October 1, 2014

TransForm e-news: October 1, 2014
Your monthly pass to world-class public transportation and more wonderful, walkable communities. 

By the time you finish reading this sentence, you may have just saved hundreds of dollars.

Beginning September 30, most Bay Area employers will be required to offer commuter benefits to their employees who don’t drive alone to work, saving their employees (aka you!) hundreds of dollars a year. That’s great news for all of you who already ride the bus, take the train, bicycle, or carpool to work…and an awesome incentive for you to switch if you don’t already use these options!

Learn more about how the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program affects you, and read TransForm Executive Director Stuart Cohen’s quote about the program in the San Jose Mercury News.  

But on a federal level, Congress is still not giving people who take transit, bike, or walk to work the same benefits as people who drive and park. In fact, Congress increased the tax benefit for car drivers for their parking costs to $250/month while they slashed the benefits for transit riders to $130/month. 

If you think this is unfair (and it is!), email your Congressperson right now.

Onto the rest of the e-news:

Remembering an incredible transit and social justice activist, Alice Frayne

Almost 15 years ago, we got to know Alice Frayne as an incredible activist who was passionate about public transportation as the ultimate social justice issue. She attended transit agency meetings over the years, where she tenaciously, eloquently, and successfully urged elected officials to do more for Bay Area transit riders. 

TransForm’s work would be impossible without people like Alice Frayne, and we owe Alice a huge debt of gratitude for her dedication and efforts. Alice inspired us, too: she was always one to “walk the talk,” too, having gotten rid of her car decades ago to opt for the bus. She bought no new clothes, and instead donated all the money she would have spent to people in need. Alice passed away on September 21, 2014, but she will continue to inspire us.

You can read Alice’s story here.


Leadership + Innovation + Vision + Equity = LIVE Awards + Benefit

We’re celebrating California Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Executive Director of Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, Corinne Winter for their exceptional leadership in creating a better California for everyone. Join us in honoring them on Thursday, October 16th at 6:30 p.m. in San Francisco. We’ll provide: breath-taking views, TransForm-themed cocktails, a food reception and opportunities to support our work - connecting people of all incomes to opportunity while helping to solve our climate crisis.

Register now! LIVEbenefit.eventbrite.com


The Governor vetoed SB 1151, but we're not giving up 

We’re frustrated that the Governor vetoed SB 1151, a bill we co-sponsored to make school zones safer for kids. But we’re not giving up. 

By not putting his signature on SB 1151, Governor Brown gave up a critical opportunity to make California’s streets safer for kids from all communities, no matter where they live or how they get to school. Without SB 1151, the fine for committing a moving violation in a school zone in California remains tragically low, even though California has the highest pedestrian fatality rate among children from 4-7 years old in the nation. 

Send an email to your California legislator right now to thank them for supporting SB 1151. We won't stop working to make California’s streets and school zones safe for all.

The 2014 legislative year in review

Big things happened in the world of transportation policy this year in California, and most of them came out of deals between the California Legislature and the Governor. There are several victories to celebrate, but also some important opportunities - like SB 1151, mentioned above - to continue working for safe transportation for all Californians in 2015, no matter where they live, where they’re going, or how they get there. 

Read the full recap on our blog.

New GreenTRIP Parking Database will help cities thrive as they grow

Want more affordable cities with less traffic, lots of public transportation, and more parks and open spaces? Now there's a tool for that.

GreenTRIP's new Parking Database tool provides critical data on parking at 68 residential developments around the Bay Area to help support the efforts of planning professionals, community members, and those who care about making the Bay Area an affordable, healthy, equitable, and wonderful place for everyone to live.

Learn more about the Parking Database, and then use it to make the city where you live a better place for all!

Help us build GreenTRIP Connect - a tool which could truly transform cities statewide. Read more about GreenTRIP Connect and the Knight Foundation’s matching grant here. 

Help us save BART on October 9

More and more people are riding BART just as BART’s aging fleet deteriorates, putting more BART cars out for repairs. This combination is leaving us stranded on the platforms or stuck like sardines at rush hour and even late at night. 

We can make sure BART stays safe, frequent, reliable, and affordable for all, if we help BART leaders make the right decision. 

Send the BART Board of Directors an email today urging them to prioritize improving and maintaining existing BART service. If you want to share your concerns in person, please join us at the upcoming BART Board meeting on October 9 at 9:00 a.m.

November 4 is around the corner - don't forget to vote!

There are many reasons why you should vote on November 4: pothole-free streets, protected bike lanes, more frequent bus service, and safe sidewalks are just a few! 

In addition to countywide measures, there are important positions at stake including elections for the BART and AC Transit Board of Directors.

TransForm’s handy Election Guide is here to help you navigate the ballot, so please make your voice heard and remember to vote on November 4!

Measure BB's campaign is in full swing - get involved today!

This month, TransForm is teaming up with Bike East Bay at their offices in Jack London Square to help phone bank for the Yes on BB campaign, and we need you! You may remember us mentioning Measure BB – northern California’s largest transportation funding measure – last month.

