October 2, 2009

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

In this month's Sunset magazine, we saw a perfect description of the kinds of places we want to see more of.

"You step out your front door, and life's conveniences are a short walk or bike ride away. The office. The train station. The grocery store. Even the movie theater and your doctor's office would be within 20 minutes of your home."

The result is the 20-minute good life. Less commuting, more community. Less driving, more exercise. Less impact, more planet!

Let's bring the good life to more places.

Read on:

  • We've GOT to stop this thing: last chance to derail the Oakland Airport Connector boondoggle!
  • You spoke… they're starting to listen
  • The devil is in the details: how California's smart growth and climate change law is coming to life
  • Big changes for public transportation could be on the way in the South Bay
  • Support smart growth in Contra Costa County
  • Make Berkeley's bus service better
  • Learn the secrets to shaping development in "form-based codes" class (free webinar October 6!)
  • Volunteers still needed for International Walk and Roll to School Day
  • Smart growth symposium focuses on the future Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit corridor

We've got to stop this thing: last chance to derail the Oakland Airport Connector boondoggle!

We think spending $500,000,000 of taxpayer money on a slow new connection to the Oakland Airport is crazy. Especially when it'll cost BART riders $6 extra each way to ride, BART is cutting service and going more in debt, plus there's a fast alternative that would cost a fraction as much.

The City of Oakland is increasingly opposed to the Connector because it won't have any local stops for Oakland residents, which also kills the economic development aspects of the project. But BART doesn't care what Oakland thinks – check out this video.

BART needs to do better for Oakland, BART riders, and taxpayers. Join us in urging the City of Oakland to take a stand against the currently proposed Oakland Airport Connector – and demand a smarter, affordable alternative.

Ask Councilmembers to support the resolution against the Connector.

Come to the October 6th 7pm City Council meeting. Contact John if you can attend or RSVP and spread the word on Facebook.

You spoke… they're starting to listen

Thanks to 600+ emails from activists like you, the Bay Area's Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) has postponed a decision that would have greatly underfunded the new Transportation Climate Action Campaign. The Campaign would support innovative programs that fight climate change and make it easier and safer to walk, bike, and take public transportation. Let's send an even stronger message that the Bay Area must become a model in fighting climate change.

Join us in asking MTC Commissioners to prioritize funding for the Climate Action Campaign over highway ramp meters.

The devil is in the details: how California's smart growth and climate change law is coming to life

California's new law, SB 375, will require regions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation. By how much? The California Air Resources Board will decide on emissions targets for the 18 major regions in the state within the next year. Stuart Cohen, TransForm's executive director, was appointed to a committee to help the Air Resources Board figure out how to set the targets. The committee just released their recommendations for deciding targets and how SB 375 can succeed in creating more sustainable communities and transportation options. Check out the final report of the Regional Targets Advisory Committee.

Big changes for public transportation could be on the way in the South Bay

If you live or spend time in the cities of San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Palo Alto, or Cupertino, big changes could be coming to a public transportation stop near you!

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) plans to bring 30 miles of Bus Rapid Transit service to the Alum Rock, El Camino, and Stevens Creek Transit Corridors. TransForm is working to engage community members in shaping and supporting new Bus Rapid Transit service - get involved!

Support smart growth in Contra Costa County

Contra Costa County's Measure J sales tax (which TransForm helped shape and pass in 2004) created a groundbreaking program to spur smart growth and support the creation of more affordable housing.

Now, with sales tax revenue down, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority may defund this program in East County. Learn more and take action to protect funding for smart growth in Contra Costa County.

Make Berkeley's bus service better

If you live, work, or ever take public transportation in Berkeley, we've got two ways for you to get involved in making bus service faster and more reliable. Bus Rapid Transit, with its dedicated lanes, state-of-the-art buses, and other key features, is pending approval in Berkeley.

Come to a special stakeholder meeting on October 5 on the proposed Bus Rapid Transit route. Or express your support for the proposed route at a public workshop on October 17 or via email. Learn more about how to get Bus Rapid Transit in Berkeley.

Learn the secrets to shaping development in "form-based codes" class (free webinar October 6!)

TransForm is cosponsoring a class that will teach you about a new alternative to conventional zoning: form-based codes. Form-based codes are a way of shaping development that can be very effective in achieving more walkable communities. Take the daylong class in person on November 4 – or take an introductory webinar on October 6 (the webinar is free if you come to TransForm's Oakland office). Learn the ABC's of form-based codes from national experts at a reduced price.

Volunteers still needed for International Walk and Roll to School Day

Can you give an hour of time to inspire more kids to walk and bike safely to school as part of International Walk to School Day? We need folks to pass out prizes at dozens of schools around Alameda County throughout the week of October 5 – just contact Nora. Not in Alameda County? Contact Susan and she'll connect you with a program in your county.

Smart growth symposium focuses on the future Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit corridor

The Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy will hold its fifth Smart Growth Symposium on October 14, which will focus on how to create more walkable communities along the Sonoma Marin Area Rail Transit corridor opening in 2014. Join business, community and government leaders from across the North Bay for an engaging and informative symposium on what it will take to attract new businesses and build thriving communities along the SMART corridor. Learn more and register now.