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Friday Job Market

Looking to hire a smart, qualified person for a position in transportation planning, engineering, IT, or advocacy? Post a listing on the Streetsblog Jobs Board and reach our national audience of dedicated readers.

Looking for a job? Here are the current listings:

Volunteer Coordinator (part-time), San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
The Volunteer Coordinator is responsible for managing the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition’s team of daytime, in-office volunteers; coordinating the internship program; and supporting the recruitment and staffing of all organizational volunteer opportunities. With over 1,000 active volunteers every year, volunteers are key to the success of our organization.

Public Affairs/Communication Associate, American Planning Association, Washington, DC
National association focused on planning and community development policy is seeking a communications professional to manage relations with traditional and digital media; provide guidance on overall communications and messaging strategies; and coordinate key communication campaigns and initiatives.

Executive Director, Trailnet, St. Louis, MO
Trailnet is seeking a strategic and visionary Executive Director who will carry the organization forward in fulfilling its mission at the highest level of excellence, keeping Trailnet at the leading edge of making St. Louis a livable and walkable community.

Southern California Policy Manager, Safe Routes to School National Partnership, Los Angeles, CA
Join the Safe Routes to School National Partnership (National Partnership) and use your professional talents and personal passion to advocate for safe walking and bicycling to and from schools and in daily life, to improve the health and well-being of America’s children and to foster the creation of livable, sustainable communities.

Transportation Planner, Transportation Agency for Monterey County, CA
Transportation Agency for Monterey County (TAMC) is a countywide transportation-planning agency responsible for developing long range transportation plans, distributing state and federal transportation grants and administering various transportation projects and programs.

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Thursday Jobs Market

Looking to hire a smart, qualified person for a position in transportation planning, engineering, IT, or advocacy? Post a listing on the Streetsblog Jobs Board and reach our national audience of dedicated readers.

Looking for a job? Here are the current listings:

Executive Director of the Institute for Quality Communities, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma College of Architecture invites applications for the position of Executive Director of the Institute for Quality Communities. The Institute for Quality Communities (IQC) was established in 2008 by University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren to enhance the quality of communities throughout Oklahoma and around the world.

Program Analyst, TransitCenter, New York, New York
TransitCenter, a civic organization that supports and catalyzes innovation in sustainable urban mobility, seeks a dynamic Program Analyst to join its staff of two in its New York office. As part of a small core team, the Program Analyst will research issues, develop opportunities, and execute projects for TransitCenter initiatives that promote sustainable urban mobility.

Sacramento Journalist, Streetsblog Los Angeles, Sacramento, California
The Southern California Streets Initiative is looking for a full-time writer to cover issues in the state Capitol, including the legislature, executive branch and Governor’s Office, that pertain to transportation, planning, open space, development and public health.

Los Angeles Journalist, Streetsblog Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
The Southern California Streets Initiative is looking for a full-time writer to join the staff of Streetsblog Los Angeles as a full-time writer to cover transportation, land use, planning, open space, and public health issues in Greater Los Angeles.

Smart Growth America Fellowships, Smart Growth America, Washington, DC
Smart Growth America (SGA) is seeking three Fellows for its core programs to engage with Congress, the Administration, state leaders and allies on the benefits of smart growth policies.

Data and Technology Planning Associate, Regional Plan Association, New York, New York
Regional Plan Association is seeking a talented urban planner, computer scientist or policy analyst to develop policy and advocacy programs around technology and urban planning. We are looking for someone who understands how new opportunities for technology and data can help foster thriving, healthy communities.

Director of Energy and Environmental Programs, Regional Plan Association, New York, New York
Regional Plan Association is seeking a creative and dynamic professional to direct the organization’s energy and environment initiatives, including climate mitigation and adaptation, open space conservation and park development, and water resource management.

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More Evidence That Unemployment Doesn’t Explain the Decline in Driving

Only one state shows up on the Top Ten lists for both VMT reduction and unemployment increase: Florida. But Nevada, whose jobless rate has tripled, actually increased driving. Source: U.S. PIRG

For those who say driving rates will pick right back up again when the economy’s really humming, here’s something to chew on: In a report released this morning, “Moving Off the Road,” U.S. PIRG presents further evidence that unemployment rates and driving rates have changed independently of each other.

