T.A. and Community Groups Sponsor Neighborhood Walking Tours
May 7, 2012
Michael Murphy 646-873-6008
On Saturday and Sunday, Transportation Alternatives partnered with community groups across the city in hosting local Jane Jacobs Walks. These events reflect on the legacy of the late great urbanist Jane Jacobs and shine a spotlight on New York City's local growth in safe street designs.
"Jane Walks do more than just honor the legacy of the inimitable Jane Jacobs, they highlight the success of safe street advocates," said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. "From New Dorp to the Harlem River Greenway, locally-won safety improvements are helping more New Yorkers than ever walk, bike and take transit. The community support for these positive changes is evident in this weekend's turnout."
This year's walks gave New Yorkers the chance to explore the potential of walkable neighborhoods in New Dorp (Staten Island), the reclamation of Grand Army Plaza (Brooklyn) for walking and the importance of providing safe access to Harlem's waterfront greenspaces.
"Our walk allowed New Yorkers to experience how the DOT's proposed crosswalks will link the six-block chain of Privately Owned Public Spaces," said David Grider of Friends of Privately Owned Public Spaces. "These spots, nestled between Midtown's skyscrapers will provide New Yorkers and tourists alike with an oasis of open space in this bustling neighborhood."
"Saturday's Jane Walk was an opportunity to celebrate the transformation of our neighborhood and commit to making our streets even safer," said Georgia Southworth, a member of the Jackson Heights Green Alliance (Queens). "It's the dedication of neighbors and the hard work of the community that ensures that these pedestrian-friendly improvements are carried out."
Jane Walks are free tours to explore New York City's neighborhoods. Hosted by local residents and those who care about their neighborhood and city, Jane Walks was created by the Center for the Living City in 2007, a year after Jane Jacobs' death.
"These walks not only champion the achievements of neighborhood advocates in making their streets safer, they are a reminder that more remains to be done," added White. "Mayor Bloomberg laid out an ambitious safety agenda in his State of the City address this past January. From more pedestrian islands to an increase in the number of safe-zones for schools and the addition of traffic enforcement agents at dangerous intersections, 2012 looks to be a banner year for carrying on the legacy of Jane Jacobs' love of vibrant streets."
One-third of Transportation Alternatives advocacy is dedicated to making New York City a better place for walkers. With pedestrian plazas and Play Streets creating spaces for neighbors to meet and better street design allowing more New Yorkers to safely walk neighborhood streets, much of T.A.'s advocacy is inspired by Jane Jacobs, the author of Death and Life of Great American Cities.
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