There’s just a few hours left in 2015 and you know what that means — this is your last chance to contribute to Streetsblog’s year-end pledge drive. We count on reader donations to keep us going, and your gift will enter you to win a versatile Tern Link D8 folding bike. Please support our work if you can!
Have a great New Year, Streetsblog readers, and enjoy the third and final installment of this year’s Streetsies. We’ll see you back here on Monday.
Activists of the Year
New York wouldn’t make progress on safer streets without the thousands of people who give their time and energy to the cause — organizing, speaking up, demanding change. Streetsblog’s Activists of the Year have been at it a long time, and you can trace some of the most important developments in 2015 to their efforts.
Lizi Rahman lost her son Asif in February, 2008, when a truck driver struck and killed him while he was biking on Queens Boulevard. “We have to get a bike lane on Queens Boulevard,” she said shortly after the crash. “It might not bring my son back, but I will know that my son gave his life for a good cause. For him I’ll do this, and it will help save other bikers in the future.” Lizi has continued to work for change, most recently with Families for Safe Streets, and to be the most prominent public voice for transforming Queens Boulevard in particular. She never took “no” for an answer and the city’s redesign of 1.3 miles of Queens Boulevard in 2015 is a testament to her perseverance. Lives will be saved.
Lisa Sladkus has been tenaciously advocating for safe streets on the Upper West Side since before I started reporting for Streetsblog. It can be grinding, frustrating work, especially when certain members of the local community board seem intent on foiling even the simplest changes, like adding bike racks. She never wavered, and the streets of the Upper West Side are better for it. This year, DOT finally put forward a redesign for Amsterdam Avenue that promises to calm traffic by narrowing the motorway and adding a protected bike lane. Lisa and many other dedicated neighborhood residents deserve a ton of credit for their persistence and effectiveness.
Thank you Lizi and Lisa for making streets safer for all of us.