May 7, 2014

TransForm e-news: May 7, 2014
Your monthly pass to world-class public transportation and more wonderful, walkable communities.

We have a chance to transform the future of California’s transportation and communities.

Last month, Senator Darrell Steinberg unveiled a long-term strategy for investing the billions in expected revenue from the state’s new cap-and-trade program, which caps carbon emissions levels and then charges polluters to emit.

The plan provides a strong model for investing literally billions of dollars each year in public transportation, building affordable homes near transit, creating “complete streets”, open space protection, and more. 

But this will only become a reality if the Senate, Assembly, and Governor pass a budget that includes an investment strategy for cap-and-trade that’s in line with Senator Steinberg’s plan.  And the budget must be passed by June 15.

That’s why we need you to send an email right now to your legislators asking for a state budget that invests cap-and-trade funds in transformational transportation, housing, and conservation programs.

Onto the rest of the e-news:

Take action to increase  fines in school zones for speeding drivers

If you speed through a construction zone in a car, your ticket will be doubled.  Shockingly, we don’t have a similar law for moving violations in school zones.  

Our kids should be able to walk or bike to school safely – and getting drivers to slow down and pay attention is a big part of that.

SB 1151, a bill TransForm is cosponsoring, will increase fines for traffic violations in school zones – and use the funds to improve bike/pedestrian safety for kids, with a focus on school zones.  Email your Legislator today and tell them to support SB 1151, the Safer School Zones bill.


What happened at the Transportation Choices Summit in Sacramento?

What happens when you get 200+ leaders and activists from around California in one room, all of whom are dedicated to bringing better transportation choices and affordable homes to their communities?  Well, you get a lot of incredible ideas, inspiration, and action, sparked by speakers including Senator Kevin de León and Kate White, the deputy director of California’s transportation agency . 

The next day, over 100 people went to the State Capitol to talk with almost every legislative office about these issues.  You can read this great Streetsblog article recap, check out photos from the Summit on our Facebook page, plus slides and videos will soon be available on our website.  Thank you to everyone who made our third-annual Summit and Advocacy Day such a great success! 

We must protect everyday BART riders from having to pay for the Oakland Airport Connector

BART’s $500 million Oakland Airport Connector (OAC) is under construction and slated to open this fall. New documents from BART show that not only will BART lose $7-8 million on the OAC during its first year, but the project will continue losing money through 2040. TransForm is pushing BART to take aggressive steps to protect everyday BART riders from shouldering the burden of this wasteful project. Read more on our blog plus save the date to speak out at BART’s May 22 public hearing and June 12 vote.

Our solution for congestion on Highway 101 is gaining momentum… and you can learn more May 22

TransForm believes travelers on Highway 101 need more transportation choices, not more traffic. Optimized high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes would reduce traffic without adding any highway lanes.  How? By converting a general mixed-lane to be an HOT lane that buses and carpools can use, plus solo drivers would be able to enter the lane for a toll that would fund even more public transportation options and low-income mitigations. Just five months after we released our proposal, all three agencies that manage Highway 101 are now hurrying to study implementing it.  We are delighted that San Mateo, Santa Clara, and San Francisco Counties are embracing innovation, more transportation choices, and equity.  Now the question is – where will optimized HOT lanes come to life first? Read the whole story on our blog

Even better, come hear TransForm’s own Jeff Hobson tackle this topic at SPUR in San Jose on May 22, where VTA’s John Ristow will also speak. 


The TransForm Carbon Crushers pedal away for Climate Ride 2014

What bikes 250 miles, raises $35,000, and has eleven sets of pedaling feet?  The TransForm Carbon Crushers!  On May 17, the Carbon Crushers will join the Climate Ride from San Francisco to Sacramento on a four-day bike tour to raise money and awareness for solutions to climate change, including TransForm’s work.  Made up of TransForm staff and supporters, the Carbon Crushers have been busy training to get our legs ready for the ride and fundraising to meet our team goal.  If you haven’t yet made a donation to a Carbon Crusher, please support our team and donate today!


New study shows that communities connected by transit live longer

We all know that how we design our communities and what our transportation system is like has a huge impact on so many things, from the air we breathe to whether someone can get where they need to go even if they don’t have a car.These connections keep getting clearer.

Smart Growth America’s new report shows how people living in more dense places with strong urban centers actually live longer!  Read the whole report here.

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.

Discussion: “Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism”

May 1, 12:30 pm

SPUR San Francisco

Join the author of the new book Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism for a discussion of the history of suburbia and how we can learn from the past to lay out a practical strategy for change.


Bike to Work Day

May 8 - May 16

May is Bike Month, so check out our events calendar to find the date of your city’s Bike to Work Day!


What Can Be Done About Highway 101?

May 22, 12:30 pm

SPUR San Jose

TransForm’s Jeff Hobson and VTA’s John Ristow are the featured speakers at this lunchtime event to discuss the best pricing strategies for making 101 work better.


Breathe California’s 38th Annual Clean Air Awards Luncheon

May 28, 11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Sacramento State University Ballroom

TransForm’s executive director Stuart Cohen will give the keynote speech at the Clean Air Awards Luncheon.  The Clean Air Awards Luncheon is an opportunity to publicly recognize and celebrate the efforts of local Clean Air Champions.