TLC Drafts Vision for Transportation Reform by Dave Snyder

The SFBC's sister organization, Transportation for a Livable City (TLC), has started to draft its first call for action. A concise and bold vision for transportation reform, it will take the form of a handy booklet, a sort of primer on what needs to change in the realms of transportation and land use to make this a more affordable, sustainable, and safe city.

The report will address the connections between housing affordability, safety, and transportation policy, and make specific recommendations to be implemented over the next 20 years that will likely include reduced commuter parking, less car-dependent housing, congestion-reducing transit investments, a citywide bicycle network, and more. Our document is intended to pressure the Board of Supervisors as it develops (through the Transportation Authority) its own 25-year transportation plan. The paper is being written by Gabriel Metcalf, on contract through San Francisco Planning and Urban Research (SPUR), where Metcalf is Deputy Director.

Articulating the long-term vision of Transportation for a Livable City is the first of three priority projects recently adopted by TLC's Board of Directors. Encouraging the construction of transit-friendly housing and highlighting the disproportionate impact that auto-centered transportation policies have on poorer communities are TLC's other two priority projects.

TLC's mission is to create a balanced transportation system and to promote complementary land uses for a safer, healthier, and more accessible San Francisco. TLC also serves as a fiscal sponsor for the city's transportation reform groups that are not 501(c)(3) organizations, such as the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Walk San Francisco, and Rescue Muni.

Since its inception, most of TLC's funding has in fact come from SFBC members and has been dedicated to bicycle activism. Those donations were granted to the SFBC. TLC's general transportation reform work has been funded by an important $20,000 startup grant from the Goldman Fund, $20,000 from an individual donor, and $20,000 from the SFBC, whose Board of Directors considered it a good investment in transportation reform. The SFBC recently changed its formal mission statement to drop the reference to transit and pedestrian activism, preferring to focus on bikes and leave the broad transportation reform mission to TLC. The SFBC board appoints the board of TLC, assuring that the groups will work together closely.