September 4, 2014

TransForm e-news: September 4, 2014
Your monthly pass to world-class public transportation and more wonderful, walkable communities. 

As the school year begins and our kids head back to school, their well-being is on our minds - whether they’re in the classroom or on the sidewalk. 

Today, only 1 in 10 kids walks to school regularly. Neglected sidewalks, dangerous bike lanes, and traffic-filled streets are all barriers that keep kids from getting to school safely without a car in California. Every kid deserves to get to their education safely, no matter how they arrive.

Right now we have a huge opportunity to keep streets safe for kids: Governor Brown’s signature is the final step to making SB 1151 the law. Under SB 1151 drivers who commit a moving violation in a school zone will face an additional fine that will fund projects to make streets more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.

Email Governor Brown today and tell him to make California a safe place for kids to get to school.

Onto the rest of the e-news:

Join us for the LIVE Awards on October 16

We hope you’ll join us on Thursday, October 16 at 6:30 p.m. for our LIVE Awards + Benefit in San Francisco! We’re thrilled to honor California Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Executive Director of Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, Corinne Winter. Help us celebrate their commitment for a better California, and invest in the future of TransForm by participating in our benefit and auction.

For more details, and to register, visit


Get ready for November 4 with TransForm's Election Guide

This year Election Day is on Tuesday, November 4 – and in a busy mid-term election year, it’s easy for even the most organized among us to feel overwhelmed. That’s why TransForm has put together a handy one-page election guide to help you and your friends navigate transportation-related ballot measures this fall. There’s a lot at stake, so help us spread the word in San Francisco and Alameda Counties!

Alameda County voters should vote YES on Measure BB. San Francisco voters should vote YES on Measures A and B, and NO on Measure L.

Read our full election guide for the lowdown on what measures we endorse to bring great public transportation, walking, and bicycling to Bay Area communities.


Help plan the future of El Camino Real 

If you walk, bike, drive, or take the bus along El Camino Real, you now have the chance to help make it a street that works well for everyone, no matter how you get around.  

Sunnyvale city officials will soon be making important decisions that will affect traffic and transportation, community health, and business along the El Camino Real corridor. Join this discussion and make your voice heard by coming to TransForm’s upcoming event, “The Future of El Camino Real is in Your Hands” on September 11 from 6-8 p.m. in Sunnyvale.

For more information and to register visit our website

With your help, BART can stay safe, frequent, reliable, and affordable

Wheels falling off trains, BART cars filling with smoke, and derailments are just some of the recent problems plaguing BART due to a severe backlog of maintenance needs.  Big spending plans are in the works at BART this month, and it's never been more clear that the BART Board of Directors must make the right investments over the next few years to keep core services on track.

Our Save BART campaign is focused on keeping BART safe, frequent, reliable and affordable. We need your help to urge the BART Board to prioritize maintenance and upgrades on the core system, so the whole Bay Area can keep moving. Sign up now to get the latest news and ways to help Save BART, including details on the upcoming BART Board meetings on September 11, September 25, and October 9.

For more information or to RSVP for a BART board meeting, contact Joël Ramos.

Speak up and share your thoughts to improve transportation in Contra Costa County

What do you want to see improved in Contra Costa County? Whether it’s better bus service, BART, bicycle and pedestrian networks, or safer roads, now is the time to share your thoughts. In a few months, Contra Costa County Transportation Authority (CCTA) will start putting together a transportation spending plan for the 2016 ballot. TransForm will be actively involved in this process, and we want to make sure that your voice is heard.

You can take the very short survey on the CCTA website. For more information about CCTA and the process to put together the 2016 measure, please contact Joël Ramos.

BikeShare celebrates its first birthday in the Bay Area, zero fatalities, and clean cities

Three cheers for BikeShare!

