Building Momentum for Transportation Alternatives

Founded in 1973, New York City’s Transportation Alternatives has been a steady voice of advocacy for a bicycling, walking, and public transit to reclaim the streets from the automobile. In recent years, the group has become a venerable force, working with legislators and offering assistance to journalists to make their mission heard and their goals […]

Founded in 1973, New York City’s Transportation Alternatives has been a steady voice of advocacy for a bicycling, walking, and public transit to reclaim the streets from the automobile. In recent years, the group has become a venerable force, working with legislators and offering assistance to journalists to make their mission heard and their goals realized. Recent causes include their disapproval of Central Park’s proposal to replace horse-drawn carriages with Model T Fords (“It doesn’t matter whether these cars run on gas, soy beans or sunshine. More traffic in New York City’s crown jewel park is not an answer,” says Paul Steely White, Executive Director of TA).

In their first communique of the year, Transportation Alternatives offered up an aggressive nine-point plan for continuing their work. Dubbed “Nine of ’09″, the list includes lobbying lawmakers at City Hall and the State Capitol to fight for biking, walking and transit funding in Obama’s stimulus bill; working to institute Bus Rapid Transit and a Bike Share program; and increasing prosecution and stricter laws when pedestrians and cyclists are struck and killed by motorists.

We got a new view of the city, and a workout, at last year’s Transportation Alternatives NYC Century Bike Tour, in which thousands of riders take over all five boroughs early on a September Sunday morning, including flooding Time’s Square. Registration for the 2009 ride opened this week.

- Contributed by Scott Ballum

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