Support Streetsblog California During Our End of the Year Drive!

Doubtless, you’ve been inundated with fundraising requests over the last few weeks. If you’re sick of them, just let your eyes skip over the graphics and don’t read the last paragraph. Meanwhile we want to discuss a little bit of what the Streetsblog California team has achieved this year. If you’re already ready to make a donation, click here and get started!

Almost a year ago, we launched Streetsblog California as the tenth website in the Streetsblog family. Most of the other Streetsblog sites, including the ones already in California—Los Angeles and San Francisco—have focused largely on local stories. This was the first time Streetsblog set out to cover livable streets issues from a statewide perspective.

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In our first year the stories our team reported on include ones that will have a major impact on sustainable transportation in the state for years to come. With our very first story, we broke the news that Caltrans publicly took on a goal of tripling the number of bicycling trips and doubling walking and transit trips in California by 2020—a radical change in perspective from a department that, only a few years ago, was known as the state highway department and maintained a strict focus on motor vehicles.

We kept our readers up-to-date on proposed legislation in Sacramento, including the ill-conceived mandatory helmet bill (left on the table after it met with strong opposition) and a new law that will loosen parking minimums for certain kinds of affordable housing—making it less expensive to build while meeting the needs of people who don’t drive.

We reported on the shifting fortunes of climate change bills,  and explained the ups and downs of the still-unfinished debate on transportation funding.

Streetsblog is a unique hybrid organization, both media outlet and advocacy organization. We have been watchdogs and witnesses, providing in-depth reporting on stories that other media ignore. We have explained wonky subjects with statewide significance like cap-and-trade, and the work being done at the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research to rejigger environmental laws so they no longer privilege car use over other trips.

Did we mention you can win a Tern Folding bike? Every time you make a donation, you are entered into our nationwide raffle. Click on the image to go to our donation page.

We’ve also expanded Streetsblog’s coverage to areas of the state that haven’t received the same local love that Los Angeles and San Francisco get with their own websites. Our team has covered Modesto’s cutting-edge bike lanes, shifts in transit in Kern County and Bakersfield, and new green bike lanes in Santa Ana.

Streetsblog California has also been home to #DamienTalks, Damien Newton’s short podcast segments. He’s talked about current issues in transportation like the nation’s first protected bike intersection in Davis (yes, it was finished just before the one in Salt Lake City), and has interviewed policymakers including Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom and California Transportation Commissioner Yvonne Burke.

And if that isn’t enough, there’s also the daily roundup of relevant news articles and access to nationwide Streetsblog coverage to keep our readers grounded and informed.

Our second year is likely to see more movement in California towards achieving livable streets goals, and we want to be around to report on it. A new legislative session will begin in January, and with it the opportunity to ensure that bicycling, pedestrian safety, transit, open space, public health, and urban design are on the agenda.

But we can’t do that without your help. You might have noticed that right now Streetsblog California has no advertisements on the side. At the moment, we’re entirely funded by a pair of large grants (thank you, California Endowment and Vida Feliz Foundation) and your donations. If you want to see a stronger Streetsblog California in 2016, there’s no time like the present to lend us a hand. So if you haven’t already, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to Streetsblog this year.

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Caltrans Goals: Triple Biking, Double Walking and Transit by 2020

Caltrans released its new Strategic Management Plan [PDF], and it includes priorities and performance targets that show the department is serious about reforming itself. The new plan includes active transportation and Vision Zero, within its priority number one, “Safety and Health.” It also cites a goal of tripling bicycle mode share and doubling walking and […]

Welcome to Streetsblog California

It’s been over seven years since I wrote the “Welcome to LA Streetsblog” post at the first non-New York Streetsblog site. A lot has changed in those seven years. After over a century of car-centric planning, the City of Angels is pedaling away from its reputation as the “car-culture capitol of the world.” As I type […]