Transportation reformers have made the case that there are multiple reasons behind the dip in driving rates, and that many of these factors will continue to have an impact long after this economic slump is over. If the change is in fact a lasting one, it signals that conventional forecasts of escalating traffic are wrong, strengthening the case for overhauling car-centric transportation policies in favor of transit, biking, walking, and more efficient land use.

Today’s report from U.S. PIRG builds on their previous, groundbreaking research showing that young people are leading the reduction in driving rates and that the Driving Boom has decisively ended. These findings have become common knowledge, frequently referenced by top federal officials, members of Congress, and even international credit rating agencies.

The Drop in VMT Isn’t About Unemployment

The PIRG report compares changes in driving and joblessness in all 50 states from 2005 to 2011. The authors call it “a useful natural experiment to examine different factors behind America’s reduction in driving,” and it provides ample evidence that unemployment doesn’t explain the drop in VMT. If the Americans were driving less because jobs are scarcer, for instance, it would stand to reason that the states hardest hit by unemployment would be those with the biggest drops in VMT. But that’s simply not true.

For example, the top state for unemployment growth was Nevada, whose jobless rate tripled between 2005 and 2011. And Nevada is one of just four states that’s actually driving more now than during the peak years of 2004-2005. (Two of those four states are in the Gulf South — Alabama and Louisiana — where the devastating Hurricane Katrina obviously affected travel during the driving peak year of 2005.)

And the number one state for VMT drop? Alaska, which has reduced its mileage by a whopping 16.23 percent since 2005. So Alaska must be suffering with staggering unemployment, right? Not so. Every state in the union experienced some growth in unemployment, but in Alaska it was just a 10 percent increase — from 6.9 to 7.6 percent.

Read more…

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How Mayor Mick Cornett Fought Oklahoma City’s Brain Drain and Weight Gain

Part One of this interview was posted yesterday.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett (R) has made it his mission to make his city healthier and less obese, in part by improving its walkability. The city lost a million pounds during his weight-loss campaign — and then they took a freeway out of the middle of downtown and overhauled its built environment.

Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett is doing some revolutionary things in a conservative city. Photo: Flickr

I interviewed Mayor Cornett last week when he was in Washington, DC for the annual meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors. In the first installment, posted yesterday, Cornett described the excitement among city officials when the rules changed and they were asked to think outside the car-centric box. He said they built sidewalks and parks and bike trails with locally-raised funds, even over the objections of the fire and police unions. And while he welcomes federal money for projects like these, he’s at peace with other Oklahomans who see things differently — though he worries that less federal funding will result in less equality among cities.

So now you’re all caught up. Here’s Part Two.

Tanya Snyder: It seems like there are more and less successful ways of talking about [livable cities] with different people. You have a pretty conservative constituency. Does it hurt the cause that Michelle Obama is out in front on obesity, and does it hurt the cause that walkability is associated with sustainable development, is associated with Agenda 21, is associated with climate change initiatives — what you’re doing is nonpartisan, you’re just trying to get people fit and healthy.

Mayor Mick Cornett: There is some pushback about — as you mentioned, Agenda 21 and anything that comes out of the White House. But at the end of the day, people elect mayors to get things done. You might elect a Congressman to go up and stop something. But you don’t elect a mayor to stop things form happening. You elect an executive branch person — a mayor, a governor, a president — to do things.

I close with this: “We’re creating a city where your kid and grandkid are going to choose to live.” And they know it’s true.

So I’ve never let that slow me down. I will say that one secret to our success is that we’ve been able to convince the suburbanite that their quality of life is directly related to the intensity of the core. And so they have continually passed initiatives to support inner-city projects, sometimes at the expense of the suburbs.

TS: How did you do that?

MC: Here’s what I do. I try to win an intellectual argument. I stand toe-to-toe with a lot of retired suburbanites who don’t like downtown, don’t like me, are tired of funding taxation. I’m serious, they have more negativity than you could possibly imagine.

And when I’ve lost on every turn and every argument in this debate that takes place in neighborhood after neighborhood I close with this: “We’re creating a city where your kid and grandkid are going to choose to live.”

