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By now you’ve gotten at least a dozen emails about #GivingTuesday asking you to donate to an important and worthy nonprofit. This year, of all years, there are a lot of great causes to support.

And I hope that you believe supporting Streetsblog is one of those causes.

Today, throughout California, staff are working on stories and podcasts to cover and explain issues both locally and statewide. Our talented and devoted team has broken news, framed stories, broadened conversations, and played a crucial role in creating safer, more attractive and more equitable cities.

In Los Angeles, Joe Linton and Sahra Sulaiman continued to be an amazing reporting team. Streetsblog Los Angeles was named the Best Blog in Los Angeles for the third year in a row by the Los Angeles Press Club. While Joe sets the editorial schedule and writes daily on the goings on in the city, Sahra works on deep dives such as her recent piece on the REEF Project in South Los Angeles.

In San Francisco, Roger Rudick hit the ground running during his first full year at the helm of Streetsblog San Francisco. Roger has proven himself as a talented reporter and unbiased watchdog finding the balance to praise government agencies when they deserve it, criticize them when they don’t, and put individual projects into a larger framework to explain why things happen the way they do happen.

At Streetsblog California, Melanie Curry has been covering issues around the state including local stories on the many transportation sales tax proposals on the ballot throughout the state, the ongoing attempts to modernize Caltrans, and how the legislative agenda can be set by local issues. At the same time, we’ve begun to add regular local coverage of the Central Valley and Orange County, two often neglected areas that have a lot going on.

All of these publications are nonprofits and rely on reader donations to keep going.

If you value the news, analysis, broadcasts, and event programming of Streetsblog California, Streetsblog Los Angeles, Streetsblog San Francisco, LongBeachize and Santa Monica Next, then please consider making a donation today, right now. You can make your donations here:

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Streetsblog NYC
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Do Not Collaborate With Hatred

Trump photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr. Schumer photo via

Andrew Cuomo and Chuck Schumer must resist the urge to collaborate with Donald Trump on infrastructure. Trump photo via Gage Skidmore/Flickr; Schumer photo via NASA/Bill Ingalls/Wikimedia Commons

Last week, on the day after the election, I watched as Chuck Schumer and Andrew Cuomo, Democrats who represent my state, said they could find common ground with Donald Trump, with Cuomo specifically mentioning “infrastructure” as a potential area of collaboration. We responded with a post explaining why this was a strategic mistake in terms of transportation policy.

Today I’m writing about far more urgent and important reasons to oppose Trump and his agenda.

Trump began his campaign by calling Mexican immigrants “rapists,” and from there he only ratcheted up the racism, sexism, and xenophobia. His vision of America — where religious minorities are persecuted, immigrants live in fear, and racial profiling by police is actively promoted at the highest levels of government — threatens the physical safety of hundreds of millions of people and is diametrically opposed to the core values of a democratic, pluralistic society where everyone is entitled to equal rights under the constitution.

Since he was elected, Trump has bullied the press for reporting on the massive demonstrations against his rise to power. He has named the overt white supremacist Steve Bannon, the CEO of his campaign, to a senior position in the inner circle of his White House. There is zero daylight between the Trump campaign, premised on hatred, and the nascent Trump administration.

We must prevent the bigoted, undemocratic nature of Trump’s faction from becoming further embedded in our government, laws, and institutions. We must neutralize Trump and his ilk to the greatest extent possible until they are removed from power via the democratic process.

I can sympathize with people who, in the disorienting hours after Trump was elected, felt the reflex to get something constructive done. But if that was your impulse, I urge you with all the conviction in my being to reject it immediately.

There is no moral basis for collaboration on Trump’s infrastructure agenda — because enabling any aspect of the Trump policy platform will grease the skids for enacting the entire Trump worldview. No piece of infrastructure is worth that risk.

