RELEASE: VIBRANT SAN DIEGO TAKES TO CITY STREETS ON MARCH 16

releaseFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2013

Contact: Sara Kent, sara@cerf.org, 760-942-8505 x111

VIBRANT SAN DIEGO TAKES TO CITY STREETS ON MARCH 16
Participants will walk, bike and then rally for better roadway designs

***UPDATE***  Mayor Bob Filner will only be available for interviews at the Vibrant San Diego event between 10 and 10:30 am in the parking lot at University Avenue and 32nd Street, where the one-mile community walk will begin. All other speakers will be available in the parking lot at University Avenue and Mississippi Street where the rally will be held shortly after 11 am.

WHAT: Vibrant San Diego is a community walk and rally on March 16 to support designing roadways and rail systems for everyone.

WHO: Mayor Bob Filner, transportation and environmental justice advocates, climate activists and health organizations and the general public will participate.

WHEN: The one-mile walk starts at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 16
The rally is expected to begin around 11:15 a.m.

WHERE: Walk begins at University Avenue and 32nd Street.
The rally will be at University Avenue and Mississippi Street in the Albertsons parking lot.

WHY: Participants recognize that a “complete streets” approach to planning San Diego’s infrastructure will boost the local economy, provide mobility options for all residents and ensure safe and reliable access for walkers, bicyclists, wheelchair users and public transportation users.

The event will send a united message to our regional transportation agency, the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG), to design our roadways and rail systems to improve access for all users.

The Cleveland National Forest Foundation (CNFF) has engaged with SANDAG staff and representatives for more than a decade advocating for a prioritization of a regional transit system as vital to environmental sustainability, social equity, and economic progress.

“Even if you do not use bicycle or rail, the community benefits to having integrated infrastructure are broad,” explains Jack Shu, President of the Cleveland National Forest Foundation. “Walkable, vibrant city-centers help businesses thrive, and help families safely and conveniently move between schools, workplaces, and shopping resources. Transit is a major component to protecting our natural resources as our population increases.”

CNFF and other groups are asking for public support of the 50-10 Plan, to prioritize build-out of fifty years’ worth of SANDAG’s light rail and active transportation in the first ten years of implementation. For more information on this plan, please visit transitsandiego.org.

Mike Bullock, Transportation Committee Chair of the San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club, supports CNFF’s vision. “The Chapter recognizes that the 50-10 Plan’s transit-first approach is the key ingredient of climate stabilization support. We salute the CNFF’s leadership.”

Georgette Gomez of Environmental Health Coalition agrees. “Families with fewer economic means, including aging members of our society and children, often suffer the greatest health impacts from the emissions near roads-dense areas of San Diego. Offloading our roads and providing clean means of moving people and our economy is optimal.”

In addition, this is an opportunity for city planners to reduce our carbon footprint. Active in
SanDiego350.org, Angela Deegan advocates for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. “More active transportation and public transit means fewer GHG emissions and less vulnerability to wildfires and coastal flooding for your average San Diegan.”

Also represented at the community walk is Bike San Diego. It is actively engaged with local San Diego governments to implement better bicycle infrastructure, and Sam Ollinger, executive director and board president, said San Diego needs to design better roadways with bicyclists in mind. “Our environment is largely human-engineered. It has been designed around the automobile to the exclusion of other transportation mode choices. San Diegans – and future generations of San Diegans – deserve better.”

Vibrant San Diego is also endorsed by Sierra Club Conservation Committee, ATU Local 1309 (Bus Drivers Union), and Citizens Coordinate for Century 3.

###

CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST FOUNDATION: Founded in 1994, CNFF has engaged in preserving continuity within the Cleveland National Forest, and has been involved in San Diego County transportation and land use planning. CNFF activists believe that to protect precious natural resources in the Cleveland National Forest and similar pristine areas, the creation of livable, thriving urban areas is necessary. www.cnff.org; www.transitsandiego.org

ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH COALITION: Founded in 1980, Environmental Health Coalition (EHC) builds grassroots campaigns to confront the unjust consequences of toxic pollution, discriminatory land use, and unsustainable energy policies. Visit us online at www.environmentalhealth.org

SANDIEGO350.ORG: An all-volunteer San Diego County organization, SanDiego350.org is concerned about climate change and its very real effects on our livelihoods, well-being, and the future for our children. Volunteers work to increase awareness of climate change and advocate for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. www.sandiego350.org

BIKE SAN DIEGO: Bike San Diego seeks to establish San Diego as a world-class bicycling city by promoting everyday riding. Advocates promote world-class bicycling infrastructure that contributes toward an aesthetic, livable urban environment. www.bikesd.org

SAN DIEGO CHAPTER OF THE SIERRA CLUB: The Sierra Club is the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental organization founded by John Muir in 1892. The San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club was founded in 1948, covering San Diego and Imperial counties, and strives to preserve the special nature of San Diego through education, activism, and advocacy. www.sandiego.sierraclub.org

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