Welcome to Monitor Notes, a weekly roundup of news items, event announcements, and updates on past Bay Area Monitor articles.
And Many More…
This Friday, February 14 the League of Women Voters is celebrating its centennial, marking a rich history born of the suffrage movement that continues to motivate all citizens to be active in local government. To greet this milestone, LWV Alameda is hosting a party between 2 and 5 p.m. at Tucker’s Ice Cream on Park Street while LWV Napa is holding a more formal celebration the following day at Napa Valley College. Check your local LWV for other events throughout February and do some party prep with the Monitor’s latest edition. It highlights contributions by the League and Bay Area women who’re raising awareness about major issues and influencing public policy. The edition’s transportation feature — the evolution of policy focused on women — is a topic that dovetails with an “Understanding How Women Travel” study by LA Metro that will be discussed at a SPUR event in San Jose on February 19.
Housing’s Inside Track
There are several transit-oriented activities to track as local rail operators seek to drive housing solutions. BART’s Board of Directors will hear an update on the Assembly Bill 2923 (Chiu) guidance document and 10-year work plan on Friday, February 14 at 8:30 a.m. in Oakland. AB 2923, passed in 2018, requires BART to carry out transit-oriented development (TOD) zoning standards on property it owns within a half mile of stations in Alameda, Contra Costa, and San Francisco counties. Read BART staff’s TOD presentation for more on its approach. Then be on the lookout for opportunities to review the guidance document and work plan outlines later this month. Consider listening to a BART March 5 or March 10 webinar about the materials, too. Then hop on Caltrain’s website for updates. Its board approved a TOD policy last week, laying out affordable home requirements and targets to maximize height and density.
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Not Too Distant Future
MTC and ABAG recently released the final Futures report from their Horizon planning initiative, which explored how the Bay Area may cope in an uncertain future, and how to respond to uncertainty in the years ahead. The report looks at strategies that could put the region on a “more resilient and equitable path” over the next 30 years. It also could be a conversation starter for 2020, with questions about where to build housing, invest in transportation, and collaborate to fund and prepare for sea-level rise and earthquakes. Horizon forms the foundation of Plan Bay Area (PBA) 2050, the proposed strategies of which are up for approval to integrate into the PBA draft blueprint on February 14 during a joint MTC planning and ABAG administrative committee meetting at 9:40 a.m. in San Francisco’s Bay Area Metro Center. Public feedback opportunities on the draft are expected this spring.
Staying Above Water
As sea levels continue to rise, state lawmakers are wrestling with ways to respond and lower risks to Bay Area communities. Last week, the state Assembly’s Select Committee on Sea Level Rise and the California Economy convened a second hearing to identify immediate coastal infrastructure threats. Foster City is among local communities fighting against the sea, taxing themselves $90 million to raise the levee. The ways in which Foster City and other coastal communities are preparing for loss is front and center in a new Los Angeles Times article. Read about other local approaches and increasing calls for coordination to make sure solutions serve more than one community.
Down to a Fine Art
Artist Jane Kim has been creating a public mural in San Francisco of the monarch butterfly, an insect whose population is declining at alarming rates. Kim’s latest work, inspired by her desire to celebrate animal migrations, is a large-scale painting in the Tenderloin District that covers three sides of a 13-story building on Hyde Street. During a February 5 episode from Outside Podcast, Kim shares how the mural came to be and her hope that it will create an emotional connection with people that spurs them to pay attention to creatures that are often ignored. Check out the podcast to hear more about the impact of Kim’s public art, including one poignant reaction to her first mural depicting the Sierra Bighorn in Independence, California.
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