T.A. StreetBeat
The Mayor's sustainability plan, the net DOT commissioner and lots of information about Bike Month in this issue of StreetBeat
A Great Moment for Cyclists
On Earth Day, Mayor Bloomberg released a Sustainability Plan that aims to significantly improve transportation for all New Yorkers.

Articles and Actions

Events and Alerts

T.A. in the News

Congestion Pricing: What New Yorkers Stand to Gain
Bus Riders will feel the benefits of congestion pricing
Congestion pricing is a boon to NYC's three million bus riders.
New Yorkers already pay a congestion charge; a tax levied by traffic that takes time, health and productivity away from everyone who lives, works and visits this great city.

The City's three million bus riders endure the slowest transit commutes in the nation. One in four children in central Harlem have asthma. Millions have a dismal quality of life caused by too much traffic on their neighborhood streets. And, everyone who drives for a living--from cabbies to plumbers--pays part of the $13 billion in lost productivity due to traffic congestion. On some level, we all know that heavy traffic is madness.

On Earth Day Mayor Bloomberg gave us a way out: a London-style congestion charge to fund a new generation of transit improvements while reducing carbon and congestion.

The day after the Mayor's Earth Day speech, a coalition of over 70 citywide environmental, labor, health, business and community groups, including T.A., said that the plan was as much the Mayor's as it was theirs and pledged to fight for it. All of the city's editorial boards lined up behind the plan and support is poised to grow as more people see the cost-benefit equation for what it is: a clear win for the city's supermajority of transit riders.

As expected, there were also reactionary naysayers and special interest kowtowers: the American Automobile Association and parking garage owners immediately derided the Mayor's plan. Representative Anthony Weiner, Queens Councilmember David Weprin, and a few other elected officials who should know better stood with them.

To fight the good fight, put the Mayor's green transportation plan over the top, and ensure a mode shift away from the automobile towards biking, walking and transit, we'll have to educate these elected officials and their constituents in the coming months. To accomplish this, Transportation Alternatives is mounting the biggest advocacy campaign in our 34 year history and we are going to need your help.

Take Action: Send an e-fax to Representative Anthony Weiner asking him, in light of the facts, to reconsider his opposition to the Mayor's plan.

The Plan's Pledge to Bikes
Bike Month Cyclists
The Mayor's plan gives cyclists more bike parking and more safe space to ride.
In his sustainability plan, PlaNYC, Mayor Bloomberg set the goals of reducing global warming emissions by 30% by 2030, achieving the cleanest air of any big city in the U.S. and improving travel times for all New Yorkers. As many of us already know, a bike is a sensible vehicle to reach these ends and thanks to your support and T.A.'s advocacy, now His Honor does too.

PlaNYC picks up where City Hall's September 2006 commitment left off. That was to build 40-miles of the bike network in 2007, 70-miles in 2008, 90-miles in 2009 and 40-miles of greenway by 2010. The new plan sets the target of completing another 160 miles of the bike network by 2015. After 2015, the Mayor's PlaNYC target is to complete 50-miles a year until the Master Plan is complete. However, PlaNYC does not give specifics on the quality and type of bike lanes and paths to be built. It is unknown if the annual miles of bike network to be completed will be greenway paths, protected on-street bike lanes, buffered bike lanes, standard lanes or signed bike routes.

The plan also commits to improving short-term bike parking at transit by building out the DOT/City Planning "Subway-Sidewalk Interface" project by 2019, which will make subway stations more bicycle (and pedestrian) accessible at the twenty-four locations. Many of these projects put on-street parking spaces to more efficient use, repurposing them as bigger sidewalks and more bike parking, relieving pedestrian crowding, the chronic shortage of outdoor bike parking and the benefiting super-majority of non-driving New Yorkers. PlaNYC also commits to installing 400 free CityRack bike racks a year "until every neighborhood has adequate bike parking."

Aside from the hard targets and timetables, the sustainability plan has encouraging words that speak to promoting more frequent bicycle use in NYC, "We will also pursue legislation to require that large commercial buildings make provisions for bicycle storage either on site or reasonably nearby." The lack of secure indoor bike parking is the number reason why New Yorkers who want to bike to work do not ride. The Mayor should move swiftly to give cyclists more access to secure bike parking so that cyclists are able to fully utilize all of the other great improvements promised in PlaNYC.

The Promise to Pedestrians
Willoughby Plaza
More Pedestrian Space: the Willoughby Plaza at Adams Street in Downtown Brooklyn
The Mayor's plan has plenty of room for pedestrians too. In the section on open space, His Honor established a plan to create a new public plaza in every community. The City plans to work with community boards and identify opportunities to transform underutilized street space into pedestrian plazas. Thirty-one are already underway and will be completed by 2009 with plans for making or revitalizing four new plazas each subsequent year until every community board has at least one.

