October 1, 2010

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

Last week, the California Air Resources Board adopted ambitious transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions targets for region across the state.  This is huge victory because meeting these targets will demand that regions shift policies and funds towards better public transportation, integrated land use planning, building a more affordable mix of homes, and bicycle/pedestrian projects. 

Hundreds of emails from activists helped us win a 15% per capita reduction by 2035 here in the Bay Area.  ClimatePlan, cofounded by TransForm, also did an amazing job building statewide support for ambitious targets in other regions in the face of huge outcry from the highway lobby and sprawl developers.  NRDC, the American Lung Association of California, Move LA, and Greenbelt Alliance provided incredible leadership as well. 

Read more about what this historic vote means for the future of transportation and land use - we think a new era of growth for California has arrived!

Then read on for more of the latest:

  • Oakland Airport Connector moves forward, but silver lining for future regional planning
  • Write a Letter to the Editor urging federal transportation reform
  • As Election Day approaches, remember: no on Props. 23 and 26!
  • Vote yes on vehicle fees for your county
  • We need volunteers in October – can you spare a couple hours?
  • TransForm seeks long-term volunteer for exciting federal campaign
  • GreenTRIP certification program will accept new applications October 12
  • Planning process in Pleasanton can make city a “great community”
  • Learn how to be a strategic pedestrian advocate October 3 - 5
  • October 15 San Mateo conference looks at transportation and affordable housing
  • Walk 13 miles over 10 peaks in San Francisco on October 16
  • Last car-free streets event of the year on October 24 in San Francisco
  • RSVP for November 16 “TransForum” on revolutionizing next federal transportation bill


Oakland Airport Connector moves forward, but silver lining for future regional planning

Last week, the final piece of funding was approved by the California Transportation Commission for the Oakland Airport Connector.  While it is disappointing to have this project move forward when there is clearly a better, more affordable alternative than BART's $500,000,000 boondoggle, there is a silver lining.

Our leaders are realizing that taxpayers will no longer stand for projects whose costs spiral out of control and don't provide real benefits.  BART and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) are now making major improvements to their public participation processes due to the civil rights issues we brought up.  Several Commissioners at MTC ultimately spoke out against the project and for the need to put megaprojects with system-wide financial impacts under the microscope.  Listen to Steve Kinsey, MTC's Programming and Allocation Chair, stating that for the region to deal with the challenges ahead, future decisions must be held to a higher standard.  We intend to make sure this happens!

Write a Letter to the Editor urging federal transportation reform

We were thrilled when President Obama’s Labor Day speech included bold language about investing in the nation’s infrastructure (including billions for transit) and reforming the federal transportation bill.  His words immediately came under fire by special interests who want to maintain the status quo of more highways at the expense of everything else.

We need to counteract this backlash by showing that people overwhelmingly support transportation reform. Can you write a letter to the editor to your local paper today?  Transportation For America has a snazzy online system that makes this super fast and easy.  For more help with your letter, please contact Shannon.

As Election Day approaches, remember: no on Props. 23 and 26!

TransForm urges you to vote no on Propositions 23 and 26 on November 2.  Prop. 23, the Dirty Energy Initiative, would halt California’s efforts to become a world leader in creating green jobs and fighting climate change.  Prop. 26, the Polluter Protection Initiative, would make it much harder to get huge corporations to take responsibility for environmental and health damage they create (and is bankrolled by polluters).  TransForm has taken a neutral position on Prop. 22, the Local Taxpayer, Public Safety, and Transportation Protection Act of 2010.  Learn more about our take on these ballot measures and spread the word to vote no on Prop 23 and 26!

Vote yes on vehicle fees for your county

On Election Day, vote yes for much-needed transportation funding in: Alameda (Msr. F), Contra Costa (Msr. O), Marin (Msr. B), San Francisco (Msr. AA), San Mateo (Msr. M), Santa Clara (Msr. B), or Sonoma County (Msr. W).  These seven counties are asking voters to approve a $10 vehicle registration fee to help pay for a range of transportation needs, from fixing potholes to public transportation improvements.  Learn what the fees will fund where you live.

