Dispatches from the Front

Transportation Alternatives’ Activist Committees host monthly meetings and social outings, and support vibrant online communities. They also make fighting for local street improvements a lot of fun.

Members of T.A.’s 5th and 6th Forward campaign are making the rounds to business improvement districts and block associations to get the lay of the land and build support for safer streets. The campaign has also collected over 2,500 letters of support from individuals to date. Next, they’ll be working to build support for a safer entrance to the Queensboro Bridge and winning repairs to the East River Greenway.

when: To be determined
Go to TransAlt.org/Events

where: Transportation Alternatives
127 West 26th St, Suite 1002

contact: Steve Vaccaro, Chair,
vaccaro500 [at] gmail.com

After a record rise in membership last year, T.A.’s Staten Island Committee has already hit the ground running in 2013. They scored a great media mention in a news story about the “Slow Down, Save Lives” signs popping up all over the borough, and they’ve completed a study showing that a stop light they won last year has made a stretch of Howard Avenue near Wagner College safer for pedestrians and cyclists. The committee also has a new events/social team, so stay tuned for all sorts of awesome activities.

when: Third Thursday of every month,
6:30 – 8 pm

where: Everything Goes Book Cafe
208 Bay Street (St. George)

contact: Meredith Sladek,

Even the winter’s chill can’t stop the T.A. Brooklyn Committee. They’ve continued their monthly social rides by touring iconic movie sites in the borough, and hosted a Tour de Schools that showcased the Brooklyn high schools that celebrities attended before they were famous. When the weather managed to slow their outdoor adventures, they headed to local community board meetings, helping secure votes in favor of two new permanent pedestrian spaces, one at Fowler Square and the other at Putnam Plaza. The committee has also latched onto the newest element in DOT’s toolkit: bike corrals. Members paved the way for on-street bike parking at the Court and Pacific Street intersection in Cobble Hill and on Franklin Avenue in Crown Heights. And with Citi Bike on the horizon, the committee has partnered with Brooklyn Skillshare to develop a mini-training course for new cyclists to learn Biking Rules, bike maintenance and how to plan a safe bike route. Classes will start at the end of March.

when: Last Thursday of every month,
7 - 8:30 pm

where: Brooklyn YWCA
30 Third Avenue,
First Floor Meeting Room

contact: Dave ‘Paco’ Abraham, Chair,
dave.paco.abraham [at] gmail.com

  The Bronx
On Friday, January 11, T.A. Bronx Committee members joined City officials at the groundbreaking ceremony for the High Bridge Restoration Project. The Committee has worked for more than 18 years in support of the restoration of the High Bridge and will continue to advocate for better connections between the park and the Bronx Greenway network. When opened (scheduled for 2014), this will provide a beautiful, safe, car-free bicycle and pedestrian crossing between the Bronx and Manhattan.

when: Second Wednesday of every month
6:30 – 8 pm

where: Bronx Museum of Art
1040 Grand Concourse

contact: Jill Guidera

The Queens Activist Committee has been busy. Members presented a plan for traffic calming around Greenpoint and Borden avenues to Community Board 2. They also secured a matching grant for a feasibility study of the Queensway, an elevated pedestrian and bicycle pathway connecting Rego Park, Forest Hills, Richmond Hill and Ozone Park. But it wasn’t all business: the members also held a complete-streets-oriented scavenger hunt and continued to host their popular monthly rides.

when: Second Tuesday of every month,
6:30 – 8 pm

where: Queens Pride House
76-11 37th Ave (Jackson Heights)

contact: Jessame Hannus, Chair,
belleoflonglake [at] gmail.com