California’s Air Resources Board regulates air quality, and spends some of the state’s $201 billion budget on measures to reduce vehicle-based pollution. The Health Department works to encourage people to get exercise by biking for transportation. The Housing and Community Development works to create affordable housing in thriving neighborhoods. Meanwhile, the California Transportation Commission approves new highways in urban areas that demolish housing, create degrade neighborhoods and increase vehicle pollution.
These agencies are working at cross purposes, systematically disconnected from each other and in respective issue silos. This disconnect mutes interconnected efforts and often serves already privileged interests. Breaking down these silos between intersecting and interdependent sectors is our priority.
CalBike is instrumental in changing the decision-making structures and processes so they represent a full range of perspectives. A significant result of our effort are the joint meetings of the California Transportation Commission and the Air Resources Board. Breaching the disconnect between those two agencies is a good start toward integrating all decisions in order to better and more equitably shape the built environment, mobility and accessibility.