FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - August 18, 2017
Contact: Mallory Lynn Hill, Communications Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, (510) 969-0442
Re: Bittersweet News
Sacramento, CA –The California Bicycle Coalition announces the bittersweet departure of Jeanie Ward-Waller from her role as CalBike’s Policy Director and congratulates her on her exciting new position. She will be a valued partner to CalBike in her new role where she has pledged to continue working with the state’s transportation justice advocates.
Ward-Waller led the state’s broad alliance of transportation justice advocates in reforming state transportation policy with a broad range of initiatives to achieve the coalition’s health, equity, and climate goals. Under her leadership, CalBike and its partners succeeded in securing key improvements in the landmark Senate Bill 1, including a $100 million annual investment in walking and biking. Ward-Waller’s policy team has helped to shape the state’s Active Transportation Program so that its benefits go to the communities who need it the most.
"Jeanie has done a fantastic job working with a broad and diverse group of advocates to keep them energized and focused on the big picture—and ensured advocates continued to partner together in the midst of challenging situations. We are grateful for her commitment to sustainability and excited to partner with her in the future," said Chanell Fletcher, Associate Director of ClimatePlan.
“Jeanie is the most effective coalition-builder I’ve ever seen,” said Dave Snyder, CalBike’s executive director. “To those qualities she adds a deep and unwavering commitment to social justice, an incredible work ethic, an engineer’s attention to detail, and a sense of humor. We’re going to miss her."
CalBike pledges to continue working for transportation justice, on issues beyond the bicycle, and in coalition with leaders and grassroots organizations from disadvantaged communities across the state. Its Board of Directors meets next week to finalize a new Strategic Plan, after which we will announce a recruitment process to find a new leader to implement that strategy.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - June 22, 2017
Contact: Jeanie Ward-Waller, Policy Director, email@example.com, 916-399-3211
Re: After State Gas Tax Increased to Repair Roads, Poll Shows California Voters Want Safer Streets for All and Alternatives to Driving
Sacramento, CA – A new statewide poll reveals that 8 in 10 California voters believe state and local transportation departments need to change the way they build streets and roads to make it safe for everyone of all ages and abilities to get around, whether they usually drive, walk, bike, or use public transportation.
Commissioned by the California Bicycle Coalition, this poll found that Californians across the state and across all major political and demographic groups support building “complete streets”—roads with safe sidewalks, visible crosswalks, and protected bike lanes—that are safe places for everyone and not strictly thoroughfares for driving. The poll was conducted by David Binder Research and funded in part by a grant from Voices for Healthy Kids, an initiative of the American Heart Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation working to make each day healthier for all children by ensuring that the places where children live, learn, and play make it easy and enjoyable for them to eat healthy foods and be active.
Likely voters were surveyed on the heels of the passage of Senate Bill 1, the first gas tax increase in California in twenty years, which will invest tens of billions in taxpayer dollars over the next decade in building and repairing roads. Caltrans and local city and county transportation departments will decide over the coming months which roads to fix first with the new gas tax revenue, and whether they will fix those roads to be complete streets that are safe for youth and families, older adults, and others that either can’t afford to drive or choose to walk and bike.
The survey revealed that public opinion strongly supports state and local transportation departments building complete streets, even accounting for the potential cost to taxpayers.
“Our survey shows that California families want to be able to safely walk and bike in their neighborhoods and strongly support transportation agencies redesigning our streets. Nearly two-thirds of people said they would bike more often, highest among younger voters and Latinos, if they had protected bike lanes on streets in their neighborhoods that made them feel less threatened by traffic,” said Jeanie Ward-Waller, Policy Director for the California Bicycle Coalition. “Transportation officials are decades behind acknowledging this shifting demand and investing taxpayer dollars as much in alternatives to driving as we have invested in making it easier to drive.”
