Move San Diego Heads To Sacramento In Support of Transportation Options
More than 100 to Petition Leaders for Public Transit Funding
SAN DIEGO, April 27, 2012(click here to download press release)— Senior Polly Gillette lives in downtown San Diego without a car and wants to enjoy the activities she looks forward to in retirement. But she is frustrated at the lack of mobility options after hours. She knows this must be frustrating for those who work late downtown as well.
That’s why Polly Gillette is heading to Sacramento next week to advocate for transportation choices that will improve her car-free, active senior lifestyle.
More than 100 Californians from around the state are attending the Transportation Choices Summit and Advocacy Day on May 1 and 2, organized by the non-profit group TransForm and co-hosted by Move San Diego. The message they wish to send is simple. Californians need real transportation choices: safe, abundant and affordable options for walking, biking and transit.
“Our economy, environment and quality of life depend on it,” said Elyse Lowe, executive director for Move San Diego. “We must improve transportation options for our region’s current residents and to accommodate the next generation of San Diegans to come.”
Policies in play at the state and federal level can help meet the need for increased transportation options in California, if upcoming decisions go the right way. The state legislature is deciding how to allocate cap-and-trade revenues that could make billions of dollars available for public needs. To help meet state and regional goals on air quality and sustainable communities, it should be a priority to invest these revenues in public transportation and healthy mobility options.p
"We head to Sacramento to urge our leaders to work together to fund the transportation options that Californians need", said Elyse Lowe.
Next week in Sacramento, Polly looks forward to making the case in person and meeting others from around the state who share her concern for transportation choices.
“I do my part to help the environment by not driving a car. But I can’t live without a car, unless there is adequate transit. With a lack of transit service on the weekends, it really impacts my ability to get around the region, and that hurts my quality of life,” said Gillette. “I want to go to Sacramento and make a difference for all of the San Diegans who share my frustrations.”
Why Young People are Driving Less and What it Means for
From World War II until just a few years ago, the number of miles driven annually on America’s roads steadily increased. Then, at the turn of the century, something changed: Americans began driving less. By 2011, the average American was driving 6 percent fewer miles per year than in 2004.
The trend away from driving has been led by young people. From 2001 and 2009, the average annual number of vehicle-miles traveled by young people (16 to 34-year-olds) decreased from 10,300 miles to 7,900 miles per capita – a drop of 23 percent.The trend away from steady growth in driving is likely to be long-lasting — even once the economy recovers. Young people are driving less for a host of reasons — higher gas prices, new licensing laws, improvements in technology that support alternative transportation, and changes in Generation Y’s values and preferences — all factors that are likely to have an impact for years to come.
Federal and local governments have historically made massive investments in new highway capacity on the assumption that driving will continue to increase at a rapid and steady pace. The changing transportation preferences of young people – and Americans overall – throw those assumptions into doubt. The time has come for transportation policy to reflect the needs and desires of today’s Americans — not the worn-out conventional wisdom from days gone by.
Such a shift in future transportation trends would shake the foundations of transportation policy-making.
To meet the demand for alternative transportation, federal, state and local governments would need to prioritize investment in public transportation, bike lanes, sidewalks and other transportation alternatives.
To meet the demand for walkable neighborhoods in close proximity to transit, government officials would need to ensure that land-use and transportation policies were aligned to support the development of these communities.
To compensate for the declines in gas-tax revenues, decision-makers would need to find alternative sources of funding for road and bridge maintenance or boost the gasoline tax to levels that may further discourage driving.
America’s young people are decreasing the amount they drive and increasing their use of transportation alternatives.
According to the National Household Travel Survey, from 2001 to 2009, the annual number of vehicle-miles traveled by young people (16 to 34-year-olds) decreased from 10,300 miles to 7,900 miles per capita – a drop of 23 percent.
In 2009, 16 to 34-year-olds as a whole took 24 percent more bike trips than they took in 2001, despite the age group actually shrinking in size by 2 percent.
In 2009, 16 to 34-year-olds walked to destinations 16 percent more frequently than did 16 to 34-year-olds living in 2001.
From 2001 to 2009, the number of passenger-miles traveled by 16 to 34-year-olds on public transit increased by 40 percent.
According to Federal Highway Administration, from 2000 to 2010, the share of 14 to 34-year-olds without a driver’s license increased from 21 percent to 26 percent.
Young people’s transportation priorities and preferences differ from those of older generations.
Many young people choose to replace driving with alternative transportation. According to a recent survey by KRC Research and Zipcar, 45 percent of young people (18-34 years old) polled said they have consciously made an effort to replace driving with transportation alternatives – this is compared with approximately 32 percent of all older populations.
Many of America’s youth prefer to live places where they can easily walk, bike, and take public transportation. According to a recent study by the National Association for Realtors, young people are the generation most likely to prefer to live in an area characterized by nearby shopping, restaurants, schools, and public transportation as opposed to sprawl.
Some young people purposely reduce their driving in an effort to curb their environmental impact. In the KRC/Zipcar survey, 16 percent of 18 to 34-year-olds polled said they strongly agreed with the statement, “I want to protect the environment, so I drive less.” This is compared to approximately 9 percent of older generations.
The trend toward reduced driving among young people is likely to persist as a result of technological changes and increased legal and financial barriers to driving.
Communications technology, which provides young people with new social networking and recreational possibilities, has become a substitute for some car trips.
Improvements in technology make transportation alternatives more convenient. Websites and smart phone apps that provide real-time transit data make public transportation easier to use, particularly for infrequent users. Meanwhile, technology has opened the door for new transportation alternatives, such as the car-sharing and bike-sharing services that have taken root in numerous American cities.
