June 1, 2009

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

You are one of the coolest people we know if you're one of the 100+ folks who have already signed up for the Car-Free Challenge

We can't believe all of the incredible people and stories that are flooding in.  We have a mom in Castro Valley who's getting her boys to Scouts, sports, and private school all without a car - and we have an actress in Los Angeles who's attempting a mere 300 miles in June.  Read their stories, and read on for the latest:

  • Stand in opposition to the Oakland Airport Connector TODAY at 3:30pm
  • TransForm's Car-Free Challenge starts today: how few miles will you drive in June?
  • How SB 375 can bring smart growth to the Bay Area and beyond
  • Say yes to a Complete San Francisco Japantown Plan
  • Support a great plan for Downtown Berkeley
  • Safe Routes to Transit call for projects now open
  • Did you miss TransForm's Summit?
  • Bike to Work Day: not just for grownups
  • From our regional coalition: jobs and events

Stand in opposition to the Oakland Airport Connector TODAY at 3:30pm

People are starting to get the message: the Oakland Airport Connector is a transportation boondoggle of the highest order. Even the editorial board of the Oakland Tribune has come out against the project after years of support.  A column in yesterday's Contra Costa Times also pointed out the folly of the project.

Today, June 1 at 3:30pm the Port of Oakland Commission will be voting on whether to give the Oakland Airport Connector project $44 million.  TransForm will be presenting our bus rapid transit alternative.  We need to show them this project has huge costs, questionable benefits, and risks all BART riders.  Attend the meeting and stand in opposition against the project.

TransForm's Car-Free Challenge starts today: how few miles will you drive in June?

Janet Abelson is going to try to log zero miles in a car in June by not accepting any car rides (she is a wheelchair user) by using public transportation only.  Chris Lepe lives in an area that doesn't have great public transportation.  But Chris is trying to drive just 200 miles in June by using his bike to commute as often as possible. 

During the month of June the average Bay Area resident will drive 540 miles. Think you can do better?  Join a huge community of people in setting and reaching a personal low mileage goal in the month of June - plus win great prizes and share your stories of taking transit, walking, and biking. Whether driving less is stretch for you or already a way of life, your involvement matters!

Help us reach our goal of having 540 people take the Challenge so we can send a  powerful message to our leaders that a critical mass of people want to drive less and live more - which is why we need better options for walking, biking, and taking public transportation!  Learn more and sign up to take the Challenge.

How SB 375 can bring smart growth to the Bay Area and beyond

California's new smart growth law, SB 375, will require regions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving transportation choices and how communities are designed so they require less driving.  Right now, leaders are deciding by how much metropolitan regions will have to reduce their emissions by 2020 and 2035.  Stuart Cohen, TransForm's Executive Director, has been appointed to the Regional Target Advisory Committee.  The Committee is helping the California Air Resources Board determine how to set the regional emissions targets

Get a front row seat at this decision-making on June 3 when the Regional Target Advisory Committee has a public meeting in Oakland.  Or attend a workshop on July 15 on the role of local governments in implementing SB 375 in Oakland.  Read more about TransForm's work on SB 375

Say yes to a Complete San Francisco Japantown Plan

San Francisco's Japantown Better Neighborhoods Plan will be approved by the end of June.  The Plan is a chance to make Japantown a thriving hub with a range of housing and transportation options, all while preserving local businesses and making the Japantown Center the cultural centerpiece of the area.  Come speak out at upcoming Planning Commission meetings to review and endorse the plan on Thursday, June 18 and Thursday, June 25.  Learn more about the Japantown Plan.

Support a great plan for Downtown Berkeley

Join TransForm and many Berkeley residents in telling the Berkeley City Council to adopt a new Downtown Area Plan. By focusing new homes and shops within walking distance of the Downtown Berkeley BART station, this plan is the most effective way for Berkeley to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Learn more about the Plan and how you can support it.

Did you miss our Annual Summit?

You can still hear the fantastic keynote speaker!  Scott Bernstein from the Center for Neighborhood Technology in Chicago presented fascinating findings on the combined cost of housing and transportation in the Bay Area that showed that the things we're all fighting for save people and governments money.  Watch Scott's speech on our YouTube channel.

See photos from the day, including one of Stuart Cohen getting splattered by a water balloon (anyone who signed up for the Car-Free Challenge got to take aim).

Bike to Work Day: not just for grownups

TransForm's Safe Routes to Schools program had hundreds of students from schools around Alameda County biking to school on May 14.  With "energizer stations" at more than a dozen elementary and middle schools, kids arriving on tricycles, scooters, trail-a-bikes and bicycles enjoyed fruit, stickers and other goodies to celebrate pedal power.  At Thousand Oaks Elementary School, students pedaled a stationary bicycle with a blender attached to make smoothies!  The day was summed up by one enthusiastic rider at Rosa Parks Elementary School, who shouted, "I want to bike everyday to school now!"  Read more about TransForm's Safe Routes to Schools program.  

Safe Routes to Transit call for projects now open

The Safe Routes to Transit (SR2T) Program awards grants for projects that improve the safety and convenience of walking and bicycling to regional transit stations. The program is funded by Regional Measure 2, the one-dollar bridge toll fee TransForm helped fight for in 2004.  The grant program is administered by TransForm and the East Bay Bicycle Coalition.  Learn more about Safe Routes to Transit.

From our regional coalition: jobs and events

Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County is hiring a new Program Organizer.  HLCSMC is looking for a candidate with experience in events, organizing, housing policy or nonprofit work with a commitment to creating a more equitable and sustainable San Mateo County.  Read the job description.

Sonoma County Conservation Action's 14th Annual Benefit Dinner and Celebration.  On June 25, join State Senator Fran Pavley (the author of California's groundbreaking climate change legislation) for a night of local wine and food, plus an auction.   Buy your tickets at www.conservationaction.org.