Voters decisively support building complete streets because they improve the quality-of-life in our neighborhoods by:
- Providing safer routes for children to walk or bike to school or parks;
- Increasing local business sales and jobs by creating more attractive streets to walk and bike for shopping;
- Promoting healthy neighborhoods that enable youth and families to be more active in their daily lives and reduce their health care costs;
- Reducing traffic in neighborhoods by allowing people to walk and bike more for work, shopping, and entertainment; and
- Saving low- and moderate-income families money by providing them more affordable transportation options like walking and biking.
In addition, nearly half of California voters support investment in alternatives to driving—such as public transportation, walking, and bicycling—as an equal or higher priority than improving freeways and roads.
48 percent say they are equally or more supportive of investing in alternatives to driving than they are of investing in freeways; compared to 49 percent that support improving and widening roads and freeways over alternatives to driving. In fact, even for Californians who rely on driving as their primary mode of travel, more than 2 in 5 support investing as much or more transportation funding in alternatives to driving, and the support jumps to 3 in 5 among respondents that have to commute between 20-30 miles a day.
“It’s no surprise to us that a large majority of Californians—80 percent in all—believe that complete streets are a critical part of creating safe routes for children to walk or bike to school and parks,” said Marty Martinez, Northern California Policy Manager for the Safe Routes to School National Partnership. “The research shows that when more kids are able to walk and bike to school and in daily life, they are healthier and do better in school. Now it’s time to put our transportation dollars to work to create safe, healthy communities to benefit all Californians.”
“The billions of dollars our state already spends each year on highways cannot continue to be used to divide communities and ignore our residents who are walking and bicycling for their everyday needs. A strong complete streets policy is a smart, cost-effective approach for leveraging our state’s transportation dollars to ensure that Californians can safely walk and bicycle where they need to go,” said Tony Dang, Executive Director of California Walks.
“As a neurologist, I often encourage moderate exercise to my patients after a stroke to prevent a recurrent stroke.” said Dr. Alan Shatzel, Board President at the American Heart Association, Sacramento Division. “However, they also need spaces to have the ability to go out for walks and to feel safe while doing so. This poll underscores the need to invest more in complete streets to promote physical activity and foster a healthy lifestyle.”
The California Bicycle Coalition (CalBike) is California’s state-level bicycle advocacy organization, working to enable more people to ride bicycles for healthier, safer, and more prosperous communities for all. Learn more about CalBike at www.calbike.org.
- A large majority of California voters support complete streets. 78 percent believe that state and local transportation departments need to change the way they build streets and roads – to make it safe for all users (drivers, people who walk, people who bicycle, etc.). A majority (53%) say they strongly support, and there is consistent support across major subgroups.
- Voters support building complete streets for several reasons: to provide safer streets for children to walk and bike, and to stimulate local business sales and job creation along streets that are attractive for walking and biking.
- Nearly half of respondents support investment in alternatives to driving--public transportation, walking, and bicycling--as an equal or higher priority to improving freeways and roads - 48 percent are equally or more supportive of investing in alternatives to driving such as public transportation and making it easier to walk and bike as they are of investing in improving freeways; compared to 49 percent that support improving and widening roads and freeways over alternatives to driving.
- Even people who rely on driving as their primary mode of travel support investing as much or more transportation funding in alternatives to driving, especially respondents that have to commute between 20-30 miles a day - Support for alternatives to driving as an equal or greater priority for investment to roads and freeways is only slightly lower (43%) among the 76 percent of voters that use their car as a primary method of travel, and jumps up to 61% for people who have to commute 20-30 miles per day.
- Voters want better bicycling conditions. Two-thirds of voters (67%) agree that “their city government should do more to encourage bicycling.”
