Everyone is invited to join me for Coffee & Conversation with Emily, this Sunday, 8/26 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. at Il Piccolo Caffé, 1219 Broadway. Bring your questions and concerns about our City -- and bring a friend! This is one of my favorite ways to communicate with residents and hear what matters to you. We'll have Q&A, plus I'll provide an overview about upcoming issues City Council will address this fall. Group discussion begins at 3:00 and ends promptly at 4:00 p.m. when Il Piccolo closes, but I will arrive early if you'd like to catch me individually.
Please feel free to drop by last minute, however, your RSVP is appreciated. Coffee and refreshments provided at no taxpayer expense.
Save the date for my next coffee and conversation event at Il Piccolo on Wednesday, 10/24 at 8:00 a.m. in case weekday mornings work better for you.
Thanks for your continued engagement and trust in me. Hope you had a great summer!
Happy summer! Here is a preview of upcoming topics and events:
- Monday, 6/18/18: New Community Center Final Conceptual Plan presentations
- Click here to take the City's quick online survey to choose your preferred design: Mission or Pavilions
- Monday, 7/2/18: Peninsula Health Care District presentation & update
- Monday, 7/2/18: Housing Impact Fees
- Wednesday, 7/11/18: Planning Commission's General Plan Update & Draft Environmental Impact Report
- Sunday, 8/26/18: Coffee and Conversation with Emily at Il Piccolo Caffe
- Check out our City's recycling & composting FAQ here
Don't forget to exercise your right to VOTE in the statewide June 5th primary election. All elections are important! You can learn more about your voting options (mail or in-person) here on the County's web page or call 650-312-5222.
In summary, there are three ways to vote in the June 2018 primary:
Here are some noteworthy discussions during the busy month of May!
- Monday, 5/7: City Council will consider extending our bike-share pilot program and receive a Post Office project update
- Wednesday, 5/10: Annual Budget meeting
- Thursday, 5/10: Bay Area Bike to Work Day
- Thursday, 5/10: Traffic, Safety, & Parking Commission discussion (continued) about a potential east/west Burlingame shuttle
- Thursday, 5/17: SamTrans Get Us Moving San Mateo County Town Hall in Burlingame
- Wednesday, 5/23: Lyon Hoag Neighborhood Meeting
- Friday, 6/1: Coffee and Conversation with Emily at Il Piccolo Caffe
- Please participate in Burlingame's Parks Master Plan online survey
- Coming soon: TopGolf update; date and time TBA
Happy Spring! Here are some City highlights in the weeks ahead:
- Wednesday, 4/11: Senior Listening Session with Councilmembers Emily Beach & Ricardo Ortiz
- Thursday, 4/12: Traffic, Safety, & Parking Commission: gauging community interest for an east/west Burlingame shuttle
- Saturday, 4/28: Burlingame Community Discussion about Housing, Part Two
- Wednesday, 5/2: Annual Joint Meeting with City Council & Planning Commission
- Friday, 6/1 Save the Date: Coffee and Conversation with Emily at Il Piccolo Caffe
- Read my recent Daily Journal Op-Ed entitled "Sustainable Transportation Solutions"
Note three important events happening next week!
- Monday, March 19th, New Community Center Conceptual Plan & proposed park on the Bayfront discussion, City Hall, 501 Primrose Road
- Thursday, March 22nd, State Lands Commission Community Meeting about the future use of vacant State Lands property on the Bayfront next to Kincaid’s Restaurant, 6:30 PM, Burlingame Recreation Center, 850 Burlingame Avenue
- Saturday, March 24th, 101st Airborne Anniversary Division Homecoming Parade and Celebration, 11:00 AM, B Street @ 7th Avenue, San Mateo
Sustainable transportation solutions
By Emily Beach
Feb 27, 2018
Gridlock on Highway 101 and our local streets reminds us how transportation investments have not kept pace with growth in our region. To maintain our quality of life, we need safe and convenient transportation that doesn’t increase traffic and cause irreparable harm to our environment.
Pedestrian and cycling infrastructure provides cost-effective solutions to help reduce congestion in ways that benefit everyone — including highway commuters. These improvements, however, require funding, community support, and the political will to enact them.
When more people leave their cars behind, roads become less congested, parking becomes more plentiful, travel times more predictable and fewer tax dollars are required to maintain public roads. Moreover, people who walk and ride bicycles gain additional benefits to their physical and mental well-being. Why then do relatively few people do so? Safety and convenience are big challenges. Many people fear riding a bike or walking on roads near speeding drivers without robust bicycle and pedestrian spaces.
