August 3, 2009

Your monthly pass to better transit and more wonderful, walkable communities.

It's August, and that means we're all supposed to be kicking back on the beach reading, right?

Here are two things to add to your reading list, although they aren't exactly light, romance novel fare: $20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better and Moving Cooler.

Then read on for the latest from TransForm:

  • Take action to support more federal funding for public transportation
  • TransForm is hiring - help us spread the word
  • Court of Appeals finds raids of public transportation funds illegal
  • What we told the White House last week
  • Despite troubling questions, MTC hastily gives Oakland Airport Connector $140 million more
  • Way to grow, Berkeley: new Downtown Area Plan sets a good path for future growth
  • A chance to make East Bay bus service better
  • Plan moves forward for a more vibrant, walkable Japantown
  • Wait, wait... don't tell me... TransForm was on NPR?!
  • Mark those calendars for the Transit-Oriented Development Marketplace and more!

Take action to support more federal funding for public transportation

You've been experiencing firsthand the recent fare hikes and service cuts to public transportation and know this needs to stop. TransForm was recently a part of a mock funeral to mourn the brutal cuts to public transportation happening across the country and encourage support of HR 2746, a bill currently in the U.S. House of Representatives that would restore federal funding for public transportation operations. See photos from the mock funeral and ask your Congressperson to support HR 2746.

TransForm is hiring - help us spread the word

TransForm currently has four job openings we hope you'll consider applying for or sharing with your contacts. These include a field organizer on federal transportation issues, a part-time organizer in Contra Costa County, and two Safe Routes to Schools positions. Read the current job openings.

Court of Appeals finds raids of public transportation funds illegal

We were thrilled when the California Court of Appeals ruled that the continued raids of public transportation funds for the General Fund are illegal. This ruling could mean the return of hundreds of millions of dollars in desperately needed funding for public transportation. However, the Governor has appealed the decision to the California Supreme Court. Get the whole story on the case.

What we told the White House last week

Last week, the Great Communities Collaborative (a partnership coordinated by TransForm) presented to senior administration officials on how the Collaborative is empowering residents to shape the future of their communities and make the entire region more sustainable. Read more about this meeting with White House officials.

Despite troubling questions, MTC hastily gives Oakland Airport Connector $140 million more

At the July 22 meeting of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, Commissioner Sue Lempert said she couldn't in good conscience support additional funding for the Oakland Airport Connector due to troubling, still-unanswered questions on the cost and likely low ridership for the proposed $500 million Oakland Airport Connector. We are proud of Commissioners Lempert, Daly, and Bates for voting against the additional $140 million in funding. Read more about the Oakland Airport Connector.

Way to grow, Berkeley: new Downtown Area Plan sets a good path for future growth

After years of meetings and debate, the Berkeley City Council finally adopted a Downtown Area Plan. The final Plan included important provisions for focusing future growth within walking distance of the downtown Berkeley BART Station and improving walking, biking, and public transportation options - all while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Read more about the plan and thank City Council members for supporting it. And PS: please do NOT sign the petition now being circulated to cancel the new Plan.

A chance to make East Bay bus service better

TransForm has been working with advocates to bring Bus Rapid Transit to the Bay Area. With dedicated lanes, state-of-the-art buses, and other key features, Bus Rapid Transit will make bus service much faster and more reliable. We need you to speak up in support of the Telegraph Ave. / International Blvd. / E. 14th St. Bus Rapid Transit corridor. Take action online now in support of Bus Rapid Transit or come to the August 21 meeting.

Plan moves forward for a more vibrant, walkable Japantown

Although it hasn't been officially approved yet, the San Francisco Planning Commission acknowledged its support of key elements of the Japantown Better Neighborhood Plan including improvements to parks, streets, and pedestrian safety, plus culturally-sensitive design for new development. Read how the Plan will make this neighborhood a better place to live, work, and visit.

Wait, wait... don't tell me... TransForm was on NPR?!

Did your ears perk up on a recent Saturday afternoon when Jeff Hobson of TransForm played the Listener Limerick Challenge on the NPR show "Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me!"? If you missed it, listen online to Jeff's shout-out to TransForm and his limerick-cracking skills.

Mark those calendars for the Transit-Oriented Development Marketplace and more!

On September 24, the fourth annual Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Marketplace at the San Jose Hilton will include: expert panels on cities' TOD plans; workshops on design, financing, and policies for TOD; and a walking tour of downtown San Jose. Learn more about the Marketplace.

And while you're at it, mark those calendars for the Train Riders' Association of California's conference November 6-8 and the Form-Based Codes Institute's course on November 4.