August 1, 2013

TransForm e-news: August 1, 2013
Your monthly pass to world-class public transportation and more wonderful, walkable communities. 

As the national conversation about the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin verdict continues, we’ve been asking ourselves what it means for our work to create walkable communities.
 
Is there a role for transportation and land use planning in preventing future incidents and promoting greater equity, safety, and trust in neighborhoods?

TransForm alumna Chris Schildt, now at PolicyLink, thinks the answer is yes.  In a recent blog post, she calls on planners to “speak up on issues of equity and inclusion in our cities and towns” and be part of the solution.

What do you think?  Comment on our Facebook page here, or shoot us an email with your thoughts.

Read on for the rest of the e-news:


Plan Bay Area approved with icing on top

On July 18, hundreds of community members spoke out for and against Plan Bay Area at the final hearing – and the results were sweeter than we expected!  With a few last-minute amendments to strengthen public transportation and affordable housing policies, our region’s transportation blueprint for the next 25 years is a strong step in the right direction.

Thank you to the hundreds of TransForm supporters and allies who stood up for what we described in the San Francisco Chronicle as a better future with more new homes close to jobs and transit, safer walking and biking, cleaner air, and stronger incentives for preventing sprawl.  While we didn’t get everything we wanted, the Bay Area has come a long way in our regional planning efforts – and that wouldn’t have happened without you.

But the proof is in the pudding: now begins the process of making sure these policies translate into more affordable homes, better public transportation, and safer walking and biking for our future.  Read more about the final Plan Bay Area on our blog, and check out additional media coverage, including our Chronicle op-ed, here.

Take action to bring state transportation funding decisions into the 21st century

For years, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) has been making big decisions about state transportation funding, but it has mostly been focused on delivering money for large projects, not on social or environmental benefits.  Governor Brown’s reshuffle of the state’s transportation agencies this summer opens up an opportunity to make sure the CTC will support state laws like SB 375 that promote sustainable communities.

That's why TransForm has been working to build support for AB 1290 (Perez).  This bill would add new CTC members to the CTC with a focus on sustainability, and integrate planning for climate protection.  Take action now to support AB 1290. Click here to learn more about the bill.

Save November 14 for TransForm’s 2014-2018 Strategic Plan preview

TransForm is developing ambitious plans to sharpen our focus on climate and social equity, expanding and spreading innovative programs, and ensuring smarter regional plans in CA can be realized.   Please save the evening of November 14 to join us in downtown San Francisco for a celebration and preview of the future we’re envisioning.  We want you to be a part of it!

We’re currently seeking sponsors and auction items for this annual fall fundraiser. Contact Sara Marcellino to learn about sponsorship benefits or if you’d like to donate an auction item.

Two more job opportunities at TransForm

As promised last month, we’re seeking awesome candidates for two more positions at TransForm.  Our regional team needs a Community Planner with experience running advocacy campaigns, strong communication and relationship building skills and political savvy to focus on local advocacy in the Bay Area.  And ClimatePlan, a statewide network that TransForm helped found and continues to host in our Oakland office, is on the hunt for an outstanding Communications and Network Director to oversee the effective deployment of communication tools, provide communications support to on-the-ground campaigns, and execute regular meetings and events to build and support our network.

Click here for our most up-to-date job listings, and feel free to spread the word!  All positions are open until filled.

East Bay Bus Rapid Transit gets another green light

On Tuesday night, the Oakland City Council delivered unanimous votes in support of advancing Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) between downtown Oakland and San Leandro, this time to approve agreements that will ensure critical federal funding is available to build the project.  Then last night, the AC Transit Board of Directors also approved the most important agreement needed, but sent the operations and maintenance agreement back to work out details on maintenance and security. 

The actions taken by both of these boards are positive steps toward an incredible new public transportation option that will revolutionize bus service throughout the Bay Area.  Read more about it on our blog.

Thanks to everyone who spoke out at the Council meeting and/or wrote letters and made phone calls to Councilmembers!  To learn more about the next steps for East Bay BRT, contact Joël Ramos.

Summer fun: Cats as transit, and Chew on This

In the heat of summer, sometimes we need fun distractions.  So when someone brought up the idea of finding cat videos involving public transit, we hit the search bar – and struck out!  Luckily, there was something more exciting: cats as transit.  Check it out and let us know what you think.

We also came across a less zany but more useful radio spot from Chew On This, highlighting ways to get kids biking – perfect for those midsummer blues, and for gearing up to pedal to school later this month.  If you like what you hear, consider getting involved with Safe Routes to School via our Alameda County program, or wherever you live.

Is this kind of lighthearted transportation talk more your style?  Like us on Facebook to get regular doses of fun, and tell your friends, too.  We're only about 25 fans shy of 3,000 and we'd love to hit the 3k mark this summer.

Safe Routes to Transit calls for project proposals by September 30

Have you caught wind of the plan for a 19th Street Bike Station…or the streetscape and safety improvements leading to Bay Fair BART station…or Bike Share coming soon to Santa Clara County?  What do they all have in common? These projects all received funding from the Safe Routes to Transit (SR2T) grant program.

TransForm implements the SR2T grants, awarding funds to projects that improve the safety and convenience of walking and bicycling to regional transit stations. Public agencies are invited to submit applications for this final round of grants before September 30, 2013.  Learn more about Safe Routes to Transit.

Upcoming events: Safe Routes to School National Conference comes to California

Below is a sampling of upcoming events in August and early fall.  Visit TransForm’s events webpage frequently for details on transportation-related events in the Bay Area and beyond.

Safe Routes to School National Conference
August 13-15 in Sacramento


Learn how Safe Routes to School programs across the nation are changing the habits of an entire generation of school children while improving the health and environment of numerous communities. This fourth national conference will feature workshop sessions, mobile tours, inspirational presentations, and networking opportunities to help you start or expand your SRTS program.

TransForm's our own Carrie Harvilla, Terry Kelley-Farias, Aiyana Knowles, and Alissa Kronovet will represent the Alameda County Safe Routes to School program in two separate sessions.  And if that’s not enough, you can stick around for Safe Routes to School Advocacy Day on August 15, which TransForm is co-hosting!  Click here for more details.

Celebrate Supervisor John Gioia’s recent appointment to CARB
August 29 from 6:15 – 8:00 p.m. in El Cerrito


We congratulate Supervisor Gioia, a longstanding ally of TransForm on public transportation and clean air issues, for his recent appointment to the California Air Resources Board.  You can congratulate him in person at this reception to celebrate his new responsibility as one of the stewards of our state’s clean air and climate future.  RSVP to Luz Gomez at 510-231-8689 or by email.

Rail~Volution
October 20-23 in Seattle, WA


Rail~Volution is the annual gathering of transit geeks, urban planners, and others who want to see a future where neighborhoods are connected with great public transportation – and this year’s fascinating presentations and thought-provoking conversations are back on the West Coast, a lovely Amtrak ride from California.  Join TransForm’s own Ann Cheng and Joël Ramos, who will be presenting on GreenTRIP and Bus Rapid Transit, and hundreds of others to stay up-to-date on who’s who and what’s what in the field of land use and public transportation.

Visit railvolution.org for more information and registration details.