Transportation for a Livable City (TLC), which in its first two years has frankly been mostly an idea (as well as a fiscal sponsor for the SFBC and Walk San Francisco), will reach bona fide project status September 1, when it brings on board Dave Snyder as its first full-time executive director.
The organization's goal is to promote a coordinated transportation reform agenda, focusing on the link between transportation and land use. An early target will be the zoning laws that require a car parking space for every housing unit, a requirement that simultaneously adds traffic to our streets, detracts from transit efficiency, bicycle safety, and walkability, and drives up the cost of housing. Supervisor Aaron Peskin's proposal to legalize certain in-law housing units (where transit service is high and the newly permitted residents are barred from parking a car on the street) also deserves support. TLC will publish a periodic newsletter, distributed to members of the SFBC, Walk San Francisco, Rescue Muni, and City CarShare. Other specific priorities will be determined in a strategic planning process that will start this fall.
TLC's organizational model was designed to dedicate staff time and research to advocating for these reforms, while using the grassroots troops of the existing advocacy groups. The model takes advantage of the fact that people are most excited about supporting their favorite mode of transportation, whether that's bicycling, transit, or walking.
TLC, a 501c(3) nonprofit organization, will also serve as a fiscal sponsor, accepting tax-deductible donations directed to the charitable and educational purposes of those groups. This permits TLC's constituent groups to register as 501c(4) organizations-still nonprofit, but not able to accept tax-deductible donations, and therefore free to engage in unlimited lobbying and even electioneering to support transportation reform-minded candidates.
Local foundations have proven very supportive of this broad effort, with support coming from the San Francisco Foundation, the Goldman Fund, and the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund. Individuals as well-especially planners-have been excited to see the emergence of this new organization.
To get on the mailing list for regular TLC updates, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Dave Snyder at 431-BIKE, ext. 3.