August 4, 2014

TransForm e-news: August 4, 2014
Your monthly pass to world-class public transportation and more wonderful, walkable communities. 

Oil companies are making $9,000,000 per hour. And they want to keep us hooked on oil to protect those profits.

Our blog post exposes oil companies’ latest effort to gut California’s pioneering climate protection laws to protect their profits. Hiding behind fake concern for drivers and low-income families, they are backing a bill - AB 69 - that will exempt them from paying for their climate pollution like other industries already have to.

If they succeed in shirking their duty to pay, we'll have less funding to expand public transportation, walking, biking, and affordable, healthy communities - and be stuck with more traffic, pollution, and an unhealthy dependence on oil.

Email your legislator now to stop AB 69, and if you’ve already taken action, please tell your friends to send an email today.  Together we can ensure that Big Oil pays its fair share for climate pollution.

Onto the rest of the e-news:

With the start of school just around the corner, help make school zones safe for kids

Our kids already face huge challenges in school. Getting to school shouldn’t be one of them.

That’s why TransForm is co-sponsoring SB 1151, a bill that would make it safer and more affordable for kids from all incomes and communities to get to school. SB 1151 would require drivers to pay an additional fine for committing a moving violation in a school zone, and fund projects to make streets and neighborhoods more bicycle and pedestrian friendly, especially in low-income communities where families have less transportation choices. 

SB 1151 is expected to easily pass the Legislature this month, but the Governor’s approval is far from certain.

Help make our streets safe for kids. Take a moment right now to send an email to Governor Brown in support of SB 1151.


Planning for people, not parking, will make San Jose a better place to live 

Urban growth in the Bay Area doesn’t have to mean expensive and car-dependent. In fact, simply getting rid of outdated parking policies could make our cities more vibrant, affordable, and wonderful places to live.

GreenTRIP, TransForm’s innovative certification program, is helping cities like San Jose lower the cost of housing and transportation by reducing the need for parking. In San Jose, GreenTRIP strategies could free up nearly $2.4 billion that would have been spent on parking structures, and help the city achieve its goal of cutting solo driving in half by 2040.

With recent support from the Knight Foundation, GreenTRIP will be able to greatly expand its number of certifications in San Jose and help keep the Bay Area a great place to live.

Read more about the Knight Foundation’s support of GreenTRIP in San Jose on our blog.


Berkeley Downtown Initiative: Bad for Berkeley

Berkeley’s existing Downtown Area Plan was finalized in 2012 thanks to over 200 public meetings and six years of careful planning. But it is being threatened by a new initiative that would dramatically reverse much of the plan and make Berkeley more expensive, more car-dependent, and more polluted as a result.

Read our blog to learn why TransForm is opposing this Berkeley Downtown Initiative on the November ballot.


Help us pass Northern California's largest transportation funding measure EVER 

TransForm needs YOU…to help us win critical funding for better transit, biking, and walking in Alameda County! Starting August 18, stay tuned for how you can help launch our fundraising efforts to pass the proposed extension and increase of Alameda County’s transportation funding measure, which would serve as cutting-edge model to make our whole region better. If you love being able to bike, walk, and take public transportation in the Bay Area, you don’t want to miss being a part of this important campaign. For more information on how to donate and support this campaign, contact TransForm’s Development Director, Sara Marcellino.

Vote to improve Muni service at the ballot box this November

If you use Muni to get around, you know that the overcrowded buses, dirty stations, and strained service are in need of a little TLC – and a lot of funding. This November, San Francisco voters will have the opportunity to fix Muni service by approving the “GO Bond Measure” to improve the city’s transportation infrastructure. Some of the fixes the measure would fund include upgrades to maintenance facilities to ensure fewer breakdowns, safer street-level transit stops, and much needed station improvements. Funding will also go to projects that will improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety throughout the city.

Read our blog for more on why TransForm supports San Francisco’s “GO Bond Measure”.

Cap-and-trade rubber hits the road this month with workshops on Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities

Now that the ink on the California state budget is dry, we need to weigh in how projects and programs are funded with the billions of dollars of cap-and-trade proceeds. That work begins this month when the Strategic Growth Council will host a series of workshops to shape the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program (AHSC), which will receive $130 million this year and much MORE in future years when it gets 20% of cap-and-trade revenues.

