The New York Observer has a profile of Mark Gorton, the founder of The Open Planning Project (TOPP). Gorton, who made his fortune in the hedge fund industry, has funded advocacy for livable streets in New York City. In fact, the Observer bills him as "The Man Who Closed Times Square to Traffic." According to the article,
TOPP is a cross between a software start-up and a progressive policy think tank, and is made up of several smaller working groups. One group customizes and provides tech support for open-source mapping software that transit agencies use to keep track of their routes. Another works on applications that make it easier for people to communicate with city agencies-letting cyclists propose sites for bike racks to the city's DOT, for example. Another group produces Streetsblog, an opinionated blog on transportation issues.