Whether you celebrate February 14 with a heart-shaped box of chocolates, or protest the day as a Hallmark creation, there’s no denying that Valentine’s Day is all around us. So in the spirit of the holiday, we at TransForm are celebrating the people that put a spring in our step and a smile on our face.
While our Valentines may not be your traditional heart-throbs, to us, they’re pretty special.
Susan King, the woman who helped bring a day of car-free streets to California
When Susan King started organizing Sunday Streets San Francisco in 2008, she was borrowing from a movement that had been happening in Bogota, Colombia since the 1970’s. Never ones to turn down a chance to meet their neighbors in the street on a sunny day, Californians loved the idea. The concept caught on quickly, and since then the concept of a day of car-free celebrating in the streets has spread to Berkeley, Los Angeles, San Diego, and beyond.
Jake Coolidge, designer of the BART map of our dreams
When we saw this map of the BART system that almost was, our heart beat a little faster. Lines connecting Montgomery to Menlo Park, Petaluma to Pittsburg, Lafayette to Los Gatos: it seemed too good to be true! And while our current beloved BART system is far from making these plans a reality, it’s not too late for it to charm us with more trains, cleaner stations, and more reliable service.
Barnali Ghosh and Anirvan Chatterjee, creators of the “Planning Love” V-Day cards
Stumped on how to put into words your love for the urban planner, transportation engineer, or bicyclist in your life? Look no further than these unabashedly nerdy Planning Love V-Day cards. The brainchild of TransForm Board Member Barnali Ghosh and her husband, Anirvan Chatterjee, the cards range from sweet (“This bike lane is built for two”) to scholarly (“Let’s build consensus for the master plan of our love”), so there’s sure to be something for everyone on your Valentines list!
Boots Riley and Josh Healey, the rapper and comedian duo who made caring about climate change cool
Climate change is a serious issue that affects everyone on our planet. But sometimes the people who try to convince us of this fact do so in a way that is abstract, depressing, or just plain wonky. That’s why we love Movement Generation’s video, Brother Earth, featuring Boots Riley (from the rap group The Coup) and Oakland comedian Josh Healey. This video is a PSA (Planetary Service Announcement) that breaks down climate change – what it is, why it’s happening, and why we should care – in a way that’s anything but conventional. (Note – the video contains swear words.)
The more than 4,000 people who helped pass the law to give bicyclists 3-feet of passing room
Okay so this may be cheating a little bit, but we can’t help but feel warm and fuzzy towards the thousands of people who took action, signed petitions, wrote to their legislators, and called decisionmakers to help make AB 1371 a law. AB 1371 (or the Three Feet for Safety Act as we affectionately call it) went in effect on September 16, 2014 and requires people driving a car to give at least three feet of clearance when passing people riding bikes. To help spread awareness and keep our roads safe for everyone, visit CalBike.org to get a reflective Give Me 3 sticker that you can slap on your bike, helmet, fender, car window, bumper, wherever. We also have a stack in our Oakland office if you want to drop by and pick one up!
So now that we’ve shared our sappy side, we want to hear from you! Who are your valentines? Leave us a comment telling us who (or what) makes your world go round, inspires you, or who you just plain LOVE.