MTC eNews: Free Bike Repairs, Bay Bridge Steel Giveaway, Affordable Housing Bonanza

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IN THIS ISSUE | Presidio Parkway | Climate Money Fuels Affordable Housing | Team Bike Challenge | Bay Bridge Steel as Art | Vital Signs Takes Pulse of the Economy | Experience Electric Creates Buzz | Openings for Citizen Advisors | Transportation Interns | Free Bike Repairs | Notable Quote | Calendar
Article 1
Two sets of tunnels help the new Presidio Parkway blend in with the landscape of the national park that gives it its name. Photo by Karl Nielsen.
Like a caterpillar morphing into a beautiful butterfly after holing up in a cocoon, the new and improved Presidio Parkway emerged from the site of San Francisco’s old Doyle Drive after an extended weekend closure in mid-July. The closure allowed crews to connect a series of newly constructed ground-level roadways, viaducts and tunnels into a seamless ribbon of asphalt that is designed to blend in with the Presidio’s lush landscape. MTC provided $104 million — including $80 million in bridge tolls — for this seismic safety project, which is a key connector to the Golden Gate Bridge. Read More
Article 2
More compact, transit-friendly buildings like this one will sprout across the Bay Area urban landscape thanks to $47 million in affordable housing grants. Photo by Noah Berger.
Any way you look at it, 777 is a lucky number. And now this lucky figure has a new association — the number of units to be built with $47 million in affordable housing grants flowing to the Bay Area. The 11 Bay Area grants are part of a package of competitive grants with a total value of $122 million awarded by the Strategic Growth Council to housing and transportation projects across California. Funded with Cap-and-Trade moneys collected to offset carbon emissions, the grant program favors compact, infill housing projects with easy access to public transit. MTC played a key role in vetting and supporting the Bay Area projects submitted to the Strategic Growth Council, which awarded the grants in June. “This is a lucky day indeed for low-income Bay Area residents, including seniors, the homeless and families struggling to stay afloat in the region’s super-charged housing market,” said MTC Chair Dave Cortese. Read More
Article 3
Two MTC commissioners – Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (left) and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo – led their cities in a first-ever Mayors’ Bike-Off Challenge. Photos by Noah Berger (left) and Mark Jones (right).
A total of 11,724 Bay Area residents were inspired to take part in the month-long Team Bike Challenge in May, a 22 percent increase over the 9,630 who participated in 2014 and reportedly an all-time high for the program. By the close of competition on May 31, over 1,600 teams, each composed of up to five riders and representing 535 local companies, logged 481,734 miles — saving over 400,000 pounds of CO2 and burning close to 20 million calories. Results are also in for the Mayors’ Bike-Off, in which Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf challenged San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo to see which of the two cities’ employees could log the most miles during the month of May. Both mayors sit on MTC, a presenting sponsor of the region’s annual Bike to Work program that includes Team Bike Challenge. Read More
Article 4
Steel harvested from the demolition of the old Bay Bridge East Span – shown here framing its replacement – will be turned into art. Photo by Noah Berger.
Carefully and methodically, piece by piece, the original East Span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is being dismantled. Now some of the 80-year-old steel salvaged during the demolition will enjoy a second life as public art and civic structures under a program recently announced by The Oakland Museum of California (OMCA). The competitive Bay Bridge Steel Program was created in response to exuberant interest from Bay Area artists and creative communities, with the idea of preserving the structure’s legacy and visibility as a landmark and historic icon. OMCA is working under the direction of MTC and two partner agencies making up the Toll Bridge Program Oversight Committee. The deadline for the first wave of applications is October 1, 2015, and the museum is encouraging artists, architects, landscape architects, planners and other design professionals working in the public realm to submit proposals. Read More
Article 5
The newly introduced “Economy” section of the Vital Signs website covers 11 indicators, with 35 interactive maps and graphs – including this one showing historical trends for jobs by industry in the Bay Area.
