September 5, 2013

TransForm e-news: September 5, 2013
Your monthly pass to world-class public transportation and more wonderful, walkable communities. 

We’re still reeling from last month’s report on climate change in California, released by the state environmental agency.  An analysis of 36 “indicators” revealed a sobering picture of the impacts already hitting the state – from sea level rise to severe weather events like the growing threat, and reality, of forest fires.

But last week, another report brought some better news: Californians, and Americans as a whole, are driving less.  According to a new report by U.S PIRG, Californians drove 7.9% less in 2011 compared to our state’s “peak driving” year, 1999.

The takeaway?  It’s never been more urgent for Californians to have real transportation choices that cut carbon emissions, and it’s easier than ever to make the case that the end of car-centered culture is possible.

Read on for more news about how we’re working to turn that possibility into reality:


Good news for biking and walking statewide

With the deadline for passing bills rapidly approaching, state legislators took two important steps forward for biking and walking last week.  First, they approved AB 1371, which would require drivers to provide three feet of clearance when passing bicycles.  Click here to urge the Governor to sign this important safety measure.

What’s more, both budget committees approved legislation to create a new “Active Transportation Program” to fund walking and biking infrastructure projects.  We worked hard with our allies to ensure the details of this proposal were strong, and so far we really like what we’ve seen.  With more decisions heading to the California Transportation Commission – like how to spend this walking and biking funding -- we’re continuing to advocate for AB 1290 to expand and improve the CTC. 

Take action now: urge your representatives to vote YES on AB 1290, which will face a floor vote this week.  Sign up for updates on state issues and we’ll keep you posted on what comes next.

Congratulations, Kate White, new deputy secretary at the state Transportation Agency

Sacramento just got a little greener, thanks to the appointment of Kate White to the California State Transportation Agency.  The Governor selected this longtime TransForm friend and ally as the new deputy secretary of environmental policy and housing coordination last month.  Congratulations, Kate!

Kate’s resume speaks volumes: after directing Urban Ecology’s sustainable cities program, she co-founded City CarShare and helped launch a national car-sharing movement.  Kate also directed the Urban Land Institute - San Francisco, where she collaborated with TransForm on federal policy.  Most recently at the San Francisco Foundation, she took on coordination of the Great Communities Collaborative.  Kate brings a critical new voice for sustainability and affordable housing and we can’t wait to see her impact in Sacramento.

Get ready for International Walk and Roll to School Day October 9

Organizers, parents and students are hard at work preparing for the 17th annual International Walk and Roll to School Day on Wednesday, October 9.  Last year’s Walk to School Day 2012 cross borders to include more than 40 countries, with over 4,200 events registered in the U.S. alone.

We expect this year to be even bigger and better!  You can find a list of all the Walk to School Day events in California by clicking here. TransForm’s Safe Routes to School team is helping sponsor events at nearly 100 schools in Alameda County.   Contact us if you would like to volunteer at a school in your neighborhood, or visit www.AlamedaCountySR2S.org for more information.

Climate Ride 2014: Sign up now to be a Carbon Crusher

Have you always wanted an excuse to spend four days pedaling a bicycle through wine country in the spring?  You can do just that next May – and help TransForm be an even stronger advocate for climate solutions and transportation choices to boot!  Registration is now open for the 2014 California Climate Ride, and we’re seeking a new batch of Carbon Crushers to ride and fundraise on behalf of TransForm.

This year’s team of 10 riders worked together to train and fundraiser for this amazing event.  (And that’s not counting the awesome folks who included TransForm among several beneficiaries: Lisa Wan, Abby Young, and Kristine Schindler, who will participate in the NYC-DC ride starting September 21!)  In 2014, the ride is shorter and sweeter, an epic 250 miles from San Francisco to Sacramento over four days. 

You can get an early start by signing up now, or contact Shannon to learn more.

New zero-parking Berkeley development seeks approval October 10

In a city with 9,700 car-free households, building 77 new homes with zero personal parking spaces shouldn’t be unusual – but in Berkeley, it actually is. That’s why we’re so excited about Garden Village.  This proposed downtown Berkeley development has set a new bar among GreenTRIP Certified projects by providing a smorgasbord of transportation amenities to eliminate the need for individual car parking. 

If approved by the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board on October 10, this project will help residents spend less on car ownership and instead support more spending at local shops, restaurants and services.   Learn more about the Garden Village project’s outstanding package of innovative traffic reduction strategies and the challenges facing projects with few or no parking spaces on our blog here.

Save the Date for a sneak preview of our 2014-2018 Strategic Plan on November 14

TransForm is developing ambitious plans to sharpen our focus on climate and social equity, build communities with opportunities for all Californians, and create and expand innovative programs. We want you to be a part of this exciting future! 

So mark your calendar for a sneak preview of the bold vision we have to transform our region and state. Join us on November 14 in downtown San Francisco for food, drinks, mingling and more!  Many thanks to our sponsors Bridge Housing, City CarShare, and Community Design + Architecture.

Upcoming events: It’s time for PARK(ing) Day!

Below is a sampling of upcoming events in September and October.  Visit TransForm’s events webpage frequently for details on transportation-related events in the Bay Area and beyond.

Bay Area Health in Transportation – Health Benefits of Road Pricing
Wednesday, September 18 at 10:00 a.m. via webinar

Join TransForm and the Safe Routes to School National Partnership for a webinar exploring the health benefits of road pricing.  Megan Wier of the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) and Michael Schwartz of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (SFCTA) will present on the findings of Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of potential road pricing conducted in San Francisco.

Register to get announcements for future calls here!

International PARK(ing) Day
Friday, September 20 in your city

It’s our favorite holiday: PARK(ing) Day!  Thousands of people around the world have been celebrating every September since 2005, when San Francisco-based designers decided to feed the meter and create public spaces from parking spaces.  We’ve seen yoga classes, pop-up libraries, and even campsites complete with s’mores over the fire in years past, and we can’t wait to see what folks dream up for PARK(ing) Day 2013.

It can take as little as a roll of quarters and an active imagination to create a PARK near your home or business.  Learn more and register your PARK at parkingday.org.

Deadline: Safe Routes to Transit Applications
Monday, September 30 at 5:00 p.m.

There’s just one more month to submit applications for this final round of Safe Routes to Transit (SR2T) grants – so don’t delay!  TransForm has received a lot of application inquiries from across the region, and we're excited to hear about some of the innovative projects and plans that we will review this fall.

TransForm implements the SR2T grants, awarding funds to projects that improve the safety and convenience of walking and bicycling to regional transit stations.  Click here to learn more about Safe Routes to Transit, and how to apply.