Now Mainstream, What Does the Future Hold for Once-Fringe Alternative Transportation Advocates?
The arrival of bike share to New York City, whenever the delayed program actually launches, will mark a culmination of sorts for the work of Transportation Alternatives (TA), founded forty years ago by a "ragtag collection of environmental advocates and bicycle riders, dissident city planners and urban preservationists."
Since its public debut in a "traffic-snarling protest ride" down Fifth Avenue in 1973, TA has evolved into a "potent political force" with, "a staff of 23 full-time employees, roughly 8,000 dues-paying members and an active e-mail network of more than 40,000, not to mention a deep bench of alumni working in government."
"But when the City of New York has made your agenda its official policy - including pedestrian plazas and a vast bike-lane network - how alternative can you continue to be?" asks Goodman.
"Very, [TA Executive Director Paul Steely White] said. 'We see this as the beginning rather than a culmination,' he said in a May interview. 'Now we have a mainstream audience.'"