9th Avenue Guerilla Traffic Calming
Tuesday Night Special! Come hear Jan Gehl--the world's foremost designer of green streets--on his vision for NYC. Visit nycstreets.org/uws for more information and to RSVP.

Articles and Actions

Events and Alerts

T.A. in the News

Chelsea Residents Call for More Neighborhood Traffic Calming
Residents at a congestion pricing hearing in Astoria
Reclaimed street space along 9th Avenue offered room to mourn Prince Harris Jr.
On October 22nd, T.A. joined Chekpeds, the Fulton Tenants Association and scores of area residents to honor eight-year old Prince "Kumo" Harris Jr.

Prince was fatally hit by a speeding driver in front of his home at 9th Avenue and 17th street on October 5th. The event brought Chelsea neighbors together and made it clear that the community wants traffic calming improvements on all of their streets.

Frustrated local activists organized guerilla street improvements to make this point abundantly obvious. They painted white double-striped lines that showed how the street corners could be extended to make crossing easier and slow down turning traffic. Inside the lines they placed large flower-filled planters to beautify the space and add protection for pedestrians. Prince's memorial, attended by dozens of community residents, was held in the street space reclaimed by these activists. It was an incredibly moving event as family and friends shared stories, songs and poems about the young boy.

Prince's death marks the fourth pedestrian fatality along 9th Avenue this year. Residents are fed-up with dangerous speeding traffic. The City has stepped up injury prevention efforts elsewhere with the Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Plan and recent efforts to prosecute drivers that kill bicyclists and pedestrians. Ninth Avenue and other dangerous areas deserve the same attention. To win safe streets, T.A. is convincing the City to build more traffic calming measures, and in working with the relatives of victims to increase the prosecution rate for negligent drivers.

Two Cyclists Are Dead, Questions Remain
Indoor Bicycle Parking
A somber scene from the Saturday evening memorial ride organized in honor of Craig Murphey. Photo courtesy Elizabeth Weinberg.
New Yorkers ought to be saddened and outraged by the senseless deaths of two cyclists on October 18th. Separated by only a few hours and a couple of miles, these tragedies sent shockwaves throughout the cycling community.

The first fatal crash took place at Union Avenue and Ten Eyck Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The victim, 26 year old Craig Murphey, was hit and killed by an oil truck driver while on his way home from dropping off a friend. The second crash occurred at Fulton Street and Utica Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. The victim, whose name is being withheld by the police, was 25 years old. These crashes are a horrifying reminder of the failure of both our streets and our legal system to protect vulnerable road users.

In one instance, a driver was charged with criminally negligent homicide; in the other, no charges were filed. While it is encouraging that the driver, who sped through a red light and struck the cyclist in Bed-Stuy will face prosecution, it is appalling that the driver who killed Mr. Murphey has not been charged despite competing accounts of what exactly happened on Union Avenue that morning.

According to T.A.'s analysis of the City's bike crash report (PDF), in fatal crashes (when the cyclist wasn't alive to tell their side of the story) bicyclist factors contributed to 42% of crashes and driver factors contributed to 20%. However, in serious injury crashes (when the cyclist is alive to tell what happened) bicyclist factors contributed to only 13% and drivers contributed to 35%. When the cyclist is alive to give their account, the police report is far more likely to acknowledge driver error. When the cyclist is dead, the "windshield perspective" of police officers and those involved in the fatal crash see the cyclist as culpable.

As NYC ushers in an era with more cyclists and more support for cycling, the NYPD must thoroughly and consistently investigate all fatal crashes. To make cyclists feel safe and keep them riding, the City needs tougher prosecution to hold killer drivers accountable and a reporting protocol that actively avoids a "blame the cyclist" bent.

Take Action:

Let Mayor Bloomberg know that the deaths of cyclists are not acceptable. Ask that he continue to work tirelessly to ensure that all modes of transport are valued equally and that killer drivers are held to the fullest extent of the law.

Boosters and Critics Weigh In on Pricing: Speak Out!
Congestion Pricing Hearing
New Yorkers have been showing their support for better transit through congestion pricing at hearings in their neighborhoods. If you live in Brooklyn or Staten island, it's your turn! Photo courtesy Clark Jones
The first three public hearings on "congestion mitigation" have drawn crowds largely supportive of pricing: elected officials, neighborhood groups and citizens putting forth ideas for potential boundaries, different charging schemes and proposed transit improvements to draw New Yorkers out of their cars. T.A. has turned out scores of members and supporters to events in Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx, with many others submitting testimony.

There are two hearings left, and it's up to Brooklynites and Staten Islanders to send a clear message for better transit and traffic relief.

Take Action:

Sign up to speak and attend one of these final hearings*.

