December 2, 2009

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

TransForm just released a new report with the ultimate savings opportunity.

Our analysis shows that Californians would spend $31 billion less per year if everyone was able to live in walkable places with good public transportation.  Plus we'd dramatically reduce emissions from transportation!

The report, which is full of great case studies, is already making waves in Sacramento. 

Download the report, pass it on, and support TransForm in bringing this message to leaders across the state in 2010.

Then read on:

  • Tell Congress to take a stand for pedestrian safety
  • New certification program rewards developments with less parking and more walkability
  • Show support for a new climate change program December 9 and 16
  • Federal investigation of BART will look at the Oakland Airport Connector project
  • Give a needed boost to Bus Rapid Transit on December 9
  • How sweet it is to be loved by you 
  • Federal leaders speak out for smart growth at major conference
  • Take a survey on your daily destinations
  • Get in the holiday spirit at three fun events

Tell Congress to take a stand for pedestrian safety

TransForm and other allies in California helped release Dangerous by Design, a report that compares metro areas across the country in terms of pedestrian safety.  The report, written by Transportation For America and the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership, generated 500 news hits nationwide and got the Obama Administration's attention.  But many in Congress have yet to take a stand on the issue.  Click here to urge your Congressperson to support the Complete Streets Act of 2009 and make road safety a national priority!

New certification program rewards developments with less parking and more walkability

TransForm just awarded its first-ever GreenTRIP certification to a new development in San Jose called The Ohlone.  That's because The Ohlone development will keep the number of new parking spaces as low as possible and offer incentives for new tenants to drive less.  Learn about The Ohlone and how GreenTRIP certification will spur development with less traffic and emissions.

Show support for a new climate change program December 9 and 16

The Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission, responding to hundreds of emails and calls from TransForm supporters, is now proposing an additional $28 million for their new Transportation Climate Action Campaign program.  This is huge, as they will be reducing funding from freeway ramp meters by a similar amount in order to make this happen! 

The new program, conceived by TransForm, will fight climate change by getting more people to walk, bike, and take public transportation.  It will also tackle key obstacles to creating more walkable communities, like excessive parking requirements.  Learn more and come out December 9 and December 16 when MTC will vote on the Transportation Climate Action Campaign.

Federal investigation of BART will look at the Oakland Airport Connector project

TransForm has been seriously questioning BART's proposed Oakland Airport Connector because of efficiency and environmental justice issues.  Now, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) is going to investigate the project! 

The FTA is reviewing all of BART's projects to ensure they comply with Title VI of the 1964 federal Civil Rights Act, which prohibits recipients of federal funding from discriminating in their programs and activities.  This investigation is in part a response to a legal complaint by Public Advocates that TransForm participated in stating that BART has not done the required studies to determine if there are adverse impacts of the project on the East Oakland community.  Read about the investigation or listen to a KALW piece on the Connector.

Give a needed boost to Bus Rapid Transit on December 9

Bus Rapid Transit, with its dedicated lanes, state-of-the-art buses, and other key features, is an affordable way to make bus service much faster and more reliable.   Several Bus Rapid Transit routes are now in the works in the East Bay, but strong support is needed for these to come to life quickly.  Let's make Bus Rapid Transit happen – and soon.  Come to the next Berkeley Planning Commission meeting on December 9 or send an email now in support of Bus Rapid Transit.

How sweet it is to be loved by you 

Most of our membership levels now include a gift of dark chocolate.  Why?  Because your support is extra sweet in that you give the kind of flexible funds we need to be able to lobby in Sacramento, start innovative programs like GreenTRIP, and be nimble when important battles like the Oakland Airport Connector project come up.  Give some love to TransForm this holiday season and know you're making your community and commute better – plus get a sweet chocolate treat.

Federal leaders speak out for smart growth at major conference

At this fall's national transit-oriented development conference, Rail-volution, several TransForm staff were thrilled to hear high-level federal officials say that they want what we want: comprehensive transportation and land use planning that creates neighborhoods with affordable housing, jobs, shops, services, and public transportation.  Even more thrilling is that this thinking is partly inspired by the work of the Great Communities Collaborative (a partnership coordinated by TransForm)!  Read more about what happened at Rail-volution.

Take a survey on your daily destinations

CarFree City USA, a nonprofit that works to promote car-free development, is conducting an online survey of people’s most frequent everyday destinations.  This data will help them rate existing neighborhoods for “car-free living feasibility” and design successful new car-free places.  Feel like sharing?  The anonymous survey takes just 5 minutes.

Get in the holiday spirit at three fun events

Experience Velo Wonderland at the East Bay Bicycle Coalition's December 4 party.  Get festive at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's annual Winterfest on December 6.  Or think regionally and party locally at Bay Localize's holiday party on December 17.