Transportation Alternatives Launches New Bronx Committee

Transportation Alternatives (T.A.) announced the formation of a committee to focus on Bronx bicycling issues. At the inaugural meeting, held in the Norwood section of the Bronx, interested Bronx residents agreed on a general goal of improving bicycling conditions in the Bronx. T.A. believes that increasing the use of bicycles for transportation and recreation improves the quality of life for the entire community.

Harold Alexis of Concourse Village said, "It was great to meet with other Bronxites who want to improve bicycling in the borough. The Bronx Commitee is an idea whose time has come."

Rick Pantaleoni, Project Manager for Borough President Fernando Ferrer, presented the Bronx Greenway plan to the Committee. The Greenway will provide a network of bike paths and lanes throughout the parks and streets of the Bronx. The network will connect Bronx neighborhoods and parks to each other as well as to the contiguous areas of Manhattan, Westchester and Queens.

The first piece of the Greenway to be built will be a portion of a bikeway along the Bronx River. This land acquisition, design and construction project will complete links from East Tremont to Westchester Avenues and from Lafayette Avenue to Soundview Park.

The borough also plans to use Federal transportation funds for a study to redesign the Grand Concourse. The goal is to "traffic-calm" the Concourse, turning it from the current pedestrian danger zone into a pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly boulevard.

Cindy Arlinsky, T.A.'s bicycle program director, reported on a project to provide bicycle access on the Bronx-Whitestone bridge by placing bicycle racks on buses, a program coordinated by the NYC Department of Transportation.

T.A.'s Bronx Committee will reach out to Bronx cyclists through bicycle shops, street fairs and civic events. Committee members will monitor conditions on Bronx bike paths, bridges and streets, and take follow-up action. The Committee will contact community boards so that bicyclists' needs are taken into account when planning and construction decisions are made.

The Committee will work with T.A., D.O.T., and Borough President Ferrer's office to promote the citywide Bike-to-Work Week this May 16 - 20. Bronx employers will be encouraged to provide parking and wash-up facilities for workers who want to take advantage of bicycling's benefits.

The Committee will meet the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 7:00PM. Meetings will be held at the Mosholu-Montefiore Community Center, located at 3450 Dekalb Ave. and E. Gun Hill Road, one block east of Jerome Avenue. For further information, contact Rich Gans at 718-653-2203 or Cindy Arlinsky at 212-475-4600.