Events, News & Blog

Congress agrees to $25 billion for transit

This wouldn’t have been possible without you

Early yesterday morning, congressional leaders and the White House agreed to a $2 trillion COVID-19 economic stabilization plan that includes $25 billion in emergency direct assistance to transit agencies, at a time when agencies’ revenue is plummeting. The plan also includes more than $1 billion for passenger rail.

We went from zero dollars for transit in the initial proposal to $25 billion. This is a huge victory, and it wouldn’t have been possible without your thousands of messages and calls to Congress and our letter to House and Senate leadership. Thank you.

Members of Congress need to know we appreciate their hard work to include transit. You can use our same action form to send them a quick note of thanks or better yet make a phone call and tell them thank you for including public transit in the plan.

Without this infusion of emergency funding, transit would be unlikely to survive through the pandemic. We can’t afford for transit to stop running—especially now, as transit plays a huge role in connecting millions of people to their jobs in healthcare, grocery stores, and other essential businesses. In fact, 36 percent of transit riders are workers in essential industries. And any long-term economic recovery will be nearly impossible without transit service to help people get back to work after this unprecedented crisis subsides.

But there’s still more work to do.

TransitCenter estimates that transit agencies will experience losses this year anywhere between $26-$38 billion. Transit agencies will need more operating funds to guarantee that they can run enough trains and buses to avoid overcrowding and maintain social distancing. We can’t put America’s frontline workers at increased risk.

With the House due to vote on this emergency stabilization plan tomorrow, legislators are already considering another bill to stimulate the economy. Next week, we’ll release our recommendations—developed with our colleagues at Smart Growth America—for an  economic recovery that is green, equitable, accessible, and will actually deliver tangible benefits to local communities. Stay tuned.

We will continue to work hard to ensure that public transportation receives the operating support it needs, and will keep you updated on how you can help guarantee that transit survives COVID-19—and is ready to thrive when this crisis is over.

Stay updated: Follow @T4America on Twitter

Celebrating Townsend Street for Every Mode

Author Claire Amable on March 13, 2020

Double-parked cars, Uber and Lyft drivers weaving in and out of unprotected bike lanes and no sidewalks to walk on have ruled Townsend Street for years, but that is no longer the case. Townsend Street is now ready for you, with a brand new design that finally gives dedicated space to biking, walking and transit on one of the busiest transit hubs.

Yesterday, we joined Mayor London Breed, our street safety allies at Walk San Francisco and a crew of City staff to celebrate the new Townsend Street. Before these changes went in, people were walking in the street because there was no physical sidewalk, while people biking had to compete with buses, and Uber and Lyft drivers dropping off and picking up passengers in the unprotected bike lane.

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City of Sonoma eyes a 3-lane Broadway

Author CHRISTIAN KALLEN  INDEX-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

City public works officials are recommending lowering the number of vehicle lanes on Broadway from five to three — and making room for bike lanes.

As state highway officials are planning to repave Highway 12 over the next two summers, including its Broadway portion, Sonoma has an opportunity to ask them to re-stripe the road to fit Sonoma’s 21st century traffic-flow needs, according to Public Works Director Colleen Ferguson.

On March 6, the city website at sonomacity.org added an online survey for the public to weigh in on plans for “Broadway Restriping,” which could change the flow of traffic for much of Broadway in Sonoma from MacArthur Street to the Plaza.

It won’t result in any changes in the street’s physical layout, but simply be a matter of a paint job to restripe the lanes from five lanes to three, with additional room for a bike path on each side of the street.

“Restriping Broadway is an idea that predates my time with the City of Sonoma,” said Ferguson, public works director since 2017. She points to the 2016 Circulation Element of the General plan, which recommends a reduction from five lanes to three. “(It) would be expected to operate safely and efficiently, would help to regulate vehicle speeds in a pedestrian-oriented area, would create space for bicycle facilities, and would potentially create space for additional parking spaces.”

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Our congestion “solutions” have failed Tell your governor & state reps what they can do instead

In the United States, conventional wisdom holds that the solution to traffic congestion is more and wider roads. But the conventional wisdom is wrong. Really wrong.

It’s been well documented for years that wider roads create more traffic rather than reduce it. Research showing this dates back to the 1960s and Transportation for America’s new report—The Congestion Con—shows clearly that on average congestion has more than doubled in the 100 most populous urbanized areas since 1993, despite billions spent on freeway expansions.

Unfortunately, many state officials in charge of directing how we spend transportation dollars haven’t gotten this memo and keep advocating for more roads as a solution to congestion.

It’s time to end the con. Send a message to your state legislators and governor to make sure they have this new data.

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What Happened After Market Street Went Car-Free

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