April 3, 2014

TransForm e-news: April 3, 2014
Your monthly pass to world-class public transportation and more wonderful, walkable communities. 

At TransForm we’re all about creating places that put people first. 

There’s no better way to celebrate this idea than one of the awesome events coming up this month, including Sunday Streets events in San Francisco and CicLAvia in Los Angeles where you can enjoy huge stretches of car-free streets for the day.  National Walk to Work Day is coming up on April 11, with Bike to Work Day on May 8, too.  

Onto the rest of the e-news:

Learn, strategize, and network at the Transportation Choices State Summit on April 22

We are building a statewide movement to win the policies and funding we need to transform California into a place where everyone has safe, affordable and abundant options to get around. But our movement won’t succeed without people like you from across the state.

Register now for our Transportation Choices State Summit in Sacramento on April 22.  Once you’ve registered for the Summit, you can take advantage of two optional events also happening before and after the Summit, including a bike tour of Sacramento and an Advocacy Day at the State Capitol. 

New report shows huge jump in number of Californians walking, biking, and riding transit 

Recent national headlines reported that more Americans rode public transportation in 2013 than in any year since 1965, a whopping 10.65 billion passenger trips.

Here in California, the news is good, too.  Caltrans’ latest survey shows that the number of California residents walking, biking, or using public transportation on a typical day has more than doubled since 2000. In 2012, nearly 23 percent of household trips were taken by walking, biking, and public transportation. In 2000, that share was only 11 percent.

We’ve entered a new era where people are fundamentally shifting how they get around.  Now we need our transportation policies to support this. Read the full Caltrans report here and how Caltrans’ new mission is in line with this.

Bay Area public transportation riders will save hundreds of dollars starting in October

Change is afoot in the Bay Area for making public transportation cheaper for workers. By September 30, all Bay Area employers with 50+ full-time employees will have to provide commuter benefits.  Read more about how companies will do this and what it means for transit riders like you.  Bicycle commuters may get new perks for riding, too! Now we just need Congress to bring back full commuter benefits nationwide.  

TransForm's new strategic plan takes on our greatest challenges: climate and social inequity

We just released what’s been a year in the making: our new strategic plan.  The plan outlines how we will work with diverse partners to create an abundance of walkable communities with excellent transportation choices across California. 

There’s so much in the plan you’ll love, including new efforts to connect climate and equity, plus some exciting new campaigns and an expansion of our work throughout California. Please read the plan and let’s join together in bringing it to life.

Did you miss renowned urban planner Don Shoup at our recent event?

We knew that Professor Shoup is a leading mind in urban planning  and parking policy.   What we didn’t know was that Shoup is a comedian to boot!  Our recent event featuring Shoup had over 250 attendees (or “Shoupistas”) cracking up in the first five minutes of his presentation. Videos of Professor Shoup's presentation and Q&A session are now on our YouTube channel.  Additionally, we've uploaded his slides to our website.  If you haven't already, check out photos from the event on our Facebook page, and this Streetsblog article recapping the event.

Parking policy is a hot topic and often a heated subject.  One of our Board members attended a city planning meeting in San Mateo recently and saw firsthand how people can get awfully protective of parking. Read Jame’s story.

The Bay Area's first Bus Rapid Transit project breaks ground

San Jose will soon enjoy a seven-mile stretch of exceptional bus service on the busiest transit corridor in Santa Clara County along the Capitol Expressway, Alum Rock Avenue and Santa Clara Street. Bus Rapid Transit is revolutionizing bus service around the world by emulating the best features of rail. We think Bus Rapid Transit is a key way to get world-class public transportation in motion in the Bay Area, and are thrilled with the San Jose project – especially the way it will integrate bike/ped improvements, art, and local history
TransForm's Chris Lepe, who's been organizing community members to help shape the project, attended the recent groundbreaking.  Read Chris' blog about this milestone for San Jose and the entire Bay Area.

How do you get kids excited to walk or bike to school?

We’ve learned a few things over the years in working with schools as part of the Alameda County Safe Routes to Schools Partnership.  

One is that if you take a running shoe, spray paint it gold, and mount it on a pedestal, kids will go to incredible lengths to win the Golden Sneaker trophy.

This year’s Golden Sneaker Contest had an estimated 34,000 students from 71 schools across Alameda County as participants, competing to log the most miles on foot, bike, and in carpools.  Check out this photo of our Safe Routes staff decked out in gold to bring trophies to the winning schools and classrooms. 

Deadline to apply for TransForm summer internship is Friday, April 18

We are thrilled to announce TransForm’s first paid internship program slated for summer 2014 in Oakland and San Jose!  TransForm will hire 3 interns, who can be undergraduates or students or who just graduated. We have 8 projects that will provide interns with an introduction to the field of planning with practical and substantive nonprofit work experience, plus help build a professional network.
Read more about our internship program and spread the word. Huge thanks to the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation for funding the pilot year of what we hope will be a permanent program

Your idea for how to make California more affordable could win you $3,500

We know California is getting far too expensive to live in in many areas, especially those with good public transportation and walkability. But how do we actually solve this?

The Transportation Housing and Environment (T+H+E) Network is sponsoring a $3,500 prize for the best idea to lower the cost of living in California. Ideas can be submitted in any medium. Check out the simple instructions and judging criteria. Submissions are due April 9, 2014 with the winner announced at the Housing California Annual Conference April 15-17.  TransForm is a proud founding member of T+H+E Network.

Calendar of Events     

Below are a few of the upcoming transportation-related events in the Bay Area and beyond. View all events on our website.
Carbon Crushers FUNdraiser with the Hot Italian and Bike East Bay
Thursday, April 3 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
The Hot Italian, Emeryville
Eat pizza and help the TransForm Carbon Crushers team raise money to ride 250 miles in May’s Climate Ride!  On this night only, get a Racer 5 IPA and a BElLUCCI or CANNAVARO pizza for only $20, and all the proceeds will go to TransForm and Bike East Bay’s Climate Ride teams.  The Hot Italian is easily accessible via public transit and the free Shellmound-Powell Emery-go-round shuttle (Public Market stop).
Saving Time and Energy through Bus Rapid Transit Projects Around the World
Monday, April 7 4:15 – 5:15 p.m.
Stanford University
This lecture will compare key features of various Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) projects around the world and attempt to address their impact on sustainable development and transportation solutions in each environment. The talk is located in the NVIDIA Auditorium, Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center at Stanford.
Avenidas Transportation Forum
Thursday, April 17 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Avenidas, Palo Alto
This event will address all your questions and concerns about how to get around the Bay Area without a car. The presenters and exhibitors will describe their services, provide schedules and other literature.
The keynote speaker will be Gary Richards, transportation writer for the San Jose Mercury News.