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Transportation Alternatives
2011 – $5,000 General Support

Transportation Alternatives (TA) works to reclaim New York City’s streets from the automobile and to advocate for better walking, biking, and public transit for all New Yorkers. Through grassroots organizing and strategic communication campaigns, TA advances infrastructure and policy improvements that prioritize people, create safer streets, and ultimately realize a more accessible, sustainable, and equitable city. TA engages thousands of stakeholders each year through its advocacy work, including community residents, peer nonprofit organizations, civic coalitions, business leaders, elected local and state officials, and government agencies. Their campaigns reshape streetscapes into safe places where people can walk, bike, meet, play, and participate in the variety of activities that make urban living healthy, vibrant, and dynamic.

In the past five decades, TA has made remarkable progress. Today, bike lanes ribbon up and down Manhattan avenues. Hundreds of thousands more ride a bike to work every day. The city is equipped with dedicated bus lanes, public bike share, and car-free park spaces that did not exist five decades ago. In just the last two decades, TA advocacy was responsible for the introduction of America’s first protected bike lanes and the world’s largest speed camera program.  TA lowered the citywide speed limit for the first time in 50 years, and introduced Vision Zero to New York City, an idea which then spread across the U.S. The same story is true of the federal Safe Routes to Schools and Safe Routes for Seniors programs.

The few who founded Transportation Alternatives recruited and multiplied, and now TA’s tent of supporters is packed with New Yorkers who regularly take action, make the case to public officials, and testify to the importance of TA’s mission. Each week, TA organizes local meetings, protests, rallies, petition drives, community gatherings and on-street actions to amplify voices. By the power of these people and a track record of transformative change, TA demands New York City’s most influential decision makers pay attention.

In that time, a remarkable subset of the organization was also born. Families for Safe Streets (FSS) is a coalition of people injured in traffic crashes, and the children, spouses, siblings, and parents whose loved ones have been killed. What began in 2014 as a small group of families in mourning has grown to a citywide force for change, and a national inspiration, with chapter organizations in 14 cities. Together, this powerful group of survivors tell their stories as an unignorable testament to the need for safe streets and refuse to give an inch in defense of the status quo.

From the creation of grand public spaces, like the pedestrianization of Times Square, to the construction of protected bike lanes and pedestrian plazas in all five boroughs, TA and FSS have paved the way for remarkable changes in New York City’s transportation infrastructure and transformed New Yorkers’ understanding of bicycling, walking and public transit.

transalt.org