Schumer, Cuomo, and to a lesser extent Mayor de Blasio will be tempted. Cuomo and Schumer are especially enamored with big-ticket infrastructure projects like overhauling Penn Station, revamping La Guardia airport, and building a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River, which New York cannot afford without federal funding. They may soon face a stark choice between accepting that money and protecting hundreds of thousands of people from Trump’s deportation force.

Trump has pledged to revoke federal funding from America’s 300-plus “sanctuary cities,” which shield undocumented immigrants from the threat of deportation. New York is a sanctuary city, and stands to lose billions of dollars annually for infrastructure and other essential municipal functions. If that is the price, so be it. New York can draw on internal resources. Streets and railroads can be rebuilt. But once we lose our humanity, it is gone for good.

The Democratic Party now finds itself in the minority in both the House and Senate. There are few levers of legislative power available to them, other than whatever Republican resistance to Trump remains in Congress, and the filibuster, for however long that lasts. But the opposition to Trump retains significant power in other forms.

Trump will assume office as the most widely disliked president-elect in modern history. He will have lost the popular vote by a margin that’s expected to number in the millions, once all the ballots are counted. Our elected leaders should draw courage from these facts. They must resist the Trump agenda at every step, in the strongest possible terms, and they must do their utmost to communicate to Americans that Trump’s vision for the future of the country is repulsive and at odds with the essence of our republic.

Andrew Cuomo and Chuck Schumer are now two of the most senior Democrats in the nation, and they represent a state where resisting Trump will augment, not diminish, their political strength. I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say they are major figures in the free world’s first line of defense against Trumpism. They must not fold.

Over the weekend, Cuomo came out with another statement about the Trump presidency, less conciliatory than his first. Writing in the Daily News the same day, however, he still did not stake out a sufficiently strong position.

The headline to Cuomo’s piece in the Daily News read: “If Trump governs unjustly, we’ll fight at every turn.” But Trump has already said and done too many hateful things to treat this as a conditional fight. We have to resist immediately.

The weakest passage in Cuomo’s op-ed says:

The night he became commander-in-chief, Donald Trump said he wanted to be President of all Americans. Despite the divisiveness of the campaign, he has an opportunity to live up to that promise by acting first on issues where there is common ground with his opponents. He said he wants to govern on behalf of forgotten Americans, and any time he does that, he can count on both Democrats and Republicans to help him achieve success.

Trump also said that he wants to rebuild America’s infrastructure. In that effort, he will find New York a willing partner as the Tappan Zee Bridge, a new La Guardia Airport, a new cross-Hudson Tunnel, and a revitalized Penn Station continue to rise.

Now is not the time to extend a hand to Trump and talk about potential partnerships. Cuomo and Schumer must refrain from making any overtures unless and until Trump conclusively renounces, with complete and utter finality, the racist, anti-democratic platform that he campaigned on. Trump recently told 60 Minutes that the people around the country committing acts of violence in his name should “stop it.” That is not enough. He must prove, in word and deed, that he is not a threat to the rights and freedoms we hold dear.

Meeting that threshold is not possible as long as Trump surrounds himself with the same coterie of white supremacists, authoritarians, and sycophants who staffed his campaign operation and served as his media surrogates. After everything Trump has said, it may well be impossible, full stop.

It is imperative to mobilize all the influence at our disposal to resist and defy Trumpism. This is a theme we will hone and develop in the weeks and months ahead, but for today, this is my advice…

Call your governor, call your senators, call your U.S. representative, and tell them: Do not collaborate with hatred. Do not yield an inch to bigotry. Tell them: Bend to Trump’s will, and we will come at you furiously to stiffen your spine. Stay resolute, and we will have your back. We are going to fix this.

Streetsblog NYC
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What Changed Yesterday, and What Didn’t

America just elected Donald Trump, who got a foothold in national politics by fanning a conspiracy about Barack Obama’s country of origin, who ran a campaign premised on a naked appeal to racist anger and resentment, who shredded every norm of conduct on his way to the presidency. He’s going to occupy the White House for at least the next four years, and for at least two years the Democratic opposition won’t control either house of Congress.

