photo by Harry Zernike
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photo & interview by Harry Zernike
Paul Steely White is Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives, the New York City cycling, pedestrian, and public transit advocacy organization.
When did you start at TA? Where were you beforehand?
I signed on as Executive Director in 2004. For the seven years prior to that I was Projects Director for the NYC based itdp.org, doing international transportation reform work, helping cities around the world develop more people-centered bike, pedestrian and transit networks. Getting the call up to Transportation Alternatives was a dream. There isn't a more effective or more storied local transpo advocacy organization. I remember the first time I saw the impolite photo of their staff and membership blocking the Central Park Loop in the early 90's for their Car Free Parks campaign. It just seemed so obvious that they were doing exactly what was needed to be done in terms of reclaiming these human settlements we call cities.
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New York City is a rotating disco ball of cycling. Stand on any corner for 10 minutes, and you will see reflected back to you the many tribes that make up the city's cyclists. All of these disparate groups bring their own style to something that none of us should take for granted - getting around, and falling in love with, the city.