Read more…

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Friday Job Market

Looking to hire a smart, qualified person for a position in transportation planning, engineering, IT, or advocacy? Post a listing on the Streetsblog Jobs Board and reach our national audience of dedicated readers.

Looking for a job? Here are this week’s listings:

Program Officer – Country Support and Climate, Institute for Sustainable Communities, Montpelier, VT
The Program Officer will act as the main contact point at the ISC headquarters for the ISC Bangladesh country program. The Program Officer will also support the development and implementation of international climate programming which may include the design, planning and execution of climate leadership academies and other capacity and network building activities.

BikeNYC.org Content and Marketing Coordinator (Part-time), Transportation Alternatives, New York, NY
Transportation Alternatives is seeking a bike-passionate, web-savvy individual to manage BikeNYC.org, the new online hub for bicycling in New York that is designed to serve the city’s bike community, fostering growth and participation on the site.

Communications Coordinator, Transportation Alternatives, New York, NY
Transportation Alternatives seeks a Communications Coordinator to assist with day-to-day media operations. This position will report to the Communications Director and work with other staff to implement communications plans that advance T.A.’s mission.

Operations Manager, Safe Routes to School National Partnership
The Operations Manager is responsible for carrying out a variety of human resources, financial and event planning tasks and spearheads the organization’s technical support on Salesforce, Google Apps, Dropbox and Microsoft Office.

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Friday Jobs Market

Looking to hire a smart, qualified person for a position in transportation planning, engineering, IT, or advocacy? Post a listing on the Streetsblog Jobs Board and reach our national audience of dedicated readers.

Communications Associate, Tri-State Transportation Campaign, New York, NY
The communications associate will manage TSTC’s website, blog, social media, and online advocacy campaigns. Duties include writing and editing news and opinion articles for the organization’s blogfact-checking, drafting and coordinating press releases, writing public testimony, conducting media outreach, participating in advocacy campaigns, and keeping current with tri-state area transportation news.

Assistant to TransForm Executive Director, Oakland, CA
This is a temporary, three-month position to assist TransForm’s executive director with a higher than usual number of presentations, issue briefs, program expansions, etc.

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Thursday Jobs Market

Looking to hire a smart, qualified person for a position in transportation planning, engineering, IT, or advocacy? Post a listing on the Streetsblog Jobs Board and reach our national audience of dedicated readers.

Looking for a job? Here are this week’s listings:

U.S. Communications Manager, Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, New York, NY
This position will raise the profile of ITDP’s US program as ITDP begins to play a larger role in BRT efforts in the US. The primary responsibility will be press and public relations, but the position will also include event planning and writing.

Legislative Affairs Manager, Cascade Bicycle Club, Olympia, WA
In collaboration with departmental staff and key organizational leadership, the Legislative Affairs Manager informs, develops, and implements Cascade’s legislative efforts. The Legislative Affairs Manager is expected to influence major non-motorized policy and funding decisions in Olympia to support Cascade’s vision of more bikeable and livable communities.

Executive Director, PedNet Coalition, Columbia, MO
The PedNet Coalition of Columbia, Missouri is conducting a national search for an experienced and visionary Executive Director to lead a dynamic team of advocates implementing PedNet’s local programs and policy campaigns, its nationwide training and consulting business, and its participation in the active transportation movement.

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The Strain of Job Sprawl on Two-Income Households

When Mark Lampert was a kid, his mom stayed home with him and his brothers. His dad was out the door by 4:30 every morning, driving to the commuter lot in their distant Houston suburb to take the bus in to the city for work. He had friends whose parents both worked, and when those friends came home from school they had the house to themselves – “which is why we went over there to build pipe bombs,” Mark said. At Mark’s house, dinner was ready and everyone was home by 6:00 every night.

Young people don't want to work in corporate campuses like this. And with more and more two-income households, it's just not practical. Photo: Indiana County

These days, Mark is living very differently. He lives in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC with his wife, April. She works long days as a journalist, biking or riding the metro a short 10 to 15 minutes to her downtown office. His dream job as a video game sound designer has him commuting far beyond the reaches of the metro red line, over an hour each way. They often don’t manage to sit down to dinner until 9:00.