In August, Bay Area BikeShare celebrated its first birthday. In its first year of operation, the program shared 700 bikes throughout five cities, averaging 778 rides per day for a whopping 200,000+ total trips. BikeShare programs across the nation also have reason to celebrate: since the first program launched in 2007, they have not seen a single fatality. Plus recent studies show that bikeshare programs make some cities cleaner

How a car-centric worldview is hurting transit in the South Bay

Here’s a fact that might surprise you: the percentage of people who drive to work is greater in Santa Clara County than in Los Angeles. This costly and unhealthy trend is a result of a car-centric worldview that permeates how planners, politicians, and city officials have historically shaped Santa Clara County’s roads, highways, and open spaces. In order to reverse this trend, the South Bay needs “think outside the car” and invest in transit, bicycling, and walking networks that benefit all of us.

Read Silicon Valley Senior Planner Chris Lepe’s blog post on how we can overcome the obstacles to thriving transit in the South Bay, and the good work that’s happening now. 

State leaders stop Big Oil's dirty scam...for now

We can all breathe a little easier now that Big Oil’s latest dirty scam is over. State leaders officially killed AB 69, defeating the oil industry executives’ latest attempt to roll back our cap-and-trade program. 

But we know that Big Oil will be back next year to try to weaken California’s powerful climate protection programs. TransForm is working to ensure that cap-and-trade funding goes to programs that will make life better for all of California’s diverse communities – and next year we’ll publicize the results, to remind our leaders why the oil industry is dead wrong. 

Email your legislator now to say thanks for defeating AB 69.

Fed up with crumbling sidewalks and speeding traffic, a high school senior makes his community safer

In his four-years at San Lorenzo High School, senior Leo Martinez has made a big impact. Frustrated that his commute to school from his home in San Leandro was unsafe (if he biked or walked) and late (if he took the bus), Leo joined the Safe Routes to Schools (SR2S) program to make his neighborhood streets safer for his classmates and community. For Leo, being able to ride a bike or walk to school safely is about more than getting to class on time – it’s about helping kids lead healthier, more active, and more social lives.

Read Leo’s inspiring story on our blog, and send a message telling Governor Brown to sign SB 1151 and keep California’s school zones safe for kids in every community.

Meet TransForm's stellar summer interns, Mimi Tam and Henry Pan

TransForm’s summer internship program launched this year in Oakland and San Jose with two very talented interns, Mimi Tam and Henry Pan.  Both are working on critical projects for TransForm while getting valuable nonprofit work experience. We look forward to supporting them as they begin their journey of developing their individual careers as our next generation of planners. Huge thanks to the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation for funding the pilot year of what we hope will be a permanent program. Contact Sara Marcellino if you know of other potential funders to help us grow this exciting effort to cultivate diversity in our field.  

Learn more about Mimi and Henry and their work here.

We're hiring - spread the word!

Our Safe Routes to School team is hiring a Site Coordinator to help make biking and walking to school safer throughout Alameda County. The position is full-time, exempt and will work from our office in Oakland. Consider applying today, or share with someone who might be interested in joining the Safe Routes to School team! 


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

Oaklavia - Love our Lake Day
September 14, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Oakland, CA

Walk, bike, stroll, and dance Lake Merritt on car-free streets. Sponsored by TransForm, Oaklavia is a production of Walk Oakland Bike Oakland and features activities, music, community resources and a party at Latham Square. Look for the TransForm table there!

September 21-24
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Rail~Volution is a four-day conference dedicated to the vision that America's cities and regions be transformed into livable places where people have transportation choices. GreenTRIP Policy Analyst Jennifer West will be speaking on the panel, "Space Exploration: Innovative Parking Tools + Strategies" on Tuesday, September 23 from 2-3:30 p.m. To register visit Rail~Volution's website. 

Silicon Valley Bike Summit
September 30, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Palo Alto, CA

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition and Stanford Healthcare host this in-depth discussion on ways that governments, law enforcement, and advocates can work together in creating a safe, welcoming environment for people on bikes. Scholarships are available, please contact to apply. 

Envisioning California Conference
Moving On: Transforming Transportation in California
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 pm
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, 2014 **Early-bird registration ends September 30!
San Diego, CA 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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 before September 30 to take advantage of early registration prices.