Mineta Transportation Institute Offers Panel on Transit Villages at “Let’s Get Moving Silicon Valley”

TransForm public conference, Saturday, February 22, in Palo Alto CA
February 17, 2014
San José, CA

The Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI) will present a panel discussion “Transit Villages or Rampant Urban Sprawl. Choose Now!” at the second annual Let's Get Moving Silicon Valley Summit on Saturday, February 22, at the Avenidas Senior Center 450 Bryant St., Palo Alto CA. The event is a gathering to promote improved transportation networks and complete communities in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. Open to the public, it runs from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. The MTI panel is set for 2-3:30 p.m. For information, call 408-406-8074 or go to transformca.org/SiliconValleySummit2014

Participating on the panel are land use expert and author Dr. Peter Lydon, VTA Chair and San Jose City Council member Ash Kalra, San Jose’s acting planning director Laurel Prevetti, and Silicon Valley Leadership Group VP Jessica Zenk.

Rod Diridon, Sr., executive director of MTI, who will moderate the panel, suggests, “These transit villages are actually built on platforms atop rail stations and parking, with businesses, residences, and open space as part of the mix. All are within an elevator ride or a short walk of the station. This concept helps support livable communities that have little need of a second car. Transit villages would play a significant role in reducing air pollution, highway congestion, and urban sprawl that threatens our last open space and watersheds.”

According to Dr. Lydon’s book Centers for the Bay Area: Walkable Communities on Transit, “The most powerful argument in support of this proposal is the daily inconvenience, environmental damage, and high expense of the region’s current car-dependent structure. Unsustainable growth sprawling into the future – and into the Central Valley – is what we’ll get if new approaches do not get better traction among Bay Area city officials, property developers, and residents.”

The conference will have three tracks:

  • Advancing innovative and cost-effective transportation solutions
  • Creating complete communities that are accessible, sustainable, healthy, and equitable.
  • Effectively participating in transportation and land use decision making

Specific sessions will include: The Future of Silicon Valley Is Riding on Transit; Cities Tackle Traffic & Parking; Understanding the Development Review Process; BART’s On Its Way! Community Impact Discussion; From the Ground Up - Seniors Speaking Out for Healthy and Safe Mobility Options; Engaging Underserved Communities in Planning through Play; and several others.

Last year’s event attracted 200 people from across the region. Sponsors include Stanford University; Mineta Transportation Institute; SamTrans; Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter; Urban Habitat; Aging Services Collaborative; Health Trust; California Walks; Catholic Charities of Santa Clara Valley; Caltrain; BART; AGEnts for Change; Law Foundation of Silicon Valley; ICCE DeAnza College; San Mateo County Transportation Authority; SPUR; and many others.


MTI conducts research, education, and information transfer programs focusing on surface transportation policy and management issues, especially related to transit. MTI was established by Congress in 1991 as part of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act and won national re-designation competitions in 2002, 2006 and 2011. The Institute is funded by Congress through the US DOT Research and Innovative Technology Administration, by the California Legislature through Caltrans, and public and private grants. In 2006 the US Department of Homeland Security selected MTI as a National Transportation Security Center of Excellence. The internationally respected members of the MTI Board of Trustees represent all major surface transportation modes. MTI is the lead institute for the Mineta National Transit Research Consortium, an affiliation of nine university transportation research centers. MTI is affiliated with San Jose (CA) State University’s College of Business. 


TransForm is an advocate for making world-class public transportation and livable, walkable communities the norm – not the exception – in the Bay Area and California. The organization seeks to build diverse coalitions, influence policy, and develop innovative programs to improve the lives of all people and protect the environment. It has won billions of dollars and groundbreaking policies in support of public transportation, smart growth, affordable housing, and bicycle/pedestrian safety.