But if we build it, they will come.
Research shows that people of all ages and abilities will choose walking and cycling for short trips when it is safe and convenient. Low-stress bike routes through neighborhoods, dedicated paths protected from cars, designated lanes which separate bikes from motorized vehicles, well-maintained sidewalks and visible crosswalks are proven methods to encourage people to walk or ride to nearby destinations. When these facilities connect with commuter rail and other public transportation, all travelers benefit exponentially. Given our mild weather, population density and more frequent electrified Caltrain service coming soon, our county is well suited to embrace cycling and walking in our daily commutes. Now even electric-assist bicycles in local bike-share fleets provide us access to the hills without breaking a sweat. Better infrastructure will make these choices easier.
Despite the known benefits, communities often struggle to secure active transportation dollars. For example, 44 San Mateo County bicycle/pedestrian projects recently requested a combined $16 million from our countywide sales tax Measure A funds ($5 million available) and a state grant program for local projects ($2.26 million available). In other words, the requests outpaced the available dollars by $9 million — which meant funding fewer than half the projects. Compare $9 million of high- impact bicycle and pedestrian network improvements to the price tag of a new highway interchange ($90 million-$160 million), the proposed Highway 101 Managed Lane Project ($500 million), or even a local parking garage ($10 million-20 million). For a fraction of those costs, active transportation investments help address the root cause of our traffic and parking problems.
For the Peninsula to thrive, greater investment in sustainable transportation options must be a priority. Congestion management is a complex issue. Robust public transit, intelligent land use decisions and thoughtful highway improvements are important parts of the puzzle. Thankfully, alternative fuel vehicles pollute less, but they don’t reduce gridlock or road maintenance costs. Cycling and pedestrian improvements will not solve all traffic problems, but they are a cost-effective and healthy way to connect transportation hubs and local destinations. Because these investments reduce congestion, every commuter benefits.
Active transportation has additional perks: it’s good for the body, spirit and pocketbook. I haven’t always been an advocate, but about five years ago my husband (who is an avid bike commuter) installed a bag on my old mountain bike. Quite unexpectedly, that tiny retrofit transformed my bicycle into a practical transportation solution. With the ability to conveniently carry a heavy briefcase or a bag of groceries, cycling liberated me from our car. I was hooked. I felt happier and was amazed how much faster I arrived at nearby destinations — mostly because I didn’t need to search for parking. Bicycles help our busy family get where we need to go with only one car, which may even save us about $10,000 annually in per-vehicle ownership costs.
Please join me in supporting sustainable solutions to our traffic congestion. This week, if you are able, try walking or biking on a short trip. See how you feel and think about what improvements would make you safer. Also, participate in the survey sponsored by the San Mateo County Transit District (SamTrans) to gather public input about possible future transit investments at GetUsMovingSMC.com before Feb. 28. This is a unique opportunity to advocate for active transportation in our communities. Your voice makes a difference.
Emily Beach is a member of the Burlingame City Council and serves on the San Mateo County Transportation Authority Board of Directors.
Here are some noteworthy items in February:
Wednesday, 2/14: Coffee and Conversation with Emily at Il Piccolo Caffe
Tuesday, 2/20: City Council Study Session on housing impact fees (tentative)
Monday, 2/26: El Camino Real Improvement Proposal
Wednesday, 2/28: Get Us Moving San Mateo County transportation priority survey closes; Town Halls on 2/15 and 2/22
- Best of Burlingame Spotlight: Opt-up to ECO 100 clean energy
Happy New Year! Please engage locally in the weeks ahead:
- Saturday, 1/27: City Council Annual Goals Session
- Monday, 2/5 (tentative): Study Session about the Affordable Housing Development and Parking Garage on Lots F&N
- Monday, 2/5: “Get Us Moving” Traffic and Transportation Presentation
- Saturday, 2/10: Burlingame Community Discussion about Housing: What does the future of housing look like in Burlingame? What mix of housing options and programs will help our community thrive?
- Wednesday, 2/14: Coffee and Conversation with Emily at Il Piccolo Caffe
- Best of Burlingame: Welcome Limebike & Carolan safety improvements
October highlights here -- scroll down to read more:
- Monday, 10/16*: City Council discussion about use of future affordable housing funds & short term rentals (*new date!)
- Saturday, 10/21: Coffee and Conversation with Emily at Il Piccolo Caffe
- Tuesday, 10/24: Public Art Community Workshop (Part II)
- Wednesday, 10/25: Candidate Forum for three seats on Burlingame School District Board of Trustees
- Please remember to VOTE & Emily's endorsements