- Bicycling is commonplace in California. One in five men (20%) and 13% of women bike every week, and a majority have ridden a bike in the past year.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - April 6, 2017
Contact: Jeanie Ward-Waller, Policy Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 916-399-3211
Re: Coalition statement about passage of Senate Bill 1
Statement from 32 organizations representing walking, bicycling, public transit, public health, social equity, environmental, and environmental justice concerns on today’s passage of transportation funding bill SB 1
SB 1 will make major improvements to the transportation system in California, and our coalition of more than 80 organizations supported many elements of the package. We appreciate the bill’s focus on fixing roads first and investing significant dollars in public transportation and safe walking and biking, yet we believe there is still more work ahead to target and prioritize transportation investment to benefit disadvantaged communities.Read more
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - March 29, 2017
Contact: Jeanie Ward-Waller, Policy Director, email@example.com, 916-399-3211
Re: Good Transportation Funding Package Poisoned at Last Minute
Sacramento, CA -- Up to $5 billion of new funding to repair and improve California’s crumbling transportation infrastructure is headed for a vote next week in the Legislature, but a last-minute deal with the polluting freight industry threatens to derail a tenuous compromise that had many community and social justice advocates readying to support it.
Yesterday, the California Bicycle Coalition (CalBike) was close to supporting Senate Bill 1, after working with an alliance of more than 80 environmental and social justice groups to influence key changes. The coalition's pressure won a commitment of nearly 20% of the funding for improving and expanding public transit service for low-income people, a near-doubling of the state's walking and biking funding, preservation of environmental regulations, and limits to the ability to expand highways, among other issues.
“This package is a big step in the direction of better, safer, and more affordable transportation options for Californians,” Jeanie Ward-Waller, CalBike’s Policy Director, said on Tuesday. “But this last-minute agreement to let poor communities continue to suffer the brunt of freight-based pollution is not acceptable.”
CalBike and environmental justice allies are asking legislative leadership to reverse this decision that would allow more pollution in neighborhoods along trucking routes and near ports.
About the California Bicycle Coalition
The California Bicycle Coalition (CalBike) is California’s state-level bicycle advocacy organization, working to enable more people to ride bicycles for healthier, safer, and more prosperous communities for all. CalBike partners with all 16 professionally-staffed local bicycle advocacy organizations across the state, and hosts a bi-annual summit. Learn more at calbike.org.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Linda Khamoushian, Communications Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org, 916-668-9401
Re: CalBike Endorses Jesse Creed for Los Angeles Council District 5; Elections Held March 7th
Los Angeles, CA - The California Bicycle Coalition endorses candidate Jesse Creed for Los Angeles City Council District 5.
"Jesse will be a catalyst for change on behalf of the everyday Angeleno who doesn’t want to have to be stuck in a car all the time,” said Dave Snyder, CalBike’s Executive Director.
Between now and the March 7 election, CalBike will reach out to its hundreds of members in District 5 who share a desire to make Los Angeles more livable and affordable by making bicycling a more accessible option. The Sacramento-based group recently won an increase in funding for bike infrastructure, support for e-bikes to broaden bicycling’s potential, and new design rules encouraging more protection for bike riders. CalBike rarely gets involved in local elections, but made an exception in this case because of the stark contrast between Creed’s support for a more livable Los Angeles and the incumbent’s stubborn adherence to the old transportation paradigm of reliance on cars and only cars.
“Incumbent Paul Koretz has proven in recent years that he is at odds with the needs of people who bike. He’s been a barrier to implementing safer streets for bike riders and pedestrians, including children. He went out of his way to halt the implementation of bike lanes on Westwood Blvd, conceding to the voices of a few, and not the overwhelming evidence that bicycle commuters to UCLA need a safe route to campus. He removed Westwood Blvd from the Mobility Plan 2035, completely undermining years of public input,” said Linda Khamoushian, CalBike Communications Manager.
Los Angeles’ 5th Council District spans across the Westside neighborhoods east of the 405 freeway. This includes major employment centers such as UCLA and Century City. It is also the site of the recent extension of the Expo Line into Santa Monica, and a planned Purple Line extension. Gridlock and congestion in CD5 extend beyond the typical rush hour time frames and ever-worsening as population increases. Implementing sustainable mobility options is a priority for residents. Addressing traffic and mobility issues in CD5 has been a core component of Creed’s campaign platform from the beginning.