The subway ride to work today was quieter than usual. People seemed shell-shocked. A random bunch of strangers from Brighton Beach, Midwood, Flatbush, and Park Slope, sharing a Q train car, processing the idea of President Trump.

It’s hard to write at a time like this. I’m worried for everyone who might lose health insurance, or whose families might get torn apart by deportation, or who will be less physically secure in Trump’s America because of their race or religion. I can’t stop thinking about Trump’s vindictive streak, his disregard for a free press, and his willingness to abandon international coalitions that have kept the threat of nuclear war in check for 70 years.

It’s hard to focus on transportation policy when it feels like the foundations of an open and democratic society are crumbling. At the same time, I find myself returning to the question of why the work we do at Streetsblog matters.

This is not a “now more than ever” post that claims a world-shattering event has somehow elevated the issues we write about to more prominent status. But I do want to affirm the importance of reforming our present-day transportation system and briefly explore how the new political order will affect these issues.

Read more…

Via Streetsblog California
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Tamika Butler Can’t Be Ignored

Tamika Butler gave a devastating keynote speech at the NACTO conference in Vancouver last month. If you missed it, or her similarly fearless speech at last year’s California Bike Summit in San Diego, be gladdened.

Jeff Wood recorded it for The Overhead Wire, and NACTO just released a video of her talk on YouTube. Alyssa Walker wrote about it on Curbed. And now you can join the conversation.

Butler speaks of the personal trajectory that brought her to her current job as Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition. She also speaks of the daily struggle of doing her job, of, as she puts it, “planning while black.”

If you think the subject doesn’t pertain to you, think again. Her talk is required listening for everyone, and not just planners and friends either. She gets at the core of what it means to plan for people, many of whom do not look like or live like the people doing the planning.

What to do about it? She doesn’t have answers; but she inspires thought.

“When you’re planning while black,” she said, “and you try to take a lightweight break [by looking on social media], you’re constantly confronted with the reality of the world we live in.”

Our jobs as people who care about transportation is just getting people from point A to B, and maybe making it a little pretty along the way. We hear: safety safety safety–but for whom? Who’s safe in our community?

When you’re used to not hearing voices of people of color, when those voices aren’t in the room, then whose responsibility is it to make sure they feel safe?

She described several recent moments, upsetting but a near constant in her life, when people mistook her for a worker because she was dressed nicely in a hotel, or in a store.

If you’ve never had that experience, it’s because when you dress nice, people don’t assume that you must be there to serve them. And if you’ve never had these experiences, then how do you bring it into your work, when you’re trying to make safe places for people?

If you don’t open yourself to the fact that even though you may not have those experiences, someone else is, and you’re not talking to them when you’re making your decisions, then how will you do your best work?

Butler is funny, she is smart, and she is devastatingly frank in a way few people are brave enough to be.

The video is long—almost an hour. Gather your colleagues for a brown-bag and watch it together; you will want to hear the entire speech. Then send it along to everyone else you know and love and even those you may not love so much.

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Streetsblog L.A. and Sahra Sulaiman Honored By L.A. Press Club

Streetsblog's team at last night's L.A. Press Club awards: left to right

Streetsblog’s team celebrating last night’s L.A. Press Club award: left to right, Joel Epstein, Joe Linton, Jason Islas, and Doug Lewis. Photo by John Guevara

At the Los Angeles Press Club‘s 58th Annual Southern California Journalism Awards last night, Streetsblog Los Angeles was honored with two first place awards among eleven nominations for Streetsblog and our sister sites LongBeachIze and Santa Monica Next. L.A. Press Club award nominations are generated locally, then winners are picked by volunteer journalists from across the United States.

