News Features

California has until 2050 to cut its GHG by 80 percent from 1990 levels, according to state law enacted in 2006, (AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act). With this goal in mind, some 150 public, private and non-profit leaders from throughout the Bay Area gathered on Tuesday, June 3 at MTC and ABAG’s Oakland offices.

It’s a sunny afternoon in May. A fleet of bicycles sits on the playground at Lipman Middle School in Brisbane, a city of 4,200 people along San Francisco’s southern border.  Under the shade of the school building, a group of children and adults in neon safety vests circle up to talk about fitting helmets. Then, they head towards the bikes to examine the tires, breaks, and clamps.

Policymakers, parks officials, farmers, and activists met at San Francisco’s Presidio Park last Thursday for the Bay Area Open Space Council’s fifth annual conference. The conference, co-sponsored by MTC, explored ways to make open space more accessible to Bay Area residents—social networks, art projects, and transportation were all on the docket.

The new green bike lanes on Polk Street in front of San Francisco City Hall served as a red carpet of sorts for the hundreds of cyclists and elected officials who turned out to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Bike to Work Day on May 8.

Tommy Bensko believes in the power of alternative transportation. “Bicycling, walking, and public transportation are really good for the economy, and health, and the environment,” says the founder of Bay Area BikeMobile. More importantly, he adds “it’s good for the community.” But despite the obvious benefits, there are plenty of barriers to increased bike usage.

The Bay Area's first regional Commuter Benefits Program requires business with more than 49 full-time employees in the Bay Area to offer transportation-related benefits to their staff. BAAQMD's Board of Directors unanimously approved the program on March 19, 2014, and the program was launched jointly by BAAQMD and MTC in March.

Every year, thousands of Bay Area schoolchildren take field trips to San Francisco’s Aquarium of the Bay, where students interact with native sea creatures, attend science lessons with naturalists, and learn about conservation issues, including climate change.

goBerkeley’s aim is simple: to improve day-to-day travel in three of Berkeley’s most lively districts—downtown Berkeley, Telegraph/Southside, and the Elmwood. The four-month-old pilot program is testing ways of reducing traffic congestion through promoting transit, cycling, and walking and improving parking conditions in these neighborhoods.

On September 30, 2012, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 1339 (Yee), authorizing the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) to jointly adopt and implement a commuter benefits ordinance in the Bay Area on a pilot basis.

What concrete improvements arise from a regional plan? BART-to-Silicon Valley exemplifies the type of game-changing projects that benefit from a long-range blueprint like Plan Bay Area, which can help choreograph multi-year, multi-agency funding, planning and construction efforts.