One of the keys to success in this plaza project will be cooperation with local communities to re-imagine their public spaces as great destinations--places for neighbors to socialize, watch a performance or organize a local farmer's market. By prioritizing plazas in neighborhoods with the lowest ratio of open space to population, the City is demonstrating an understanding of the value of public plazas as a democratic use of open space that is vital to the social lives of all New Yorkers.

T.A. has worked for years with local community groups as they have fought for safer, more livable streets. For the past year as part of the NYC Streets Renaissance Campaign, T.A. staff has worked overtime with communities throughout the boroughs to develop plans for livable streets improvements. From the Grand Army Plaza Coalition in Brooklyn to the Clinton/Hells' Kitchen Pedestrian Safety Coalition in Manhattan, communities already have great ideas for reclaiming space. The city should listen to them.

How the New DOT Chief Can Add to the Plan
New DOT Commissioner Sadik-Khan
Commisioner Sadik-Khan brings a new generation of leadership to the DOT.
Mayor Bloomberg has chosen Jeanette Sadik-Khan to be the new Transportation Commissioner. Ms. Sadik-Khan comes to the job with an impressive resume and a demonstrated will to manage--not merely accommodate--traffic.

Commissioner Sadik-Khan has several other opportunities to create some short-term improvements that will enhance the longer-term initiatives outlined in the Mayor's green transportation plan. These easy wins include:

  • Car-Free Summers in the Parks
    What better way to signal a new era of green transportation than to return the loop drives of Central Park and Prospect Park to pedestrians and cyclists?
  • Parking Reform
    The Mayor does not need state legislature approval to reduce the 15 - 45% of all traffic that is simply searching for parking. In establishing smart policies to manage the increasing demand for street space, market rate meter pricing on commercial streets, resident paid parking permits and a crackdown on rampant placard parking abuse would all make congestion pricing easier to win.
  • Safe Streets
    A few years ago, the DOT significantly reduced pedestrian fatalities by fixing a handful of dangerous streets. As fatalities and injuries have crept back up, and as New Yorkers are aging, there is a great case for expanding this effort to fix a greater number of deadly streets, starting with the setting of ambitious targets and timelines to reduce pedestrian crashes.

The stage is set for reform and the time for change has arrived. Transportation Alternatives looks forward to working with Commissioner Sadik-Khan to enact the Mayor's sustainability agenda, improve street safety, manage parking, free our parks of cars and make the streets more inviting to the walkers, bus riders and bicyclists who use them most efficiently.

Bike Month Highlights for this Week
Friday May 4th - TONIGHT

BikeMonthNYC.org: Now online
For a full calendar of events see the newly redesigned and beautiful BikeMonthNYC.org.
Tai Chi at Twilight on Roosevelt Island
Enjoy the tranquility & energy of tai chi at Tram Plaza before taking the Tram to Roosevelt Island and a leisurely ride along the Promenade. We will stop at the Octagon (octagonnyc.com) with its signature flying staircase--for refreshments and an overview of new plans for the island: a ferry dock and Southpoint Park. RSVP to: sbermon@earthlink.net. The Tram accepts the MetroCard.

7:30 - 9:30 pm
Tram Plaza
2nd Ave. between 59th and 60th St.
Ride Leader: Sharon Bermon
Rain date: Friday, May 11th
Getting there: F, N, R, W, 4, 5, 6 to 59th St. and Lexington Ave.

Saturday, May 5th

Image courtesy brooklyngreenway.org.
The Future Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway Bike Tour

Meet at the foot of Manhattan Avenue, at Newtown Creek
Join us for a 10-mile ride at a family pace from Newtown Creek in Greenpoint to the spectacular waterfront in Red Hook. We'll make several stops along the way for restrooms, water, and a briefing on the status of the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway. Bring a helmet, extra water, a spare tube, lunch, sunscreen and a camera! Tour is free, but donations are welcome. Pre-registration is appreciated.

9:30 am - 12 pm
Brooklyn Greenway Initiative
Phone: 718-522-0193
Getting there: G to Greenpoint Avenue, 7 to Vernon Jackson Avenue

Green Queens: Estuary Wading & Cycling Adventure

Join Partnership for Parks to ride the proposed Queens East River Greenway, learn about local geology, and check out local environmental projects in action.

10 am - 1 pm
For more information or to register, call 212-676-1929.

Sunday, May 6th

Congrats to the Five Borough Bike Tour, celebrating its 30th anniversary and now officially full! If you're riding, stop by and visit T.A.'s table at the Staten Island finish line!

Wednesday, May 9th

Queens Borough President's Afterwork Snack

Queensboro Plaza, Queens side of the Queensboro Bridge walking and bicycling path Celebrate cycling in Queens with a free after-work snack courtesty of Queens Borough President, Helen Marshall. Brought to you by Transportation Alternatives and the Queens Borough President's Office

5 - 7 pm
Getting there: N,W,7 to Queensboro Plaza

Joy Ride: An Art Show Inspired by Bicycles
Joy Ride
Image courtesy of bicyclefilmfestival.com.
Fountainhead Films in association with the Bicycle Film Festival cordially invite you to attend JOY RIDE an art show inspired by bicycles. Paintings, photography, installations and video art on display.