MTC in June unveiled a new interactive, web-based lens for viewing the effects of the Bay Area’s booming economy on jobs, home prices, rents, housing affordability and other aspects of the nine-county region as part of the ongoing Vital Signs performance monitoring initiative. The newly introduced “Economy” section of the Vital Signs website covers 11 indicators, with 35 interactive maps and graphs that allow users to zoom in on data for their own county, city or neighborhood, as well as get the big picture by comparing the region’s stats with trends in other areas of the country. Among the findings: The median home price in the Bay area rose 50 percent over the past three years, to $615,000 in 2014, making this the most expensive housing market in the nation. Read More
Article 6
Two award programs have recognized Experience Electric for its innovative, hands-on approach to introducing the public to the joys of electric vehicles. Photo by Noah Berger.
If they test drive a few, they’re likely to buy one. That’s the philosophy behind MTC’s innovative Experience Electric campaign, which was recently honored in two separate award programs. The first of its kind in the nation, Experience Electric hosted 21 electric vehicle (EV) ride-and-drive events across eight Bay Area counties over several months in 2014. More than 4,000 curious residents had the opportunity to drive or ride in a variety of electric and hybrid electric vehicles in an environment free from sales pressure. The California Transportation Foundation named the traveling car show its 2015 “Public Outreach Project of the Year,” recognizing MTC and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, which led development of the strategy. The campaign also won the “Public Awareness” award in the 2015 Clean Air Awards sponsored by a local affiliate of Breathe California. Read More
Article 7
The members of MTC’s Policy Advisory Council represent a range of interests, including disabled, senior, low-income, the environment and business. Photo by Noah Berger.
Do you have a desire to be involved in crafting transportation policy? MTC is still recruiting for two vacant positions on its Policy Advisory Council, a citizen advisory committee that advises MTC on transportation policies in the San Francisco Bay Area, incorporating diverse perspectives relating to the environment, the economy and social equity. In Contra Costa County, we’re looking for someone representing disabled interests, while in Santa Clara County, we are seeking an economy or environment representative. The panel meets monthly, and applicants must be willing to serve the remainder of a four-year term, which began in September 2013 and will be completed in July 2017. Read More
Article 8
MTC’s High School Internship program has deployed 44 eager students this summer to transportation agencies around the region. Photo by Karl Nielsen.
High school students from all corners of the region gathered at MTC’s Oakland offices in June for the orientation for MTC’s High School Internship Program. Now in its 15th year, the program this summer deployed 44 students to transportation agencies around the Bay Area, introducing them to the funding, construction and planning sides of transportation. Read More
Article 8
The BikeMobile crews tune up and repair bikes free of charge. Photo by Karl Nielsen.
“Bring us your tired, your rusty, your broken bicycles.” That’s the motto of MTC’s Bay Area BikeMobile program – a bike repair shop on wheels that appears at schools, libraries and festivals. The van’s free, hands-on repair clinics get people back on their bikes and help them become more confident and empowered riders. Sponsored by MTC and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District with climate moneys, the BikeMobile focuses on serving low-income communities, but is open to everyone, with no questions asked. The original BikeMobile was funded through an MTC Climate Initiatives Innovative Grant and now serves Alameda County’s Safe Routes to School Program. Find out when a BikeMobile is coming to your neighborhood this summer. Read More
“Everyone who participates in Team Bike Challenge is a winner. The Bay Area benefits from the savings of harmful emissions and participants gain the health benefits of increased physical activity.”
San Jose Mayor and MTC Commissioner Sam Liccardo
Bay Area Forum on Affordable Housing Grant Program
Wednesday, July 29, 2015

9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
MetroCenter Auditorium
101 8th Street, Oakland
MTC and the Association of Bay Area Governments are convening a free forum on the statewide Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program for city and county planning directors and Bay Area Partnership Technical Advisory Committee members. (See the related story above on the state affordable housing grants.) Read More

MTC: Metropolitan Transportation Commission
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