We need volunteers in October – can you spare a couple hours?

First, we still need folks to help pass out prizes at nearly 60 schools around Alameda County as part of International Walk and Roll to School Week during the week of October 6.  Contact Rachel to help.

Second, we need volunteers to help with a big mailing project.  Stop by our Oakland office for a couple hours or more on October 25 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to stuff, stamp, chat, and munch on free food.  Please RSVP to Jessica at jlewis@transformca.org that you can help and feel free to bring friends!

TransForm seeks long-term volunteer for exciting federal campaign

TransForm is coordinating the Transportation For America campaign here in California so we can win real reform of the next federal transportation bill.  We’re looking for a volunteer to contribute 10-15 hours a week to this effort.  The ideal volunteer would be excited to learn about federal policy and organizing, commit to at least 2 months, and ideally have some advocacy or transportation policy experience.  This is an exciting learning experience that will help determine the next generation of federal transportation spending!  Read more and apply.

GreenTRIP certification program will accept new applications October 12

GreenTRIP, TransForm's cutting-edge new program, certifies residential and mixed-use developments that keep the number of new parking spaces as low as possible and offer incentives for new tenants to drive less and own fewer vehicles.  Since these types of developments create less parking and driving, there’s more space for shops, services, and affordable homes – plus less traffic and pollution.  If you know of a project that should be certified, mark your calendar for October 12.  Or learn more about GreenTRIP at a joint American Planning Association (APA) and Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) lunchtime event on October 14.

Planning process in Pleasanton can make city a “great community”

Home to the Pleasanton BART station and Hacienda Business Park, a major job hub for the region, Pleasanton is poised to become a community with a great mix of jobs, homes, and transportation choices.  Thanks to the efforts of Urban Habitat and Public Advocates, the housing caps that had restricted building more affordable housing units have been lifted.  TransForm is excited to announce that the Great Communities Collaborative will be working to engage residents in a planning process for the Hacienda Business Park area so that it achieves its full potential.  TransForm coordinates the Great Communities Collaborative, which recently won the 2010 Outstanding Leadership and Service Award from the American Planning Association’s (APA) California State Chapter.

Learn how to be a strategic pedestrian advocate October 3 - 5

California Walks will present an intense 3-day workshop at the David Brower Center in Berkeley to teach the latest pedestrian data and modeling best practices, plus how to be a strategic pedestrian advocate.  Registration is just $50 and includes lots of healthy food and exercise is even built into the workshop.  Register now!

October 15 San Mateo conference looks at transportation and affordable housing

San Mateo County's premier conference on housing policy and issues will be held on October 15, in Redwood City. This year’s conference will include a session on “transportation planning for housing advocates” and a panel that includes Mike Scanlon, CEO of the San Mateo County Transit District.  Learn more and register.

Walk 13 miles over 10 peaks in San Francisco on October 16

On the Peak to Peak Walk, you'll discover hidden stairways and explore new paths while supporting Walk San Francisco’s work to make San Francisco a safer, better place to walk.  This fundraiser for Walk San Francisco starts at 8:30 am in the Mission, ends at Land's End, and is totally transit accessible. Registration includes a year's membership, lunch, and a raffle ticket.  Early-bird registration of just $65 ends today – register now!

Last car-free streets event of the year on October 24 in San Francisco

If you haven’t experienced the wonders of one of the Bay Area’s car-free streets events yet, it’s your last chance of the year!  Enjoy the Tenderloin completely car-free from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. as part of Sunday Streets.  Get a map and details.

RSVP for November 16 “TransForum” on revolutionizing next federal transportation bill

We want the next federal transportation bill to dramatically shift funds towards public transportation, smart growth, and repairing our aging roads and bridges rather than building more highways.  Join Shannon Tracey (the Transportation For America campaign coordinator in California) and Carli Paine, TransForm's transportation program director on November 16 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for a discussion of why and how the federal transportation bill needs to change, and how this impacts the Bay Area.  We will also talk about how the election results factor in to this campaign and how you can get involved, plus have time for networking at the end over complimentary snacks and drinks.   TransForums are free for TransForm members and $5 for non-members.  Register now!