May 17th - 21st
33 West 17th St. btw 5th and 6th Ave.
Open to public

And join us for a special screening of B.I.K.E. to benefit Transportation Alternatives Saturday, May 26th, 8 pm
33 West 17th St.

To reserve seats email: bike-films@fountainhead.com

Global Warming and Congestion Pricing
Nicky Gavron
London's Deputy Mayor Nicky Garvon.
Join The Drum Major Institute and The Partnership for New York City for a panel titled "What can New York City Learn from London about Combating Global Warming Through Congestion Pricing." It will feature Nicky Garvon, London's Deputy Mayor as well as Ed Ott from the Central Labor Council and Queens Councilmember Eric Gioia.

Friday, May 18th
8:30 - 10:30 am
Location to be determined
Admission is free
RSVP: dmi@drummajorinstitute.org

Tour de Brooklyn, Save the Date: Sunday June 3rd
Tour de Brooklyn
Don't forget, registration is now open for Transportation Alternatives' 3rd Annual Tour de Brooklyn at TourdeBrooklyn.org. Join us Sunday, June 3rd for what is fast becoming a beloved bicycling tradition!

The Tour De Brooklyn--an 18 mile free bike ride
through Brooklyn's beautiful neighborhoods.

Promote Bike Month NYC in your Neighborhood
bike month calendars
We need dozens of volunteers to bring Bike Month NYC calendars and posters to bike shops, gyms and other stores around the city. Come by our office, pick up materials, and drop them off in your spare time. A simple half-hour on your way home from work is a huge help! Email volunteer@transalt.org to set up a time to come by.

Spread the word about Bike Month NYC.

Help Out at Free Bike Lessons for Kids
T.A. Staffer provides Helmets to youth
Want to help the next generation of cyclists get rolling? Volunteer with T.A., Parks Department and Bike New York at a fun May "Teach Your Child to Ride a Bike" event. Events run from 10 am to 12 pm on May 12th, 19th, and 28th in Parks throughout all five boroughs. We need bike savvy volunteers to make sure kids' helmets are adjust properly, and volunteers to do light mechanical work (inflate tires, adjust seats, remove training wheel, tighten loose parts). For a full listing of event locations, click here. To sign up, email Rich Conroy at Bike New York, 212-932-2453 ex. 159 or richc@bikenewyork.org.

Help fit kids with helmets and other safety gear.

Jobs at T.A.
  • Transportation Alternatives seeks an organizer to coordinate campaigns to expand walking and bicycling friendly public space in the Upper West Side and Harlem. For details please see T. A. Employment Listings.

  • T.A. is looking for enthusiastic individuals to work as the 2007 NYC Bicycling Ambassadors. For more information, please see T. A. Employment Listings

T. A. In The News
Bloomberg Right to Call for Fee to Drive into Manhattan, Lower Hudson Online, 4/25

Congestion Tax Angers New York Commuters, Washington Times, 4/25

Queens Chamber of Commerce Continues Campaigns Against Congestion Pricing, StreetsBlog, 4/25

There Auto be (Another) Law!, New York Daily News, 4/24

Pedicab Smackdown: City Council Defies Bloomberg, Reins in 'Green Transport', Village Voice, 4/24

Bloomberg Announces $8 Congestion Fee, WCBS, 4/23

Rally for Mayor's Groundbreaking Green Transportation Plan, StreetsBlog, 4/23

DOT Plan for Grand Army Plaza, gothamist, 4/23

Groups Throw Support to Bloomblerg Plan, New York Times, 4/23

Trafficking in Solutions, Newsday, 4/22

Trafficking in Solutions, am New York, 4/22

The Trolleys Are Long Gone, But Auto Alternatives Making Inroads, Hartford Courant, 4/22

Mayor Mulls Fees to Drive in Manhattan, Staten Island Advance, 4/21

Bloom May Back NY Congestion Plan, WNBC.com, 4/21

Bloomberg Proposes $8 NYC Congestion Fee, Fox 5 News, 4/21

Mike Eyes Money Drive, New York Daily News, 4/20

$8 Fee Looms for Biz-District Cars, New York Post, 4/20

Bloomberg Wants to Charge Manhattan Motorists, WCBS, 4/20

Congestion Pricing, Bloomberg's Voldemort, gothamist, 4/20

Bloomberg Touts Congestion Pricing Plan, New York Business, 4/20

Bike Month NYC is Nearly Here!, PPOL News, 4/20

Pencil This In: Green Edition, gothamist, 4/20

Congestion Pricing: A Long, Winding Road, New York Times, 4/20

Sun 22, Earth Day, Time Out New York, 4/19

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