Creed’s campaign for city council is having grassroots success, activating and rallying community members and fundraising competitively to put incumbent Paul Koretz on the defense.
CD5 needs a catalyst for change, a policymaker to champion mobility for everyone. Creed is that guy. He is committed to creating safer streets for the most vulnerable users, in particular addressing the challenges faced by seniors and youth. More importantly, Creed supports completing the Westwood Blvd traffic safety study, in order to make a better decision based on facts. In a press conference held in the heart of Westwood Village, he reiterated his commitment to improving safety on Westwood Blvd. Creed doesn’t just understand the issues; as an avid bike commuter, he lives them.
Hear from Jesse himself at the following upcoming candidate forums:
Tonight, February 21st, 7pm
CD5 Debate hosted by Westwood Neighborhood Council at 10750 Ohio Ave
Saturday, February 25th, 1pm
CD5 Candidate Forum hosted by Mid City West Neighborhood Council
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — January 10th, 2017
Contact: Jeanie Ward-Waller, Policy Director/California Bicycle Coalition, email@example.com, 916-399-3211
Sacramento, CA - Today, Governor Brown released his 2017-18 State Budget proposal, which includes $4 billion in new annual investment for transportation to repair roads and help Californians travel more efficiently and sustainably. While the majority of the new revenue will be directed towards maintaining state highways and local roads, this proposal does provide meaningful increases to a variety of other road, transit, and active transportation programs that will help put California on a path toward meeting state climate and equity goals. The new revenue will be raised from a combination of gas and diesel taxes, vehicle license fees, and state climate investments from the possible extension of the Cap-and-Trade Program.
The Active Transportation Program (ATP)–the state’s dedicated source of funding for walking, bicycling, and Safe Routes to School projects–is slated to receive an additional $100 million per year from Cap-and-Trade proceeds in the proposal, with at least half to be invested in projects in communities where they are most needed. “As one of the first state programs to weave social equity into its very fabric, the ATP has already invested millions in communities that are too often left behind,” said Tony Dang, Executive Director of California Walks. “The ATP’s investments have brought the needs of our most vulnerable Californians to the forefront and enable them to walk or bike for their everyday needs safely and conveniently.”
Though the proposal does not meet the unrelenting demand for these investments at the local level–totalling over $1 billion in requests annually–it would nearly double the ATP.
“We applaud the Governor for proposing to significantly increase the state’s commitment to the Active Transportation Program and ensuring that walking and biking project funds are prioritized to disadvantaged communities,” said Jeanie Ward-Waller, Policy Director for the California Bicycle Coalition. “We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature on crafting the details of this funding proposal to ensure investments in state and local roads also include improvements for people walking and bicycling to create “complete streets” and provide safe alternatives to traveling by car.”
“We are pleased to see the Governor champion such a big investment in the Active Transportation Program in this year’s budget. This money will benefit children across the state who walk and bike to school every day, and encourage many more to do so by creating safer crossings, improved sidewalks and Safe Routes to School education programs,” shared Bill Sadler, California Senior Policy Manager, Safe Routes to School National Partnership
“The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association welcomes the Governor’s plan to increase funding for the Active Transportation Program,” said Eric Batch, Vice President of Advocacy. “As one of the nation’s oldest public health organizations, we know that physical activity is an important tool in preventing heart disease and stroke. We will continue to work with the Governor’s office to adequately fund Active Transportation, Safe Routes to School, and the creation of complete streets.”
The proposal would also invest an additional $400 million of Cap-and-Trade funds in new transit projects to expand our rail and bus networks statewide. “We support and appreciate the Governor’s desire to invest in new transit projects and service; however, we need to see a proportional investment in improving existing service for people who already rely on the bus for their daily travel,” commented Joshua Stark, State Policy Director, TransForm.
