A tale of two truths: Transportation and nuance in the time of COVID-19. How might we engage with concerns of equity and erasure, even if they seem to inconvenience the implementation of our transportation policies and programs? (Medium)
The toxic intersection of racism and public space. For black men like Christian Cooper, the threat of a call to police casts a cloud of fear over parks and public spaces that others associate with safety. (CityLab)
Coronavirus is not fuel for urbanist fantasies. This moment should be about reassessing our broken cities. (Curbed)
Minneapolis bus drivers refuse to transport George Floyd protesters to jail. Organized labor throughout the city is banding together in solidarity against police violence in the aftermath of Floyd’s death. (Vice)
America’s cities were designed to oppress. Architects and planners have an obligation to protect health, safety and welfare through the spaces we design. As the George Floyd protests reveal, we’ve failed. (CityLab)
The racial injustice of american highways. Demonstrations over the death of George Floyd in the Twin Cities occupied a major artery that tore apart a thriving African-American neighborhood. (CityLab)
Poor and black ‘invisible cyclists’ need to be part of post-pandemic transport planning too. Who’s at the planning decision-making tables? (The Conversation)
The perils of being black in public: we are all Christian Cooper and George Floyd. Too often, by default, black people are perceived as threats to white people’s physical safety. We need fundamental, consequential and absolute change. (The Guardian)
Pursuing racial equity within a mobility framework. What does equity within the Oakland Department of Transportation look like? (Streetsblog)
Tailoring transit service for essential workers is a matter of racial justice. The toll of COVID-19 is exposing America’s longstanding public health inequities. (TransitCenter)
Violence against Black Americans a moment of reckoning for the planning profession. After a wave violence against Black men in the United States, it is the duty of the planning profession to consider its role in perpetuating institutional racism. (Planetizen)
Report: Inclusive transit: Advancing equity through improved access and opportunity. Access to high-quality public transportation can make cities more inclusive by increasing mobility and opportunity, particularly for people with low incomes and people of color. (TransitCenter)
Untokening: Principles of mobility justice. Instead of offering ready-made solutions, these principles outline recommendations for mobility justice that are rooted in the liberation of historically marginalized communities. (The Untokening)
King County public health directive requires masks or face covering on transit. Passengers are required to wear masks or face coverings while riding transit. (Metro Matters)
One year, one neighborhood. Nobody knows what cities will look like on the other side of the COVID crisis. For the next year, Bloomberg is following businesses in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood to find out. (Bloomberg News)
C-Tran says bus service holding steady. After falling in March due to COVID-19, ridership slowly climbs. (The Columbian)
Bike Everywhere Challenge in June. Ride your bike during the month of June! (Washington Bikes)
Pierce Transit will transition back to normal schedules, fares. Fares will be reinstated for bus and shuttle services on June 14. (Tacoma News Tribune)
‘The Ride of Pride’: Seattle neighbors offer a weekly salute to Metro bus drivers with bubbles and joy. “I think bus operators are heroes. They have to deal with situations that many of us would find quite daunting and they’re moving a vehicle that weighs a ton. So cheers to them.” (The Seattle Times)
Senators Cantwell, Murray announce critical investments in Washington State Ferries. Federal grants will support key statewide infrastructure modernization and ferry terminal projects in King & Kitsap counties. (Office of Senator Cantwell)
June is I ❤ Transit Virtual Fest
TCC has shifted our usual Ride Transit Month to I ♥ Transit Virtual Fest during the month of June. While the pandemic continues, we want to support transit, riders, and drivers by staying at home when possible and using transit for essential trips only. But we can still get together in virtual spaces and connect with our community of transit lovers
Join us every Wednesday in June for our series of events. Let’s build long-term support for transit together.
Transit Fest Events
We are replacing Transit Trivia with a critical anti-racist education hour:
Mobility Justice Power Hour
June 17th | 3:30-4:30 pm PDT
We’re blocking off an hour off our calendars to have individual reading time to educate ourselves about the intersections of whiteness, racism, and transportation. Let’s build power together. Stay on after 4:30 to discuss what we’ve read.
