UCI Transportation Forum explores bicycling politics


Like-minded people are gathering to chart Orange County’s embrace of walking and biking. And you’re invited, if you RSVP.

activetransportahocogoPoliticians, city planners, traffic engineers and bicycle and pedestrian activists are scheduled to introduce themselves to each other at the Alliance for a Healthy Orange County Active Transportation Forum Oct. 18.

The professionals and activists are doing more than shaking hands at the gathering, subtitled, “Complete Streets and Active Living for Orange County!” The flyer reads organizers intend the forum to “identify challenges and opportunities, share best practices and develop priorities for Active Transportation as a region.”

The all-day Friday forum is being held at the University of California Irvine University Club from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There is a free lunch if you give the required RSVP.

Veggie Biking has registered to attend and intends to report the conference live on @veggiebiking.

Below is the agenda:

9:00 a.m. Registration 

beju_ucipublichealthnoseal2_110:00 a.m. – 10:10 a.m. Opening Remarks, Oladele A. Ogunseitan, PhD, MPH, Professor of Public Health, UC Irvine 

10:10 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Welcome, Barry Ross, Chairman, Alliance for a Healthy Orange County (AHOC) 

10:15 a.m. – 10:25 a.m. Active Transportation Recognition Awards 

10:25 a.m. – 11: 25 a.m. Panel 1: Why Complete Streets 

This panel will showcase recent research on complete streets, best practices and identify the opportunities and challenges today and in the future at the local and regional level.

beju_srts_4Panelist: Rye Baerg, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, America Bracho, Latino Health Access, Rock Miller, Stantec

Moderator: Leah Ersoylu, Ersoylu consulting

11:25 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. Keynote Speaker: Charles Gandy, Livable Communities Inc., is a nationally recognized consulting firm focused on community design, trail planning and design, bicycle and pedestrian advocacy, and creating charismatic, vibrant and economically successful communities.

11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Networking Lunch 

12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. What is the future of Complete Streets and the pathways to implementation? 

This panel session, will discuss areas of common ground for implementation for all modes of transportation that are safer, more livable and sustainable for all users. The panelist will also provide input on who must lead the charge in redefining the function of streets. Lastly, the panelist will discuss support in developing and adopting new guidelines to support complete streets.

Panelist: Hasan Ikhrata, Southern California Association of Governments, Ryan Chamberlain, California Department of Transportation, District 12, Charlie Larwood, Orange County Transportation Authority, Moderator: Victor Becerra, UCI’s Community Health Action Network for Growth through Equity and Sustainability (CHANGES)

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Break- Out Sessions 

1. Advocacy at the grassroots level with Community Members and Elected Officials 

Panelist: Frank Peters, Newport Beach Advocate, Ava Steaffens, Kidworks

Moderator: Sergio Contreras, United Way of Orange County and Councilmember, Westminster

2. Connecting the dots with Engineers and Planners for Complete Streets 

Panelist: William Galvez, Acting Public Works Director, City of Santa Ana, Pam Galera, Planner, City of Anaheim

Moderator: Brenda Miller, PEDal


2:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Funding and the Political and Public Process for Complete Streets 

This session will discuss the challenges and how to build public and political support for Complete Streets. Additionally, this session will provide information on new funding sources like Cap and Trade and financing strategies to pay for new infrastructure and programs.

Panelist: Councilmember Tony Petros, City of Newport Beach, Councilmember Gail Eastman, City of Anaheim, Jennifer Klausner, LA Bicycle Coalition Moderator: Pauline Chow, Safe Routes to School National Partnership

3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Closing Remarks- Vision for Active Transportation in Orange County 

beju_stjoe_4Other sponsors of the event include: St. Joseph Health Community Partnership and The California Endowment.

Cycling News: Bicycle Lobbying in Wash., D.C. = 0.281% of General Motor’s budget alone

Washington, D.C. transportation funding does not concern itself much with bicycles, yet. But political movements are starting at the grassroots level.

Washington, D.C. transportation funding does not concern itself much with bicycles, yet. But political movements are starting at the grassroots level.

Link Contriubted by Andy Mckee

There is a bicycle lobby in Washington, D.C., Politico.Com reports, but it is .281 percent of just General Motor’s lobbying effort, despite the worry over bicycle congestion expressed by the Wall Street Journal’s editorial department.

However, this modest $20,000 effort has earned bicyclists and pedestrians approximately 1-2 percent of the total U.S. transportation budget.

But cyclists in New York City have decided to get serious. StreetsPAC writes on its web site, “StreetsPAC supports candidates who demonstrate unwavering devotion to the expansion of traffic-calming infrastructure such as neighborhood slow zones, pedestrian plazas, and bike lanes; increased and improved transit access for all New Yorkers; more thorough crash investigations; and better enforcement of traffic laws.”

Change can be made more effectively at the lowest levels of government is the theory of the group, who distributes questionnaires to all candidates.

Doug Gordon, identified as a leader of StreetsPAC, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying, “”Your local City Council person may have more influence on safety and enhancement of your neighborhood’s streets than the mayor. If I see a street corner that I feel is dangerous in my neighborhood, I don’t call the mayor’s office first. I call my City Council members.”