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April, 2014: We have submitted comments on the draft of the 2014 Regional Transportation Plan. If you want to read our letter, it is here. Thanks to the many other CFST members who contributed their input.
March, 2014: We are proud to be a participant in the Caltrans Watch Coalition, a group of some 28 organizations who are keen to “put the brakes on Caltrans”, campaigning to stop some five egregious highway widening projects being pushed by Caltrans in Northern California. This coalition was formed through the efforts of the Center for Biological Diversity. Click on the above link for details.
March, 2013: METRO has greatly enhanced the Highway 17 Express bus service, adding six new weekday trips and improving the connections to both Caltrain and the Capitol Corridor. Click here for details.
February, 2013: We've added a new page, describing Car-free hikes. At the moment there are descriptions of good hikes in the Fall Creek watershed. Check it out. We expect to add more hikes in this category.
Anytime: Be sure to write to us (click here) if you have any comments or suggestions or if something about this website does not work for you.
New definitions are needed
It has long been the case that the phrase “alternative transportation” has meant walking, or riding a bicycle, or using the bus or other modes of public transportation. The implication is that the primary mode is driving a car. However, everyone walks. Unless you are disabled, you cannot get through the day without walking.
Furthermore, in our planning for the construction of transportation-related projects, short shrift is frequently given to pedestrian amenities such as sidewalks and crosswalks. Bicycle amenities, such as bike lanes or bike paths, are often only added as an afterthought.
Therefore: It's time to re-define what we mean by “alternative”:
Alternative Transportation Mode: Driving in a car, especially as a single occupant.
Primary Transportation Modes: Walking, and bicycling or using public transportation.
Meanwhile, try breaking up a traffic jam:
For those of you who might (we hope only occasionally) drive a car on some freeway: This is Bill Beaty, who describes how a single driver can often break up a traffic jam. He has a blog right here that provides a detailed discussion. (There's some interesting physics involved here.)
Try viewing the video in fullscreen mode.
If you're driving a car and there are pedestrians around, speed matters a lot. Data for this graph come from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Here's another good video:
This one has the renowned planner Peter Calthorpe describing Transit Oriented Development. It's also best viewed in the fullscreen mode.