Webinar: Redmond rebound: A discussion about streets, transit, & trails. Learn more about major transportation changes coming to Redmond post COVID-19 and how Redmond can be a leader. (Hopelink & GRTMA)
Survey: West Seattle to Ballard light rail guiding principles. Help guide the City’s decisions on the West Seattle Ballard Link Light Rail Extension. (City of Seattle)
Webinar: Tribal Transportation planning and pedestrian safety. Why are pedestrian fatalities prevalent in tribal communities? (America Walks)
Virtual open house: Pierce Transit Bus Rapid Transit. Weigh in on the future of rapid transit for Tacoma and Pierce County. (Pierce Transit)
Webinar: Enhancing walkable spaces through public art. Learn about ways public art has been used to embrace the culture and history of a community while promoting engaging, walkable spaces. (America Walks)
WSDOT call for projects: pedestrian and bicyclist and safe routes to school programs. Funds will be available for the 2021-2023 biennium beginning July 2021. (WSDOT)
Webinar: Mitigating the economic impacts of COVID-19 in rural areas. How are rural organizations and governments working to mitigate economic impacts of COVID-19 on the ground? (Brookings Institute)
Webinar: Equitable inclusion in virtual community engagement. How can community leaders continue to engage stakeholders and other members of the public in important local decisions when staying safe means staying home? (Smart Growth America)
What we’re reading
The traffic trade-off. Fewer cars on the road during the pandemic has meant cleaner air, but not necessarily fewer traffic deaths. Can we have both? (New York Times)
Report: Congestion pricing principles for US cities. In a new report, Eno guides cities through the political, institutional, and communication hurdles of implementing congestion pricing. (Eno)
Commuting after COVID. Mobility in the pandemic future. (N+1)
COVID-19 Vehicle Miles Traveled monitor. During this time of unprecedented volatility in travel, how is the drop in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) affecting your planning? Get the facts to inform your estimations for gas tax shortfalls, pollution changes, and more. (Streetlight Data)
How to safely travel on mass transit during coronavirus. To stay protected from Covid-19 on buses, trains and planes, experts say to focus more on distance from fellow passengers than air ventilation or surfaces. (CityLab)
As lockdown orders lift, can cities prevent a traffic catastrophe? How will cities make more space for bikes, scooters, and pedestrians? (NPR)
Opinion: The System is broken for us already. What we can learn from the disability rights community in breaking free of car-dependent communities. (The Urbanist)
Did New York City just give up on public transit? The city’s battered subway system deserves a more equitable vision for its future. (Curbed)
Opinion: The cities we need. In this crisis, how can we save them? (New York Times Editorial Board)
Mission in motion
Black Lives Matter Solidarity Statement: There Is No Mobility Justice Without Racial Justice
The long history of racism and systemic violence against Black people in America is shameful, and so many of us are outraged at the senseless deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade – yet more lives lost in this unbroken chain of over 400 years of injustice.
The national struggle for racial equity and social justice is at the center of our mission at Transportation Choices Coalition. Transit is a promise that everyone deserves equal access to resources, jobs, and the basic ability to move safely and dependably. It is no accident that one of this nation’s most famous acts of civil disobedience took place on a bus – and it is a sad reality that Black riders and other riders of color continue to struggle for safe and equitable access to transit.
Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by polluting highways that cut through their communities, discriminatory housing and land use practices, insufficient walking and rolling infrastructure that cause higher rates of injury, and longer, less frequent and less affordable transportation options. It is our responsibility as transit advocates to speak the truth about the barriers that stand in the way of meeting the mobility rights and needs of every person. Everyone should have the right to move freely and safely through our public spaces and transit systems. We need to keep pushing to ensure that transit funding is progressive and sufficient, service is ubiquitous, transit access is safe and comfortable, fares are affordable, enforcement is reformed and divorced from policing, and that agencies and governments develop racial and social equity programs and tools to help them center and evaluate equity within all aspects of their work.
TCC’s call to action has never been more clear – be relentless in ensuring that transit continues to be a force for good, that despite all the challenges ahead our agencies can continue to deliver excellent service to the people who depend on transit, and that we use our voices and our actions to further a world where systemic racism doesn’t predetermine how far people can go. We cannot achieve transportation justice without racial, social, and economic justice. There is no either/or in supporting transit excellence and taking action against systemic racism in our transportation systems.
As a currently white-led organization, we recognize that it is not enough to be not racist, it is necessary to be explicitly anti-racist. That’s why we will:
- Amplify Black voices in the transportation field.
- Create and support anti-racist policies with a broad coalition, instituting the use of race and social equity analyses in policy and process development, focusing on the priorities of Black communities and communities of color, sharing power and access, and centering their expertise in decision making.
- Continue to educate our staff, board, and supporters on how to be anti-racist. Prioritize and develop our organizational Racial Equity Action Plan.
- Speak out against white supremacy and deepen our understanding of racial justice and the intersections of racism, whiteness, and transportation.
You can join us in the fight for justice by supporting the many organizations that are working daily to promote equity and justice across our state, and by fighting with us to maintain funding for transit. We invite you to attend our Mobility Justice Power Hour, where we will share resources, stories, and build opportunities to organize for antiracism as a core part of all transportation advocacy.
Alex Hudson, TCC Executive Director
Rob Berman, TCC Board President
I had a different staff pick picked out (I still recommend you sign up for the stern but reassuring daily COVID-19 Update from the State Department of Health), but the winds have changed…
As a white person, the temptation to virtue signal during this time is strong — I highly recommend white readers check out Mireille Harper’s 10 steps to non-optical allyship. Then head on over to No White Saviors, an advocacy campaign led by a majority female, majority African team of professionals based in Uganda that is centering African and Black stories and challenging the violence of the White Savior Complex.
Meme in motion
You are part of the collective power that will keep transit moving. Thank you for being part of the TCC family: Akshay K., Alan S., Aleksandr & Erica Leigh S., Alex M., Alex W., Andrea L., Andrew A., Andrew B., Andrew GH., Andrew K., Ann M., Anne F., Anne W-R., Bart C., Brad A., Bradley M., Brynn and Joe B., Candida L., Carl O., Carla S. and Adam E., Carmen B., Cathy S., Charla S., Christina D., Christy and David S., Colleen G., Conrad W., Dana H., David S., Derek R., Doug H., Edward S., Elizabeth D. and Joe M., Elsie and Steve H., Emily M., Ethan M., Glenn and Bertha E., James M., Jasmine B., John R., Josh F., Karen U., Kate G., Kevin M., Kristina W., Luke and Drew P., Maria B., Matthew L., Michael G., Michael H. and Ann C., Nicholas M., Rebecca S., Rob B., Sam and Jess Z., Susan C., Tammy K., Teri M., Toby C., William & Ethylanne L.
If we missed anyone our apologies and thank you for your support. Want a little extra TCC love? Support Transportation Choices Coalition and become a donor today!