For the third year in a row, the Streetsblog L.A. team was honored as the Southern California first place in the Group Blog category. The award recognizes the core SBLA team of Joe Linton, Sahra Sulaiman, Damien Newton, and Jason Islas. The judges praised Streetsblog for a “[g]ood variety of interesting stories” and further commented that Streetsblog “demonstrates solid journalism.”

Streetsblog L.A. Communities Editor Sahra Sulaiman received a first place award for her coverage of the hard-fought community battle against the polluting battery recycling business Exide. Sulaiman’s August 2015 article Exide: Can’t Put Together Proper Closure Plan but Absolves Itself of Blame for Massive Public Health Disaster received the Press Club’s 2015 first place award for Online Traffic/City News. The judges commented:

The Exide story exhibited a rare “feel” for a story of such environmental complexity. Right from the start, we were compelled by the words of the 25-year-old man who said, “take a good look at me.” He believes Exide caused him damage which may well be irreparable. The significant graphics might have been too much for some readers but we found them all easy to understand and they clearly illustrated the scope of the problem. The explanation of Exide’s apparent wiggling to avoid blame was laid out in a clear, linear fashion. And with the nifty turn of phrase. “Good luck trying to get millions more out of us.” It was strong to the end and landed with a powerful thud as we, the reader, learned just how long and drawn out the process has been and will be. “DTSC anticipates asking for that input in October.” Just a wonderful job. A clear winner.

At yesterday's groundbreaking, South L.A. resident Dana Gilbert holds an L.A. Times article from 1992 about the plans to rebuild the vacant lots at Manchester and Vermont and the jobs the effort would bring to the area. The article features a photo of himself with then-Mayor Tom Bradley. Gilbert showed up to ask for the job he was promised 23 years ago. Sahra Sulaiman/Streetsblog L.A.

At the March 2015 groundbreaking for the Vermont Entertainment Village, Sahra Sulaiman took this photograph of South L.A. resident Dana Gilbert holding an L.A. Times article from 1992 about the plans to rebuild the vacant lots at Manchester and Vermont and the jobs the effort would bring to the area. The article features a photo of himself with then-Mayor Tom Bradley. Gilbert showed up to ask for the job he was promised 23 years ago. Read the full story.

Sahra Sulaiman also received two second place acknowledgements. Her March 2015 article What Does the “Failure” of the Ban on Fast-Food Restaurants in South L.A. to Curb Obesity Really Tell Us? placed second in the Online Non-Political Commentary category. Her photograph of South L.A. resident Dana Gilbert placed second in the News Photo category. The photo ran as part of Sulaiman’s April 2015 coverage of the groundbreaking for the Vermont Entertainment Village.

Streetsblog L.A. sister site LongBeachIze received a third place award in the Online Traffic/City News category. Brian Addison and Kate Rispoli were honored for their three-part series on the preservation of the nation’s first Taco Bell fast food restaurant building. The 53-year old Long Beach edifice was preserved and later moved to Taco Bell’s Irvine corporate headquarters. See Rispoli and Addison’s series at LongBeachIze: part one, two, and three.

Streetsblog boardmember and frequent guest author Joel Epstein received first place in the Individual Blog category for his Mermaid Avenue blog at the Huffington Post.

Sadly, last night’s Press Club ceremonies also commemorated the passing of two friends of the blog.

Former Los Angeles City Councilmember and former Press Club president Bill Rosendahl is famous for many great firsts, including being the first openly gay person elected to the Los Angeles City Council. Rosendahl is well known to SBLA readers as a champion for multi-modal transportation. This year the L.A. Press Club began a tradition of naming their annual Public Service Award after Bill Rosendahl.

Lastly, the L.A. Press Club commemorated the life and work of KPCC‘s longtime Morning Edition host Steve Julian, who died of a brain tumor earlier this year. Julian’s is survived by his wife Felicia Friesema, a Streetsblog partner who is our point of contact at Foothill Transit.

Rest in peace, Bill and Steve.