Public transportation is more compatible with a lifestyle based on mobility and peer-to-peer connectivity than driving. Bus and train riders can often talk on the phone, text or work safely while riding, while many state governments are outlawing using mobile devices while driving.
Increased fuel prices: Increased fuel prices have made driving more expensive, reducing the frequency with which people – especially younger people with less disposable income – travel in cars. The average cost for filling up the tank in 2001 was $1,100 for the year (in 2011 dollars). With gasoline prices soaring since then, filling up the same tank today costs $2,300. While gasoline prices often fluctuate, they are unlikely to return to the low levels of 1980s or 1990s. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s projections, gas prices are expected to increase by 26 percent from 2010 to 2020.
The recession has played a role in reducing the miles driven in America, especially by young people. People who are unemployed or underemployed have difficulty affording cars, commute to work less frequently if at all, and have less disposable income to spend on traveling for vacation and other entertainment. The trend toward reduced driving, however, has occurred even among young people who are employed and/or are doing well financially.
The average young person (age 16-34) with a job drove 10,700 miles in 2009, compared with 12,800 miles in 2001.
From 2001 to 2009, young people (16-34 years old) who lived in households with annual incomes of over $70,000 increased their use of public transit by 100 percent, biking by 122 percent, and walking by 37 percent.
America has long created transportation policy under the assumption that driving will continue to increase at a rapid and steady rate. The changing transportation preferences of young people – and Americans overall – throw that assumption into doubt. Policy-makers and the public need to be aware that America’s current transportation policy – dominated by road building – is fundamentally out-of-step with the transportation patterns and expressed preferences of growing numbers of Americans. It is time for policy-makers to consider the implication of changes in driving habits for the nation’s transportation infrastructure decisions and funding practices, and consider a new vision for transportation policy that reflects the needs of 21st century America.
MOVE Alliance Announces First Two Project Endorsements
Park Station(Click here to read press release) The proposed Park Station project in La Mesa is a mixed use project incorporating residential, neighborhood-serving retail, commercial, and a planned hotel. Located within a mile of the trolley stations and within walking distance of two bus routes and the village of La Mesa, the project also includes a proposed pedestrian promenade to provide safe routes to transit. Pedestrian and bike-friendly, the project features a lineal park open to the public.
One Paseo(Click here to read press release)) The proposed One Paseo project in Carmel Valley brings mixed use and walkability to an area historically oriented around the automobile. While not currently served by transit, the project provides needed density to support a future planned Bus Rapid Transit route, and incorporates a Transportation Demand Management program anticipated to include shuttle service. The project has passed prerequisite review for LEED-ND certification.
But the House has yet to act, because its leaders have been unwilling to give up on a hyper-partisan bill that has been unable to attract enough votes to pass. The overwhelming support in the Senate clearly shows the way toward a bipartisan bill that can pass, and thereby end the uncertainty around the potential shutdown of another key function of government. I implore Congressmen Bilbray and Hunter to prevail upon their leadership to bring forward a bipartisan measure, or to adopt the Senate bill, before the clock runs out on the current extension. Thousands of jobs and the safety of our bridges, roads and transit systems are riding on it.
Sincerely, Elyse Lowe
Move San Diego
The public has demanded that the San Diego region build a faster, more viable transit system that actually works for commuters. One of the key features of that system will be Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).
Marketing analysis and public polls show that more people will ride transit if it is fast, convenient and importantly time-competitive with the automobile for people. BRT services only succeed when they provide a one-seat ride, cover longer distances in dedicated lanes with fewer stops.
Voters approved a sales tax measure years ago to bring BRT to major commuter destinations, with downtown rightfully being the primary focal point of the new routes.
But downtown NIMBYs are throwing up roadblocks – trying to stop this new BRT from traveling on Broadway, or even entering downtown at all. Their misguided goal is to “protect” downtown from bus traffic. San Diego urbanists need to embrace the new transit paradigm- a new system that will quickly and conveniently bring workers and customers into the heart of the city. A system that promotes healthy, efficient and sustainable travel, reduces pollution, and creates net economic gains for the region.
For transit to be successful, planners need to listen to community members, and we all have to work together to make it a realistic choice for new riders – and that means making room in downtown for BRT.
MoveSD: Reactions to today's @SANDAG #RegionalPlan workshop? Lots of folks (even the anti-bus people) promoting #walkable communities.View
MoveSD: Reactions to today's @SANDAG #RegionalPlan workshop? Lots of folks (even the anti-bus people) promoting #walkable communities. Full Story
MoveSD: RT @christhejourno: Firms to pay $1.9M for Sprinter shutdown http://t.co/EBTofFROKw via @utsandiegoView
MoveSD: RT @christhejourno: Firms to pay $1.9M for Sprinter shutdown http://t.co/EBTofFROKw via @utsandiego Full Story
MoveSD: North County #transit peeps! The #SPRINTER is back tomorrow! Finally! http://t.co/E4tBIFH4aQView
MoveSD: North County #transit peeps! The #SPRINTER is back tomorrow! Finally! http://t.co/E4tBIFH4aQ Full Story
MoveSD: Big turnout for #regionalplan #SDForward workshop. Policy input on #publichealth #climate and #energy http://t.co/ok7SCRD9eFView
MoveSD: Big turnout for #regionalplan #SDForward workshop. Policy input on #publichealth #climate and #energy http://t.co/ok7SCRD9eF Full Story
Move San Diego in Sacramento for Advocacy Day on April 24, 2013View
Move San Diego in Sacramento for Advocacy Day on April 24, 2013
We had an amazing time in Sacramento, sharing ideas with fellow advocates, meeting with legislative staffers, and bringing our passion for better transit, more transportation choices, equitable investment, active transportation, and public health to the Capitol!