We know you need a car sometimes, but we also know that San Francisco roads are becoming more congested and circling the block looking for parking can be very stressful. To alleviate some of this stress, a new program called SF Moves has recently launched in the Ocean View-Merced Heights-Ingleside area.
SF Moves was created through a collaboration between San Francisco’s Department of the Environment and Municipal Transportation Agency to provide tools for making traveling more fun, healthy and convenient.
SF Moves aims to connect people who live, work or own/operate businesses within the OMI area to the City’s many sustainable transportation options. Team members from the Department of the Environment took many field trips into the OMI area, talking to both residents and commuters working along the business corridors to get a better understanding of how people travel in and out of their neighborhood and what are some of the barriers to trying different modes of transportation. Based on this input, we were able to create a program that provides tools to help you explore alternative ways to travel and leave your car at home.
To participate in this program and get access to a wide range of free travel resources, all you need to do is fill out an SF Moves order form. These forms were mailed out to all residents living in the project area and can also be found online at sfmta.com/sfmoves. The order forms have information about public transit, biking, walking, carsharing and carpooling. Simply check off the resources and information you want to learn more about, mail it back in the pre-stamped envelope or submit it online, and a customized travel packet will be delivered to your home, completely free of charge! Some examples of the material and information included in these travel packets are: free bike workshops that focus on maintenance and safety, walking guides to explore nature in the city, information on carpooling services and apps, discount codes to sign up for a carshare memberships and Muni discount programs for children, seniors and people with disabilities. Everyone who orders a travel packet will also receive a coupon book full of great discounts to many of your favorite neighborhood businesses.
On the surface, SF Moves is a project that focuses on sustainable transportation, but what else does this program do? It helps residents, both old and new, familiarize themselves more with their neighborhood. You might bump into and befriend a neighbor you’ve never talked to while walking down the street or on the bus. You might discover a park you’ve never noticed while driving in your car or, now that you’re an expert on everything bike-related, you can finally conquer your bike riding anxieties and ride out on the road.
SF Moves promotes exploration, healthy living, safety and community building. Instead of being alone in a car, make it more enjoyable by carpooling with your friends and co-workers. Dust off your running shoes and take a jog to your dentist appointment. Spontaneously hop onto a random bus line and get lost in the city. There’s so much to explore outside the four walls of your car.
If you want to learn more, come say “Hi!” to the SF Moves team at the next Second Sunday event. We will have order forms there for you to fill out, be giving away some fun swag, and can also answer questions and provide you with additional resources.
Take a break from your car—it’s the #SFThingToDo. Find out more at www.sfmta.com/sfmoves.
Danny Soto is a Clean Transportation Associate on the CommuteSmart Team at the San Francisco Department of the Environment. To learn more, visit www.sfmta.com/sfmoves. This article first appeared in The Light’s April 2016 edition. To submit an article for Community Voices, please send a proposal or draft to email@example.com.