TRANSDEF’s blog What’s Hot, is where we post recent developments
in High-Speed Rail and Bay Area Transportation. Check it out!
What’s On the Site
TRANSDEF offers this website as a repository of ideas on how to achieve a better and more sustainable future by shifting where transportation funding goes. We start with Bay Area Basics and then go to a survey of Regional Transportation Planning and propose a plan for the Bay Area. We then look at the individual elements that comprise an optimal plan: making High-Speed Rail support multiple services, the folly of BART extensions, the inadvisability of Highway widening, and the need to do all of this in the context of climate change. This suite of information is capped off with a Resources page, and a way to contact us.
Who We Are
The Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund, known as TRANSDEF, is a non-profit environmental organization created by transit activists to advocate for better solutions to transportation, land use and air quality problems in the San Francisco Bay Area.
TRANSDEF promotes cost-effective transit, Smart Growth, and market-based pricing as fiscally and environmentally preferable responses to traffic congestion. These strategies represent a major departure from the prevailing policy climate of suburban sprawl, ever-widening highways and overwhelming dependence on the private automobile.
What We Do
TRANSDEF’s activists were concerned about the long-term trend toward traffic congestion, loss of open space and overall deterioration of the quality of life of the much beloved Bay Area. With millions of new residents coming to, or being born in the region, it was clear that living here is likely to become ever more unpleasant if current development trends continue.
We decided to focus our efforts on the obscure regional agency that administers all federal and state funds for Bay Area transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC). We figured that the billions of dollars that flow through MTC could be the key to shifting the region’s development pattern to a more sustainable direction.
When Commissioners were unwilling to consider any of what we had to say, we recognized that the only way to get through to them would be via litigation. Check out our Litigation Report for details of the cases that predated this website.
Over a dozen years later, MTC is now supporting Smart Growth. While TRANSDEF is gratified to see MTC move in the direction of making better decisions with its vast financial resources, the pace of change has been painfully slow. Even with a heightened awareness of the importance of global warming, MTC and the rest of California are still moving ahead with fully funded projects to widen highways, in the vain attempt to "relieve congestion."