Welcome back to #DamienTalks!
Today, #DamienTalks with Roland Cordero with Foothill Transit. Did you know Foothill Transit was the first transit agency in the country to have a completely electric bus route? I didn't, it's kind of cool.
It may have taken eight episodes, but we finally got around to interviewing our sponsor
Foothill Transit has replaced its diesel-fuel buses with CNG coaches, installed solar arrays on the roofs of its operations and maintenance yards in Arcadia and Pomona. And now Foothill Transit is committed to having a 100% electric bus fleet by 2030.
In the interview, Cordero discusses the pro's and cons of converting from a diesel fleet to a partially electric fleet. Spoiler: there's a lot more positives than negatives.
#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit. Foothill Transit has been a leader in sustainable transportation for years. And now they’re committed to having a 100% electric bus fleet by 2030. To celebrate, Foothill Transit is giving away prizes and sharing facts about how their electric buses help clear the air. Visit Foothill Transit's e-bus sweepstakes webpage to see how you can join in the eco-friendly fun!
It’s Bike Month! Welcome to Bike Month!
Today, #DamienTalks with Tony Molina with the Fresno County Bicycle Coalition to kick off our Bike Month coverage. Fresno has a full complement of Bike Month events, some of which we talk about in our conversation and others we list below. To find out more, visit the two bicycle advocacy groups in Fresno’s webpages: Fresno County Bicycle Coalition and I Bike Fresno.
As excited as we are by Bike Month in the Central Valley, we’re hoping that their example will inspire advocates in other mid-size and small cities to program Bike Month events in their own communities. I started programming a Bike to School Day at my son’s school (which will be on May 16 if anyone is reading this that lives within a couple of blocks of my place). If you want to read a quick story on how we planned the first Bike to School event at my son’s school, click here.
But as we said, there are lots of great events in Greater Fresno this month. Here is a partial list for anyone interested in learning more:
May 4, Mall to Mall
May 18, Clovis-Fresno Ride of Silence
May 20, Bike to Work Day
Streetsblog California will check back in at the end of the month to see how Bike to Work Day goes. In the meantime, we’ll have a full month of Bike Month podcasts here at #DamienTalks.
Parking placard abuse.
Arguing for reforms in the placard system is one of the few times parking reformers don't sound overly wonky to the larger car driving public. In California, one out of every eight drivers has a disabled parking placard, a number which doesn't correlate to data concerning how many drivers SHOULD have such a placard.
This abuse of the placard system creates a ripple effect of unsafe street conditions, a distorted view of our car parking stock, and worst of all undercuts the value of the placard to those drivers who are actually disabled.
Today #DamienTalks with Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D-SFV) about AB 2602, his legislation that seeks to reduce placard abuse through two common sense reforms attacking the supply of and demand for disabled placards to those who don't really need them. Gatto's legislation sailed through committee last week.
Also moving in the Assembly is Gatto's "Parking Bill of Rights" which takes a broader look at parking issues.
As excitement builds towards the 626, the mamoth car-free festival spanning six cities on, you guessed it, June 26; #DamienTalks with Michael Cacciotti. Cacciotti is the Mayor Pro-Temp of South Pasadena and has been a critical figure in the effort to create the 626 and organize the half-dozen cities that are taking part as well as officials with the County, Metro, and the Air Quality Management District.
Want to know more about the 626? Click here.
I'll be honest, this is one of the more fun interviews I did. Cacciotti wasn't just one of the driving forces behind the 626, he was also a Board Member for the Gold Line Foothill Construction Authority. I conducted our phone interview while he was doing his evening commute home, and as a bonus he talked about how the Gold Line extension is working and how packed his rail car was. It was 9 p.m. at night. On a Wednesday.
New Gold Line extensions. The 626. Things are changing in the San Gabriel Valley, and they're changing for the better.
#DamienTalks is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the new Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of Downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit foothilltransit.org. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.”