January 6, 2009

Your monthly pass to better transit and more wonderful, walkable communities.

If you've checked out TransForm's new strategic plan, you know we are committed to tackling a lot in 2009 in order to achieve world-class public transportation and walkable communities in the Bay Area and beyond. 
But we thought we'd make a few New Year's resolutions anyway:

  1. Lose 1,000 pounds in paper and carbon emissions: we're working to become a green-certified office.
  2. Make new friends: we want to get hundreds of new people involved in our work as activists and individual supporters.
  3. Work tenaciously at every level of government, from local planning efforts to the federal transportation bill, to revolutionize transportation and land use in the Bay Area and beyond.

The second two resolutions simply won't happen without you, so read on for urgent action alerts, events and more:

  • Tell your Congressional reps to make smart transportation investments a big part of the economic stimulus plan
  • State transit funding is in dire straights – take action now
  • TransForm's January 21 regional meeting is all about streets
  • Events and speakers
  • A special offer from one of TransForm's regional coalition member organizations, City CarShare

Tell your Congressional reps to make smart transportation investments a big part of the economic stimulus plan

President-elect Obama and Congress are scrambling to figure out an economic recovery bill to pass soon after Obama takes office.  But the well-funded highway lobby is pushing proposals that are far more focused on building more roads than on getting our current transportation system back in shape by fixing failing roads and bridges and creating a truly world-class public transportation system nationwide.  Estimates show that investments in public transportation create 19% more jobs than equivalent investment in new road projects.  Plus, these tough economic times make affordable options for getting around more important than ever, especially for low-income people.  Tell your Congressional reps to support an economic stimulus plan that will create high-quality, green jobs, give Americans real transportation choices, and reduce our dependence on oil.  Take action through our campaign partner's website at www.t4america.org.

State transit funding is in dire straights – take action now

As the state budget deficit grows to epic proportions, transit funding is more at risk than ever.  Now on the table is the permanent elimination of the only source of state funding for public transportation operations, the State Transit Assistance program.

We need you to demand that the state continues funding public transportation operations.  Tell the Governor and legislative leaders they must maintain state funding for public transportation.

TransForm's January 21 regional meeting is all about streets

TransForm's upcoming regional meeting will focus on how we can make streets wonderful places for bicyclists, pedestrians, and transit vehicles.  Hear from speakers from the Bay Area Bicycle Coalition, the new Streetsblog SF team, and others.

Regional meetings are a great way to learn more about transportation and land use issues, meet like-minded advocates, and hear from representatives of organizations working on similar issues.
Please RSVP to Ebonie so we have enough food and seating.  The meeting will be held from 5:30-7:30pm on Wednesday, January 21 at the Sierra Club in downtown San Francisco (85 2nd St.; Montgomery BART/MUNI station). 

Events and speakers

Solutions to Secure California's Transportation Energy and Climate Future Conference.  TransForm is one of the sponsors of this conference from January 14-15 in Sacramento, which will explore solutions for California's transportation-related energy, climate, and air quality challenges.  Click here to learn more about the conference.
Berkeley Planning Commission Meeting.  Attend the Berkeley Planning Commission on January 14 at 7:00pm to speak up for higher densities in Berkeley's Downtown Plan in order to achieve the Plan's sustainability goals of the Downtown Plan and the goals set out in Berkeley's Climate Action Plan.  You can also send comments to the Planning Department.  Learn more at Livable Berkeley's website. 
Alameda County Active Transportation Forum.  TransForm, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (a TransForm regional coalition member), and United Seniors have partnered with the Alameda Country Transportation Improvement Authority to urge Congress to create a $2 billion program for targeted investments in bicycling and walking.  Come to the January 15 forum to discuss the campaign and its ultimate goal of $50 million in funding to make Alameda County a model for bicycling and walking with projects like the East Bay Greenway, programs like Safe Routes to Schools, and improved access to transit for seniors.  The meeting will be from 6:30-8:30pm at St. Leanders School, 451 Davis Street (near BART) in San Leandro.
New Partners for Smart Growth Conference. Attend the biggest smart growth conference in the country January 22-24 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Learn more about the conference.
Transit-Oriented Development 101.  Learn about the need for and benefits of transit-oriented development and what it really means in terms of transit, housing, amenities, and open space on January 24 from 10am-12:30pm at the Environmental Center, 55A Ridgeway Ave, Santa Rosa. Sign up for the class.
Planning and Conservation League's Annual Symposium.  On February 7, the Planning and Conservation League's daylong conference in Sacramento will address a broad range of environmental issues and plan strategies for shaping future environmental laws in California.  Learn more about the conference.

A special offer from one of TransForm's regional coalition member, City CarShare

Want to live a more car-free lifestyle, skip car payments and never worry about gas, insurance or car maintenance again? Join City CarShare and get 24/7 hourly access to hundreds of fuel efficient cars in San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland.  As a special thanks for supporting TransForm and alternative, car-free transportation, City CarShare is offering $30 in driving credits to anyone who joins ShareLocal or SharePlus by Jan 31. To join go to www.citycarshare.org and use the promo code “TransForm09.”