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Welcome Streetsblog L.A.’s New Intern Doug Lewis

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Streetsblog Intern Doug Lewis

There is a new face at Streetsblog Los Angeles this summer. Readers will soon begin seeing the byline of Streetsblog L.A. Summer Intern Doug Lewis who started last week and will be with us through early August.

Below Doug introduces himself in his own words:

My name is Doug Lewis and I’m a rising senior at Pitzer College studying Public Policy and Sociology. My interest in transportation has come rather recently over the past few years.

For my first 18 years I was tethered to cars in a Massachusetts suburb. Driving wasn’t so much a choice but a necessity for the demands of everyday life and unpredictability of New England weather. (The walkability of my home according to Walkscore.com is a dismal 8.) At 16, a driver’s license and car promised an unprecedented level of autonomy and freedom unreachable by any alternatives. To me, a license felt like a ritual stepping stone towards achieving adulthood. Without it, I was caged within a few square miles. Transportation alternatives were either non-existent or incredibly inconvenient.

It wasn’t until I moved to the edge of L.A. County in Claremont, CA for school that I saw driving as a choice rather than a requirement.

After a semester in Kathmandu, Nepal navigating a cartel-esque private shuttle system in ancient, pedestrian-based cities I came to see public transportation as the heart of city life. I found the daily rituals of transportation shaped rich traditions that mold cities’ character and community.  In the diversity and heterogeneity of Kathmandu urban life, shuttle transportation exposed my worldview to communities, ideas, and people outside my own pre-subscribed assumptions. The diversity of urban areas, I feel, is one of the great riches of urban life and is made possible by an equally diverse transportation system that confers accessibility and independence. To borrow from Jane Jacobs, “By its nature, the metropolis provides what otherwise could be given only by traveling; namely, the strange.”

I look forward to working with Streetsblog L.A. to cover local and regional efforts to challenge the notion of what Reyner Banham famously coined Los Angeles’s “Autopia.” Of my ever-changing future aspirations, one is to improve cities transportation systems to allow for multi-modal alternatives. Ultimately, I see transportation as a tool to ameliorate the inequities and restrictions of car-dependent regions.

Since arriving in California, Streetsblog L.A. has been one of my go-to sources for transportation news in L.A. County, providing a window to the often-overlooked local and regional efforts that are incrementally transforming Los Angeles from a car-dependent city to an interconnected multi-modal transportation system. I look forward to contributing to SBLA’s passionate community and provide discussions about Los Angeles’s transportation development.

As a SBLA writer, I see it as my responsibility to expand public awareness of Los Angeles’s public transportation developments. I’m optimistic about the future of Los Angeles’s transportation to provide healthy, sustainable, and congestion-free alternatives for everyday life’s demands. With the recent completion of the Gold Line and Expo line extensions in addition to the upcoming R2 ballot measure, it’s hard to look at Los Angeles’s transportation system and not have a sense of optimism about our cities’ future as an interconnected, multi-modal city.

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This Week Only! SBLA Winter Fund Drive, Win Sadik-Khan, Gabe Klein Books!

If you’re reading this, you are a Streetsblog Los Angeles reader. Our articles are brought to you by people like you – readers.

Streetsblog is a non-profit. SBLA is supported by donors, advertisers, and grants, but we need ongoing support from you to keep publishing. This week only we are sweetening the pot to get a few more of you than usual to donate. If you contribute $25 or more this week, you will be entered into a raffle to win one of two great new books by great livability leaders.

Click here to make a donation.

Street Fight by Sadik-Khan and Solomonow

Street Fight by Sadik-Khan and Solomonow

Street Fight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution
by Janette Sadik-Khan and Seth Solomonow
2016 – Viking Press – hardcover
To be released in March 2016 – hot off the presses! Preview the book here.

