May 4, 2010

Your monthly pass to more wonderful, walkable communities.

A survey of 97 climate experts was recently released by Philanthropedia. TransForm is ranked the #1 nonprofit in the Bay Area in fighting climate change!

Meanwhile, we were just honored by a civil rights group, Public Advocates, for championing transit justice and public accountability through our advocacy work on the Oakland Airport Connector.

And the American Planning Association’s Northern California Chapter named the Great Communities Collaborative, which TransForm coordinates, the 2010 Outstanding Planning: Education Project.

It’s a lot of good news.  And here’s the rest of the news from TransForm:

  • Have a laugh and help us reach 10,000 views of our just-released video
  • Speak out for aggressively fighting climate change through less driving and smarter land use
  • Grant funds now available for innovative approaches to reducing transportation-related emissions
  • How few miles do you think you can drive in a week?
  • Bus Rapid Transit takes a hit in Berkeley but moves forward in Oakland
  • RSVP now for the May 18 TransForay movie night
  • June 1 conference tackles issues of transit-oriented development and social equity
  • Affordable Housing Week events abound May 7-16
  • Bike Month brings countless fun outings
  • It’s not just Bike to Work Day this month, but Bike to School Day, too!

Have a laugh and help us reach 10,000 views of our just-released video!

It’s cute, funny, and just 60 seconds long.  Help us hit 10,000 views of our new video by May 10 by watching it now and sharing it with your friends and family.  Special thanks to filmmaker Scott Pearson for making this video possible.  Watch the video now.

Speak out for aggressively fighting climate change through less driving and smarter land use

The groundbreaking new law SB 375 means that the Bay Area and 17 other California regions will soon be assigned targets for reducing reduce greenhouse gas emissions through better transportation, land use, and housing planning.  Regions will then actually have to create a plan – a Sustainable Communities Strategy – showing how they'll reduce emissions.

This could dramatically shift (for the better!) how growth happens in California and what our transportation dollars are spent on.  Learn more about SB 375 and speak out for ambitious emissions target at the California Air Resources Board's special meeting of the Regional Targets Advisory Committee on May 24 and 25.  It may get a bit technical, but this really is the cutting edge of fighting climate change!  Details will be posted soon here.

Grant funds now available for innovative approaches to reducing transportation-related emissions

Back in December, after two years of advocacy by TransForm, the Bay Area’s Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) designated $80 million for a first-in-the-nation regional grants program to fight climate change by funding innovative strategies to reduce driving.

Guidelines are now up for a $33 million pot of funds to implement high-impact, innovative projects that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and be replicated on a larger-scale around the region, focusing on parking, pricing, innovative traffic demand management, schools and cleaner vehicles.  Agencies, businesses and nonprofits can all participate.  Learn more or attend a workshop.  

How few miles do you think you can drive in a week?

The average American driver drives 250 miles a week.  Take TransForm’s 2010 Car-Free Challenge and see how low you can go!  You’ll join a huge community of people in setting a personal low car mileage goal for June 1-7 and enjoy lots of perks, prizes, and parties.  Plus, together we will send a message to our leaders that we need better options for walking, biking, and public transportation – not more funding cutsAlready car-free?  We need you, too!  Register by May 27.

Bus Rapid Transit takes a hit in Berkeley but moves forward in Oakland

TransForm’s been working for a long time to bring dramatically better bus service to the East Bay and showcase what’s possible with public transportation with Bus Rapid Transit.

Sadly and despite our efforts, Bus Rapid Transit opponents pressured enough Berkeley City Councilmembers to stop AC Transit from even studying the creation of dedicated lanes for the proposed Bus Rapid Transit system that would run along Telegraph Avenue, International Boulevard, and East 14th Street.

Fortunately, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to study dedicated lanes for Bus Rapid Transit along International Boulevard and Telegraph Avenue.  This is great news for making bus service faster and more reliable in Oakland.  Thanks to the many TransForm activists who spoke out at these City Council meetings – and if you’re in San Leandro, we need your voice on May 17!

RSVP now for the May 18 TransForay movie night

On Tuesday, May 18, we'll watch the new PBS documentary "Beyond the Motor City".  This excellent film first focuses on Detroit, which had the nation’s most extensive streetcar system before being dubbed the “Motor City”.  The film then looks at the future of high-speed rail in California and the upcoming federal transportation bill.

The TransForay will run from 5:30-7:30pm (with time for networking after) in the comfy screening room at the Uptown Apartments in Oakland.  Drinks and snacks will be served.  TransForays are free for TransForm members and $5 for non-members.

Watch the preview and RSVP by 5pm May 14 (events do sell out!).

June 1 conference tackles issues of transit-oriented development and social equity

An all-star lineup of experts (including TransForm’s own Jeff Hobson) will be at a daylong forum in Berkeley on how to address the equity, displacement, and environmental justice issues that arise when transit-oriented developments are built.  Register now.

Affordable Housing Week events abound May 7-16

We need more places where people at all income levels can live if we want to have thriving, walkable, diverse, and climate-friendly communities.  Be a part of making this happen by attending Affordable Housing Week’s many tours, building openings, speakers, and workshops.

Events will be held in the East Bay, San Mateo County, and elsewhere in the Bay Area.  Visit seven affordable housing developments in San Jose on a May 15 tour and don’t miss the panel on Kickstarting Good Local Land Use Plans.

TransForm will host a May 12 tour of opportunities for transit-oriented, affordable housing development in Pittsburg as part of our involvement in the Great Communities CollaborativeLearn more and RSVP now.

Bike Month brings countless fun outings

Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition co-presents the San Jose Via Velo on May 15, which will close San Fernando Street between Highway 87 and Third St. to traffic.  Walk Oakland Bike Oakland (WOBO) will have a “bike-in” movie on May 22.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Look up your local bicycle organization and join the fun!

It’s not just Bike to Work Day this month, but Bike to School Day, too!

On May 13, kids at schools across Alameda County will get a big dose of inspiration to try biking to school as part of the Safe Routes to Schools Alameda County Partnership that TransForm leads.   Wondering if your child’s school is participating?  Contact Rachel.  Want to know what Safe Routes to School is all about?  Watch our video.