Although it is the world center of innovation, Silicon Valley struggles to provide healthy communities and quality transportation choices for its residents and workforce. To address those issues, TransForm’s Silicon Valley Transportation Summit, Let’s Get Moving, is set for 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Feb. 22, at Avenidas Senior Center in Palo Alto, Calif.
It will bring together community members, local leaders, organizations, public officials, and city planners to strategize how to offer better transportation choices and healthy communities in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Spanish translation will be available.
Keynote speaker will be Manuel Pastor, PhD, professor at the University of Southern California, whose award-winning work focuses on the economic, environmental, and social conditions facing low-income urban communities in the United States. UC Berkeley professor and architecture pioneer Harrison Fraker will also be sharing his insight on sustainable systems and urban design in transit oriented neighborhoods.
Pastor, co-author of a recent book called Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America’s Metropolitan Regions, notes that “When we design public transit systems that get people to work, we increase economic opportunity; when we insure that transit-oriented development generates affordable housing rather than displacement, we insure that communities benefit from both jobs and neighborhood improvement. Transit is the sweet spot where equity and growth can come together – but it will take conversation, collaboration and conviction by planners, advocates, and civic leaders.”
Session highlights include:
- A panel featuring the Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), and Caltrain/SamTrans general managers
- A bus rapid transit tour of El Camino Real hosted by the Sierra Club, TransForm, and VTA
- A discussion on transit village development hosted by the Mineta Transportation Institute
- Workshops led by seniors and students on how to effectively become involved with transportation and land use planning processes
“Let’s Get Moving Silicon Valley is a great opportunity for transit providers to hear directly from the communities and constituencies that we serve,” said Michael J. Scanlon, general manager of the San Mateo County Transit District and executive director of the Caltrain commuter rail service. “The Bay Area’s population is diverse [and] growing, and so are our public transportation needs. If we’re going to continue to connect the region with high quality, safe, reliable public transportation we have a lot of work to do and it starts with fostering community dialogue and public engagement.”
Advocates and allies in all sectors including transit, public health, community development, environmental sustainability, social justice, and urban planning will benefit from the opportunity to engage in the summit’s interactive workshops, training, and networking. South Bay resident and TransForm’s Senior Community Planner for the Silicon Valley, Chris Lepe, knows first-hand the summit’s benefits:
“The Let’s Get Moving Summit offers valuable insights on critical issues facing us all. Anyone who is concerned about the future of our communities should attend this important summit. It will include discussions on some of the most pressing issues facing Bay Area families, workshops on understanding complex transportation and land use planning processes, and opportunities to take action.”