June 1, 2011

Your monthly pass to world-class public transportation and more wonderful, walkable communities.

Even if you’re car-free, you know gas prices are high right now because almost everyone’s talking about it. The BBC recently wrote a story about why Americans are so upset about this. 

"Public transport is generally poor, so many Americans have no alternative but to drive," writes the author. Hence the frustration, especially for folks struggling to make ends meet.

Well, we think everyone deserves good public transportation choices. If you agree, check out and support our bold new effort to get California’s leaders to invest in transit.

Now onto more news:

  • Senator Boxer speaks out for walking and biking
  • Reports highlight dangerous streets and costly roads
  • Governor Brown's revised budget doesn’t include cuts to transit
  • Follow the $200+ billion transportation story
  • What happens when you truly engage a community in land use planning?
  • Bicycle-public transportation adventure on June 18
  • RSVP now for our car-free celebration July 21
  • So many good people to thank

Senator Boxer speaks out for walking and biking

After learning that pedestrian and bicycle programs might be actually written out of the federal transportation bill, many of you responded to our action alert and called Senator Boxer.  Thank you – it helped!  Senator Boxer, chair of the committee authoring the bill, recently announced that bike/ped programs will be preserved

There’s still a lot up in the air regarding the bill, though, especially regarding public transportation.  We need Senator Boxer to keep hearing that we want a bold bill that breaks from its highways-focused past.  Email Senator Boxer now – and add a personalized message, which makes a much larger impact.

Reports highlight dangerous streets and costly roads

If a jumbo jet went down every month, Congress would pass laws left and right.  Well, that’s exactly how many Americans are being killed simply walking according to a new report. Between 2000 and 2009, 6,992 Californians were struck and killed by cars while walking. As disturbing,our federal tax dollars actually build streets that are designed to be perilous to children, the elderly and everyone else.

Take action now to support the recently introduced national Safe & Complete Streets Act. This law would require streets constructed or repaired with federal funds to include space for pedestrians, as well as people in cars, on bikes, and on transit.

Governor Brown's revised budget doesn’t include cuts to transit

Governor Brown recently released the “May Revise,” his updated state budget proposal. Thankfully, as in his original proposal, Brown doesn’t include any cuts to public transportation funding this year or next.  And since diesel sales tax revenue is up with higher gas prices, transit will get slightly more than ancticipated in January.  Still, base funding levels for transit have been slashed so much in recent years that keeping them at current levels isn't sufficient. Read more on state funding for public transportation and sign our petition to leaders on this issue.

Follow the $200+ billion transportation story

The Bay Area is updating its Regional Transportation Plan, which will designate how $200+ billion is spent over the next 25 years. How this money is spent has huge implications for our quality of life, which is why we worked with a range of organizations to develop a detailed platform on what we want to see in the Plan. Read the platform now and sign on today either as an individual or representing an organization.  To get the full scoop come see TransForm's Deputy Director, Jeff Hobson, present on this issue Monday, June 6 at SPUR's lunchtime forum.

Over the next month and with many of the organizations who contributed to the platform, we'll be posting essays on our blog about what we really need in terms of affordable housing, smart growth, bicycle planning and public transportation. You can be alerted to new posts on our Twitter feed. You can also read some of the fascinating analysis that was part of the recent YouChoose/Plan Bay Area meetings looking at how different transportation and land use choices play out over time.

What happens when you truly engage a community in land use planning?

As part of our work with the Great Communities Collaborative, we did months of multilingual outreach to East Oakland residents so they could plug into major decisions being made about the future of the International Boulevard corridor. The resulting plan is fantastic thanks to all the residents’ input. It includes an innovative policy that aims to reduce the number of liquor stores on the corridor and improve access to fresh produce. The plan calls for more affordable and market-rate housing in addition to improved pedestrian/bicycle safety. 

Many thanks to the Northern California Chapter of the American Planning Association for acknowledging this land use planning process with their 2011 Grassroots Initiative Award!

Bicycle-public transportation adventure on June 18

In the spirit of our Car-Free Challenge, TransForm is partnering on the Car-Free Triple Threat on June 18, an epic public transportation-bicycle combination adventure.  You can ride or volunteer

RSVP now for our car-free celebration July 21

We’re taking a year off from running our full-blown Car-Free Challenge this year. But we still want to bring all of you awesome transit riders, cyclists and pedestrians together to celebrate driving less and living more! Join us for a Car-Free Celebration TransForum on July 21 in San Francisco. We’ll hear from a panelist of fascinating speakers who have gone to great lengths to go car-free, recognize some car-free heroes, and then swap stories over wine and snacks. RSVP now!

So many good people to thank

May had us feeling pretty blessed.  First, a class of third graders selected our Safe Routes to Schools program for a special donation. Too cute! Then, John and Marcia Addison decided to get rid of one of their cars. They donated it with the proceeds going to TransForm – a generous and symbolic way to support our work to make it easier to get around without a car. Finally, our awesome volunteer Bruce Maxwell continues to provide steadfast support to us with data and mapping needs.  Meet Bruce and thanks to all the supporters, activists, and donors who make our work possible.