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April 25, 2009
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April 25, 2009
1 person found this review helpful

Transportation Alternatives (TA) has shown me how to make my city more livable, how to become a "livable city" advocate in my community, and how to reimagine this country's urban space as a whole. I never realized before that there has been a massive misallocation of public space on our city streets, and that we can reclaim that space. In my neighborhood (New York City's Upper West Side) 75% of residents do not own cars, only 10% of residents drive to work, and yet three out of four residents live within two blocks of a congested road, with the resulting emissions that increase the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, and childhood leukemia. In addition, between 1995 - 2005 fifty-three pedestrians were killed in crashes with cars on the Upper West Side. TA has taught me to see these statistics as part of an unacceptable urban planning status quo that is within my power to change. I participated in a design charrette where residents examined our neighborhood's street infrastructure and described the changes we want to make it more pedestrian friendly, environmentally friendly, and by extension safe, quiet, and welcoming. I am now advocating to make those changes a reality with my local community board, and by organizing my synagogue members to (hopefully) make a proposal to the City's Department of Transportation. TA's expertise, beautifully illustrated web pages (www.streetfilms.org) and efficient tenacious staff have helped me and other "complete streets advocates" propose traffic calming changes in our neighborhood which have already begun to happen. TA is helping me and my neighbors reclaim our neighborhood and transform our city, and in the process challenge the status quo across the nation.

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

revitalize the main street economy, reduce heart disease and lung cancer rates and overcome childhood obesity by pedestrianizing major streets, creating a bicycle infrastructure (so that 35% of population cycled to work a la Copenhagen), and bringing the concept of "complete streets" to fruition across the nation.

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2009

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