We need your help to ensure that funding is put to its best use: advancing our goals of climate protection, a more sustainable economy, and supporting disadvantaged communities. Read our blog to learn more about the hearings, and how you can get involved.

Celebrating Plan Bay Area's one-year birthday with high expectations for the future

In some of the state's biggest regions – the Bay Area, Southern California, and Sacramento – regional plans to reduce driving and climate pollution face a host of challenges during implementation. One of the biggest is that county transportation agencies hold significant planning and decision-making authority and may not add all of the right "ingredients."  

Read our blog to see how Plan Bay Area is unfolding, and what counties in the Bay Area – and throughout California – can do to make sure their regional plans become a blueprint for focused growth, healthier communities and opportunity for all.

Old habits die hard: the neuroscience of car addiction

Is it possible to be addicted to your car? In a recent CityLab article, researchers found that the routine of waking up in the morning and heading to your car can become a habit so cognitively ingrained in our brains that we develop a dependency on it, and even an addiction to it. This means that even when faced with a plethora of transportation options, car-addiction makes behavior change (like choosing to ride a bike or take the bus to work instead) difficult. We want to break this addiction by making alternatives to driving so easy, affordable, and convenient so that people of all incomes can make a car-free trip their first choice!  

TransForm in the news around the state

“The transportation sector is responsible for the largest greenhouse gas emissions in our state, nearly 40%. But unlike other sectors…transportation emissions come from millions of exhaust pipes, because many Californians simply have no choice in how we get around.”

In his guest commentary for the Los Angeles Daily News on Friday, TransForm’s Executive Director Stuart Cohen explains why investing in clean energy and transportation choices is good for business, consumers, and Californians of all incomes. Read the whole article here.  

TransForm’s State Cap-and-Trade Campaign Manager, Ryan Wiggins, was featured in the Bay Area Monitor to discuss the huge community benefits that will accompany the transition of transportation fuels becoming subject to cap-and-trade in January 2015. Read Ryan’s quote and the whole article.  

Save the date - LIVE Awards & Benefit on October 16, 2014

Mark your calendar! Our LIVE (Leadership | Innovation | Vision | Equity) Awards & Benefit is on Thursday October 16th in San Francisco. We're thrilled to be honoring California Senate President pro Tem, Darrell Steinberg, who has arguably done more than any other legislator in California’s history to create a more affordable, equitable and sustainable California. We will also be honoring the Executive Director of Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, Corinne Winter, for her key leadership in the field of sustainability, transportation, and land use.    

We hope you can join us in honoring these leaders on Thursday, October 16 at 6:30 p.m. We'll have a cocktail reception with light fare preceding the awards program. Event registration opens on Monday, August 28. Contact Sara Marcellino to learn about sponsorship opportunities or if you’d like to donate an auction item. 

Calendar of Events
Below are a few upcoming events in August 2014. Visit TransForm’s events webpage frequently for details on transportation-related events in the Bay Area and beyond.

Bike the Bay
August 24, 7 a.m.
San Diego, California

Bike the Bay is a fun bike ride event that supports local bicycling and raises funds for the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition. Learn more and register here.

Bike Sunday on Telegraph 
August 24, 11 a.m.
Berkeley , CA

Telegraph Avenue becomes a car-free people zone stuffed full of people from all walks of life. Enjoy lots of bike-related fun and games, and the breadth of culture Berkeley has to offer.

Sunday Streets in the Mission
August 24, 12 p.m.
San Francisco, CA

Sunday Streets in the Mission is one of the most popular and populous events, drawing crowds from all over the city and the region to bike, walk, and explore the neighborhood on car-free streets. 

September 21-24 - Early Bird registration ends August 29!
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Rail~Volution is a four-day conference dedicated to the vision that America's cities and regions be transformed into livable places where people have transportation choices. GreenTRIP Policy Analyst Jennifer West will be speaking on the panel, "Space Exploration: Innovative Parking Tools + Strategies" on Tuesday, September 23 from 2-3:30 p.m. To register visit Rail~Volution's website