Transportation Alternatives makes New York City cycling and walking easier
Behind-the-scenes advocacy boosted by traffic ban
NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg's decision to temporarily clear car traffic from a few selected blocks of Times Square is a clear win for walkers and fans of city cycling. I talked about the social implications of such a move in a recent post, "What Do Times Square Street Closures in New York City Mean for American Car Culture?"
Steadfast pedestrian & bicycle advocacy group a major force
I've long been a proponent of addressing traffic concerns and investigating transportation alternatives. I personally support and work to draw attention to a group that has been championing pedestrian and bicycle advocacy for decades.
Since 1973, Transportation Alternatives has been working to "reclaim New York City's streets from the automobile and to advocate for bicycling, walking and public transit as the best transportation alternatives."
Bicycle Advocacy; pedestrian safety; respect and more
The recent rash of publicity over the Times Square traffic move has raised awareness of the ever-present motor vehicle in New York City. All the while, Transportation Alternatives has been advocating relatively behind-the-scenes to change our approach to getting from point A to B:
"T.A. seeks to change New York City's transportation priorities to encourage and increase non-polluting, quiet, city-friendly travel and decrease--not ban--private car use. To achieve our goals, T.A. works in five areas: Bicycling, Walking and Traffic Calming, Car-Free Parks, Safe Streets and Sensible Transportation."
The folks at Transportation Alternatives have become the authoritative source for information on modes of transportation other than single-occupancy vehicles and the leading advocates for changes in public policy.
For a more anecdotal example of how Transportation Alternatives spreads the word, consider the group's fifth annual commuter race, held in late May. Three contestants commuted from Sunnyside, Queens to Columbus Circle – a 4.2 mile Queens-to-midtown scramble.
With three contestants each using a different mode of transportation, Rachel Myers made the rush-hour trek in a shade over 20 minutes. Dan Hendrick showed up about 15 minutes later and Willie Thompson almost 15 minutes after that.
It might surprise you to find that Myers was on a bicycle, Hendrick on the subway and last-place Thompson was in a cab (and $30 poorer).
Help Transportation Alternatives promote cycling, mass transit, walking through the city
So, with a simple event, Transportation Alternatives provided pretty compelling evidence that the most environmentally-friendly, most healthy mode of travel was also the fastest.
It is because of this work and the mission of Transportation Alternatives that Big Bucks Auto supports their advocacy efforts.