You can help us win critical funding for better public transportation, biking, and walking in Alameda County, ALL while meeting great folks, having fun, and knowing you’re making your community a better place…all you have to do is volunteer to help today!

On Thursday, October 9 come out to phone bank with our own Geoffrey Johnson at Bike East Bay. If you can’t make it on Thursday, check out when you can phone bank with Geoffrey and Joel Ramos to win Measure BB!

New Best Practices Library paves the way for inspiration and better planning

Last month, TransForm launched a new tool to help planners, transit agencies, nonprofits, and advocates as they tackle and solve the biggest urban issues around the nation. This tool, the Best Practices Library, contains more than a dozen entries that describe and analyze successful transportation plans, programs and projects focused on efficiency, health, and social equity – from the Bay Area to Cleveland. Planners and community advocates will be able to easily find a project or program that could help in their area, and forge ahead armed with key contacts and background information. 

Check out the Best Practices Library today and learn more about our stellar summer intern Mimi Tam who helped bring this library to life! 

Envisioning a better El Camino Real

Nearly one hundred community members came out on September 11 for “The Future of El Camino Real is in Your Hands,” a forum co-hosted by TransForm and nearly a dozen partner organizations. 

Much of the Q&A focused on the El Camino Real Bus Rapid Transit project, which has the potential to transform El Camino Real from a place for speeding cars into a walkable destination that people would enjoy visiting. But there’s a lot of misinformation flying around about the project! Our blog post about the event clarifies key aspects about El Camino BRT, which will face some important planning milestones in the months ahead.  Read and share our blog, and contact Chris Lepe for more information. 

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

25th Annual Envisioning California Conference
October 3, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 
Sacramento, CA

TransForm Executive Director Stuart Cohen and Deputy Director Jeff Hobson will speak on panels at the 25th Annual Envisioning California Conference, “Moving On: Transforming Transportation in California”. Reduced registration price is available for students and fellows.

CicLAvia – Heart of Los Angeles
October 5, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Los Angeles, CA

CicLAvia returns to the Heart of Los Angeles in October with an entirely new route. Enjoy a car-free downtown Los Angeles during this event which features special zones for pedestrians and kids. 

International Walk and Roll to School Day
October 8

It’s time once again for kids to celebrate their feet…by using them to get to school. Last year, kids walked and rolled to school at nearly 5,000 locations in the United States alone! Get in on the fun this year and find an event in your community. Or connect with our Alameda County Safe Routes to School program for more information.

“Is Anyone Using that Parking Space?"
October 9, 12:30 p.m.
San Jose, CA

GreenTRIP Program Director Ann Cheng presents TransForm’s new Bay Area Residential Parking Database tool at this lunchtime forum. Learn how the tool, plus the innovative research behind it, reveal how we can reduce parking requirements and design more affordable, low-traffic neighborhoods.
San Diego Housing Federation Conference 
October 15, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
San Diego, CA 

TransForm Executive Director Stuart Cohen will speak on a panel titled "Cap-and-Trade 2014 - What's Next?" to discuss the creation of the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program, and how we can continue to make the case for affordable homes as a greenhouse gas reduction strategy. Register online.

2014 Silicon Valley Neighborhood Development Training Conference
October 11, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
San Jose, CA

The Silicon Valley Neighborhood Development Training Conference (SV-NDTC) is an annual event attended by over 400 neighborhood local neighborhood residents. This year's luncheon keynote speaker will be Dr. Manuel Pastor. Register online before October 8.

Millennials and Boomers: Planning for Changing Demographics in the Bay Area
October 18, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 
San Jose, CA

The Urban Planning Coalition (UPC) at San José State is hosting a symposium that will look at how Millennials and Baby Boomers, as two key demographic groups, are affecting growth and change in the Bay Area. Admission is free, register online. 

Designing Cities 2014: Leading the Way to World Class Streets 
October 22-25
San Francisco, CA

The Designing Cities conference convenes transportation leaders and practitioners from across the country to discuss key trends in urban street design and transportation policy. Buy your ticket online, sales end October 25

Urban Acupuncture: Exploring Creative Pinpricks of Change with Jamie Lerner 
October 27, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. 
San Jose, CA

Three-term mayor of Curitiba, architect and urbanist Jaime Lerner has been the driving force behind a host of innovative urban projects for sustainable and livable communities around the globe. Join Lerner in an intimate conversation. Admission is free, register today.

Merced Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program Workshop 
October 23, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Merced, CA

This workshop will help decide the details of how the AHSC will spend that money - an incredibly important opportunity to shape the future of California's communities. Learn more and register online.

Oakland Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program Workshop 
October 24, 9:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.
Oakland, CA

This workshop will help decide the details of how the AHSC will spend that money - an incredibly important opportunity to shape the future of California's communities. Learn more and register online.

Los Angeles Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program Workshop 
October 27, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Los Angeles, CA

This workshop will help decide the details of how the AHSC will spend that money - an incredibly important opportunity to shape the future of California's communities. Learn more and register online.

Sacramento Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program Workshop 
October 28, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sacramento, CA

This workshop will help decide the details of how the AHSC will spend that money - an incredibly important opportunity to shape the future of California's communities. Learn more and register online.