April 4, 2011

Your monthly pass to world-class public transportation and more wonderful, walkable communities.

It’s been incredible seeing thousands of you take action online and in person to stop the proposed drastic service cuts to Caltrain.  Caltrain is essential to our region’s transportation system! 

This activism is why an emergency solution is now in the works.  But it’s possible a solution will be adopted on Thursday without the public knowing what’s in it or getting a chance to comment on any service cuts/changes it could include.  

Come out April 7 at 10 a.m. at Caltrain/SamTrans Headquarters in San Carlos to demand a publicly-vetted solution.  Contact Chris if you plan to attend.  Can’t attend?  Send a message to the Caltrain Board now.

And read on for many other ways we can fundamentally change transportation and land use together:

ACTION & NEWS

  • How would you spend $225 billion?
  • Help shape how the Bay Area grows
  • Support two bills promoting transit, walking, and biking
  • Big win for building affordable homes near transit
  • Know of a place that’s trying to reduce how much people drive?

EVENTS

  • RSVP for May 19 TransForum on winning state funding for transit
  • Silicon Valley bike advocacy summit April 6 in San Mateo, April 8 in San Jose
  • Envisioning a better Broadway-Valdez neighborhood in Oakland on April 7
  • Celebrate transit advocate Dorothy Walker April 14 in Berkeley
  • Convenings on transportation and health in LA, San Diego, Fresno, and Oakland

ACTION & NEWS

How would you spend $225 billion?

The Bay Area is updating its Regional Transportation Plan, which will designate how $225 billion is spent over the next 25 years. TransForm is working to ensure the plan yields big wins for public transportation, walking, biking, affordable housing, and smart growth.  By the end of April, every county in the Bay Area will write their wish list of transportation projects, many of which will be included in the plan.

Can you comment on your county's transportation project priorities?  Find a meeting in your county now or contact Sabrina to get more information on commenting plus connect with other advocates in your county.

Help shape how the Bay Area grows

By 2035 there will be an estimated 900,000 new households and 1.2 million new jobs.  That’s a lot of growth!  Where will all these new residents live, how will they get around, and what does this mean for the rest of us?  The region needs your help in deciding this.
 
Go to YouChooseBayArea now and use a cool new interactive tool to experiment with different choices in transportation, housing, and land use. See how your choices change the region’s emissions, cost of living, open space, traffic, and more. 

Then attend a YouChoose Public Forum in your county (click on Get Involved) to be part of the public discussion on how to accommodate future growth. These forums are part of an initiative to engage Bay Area residents in determining where and how the region builds led by the Silicon Valley Community Founation in partnership with Greenbelt Alliance, TransForm, KQED and Calthorpe Associates.

Support two bills promoting transit, walking, and biking

TransForm’s statewide Invest in Transit campaign is supporting two great bills that would expand funding for sustainable transportation and reward commuters who use it.  AB 147 would allow more places to spend “transportation impact mitigation fees” on bicycle/pedestrian and public transportation infrastructure rather than just roads and bridges.  SB 582 would expand commuter benefits statewide, allowing many more workers to pay for public transit and bicycling expenses with pre-tax dollars, which also reduces taxes for employers.  Visit Invest in Transit now to learn more and take action on AB 147 and SB 582. 

Big win for building affordable homes near transit

The cost of land near good public transportation hubs is often too pricey for affordable housing developers.  But these areas are critical to be adding affordable homes near.  Now, however, it will be easier for affordable homes to be built in the Bay Area.  A new revolving loan fund will finance land acquisition for affordable housing development in select locations near rail and bus lines.  The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is providing $10 million for the fund, with $40 million more from other entities.

The Tenderloin neighborhood in San Francisco will be the first place to benefit as the funds are helping build a project with 153 permanent affordable units and a much-needed grocery store where there’s currently a parking lot.  The fund will be managed by the San Francisco-based Low Income Investment Fund in a consortium with other affordable housing financing institutions. The concept for the fund was developed by the Great Communities Collaborative, which TransForm coordinates.  Learn more about the fund.

Know of a place that’s trying to reduce how much people drive?

GreenTRIP is TransForm’s cutting-edge program that certifies multifamily and mixed-used developments that reduce parking plus offer incentives for new tenants to drive less and own fewer vehicles.  Now, developments as small as 20 units can apply for certification.  Read more about GreenTRIP certification. 

EVENTS

RSVP for May 19 TransForum on winning state funding for transit

It’s been a brutal decade: we’ve lost billions of state dollars marked for California’s public transportation to other uses. You can see the impacts everywhere in service cuts, fare hikes, and too many neglected buses and trains.  Well, we’ve had it here at TransForm, which is why we’ve launched a bold new statewide campaign to get our leaders to invest in transit once and for all. 

Join us in our Oakland office on May 19 when we’ll talk about the future of state funding for public transportation – and how you can help.  Our Sacramento staff will give the scoop on what’s really happening in the Capitol, plus have time for your questions and networking.  This TransForum will be held from 5:30 - 7:30.  Snacks and drinks will be served.  TransForums are $5 or free if you’re a TransForm supporter at the $40+ level). Register now.

Silicon Valley bike advocacy summit April 6 in San Mateo, April 8 in San Jose 

Don’t miss this chance to be part of building momentum for more active and alternative transportation options.  Topics will include bike planning, transit-oriented development, state and national issues, and best practices for employers.  Stuart Cohen, TransForm’s executive director, will speak at the San Jose summit.  Learn more and register now. 

Envisioning a better Broadway-Valdez neighborhood in Oakland on April 7 

Right now, the Broadway-Valdez neighborhood is dominated by vast parking lots and several vacant car dealerships.  But we can transform this area into a vibrant, mixed-use community where people of all income levels can live, shop, and work.  Come celebrate and discuss a new vision for this neighborhood with refreshments and several inspirational speakers on April 7 at 5:30 p.m. at 2735 Broadway.  Learn more and RSVP now. 

Celebrate transit advocate Dorothy Walker April 14 in Berkeley

Dorothy Walker has spent over 10,000 hours in community meetings in the interest of making Berkeley a better city.  She was instrumental in the adoption of the Berkeley Downtown Area Plan, which will create a denser, more walkable downtown.  She’s tirelessly pushed for more public transportation.  We’re thrilled she’s being honored at a Livable Berkeley benefit!  Learn more and buy tickets.  

Convenings on transportation and health in LA, San Diego, Fresno, and Oakland 

The California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) will host convenings on April 21 (Fresno), April 27 (Los Angeles), May 4 (San Diego), and May 5 (Oakland) focused on the impact of transportation on our health, including specific ways we can achieve cleaner air, safer streets, and better access to services.  TransForm staff will speak at all four convenings.  Learn more and register now.