kid-friendly block party in the Bronx, we’ll play in the street and talk about how it only takes a little community organizing to make change in any New York City neighborhood. Come out for the party and get inspired about how you can change your block.
Bronx Helpers Victory Block Party
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
5:30 - 7 pm
Townsend Avenue between 171st and 172nd Street