He normally takes the train, but things get complicated during his months-long crunch times at work, when he’s up against a video game release deadline. The Ride-On bus he takes from the metro doesn’t run late, so he has to drive during those times — and lengthen an already painfully long day, circling around endlessly when he gets home to find a parking spot. It gets even hairier when they think about having a family, which they’d like to do soon. It’s hard to imagine a child care situation where they could equitably split drop-offs and pick-ups.

April and Mark used to live out in the suburbs, closer to his work, but they ached to get back into the city. “We knew it would be a lot harder for him time-wise,” April said, “but there’s so much vibrancy about living in the city.”

Their situation is shaped by three coinciding trends: the rise of the dual-income household, the increased desire for urban living, and the spread of job sprawl.

In the 1950s, 57 percent of residents and 70 percent of jobs were located in central cities; in 1990, they were about 37 and 45.

When Mark’s parents were graduating from high school, 35 percent of married women worked outside the home. By the time Mark graduated from high school in the late 1990s, it was 61 percent, which is about where it is now. That means that rather than locating a household to be convenient to one person’s job, families are now struggling to find the sweet spot where two people will have a reasonable commute to two different workplaces.

Sometimes they choose to live between the two. Anecdotally, I see more people making the choice April and Mark made: living where one can have an easy, car-free commute, and the other has a much longer haul. The lack of parking in their inner-city neighborhood is no problem for her, but it causes him no end of headaches.

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Brookings: Inadequate Transit and Sprawl Cut Off Workers From Jobs

Transit access to employment is especially weak in the Midwest and South. Source: Brookings Institution

If there’s a problem connecting workers with workplaces, it stands to reason that there’s a problem connecting workplaces with workers. A new report from the Brookings Institution has teased out the subtleties of this side of the transit/jobs equation.

Last year, Brookings found that, on average, 70 percent of jobs in a metropolitan region are inaccessible to a typical resident via transit. Or at least, it would take over 90 minutes each way to get there.

This time around, Brookings looked at how large a pool of potential employees each employer has access to, assuming those employees would use transit to commute to work. And just as only 30 percent of jobs are accessible to most workers, only 27 percent of workers are accessible to most jobs, they found.

In terms of general access to transit, 70 percent of people in metropolitan areas live in neighborhoods that are served by transit and more than 75 percent of jobs are served by transit. Not surprisingly, the big divide is between suburban and urban locations within those metro areas. In cities, 95 percent of jobs are in transit-served neighborhoods, while in suburbs, only 64 percent of employers have transit service.

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Transit Funding Cuts Are Putting Bus Drivers in Danger

Attacks on transit drivers are not a new problem. But it seems to be getting worse.

A spike in violence has compelled Seattle area buses to carry this PSA. Photo: Oran Viriyincy/Flickr

A bus driver now gets assaulted every three days in the United States, estimates the Amalgated Transit Union. Headlines abound of drivers getting kicked, punched, stabbed and shot, while the lower-profile offenses – spitting and verbal harassment – have almost become part of the job description.

For many transit workers, it’s plain to see how the recession has inflated a trend that already existed. Working alone and dealing with money, drivers have always been vulnerable. Mix in a more frustrated, downtrodden population of passengers with a host of service cuts and fare increases, and you get combustion.

“People who are poorer than they were, … who rely more on transit than they did, who are waiting longer at bus stops for the bus to come because the service has been cut,” said Larry Hanley, president of the ATU. When they board the bus, “the driver’s sitting there in a uniform, representing the government, telling them, you got to pay a higher tax for this service,” he said.

Nationwide statistics are lacking, but many jurisdictions have reported recent increases in driver attacks. The Philadelphia Transport Workers Union local reports that assaults there more than doubled in 2011 compared to 2010. New York City has seen a 30 percent increase in 2012. There’s also not a lot of hard data linking an uptick in assaults to fare increases or service cuts, said Robin Gillespie, program director of safety and health at the Transportation Learning Center. But “people feel that way,” she said.

And attacks occur most commonly during fare collection. “The conflict is over money,” said Hanley. “It’s people who have a pocket full of empty and have to get to a place.”

As the problem gets more prevalent, transit unions are getting more organized in their efforts to deal with it.

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