Finally, Governor Brown proposes new programs to empower regions to achieve ambitious state climate goals: regional sustainability planning grants to major metropolitan regions in the state and the new Corridor Mobility Improvement Program to improve congestion on major commute routes, which with appropriate direction could be a boon for public transit improvements and walk and bikeway projects along those corridors.
“Given the ambitious nature of our climate and equity goals, we are pleased to see the Governor provide the regions with much-needed resources to tackle improving access and mobility while ultimately addressing climate change through these innovative programs.” said Chanell Fletcher, Associate Director for ClimatePlan. “We remain committed to working with the Governor and Legislature to ensure that the regions -- and local communities -- have the necessary tools to create sustainable, healthy, and equitable communities.”
Despite the strides in the Governor’s Budget to increase investment in walking and bicycling, new transit, sustainable planning and corridor improvements, the vast majority of new transportation revenue still short-sightedly enables auto travel. The Governor’s proposal includes an additional $800M for new projects in the State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) -- this is on top of $750M to restore funding for projects that were cut in 2016. Additional funding to programs like the STIP should include clear accountability measures to ensure it is spent on projects that reduce driving and promote social equity, or it will ultimately hinder the state from meeting its climate change reduction targets.
California Bicycle Coalition, California Walks, the Safe Routes to School National Partnership, TransForm, American Heart Association, and ClimatePlan are non-profit organizations committed to advancing walking, bicycling, and affordable transit for all Californians.
Advocates Succeed to Redirect $24 Million in Active Transportation Funding to Disadvantaged Communities Across California
For Immediate Release
Re: Advocates Succeed to Redirect $24 Million in Active Transportation Funding to Disadvantaged Communities Across California
Sacramento CA -- Wednesday, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) approved $158 million in grant funds for walking and bicycling projects, including $24.3 million that was diverted from a single high-profile project in the Coachella Valley to five very high need communities across the state. The late revision to the $24 million allocation was a result of careful scrutiny and advocacy by the California Bicycle Coalition (CalBike) and Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability.Read more
L.A. Policymakers and Media Invited to Special eBike Tour and Presentation at the Electric Bike Expo
Media Alert & Invite - November 15, 2016
Re: L.A. Policymakers and Media Invited to Special eBike Tour + Presentation at the Electric Bike Expo Friday, Dec. 2 in Santa Monica
Sacramento CA - Media and policymakers are invited to join the California Bicycle Coalition (CalBike), Bosch, the Electric Bike Expo, Santa Monica Spoke, and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition on Friday, December 2nd in Santa Monica for an afternoon eBike tour and presentation. Learn more about the opportunity electric bikes present for engaging the broader public in the benefits of bicycling, what’s next in California’s progressive eBike policy thought leadership, and how Santa Monica achieved a remarkable 356% growth in biking and counting.Read more
The California Bicycle Coalition Seeks to Demystify Building Protected Bike Lanes for Californian Cities
Sacramento CA - This week the California Bicycle Coalition (CalBike) rolls out a campaign to demystify and promote a type of bike lane still relatively new to the United States but rapidly gaining favor across the country - the protected bike lane, officially called a “Separated Bikeway.” As reported in the Associated Press’s “The Big Story” on August 23rd, cities around the world are building these new, safer bike lanes which protect bicycle traffic from car traffic with a physical barrier -- usually parked cars.Read more
With Increase to 8 Million in Funding, California's Mobility Options Pilot Program Expands to Include Both Traditional and Electric Bikeshare
Sacramento CA - At its most recent meeting, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) decided to fund bikesharing as part of its "Car Sharing and Mobility Options Pilot Project” for disadvantaged communities. The pilot project, launched last year with $2.5 million, was increased to $8 million. In addition to bike share, this program supports car sharing and transit passes, and is hosted under CARB’s Low Carbon Transportation Investments projects and funded by Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds.Read more