Facilitating Change in Personal Transportation Behavior (Newsletter)

August 15, 2017 0 By mbiggar

Connected to Place Summer 2017 Newsletter Content

  • Behavioral Science Research (conference presentation)
  • Education and Outreach, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
  • Social Support, SPUR
  • Social Norms, BayCLIC
  • Electric Vehicles, Cool the Earth
  • Connected to Place Blog

In this newsletter, I’m focusing on my transportation behavior-related research and work along with promising new initiatives under way in the Bay Area. Getting around in daily life through public transit, biking and walking promotes individual, community and environmental well-being. In addition to physical and mental health benefits, these active transportation modes strengthen connections between ourselves and our communities and play a significant role in protecting our environment (in California, transportation accounts for 40% of our greenhouse gas emissions).

Behavioral Science Research (conference presentation)
At the BECC Conference (Behavior, Energy and Climate Change) in October, I’ll be presenting research findings from Community Context, Human Needs, and Transportation Choices: A View Across San Francisco Bay Area Communities (Journal of Transport Geography, April 2017). I co-wrote this article with Stanford professor Nicole Ardoin based on our research study involving 14 Bay Area communities through community listening sessions. I’m pleased to be presenting transportation behavior research for the 3rd time at this annual conference.

Even in communities with viable transportation alternatives available, behavioral science research demonstrates that shifting our transportation habits away from everyday dependence on personal automobiles often requires education and outreach, social support and social norms. I’m pleased to work with or otherwise support organizations and collaboratives in the Bay Area facilitating personal transportation behavior change in these ways. 

Education and Outreach, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
In addition to their strong advocacy work for safe streets, the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition provides Urban Bicycling Workshops for adults, families and children in San Francisco directly and through partnerships such as Safe Routes to School. The Bike Coalition also works with community organizations to run Community Bike Builds that distribute rehabilitated bikes to low-income residents and provide education on repairing, maintaining and riding these bikes. It was a great privilege to work with the Bike Coalition on their strategic planning process this year, as they continue to support more San Franciscans biking more often.

Social Support, SPUR
SPUR, San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association, is a leading civic planning organization in the Bay Area. The theme of SPUR’s annual Transit and Design Conference was Putting the “Me” in Transit, encouraging a user-centered approach to transit planning. I led a workshop on Listening Sessions with Anna Gore from the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. The bicycle coalition utilized this research, community engagement strategy in their strategic planning process. At the workshop, we discussed its applicability to better understanding existing and potential transit riders.

SPUR, with Bay Area transit agencies, has also started the Bay Area Transit Team and an emerging approach to support transit ridership known as Riders Helping Riders. Public transit can be confusing and disorienting for non-regular users. Riders Helping Riders aims to facilitate regular transit riders helping less experienced riders to effectively navigate public transit.

Social Norms, BayCLIC
The Bay Area Climate Literacy Impact Collaborative, BayCLIC, is engaging its member organizations in an action campaign to encourage and promote sustainable transportation behavior. This collaborative brings together organizations that provide environmental and climate education to residents and visitors across the Bay Area and will be working to encourage alternatives to driving through unified messaging, branding and other strategies.

Electric Vehicles
While increased biking, walking and transit are possible in many Bay Area communities, these options are limited in some counties and cities. In these locales, electric vehicles(EVs) may be the best option. And in this article, Carleen Cullen, founder and director of Cool the Earth, makes a compelling case for EVs in Marin County.

Blog Returning
I started a Connected to Place blogCommunity and Nature in Everyday Life, last year. I appreciated your encouraging e-mails and comments for my first few blog posts and hope to return to writing it soon. If you are subscribed to this quarterly newsletter, you will also be sent my occasional blog posts.

Be active and well!
Matt