Recap of “Let’s Get Moving” Silicon Valley Transportation Choices and Healthy Communities Summit

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Our first-ever Let’s Get Moving Summit on February 23, 2013, was a huge success, with 200 attendees, 16 co-sponsors, and speakers representing over 35 organizations. The event generated significant interest from the media, including radio interviews with TransForm’s Silicon Valley Community Planner on KBAY 94.5, AM 1080 KSCO, and Alice 97.3, as well as online print media through the Cupertino PATCH and the Santa Clara Weekly.

Let’s Get Moving opened with an excellent plenary featuring Dwayne Marsh from HUD, Susan Stuart from the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, and San Jose Councilmember Ash Kalra (who sits on the Caltrain, VTA, and BAAQMD Boards). The plenary made very insightful points, including:

  • In Santa Clara County, there are three jobs for every housing unit, forcing many workers to commute from other counties. One third of those commuting into Santa Clara County earn less than $40,000, and 18% earn less than $15,000.
  • One third of Americans don’t drive at all, but our spending on transportation does not reflect this reality. Only 0.6% of our federal transportation budget is allocated for pedestrian infrastructure.
  • Nearly 40% of the Bay Area’s greenhouse gas emissions come from cars and light trucks, and preliminary deaths linked to particulate matter are at levels comparable to traffic accidents and secondhand smoke.
  • Transit riders are more physically active than the general population, averaging 19 minutes of walking per day during their commute. One third of transit riders meet their daily minimum requirements for physical activity during their daily commute.
  • One third of children in Santa Clara County are overweight or obese.
  • Of all vehicle trips from 7:00 am to 9:00 am, 10–14% are trips to take kids to school.
  • From 2007 to 2009, 800 bicycle and pedestrian collisions occurred near schools in San Jose Unified School District.
  • Federal, state, regional, and local governments are working together through a variety of programs to create more sustainable communities connected by better transportation options.
  • Community members are an important component of transportation planning. It’s important for community members to work together through organizations consistent with their values in order to have an impact on the way our communities are planned. 

The plenary was followed by six interactive break-out sessions on a variety of transportation and land use topics, followed by lunch and networking, and another six afternoon sessions. The Summit concluded with final remarks from San Jose Councilmember Sam Liccardo (who sits on the VTA and MTC Board). Councilmember Liccardo outlined a variety of serious economic, environmental, and health challenges facing our society and urged the audience to work together to create positive changes in our communities.

So what’s next? This week, there are several important deadlines for Bus Rapid Transit projects, and we need your help. Click here to learn more, or contact Chris Lepe for details.


Materials and PowerPoint presentations shared during the Summit are now available on the Summit event page. In addition, videos of the Summit plenary, sessions, and closing remarks will be featured on our YouTube channel in the coming weeks.

TransForm would like to thank everyone who helped to make the Summit a success, in particular the event co-sponsors: the Santa Clara County Public Health Department; the Sierra Club, Loma Prieta Chapter; the Mineta Transportation Institute; Working Partnerships USA; the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA); Greenbelt Alliance; Urban Habitat; De Anza College’s Institute for Community and Civic Engagement; SPUR San Jose; the Silicon Valley Community Foundation; the Health Trust; the Silicon Valley Leadership Group; the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition; the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce; the Silicon Valley Independent Living Center; and Safe Routes to School National Partnership. TransForm would also like to thank all of the speakers and volunteers, our interns Thai-Chau Le and Jeff Deperalta, and the Director of the San Jose Peace and Justice Center, Sharat Lin who coordinated the video recording effort.

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TransForum is the blog of TransForm, California's leading transportation advocate. For more about our work, including ways you can take action and contribute, visit TransFormCA.org.