Thursday, November 1st, 6 pm
NYC Tech, Klitgord Auditorium
285 Jay Street
2/3/4/5/M/R Train to Borough Hall

Let the commission know that Brooklyn needs the 99 new buses coming with congestion pricing! Tell them you are fed up with traffic-choked neighborhoods and need more buses on the streets.

Staten Island:
Monday, November 5th, 6 pm
College of Staten Island -- Williamson Theater Center for the Arts
2200 Victory Boulevard

Let the commission know that Staten Island needs the 33 new express buses coming with congestion pricing, and that you support using congestion pricing to reactivate the North Shore Railway.

*All speakers MUST submit testimony in advance. Fill out this form and submit by email.

And the Pokey Goes to...
2007 Pokey Award
The Pokey Awards arrive on time as usual, unlike the buses they honor.
The Straphangers Campaign and Transportation Alternatives honored New York City's slowest and least reliable buses with their sixth-annual Pokey Awards and first ever Schleppie Awards. The M23, with an average speed of 4 mph (a wee-bit faster than walking) was the winner of the Pokey. The Schleppies, given to the bus that is least reliable and most plagued by bunching and gaps in service, went to the M1 which is off-schedule or bunched one third of the time.

To see the press release and a list of losers by borough, go here.

The Pokies and the Schleppies are proof positive that New York City streets need the kind of help that Bus Rapid Transit and the congestion pricing plan can offer. With fewer vehicles on the road and more funding for expanded and improved bus service, the City could see travel speeds increase, ridership rise and reliability improve.

Take Action:

T.A.'s Congestion Pricing Advocates have reached out to more than 5000 New Yorkers in the last month. Be part of the team and join us at our second meet-up for congestion pricing volunteers. Come by after work for dinner and be part of our citywide campaign to win better transit and less traffic.

When: Thursday, November 8th, 6:30-7:30 pm
Where: T.A.'s office at 127 W. 26th Street, Suite 10-02 (F/V/1 to 23rd Street)
RSVP: wiley@transalt.org or 646-873-6008

A New Vision for the Upper West Side
Jan Gehl
The Upper West Side is ready for more livable streets.
Upper West Side residents, join Transportation Alternatives and the community-led Upper West Side New York City Streets Renaissance Campaign to create beautiful, green streets with safer bike lanes, great walking spaces, less traffic and cleaner air in your neighborhood.

From November 6th, 2007 to January 28th, 2008 Transportation Alternatives and the Upper West Side Streets Renaissance Campaign are organizing a series of fun and informative workshops on the topics of safe routes to schools, traffic calming, senior safety and placemaking on the Upper West Side.

This series will begin with a special exhibit exploring the current issues and possibilities for great urban design on Upper West Side Streets and will be followed with a presentation by internationally renowned urban designer and theorist Jan Gehl. To RSVP for this event and to see a listing of all Upper West Side events, please visit nycstreets.org/uws.

Lessons from Jan Gehl, the World's Foremost Urban Designer

When:November 6th, 2007, 5:30 pm
Where: The Jewish Community Center, 334 Amsterdam Ave. at West 76th Street
RSVP: Visit nycstreets.org/uws

An Evening to Honor Jane Jacobs and Support T.A.

November 26th, 2007

Please join Transportation Alternatives at the Municipal Art Society

for a very special fundraiser to coincide with

Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York

Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York Exhibit
Transportation Alternatives will be holding a very special fundraiser to coincide with the Municipal Art Society's Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York exhibit. It will be an exclusive event hosted by livable streets luminaries. If you wish to attend, be sure to keep the evening of November 26th clear and email david@transalt.org for ticket information.

If you can't make the fundraiser, be sure to check out all the informative events that MAS is hosting along with the Jane Jacobs exhibit. Go to mas.org for location, hours and more information about MAS.

Cycle NYC Book Launch Bonanza
Cycle NYC: T.A.s newest book
Come and celebrate the release of our new city cycling handbook.
Transportation Alternatives' newest publication, Cycle NYC, is the all in one guide for staying sane, safe and psyched while biking in the city. This pocket-sized, full color handbook is chock full with over 80 pages of helpful hints, instructions and advice from the city's most trusted cycling experts. Come grab a beer with us at the launch party and pick up a free copy of this awesome new book!

Cycle NYC Book Launch
Tuesday, November 13th, 5:30-8:30 pm
41 First Ave (between 2nd and 3rd St)
$4-$8 draft beers, some snacks

Fare Hike Hearings
East Harlem Mural
Speak out at a fare hike hearing happening near you!
The MTA has proposed hiking transit fares for 2008. It has announced a series of public hearings. The schedule can be found by going to: mta.info/mta/news/hearings/index.html.

The MTA has offered two fare hike options. The first calls for raising the base fare from $2.00 to $2.25 and increasing the cost of the current six-rides-for-the-price-of-five discount from $1.67-a-ride to $1.88. That's around a 12.5% increase. Passes would go up 4%. The second option would eliminate the 6-for-5 MetroCard, replacing it with a card costing $2.00 for a ride during peak periods and $1.50 during the off-peak. This option would also raise the 30-day unlimited-ride MetroCard by $6.00, from the current $76 to $82.

The NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign has prepared this fact sheet to help riders and officials prepare for the public hearings. It is vital to speak up for decent and affordable transit.

East Harlem Bike Survey
East Harlem Mural
East Harlem is going green, so take a second and fill out their survey. Photo courtesy Brian Levinson.
If you live, work or regularly cycle in East Harlem, please take a second to fill out this online survey.

If you would like to volunteer to distribute paper surveys, please contact: bike@transalt.org. Your time will make this survey a success and will enable Borough President Scott M. Stringer's Go Green East Harlem Transportation Committee to bring community generated suggestions for bike improvements directly to the NYC DOT.

Riding the Rockaways
We can take a ride to rockaway beach!
Join T.A. and the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance for the Annual Fall Rockaway Bike Ride.
Rockaway Waterfront Alliance & Transportation Alternatives' Queens Committee will host a Rockaway bike ride on Sunday, Nov 4th. The 12 mile Rockaway loop will start at 1:30 pm at Jacob Riis Parking lot by the playground and go to Beach 9th Street and back.

Riders looking to participate in the full 40 mile ride should go to rwalliance.org for details about the meet location for rides leaving from Astoria and Grand Army Plaza which will connect to the Rockaway loop.

Call the Rockaway Waterfront Alliance office to register
718 327-5919
or email: info@rwalliance.org.

The ride is rain or shine.

Envisioning Gateway National Park
We can take a ride to rockaway beach!
Help shape the future of Gateway National Park.
The National Parks Conservation Association is holding a public design competition for the Gateway National Recreation Area. You can vote online and help pick a design that will transform this site into a world class park--one that will be both a global model of public space as well as a great regional resource. Review the designs and vote here!

Au Revoir Simone Tees for T.A.
We can take a ride to rockaway beach!
Au Revoir Simone's t-shirt for T.A. is the coolest way to support biking, walking and sensible transportation.
Au Revoir Simone, an incredible Brooklyn based electronic indie-pop band made up of three ladies, three keyboards, and a wicked drum machine has designed a t-shirt to support Transportation Alternatives. They are selling them through the yellow bird project, a website which lets bands design a tee and sell it to support a charity of their choosing.

All proceeds go towards T.A.'s advocacy work. So get yourself a great new shirt, support biking, walking and sensible transportation and let the world know you think Au Revoir Simone is the cat's pajamas.

T.A. in the News
PlaNYC 2030 Not What it Seems, am New York, 10/29

PlaNYC 2030 Not What it Seems, Newsday, 10/29

Heights Cars Hurt Bicyclists, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 10/27

Senator Duane Takes a Swipe at DOT for 9th Ave. Bike Lane, StreetsBlog, 10/24

Boy's Death Sparks Rally for Ninth Ave. Safety, The Villager, 10/24

Two Bikers Killed in Brooklyn, am New York, 10/19

Two Bicyclists Killed in Separate Brooklyn Accidents, New York Daily News, 10/19

Tykes on Bikes, StreetsBlog, 10/19

RPA Refutes Anti-Pricing "Alternatives" Study, StreetsBlog, 10/19

MTA Fare Hike Foes Pledge More State Funds MTA, New York Daily News, 10/17

Zigmont Response to Transp. Secretary Mary Peters, Interbike Times, 10/16

Gear Up for the Tour de Bronx, Discover the Boro by Bicycle, New York Daily News, 10/16

Your Opinion, Staten Island Advance, 10/16

Park Slope Has Its Park(ing) Day, StreetsBlog, 10/16

Healthy Living in the City, New York Resident, 10/16

MTA Is Un-Fare, New York Post, 10/15

T.A. Responds to 'Keep NYC Congestion' Plan, StreetsBlog, 10/12

The Week in Review, StreetsBlog, 10/12

Cycling Gains Ground Here Amid Cabs, Harried Commuters, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 10/10

Sexy Cycling NYC?, Treehugger, 10/9

New Bills: Biking On The Boss's Dollar, Gotham Gazette, 10/9

Cycling Gains Ground in NYC, ABC News, 10/7

Big Cities Try to Ease Way for Bicyclists, USA Today, 10/7

Residents: Houston Becoming Street of Death, am New York, 10/5

Protesting NYPD Protest Rules, Gay City News, 10/4

Doubts About DOT Congestion Prescription in Jax Heights, StreetsBlog, 10/03

Exploring Green Queens on a Bike, Part II, Epoch Times, 10/03

Paris' Rent-A-Bike Program Perfect for City, say Advocates, New York Daily News, 10/01

Transportation Alternatives is a member-supported non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Join T.A. today!