Progressive Caucus Bike to Work Day; Car-Free Earth Day 2.0; Amsterdam Avenue

Bike to Work May 16 with the City Council's Progressive Caucus & StreetsPAC

On May 16, we'll be joining the Progressive Caucus of the New York City Council for their 3rd annual Bike to Work Day!

We'll be helping to lead some feeder rides from different points around the city (stay tuned to and Facebook for more details), and teaming up with the Progressive Caucus and other advocacy groups for a rally at City Hall at 10:00 a.m.

If you've ever wanted to do a bike lift on the steps of City Hall, this is your chance! Join us!


Taking Car-Free Earth Day to the Next Level

Last week's StreetsPoll, in which we asked how you'd make next year's Car-Free Earth Day more car-free, generated a significant amount of interest – but no clear favorite. The top pick, chosen by 38% of those of you who responded, was a call to close more streets to cars on Earth Day 2017, and to expand those street closures beyond Manhattan.  Another 31% of you thought that implementing post-Hurricane Sandy-style HOV restrictions at bridges and tunnels would have the greatest effect.

Ben Fried, writing over at the essential Streetsblog, makes a strong case that without linking Car-Free Earth Day to concrete – and significant – policy changes, the effort will be relegated to little more than feel-good photo ops. Fried lays out a number of ways in which Car-Free Earth Day could be put to greater effect:
"This hypothetical version of Car-Free Day would look a lot different than what happened last Friday. It would be a day where council members map out how they want to change the streets of the neighborhoods they represent: where transit urgently needs priority over cars, where safer bike routes would help their constituents the most, where traffic lanes should be turned into public space for people. They could declare their support for reforming on-street parking prices to reduce traffic, or call on the city to eliminate parking minimums in their district to make housing more affordable."
movenylogo.jpgOf course, a plan already exists for making Car-Free Earth Day – and every other day – significantly more car-free: the Move NY plan. Conceived andpromoted by "Gridlock" Sam Schwartz, the Move NY plan serves as the basis for bill A09633, introduced in the New York State Assembly in March by East Harlem Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez.

"This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address some of the biggest weaknesses in our transit system," Rodriguez said at an event to introduce his bill. "This plan will provide a steady and significant source of revenue for the MTA, allow transit starved communities to fund critical improvement projects, and relieve congestion."

Please take a moment and use this handy petition tool to let your state representatives know that you support the Move NY plan. It'll take you less than a minute.

And speaking of last week's StreetsPoll, congratulations to Lawrence Sutton of Manhattan, the randomly chosen winner of a StreetsPAC t-shirt. Thanks to everyone who submitted a response.

Amsterdam Avenue Gets the Complete-Streets Treatment

Upper West Side Council Member (and StreetsPAC endorsee) Helen Rosenthal sends word that the New York City Department of Transportation will begin implementation next week of a major redesign of Amsterdam Avenue between 72nd and 110th Streets, which will add a protected bike lane, safer pedestrian crossings and new street trees.

The complete-streets transformation of Amsterdam Avenue has been many years in the making, and is the result of a ton of advocacy work from many quarters, including the tireless efforts of StreetsPAC board member Ken Coughlin. Thanks and congratulations, Ken!

You can see the full plan here.


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