In Tuesday in downtown Oakland, TransForm honored housing developers, cities, and transit agencies that have participated in its GreenTRIP program. The developers earned platinum-level certification under GreenTRIP, and the cities and agencies adopted some or all of the GreenTRIP policies into their planning processes.
It also aims to make the best use of existing highway lanes rather than widening roads. “…we are happy that they are proposing a way for public transit, vanpools and other high-occupancy vehicles to get out of traffic on the Dumbarton Corridor. It is the first agency study to fully recommend conversion of existing general purpose lanes to express lanes to make this happen, rather than in widening the road,” wrote Stuart Cohen, co-founder and Executive Director of TransForm, in an email to Streetsblog.
“We know that without outreach, the demographics of bike-share ends up being white, affluent, male professionals,” says Clarrissa Cabansagan, TransForm’s senior community planner. “In this era of immense gentrification and displacement, where families are struggling to survive in the Bay Area, we really ought to think about equity. … We want [the ridership] to look like the diverse communities that live in the Bay Area, that live in Oakland."
“Bike share has traditionally been white, male and college-educated dominated,” said Stuart Cohen, executive director of the transit advocacy group TransForm, at the launch event. “And with the inequality gap we have here in the Bay Area, that would just widen it and would be the wrong way to go.
Brytanee Brown, a community planner for TransFormCA and one of the individuals involved in OakMob101, stated that the East Oakland communities left out of the bike-share program are historically underserved by the city, especially when it comes to quality food, housing, and transportation.
In a draft of a report that is scheduled for release Monday, the transportation advocacy nonprofit TransForm, acknowledged that Motivate made some strides by providing a low-income discount, enabling users to pay for the system with cash, and extending the system along International Boulevard to Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood, one of the city’s lower-income neighborhoods.
A new affordable housing project called Quetzal Gardens could bring 71 affordable apartments to 1695 Alum Rock Avenue in East San Jose. The six-story complex includes 12,175 square feet of retail space on the ground floor.
Joël Ramos, regional planning director for Oakland transportation nonprofit TransForm, said after the vote that the resolution was “wonderful." “Granted, we’ll all need to work on finding a permanent solution, but at least kids can still get to school,” Ramos said.
Jennifer West, senior program manager at GreenTRIP, which advocates for environmentally friendly development and is a project of the group TransForm, noted that if Rockridge were to upzone, it could relieve parking concerns by encouraging developments to have a mix of market-rate and affordable units. Research has shown, she said, that low-income residents are more likely to take transit than high-income residents and that low-income residents are less likely to drive than high-income residents. “There is a benefit to the neighborhood to build affordable units,” she said.
“This is an absolutely pivotal time for public transit,” said Stuart Cohen, executive director of TransForm, a transportation and land use group. “Ride hailing companies like Uber and Lyft are absolutely changing travel in urban areas. We are at an inflection point and unless we make some changes, and fast, I predict we’ll likely see bus ridership decline at a faster clip.”
Joshua Stark of TransForm, testifying for the bill, pointed out another benefit: transit services that are improved or increased because more youth are riding would be available for everyone, further benefiting the entire community.
The concern is that not only could driverless technology be disruptive, it could also exacerbate or generate disparities within cities. “All new technologies, when distributed rapidly, create new inequities,” note a policy brief from the University of California, Davis’ Institute of Transportation Studies on the topic. Prepared by Stuart Cohen, executive director of the transit advocacy group TransForm, and Sahar Shiraz, from the California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, the brief argues that new policies or projects relating to new vehicle technologies should be evaluated for how it impacts low-income households using four criteria: cost, access, public health and employment.
From Joshua Stark, from transit advocacy group TransForm: "SB 1 will do some great things for California and our transportation system, and it breaks my heart that we couldn’t support it. We like that it sends a fair share of the money raised towards public transportation and safe walking and biking, but it also includes an unacceptable loophole to allow big trucks to keep polluting vulnerable communities. We couldn’t support a deal that sacrifices public health for public transportation — California needs both."
Another potential voice of opposition came from progressive transportation advocacy group TransForm. Joshua Stark, the group’s state policy director, said he was troubled by reports that the final bill will exempt trucks from clean-air regulations passed by the California Air Resources Board.