|Slogan||Your advocate for bicycling, walking and public transit|
|Mission||"...to reclaim New York City's streets from the automobile, and to advocate for bicycling, walking and public transit as the best transportation alternatives."|
Transportation Alternatives (T.A.) is a non-profit organization in New York City which seeks to change New York City's transportation priorities to encourage and increase non-polluting, quiet, city-friendly travel and decrease private car use. They seek a transportation system based on a "Green Transportation Hierarchy," which gives preference to modes of travel based on their benefits and costs to society. To achieve these goals, T.A. works in five areas: Cycling, Walking and Traffic Calming, Car-Free Parks, Safe Streets and Sensible Transportation. Promotional activities include large group bicycle rides.
Transportation Alternatives was founded in 1973 during the explosion of environmental consciousness that also produced the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Environmental Protection Agency. Since its founding, T.A. has helped win numerous improvements for cyclists and pedestrians and has been the leading voice for reducing car use in the city. T.A.'s roots are in cycling in New York City, and many of its members are everyday cyclists. A bicycle friendly city means changing the overall transportation system, which, even in New York City where more people use mass transit than cars, means shifting a paradigm dominated by the private automobile.
Since its creation, Transportation Alternatives has helped achieve goals including:
- Pedestrian and bicycling paths on all East River Bridges for the first time in 50 years
- A complete Hudson River Greenway, ten miles of car-free walking and cycling along the Hudson River
- A promise of a Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, a car-free path circling the entirety of Manhattan
- Year-round "Summer Hours" in Prospect Park plus a further increase in car-free hours in the park
- Year round weekday car-free hours in Central Park, plus the reclamation of three motor vehicle entrances as parkland
- Legal bike access on New York City Subway and New Jersey Transit, including 24/7 access to the subway
- New Manhattan access to the Brooklyn Bridge promenade
- Pedestrian safety improvements on Queens Boulevard
- Pedestrian improvements in Herald Square and Times Square
- The Bronx's Safe Routes to School: Pedestrian improvements at 38 Bronx schools
- Creation of NYC DOT citywide Safe Schools Program
- 800 speed bumps on neighborhood streets
- Numerous new bike lanes throughout NYC
- Bicycle racks on city streets throughout NYC
- Legal bicycle access to the George Washington Bridge
- Secure bike parking at several midtown garages
- Pedestrian and cyclist access to River Road on the New Jersey Palisades
- Overturn of the 1987 midtown bicycle ban
- Ramped access to the Brooklyn Bridge bicycle/pedestrian path
Transportation Alternatives relies on thousands of volunteers activists to achieve its goals. While many support T.A.'s bike tours, many more help as part of the organization's 5 active borough activist committees: Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens and Manhattan.
Transportation Alternatives' current campaigns are numerous. They include:
- Pedestrian safety: T.A. is pushing for 20 mph zones in various neighborhoods, as well as enforcement of the law against killer drivers.
- Expanding the bicycle network: encouraging the City to continue their expansion of bike lanes, particularly on-street protected bike lanes, which have been shown to reduce injuries of all street users, including motorists. T.A. is also advocating for New York City to implement a robust bike share system, akin to Paris' highly successful Vélib' system.
- Improving bicyclist behavior: T.A. has distributed tens of thousands of their "Biking Rules" booklets in English, Spanish and Chinese, and has sponsored a Biking Rules PSA Film Festival, among other initiatives.
Transportation Alternatives produces a number of bike tours throughout the year, including the Tour de Brooklyn, the Tour de Queens, the NYC Century Bike Tour, the Tour de Staten Island and the Tour de Bronx (along with the Bronx Borough President's Office). In addition to fundraising, the purpose of these tours is to introduce New Yorkers to bicycling around the city and to give the confidence and inspiration to take up biking as a regular activity.
T.A. also puts on a number of other events, including benefits, parties, lectures and other events.
- "About Transportation Alternatives". Transportation Alternatives. Retrieved 2009-12-24.
- Furness, Zack (2010). One Less Car: Bicycling and the Politics of Automobility. Philadelphia: Temple University Press. pp. 61–63. ISBN 978-1-59213-613-1.