Janette Sadik-Khan served as the head of New York City’s Transportation Department under Mayor Michael Bloomberg from 2007 to 2013. She oversaw an extraordinary transformation of NYC streets. Under her leadership, NYC added nearly 400 miles of new bike lanes including many protected bike lanes, plus more than sixty new public plazas, a 5,000 bike bike-share system, open streets festivals, and much more. Seth Solomonow served as chief communications strategist for NYC DOT during Sadik-Khan’s tenure.

Street Fight tells the stories of how Sadik-Khan, Solomonow, and others created massive change in a very short time frame. Sadik-Khan explains precedents for these projects: places where she “stole” her ideas from. Street Fight chapters focus on bus improvements, plazas, bike lanes, bike-share, safety in numbers, how to read a street, and more. Sadik-Khan is a livable streets hero; her new book is an inspiration.

JSK will be in Los Angeles on March 16 at the Hammer Museum and March 17 TBA. Watch her awesome TED talk here.

Start-Up City by Klein with Vega-Barachowitz

Start-Up City by Klein with Vega-Barachowitz

Start-Up City: Inspiring Private and Public Entrepreneurship, Getting Projects Done, and Having Fun
by Gabe Klein with David Vega-Barachowitz
2015 – Island Press – paperback
Signed by Gabe Klein! Preview the book here.

Gabe Klein is one of the United States’ top livability leaders. From the private sector, he became a maverick city transportation department head for Washington D.C., then Chicago. In leading those DOTs, he championed innovative multi-modal approaches that activate streets. He embraces bicycling, walking, and new technologies.

Start-Up City tells stories about lessons learned from Klein’s transportation transformation victories. Like Sadik-Khan, Klein is big on quick changes, often via pilot projects that can prove a concept before later expansion. Start-Up City includes great advice on public-private partnerships, river revitalization, protected bike lanes, autonomous vehicles, the shared economy (especially bike-share and car-share), and much more.

Streetsblog L.A. interviewed Klein during a recent visit.

What are you waiting for? Donate today!

Donate by midnight Friday, February 26, to be entered into a drawing to win one of these great books. Raffle will be held Monday, February 29. Winners will be contacted via email. Books will be mailed or dropped off on Tuesday, March 1.

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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 some current listings:

Store Manager, PUBLIC Bikes, Santa Monica
PUBLIC Bikes seeks a a results-driven, marketing-oriented, high energy Store Manager to lead a new Santa Monica store scheduled to open in late February. This person will be the literal face of PUBLIC bikes in the Santa Monica-area market, manage the local team, and work closely with that team to engage local merchants, neighborhood and city influencers, cycling advocacy groups to plan community-based events and partnerships in and out of the store.

5278 Planner II, San Francisco Planning Department, San Francisco
This position performs difficult city planning work and participates in all phases of city planning; assists in the preparation of planning, research, surveys and projects; conducts investigations, collects and analyzes data on zoning, subdivision design, urban renewal, rapid transit and other land use problems; assists in the conduct of environmental impact reviews; assists in the preparation of written and graphic reports; may supervise subordinate survey, clerical and office personnel; and performs related duties as required.

Public Service Director, City of Columbus, Columbus, Ohio
The City of Columbus is seeking a strong manager and a collaborative and innovative leader with previous executive leadership experience to serve as the Director of the Department of Public Service. This position will serve as an advisor to the Mayor, at the cabinet level, on a wide range of public and infrastructure services essential to the citizens of Columbus. This position directs the activities of four divisions, which have the primary duties of removing solid waste, snow and ice removal, transportation planning and operations, design and construction activities, graffiti removal and pothole repair.

Families for Safe Streets Organizer, Transportation Alternatives, New York
Supported by TA, Families for Safe Streets members engage in advocacy and targeted awareness campaigns to press for changes to eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries on NYC streets. The FSS Organizer will play a critical role in supporting existing FSS members, growing the group by reaching other New Yorkers impacted by traffic violence, and coordinating new support service activities.

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Hear Streetsblog On The Sound 100.3FM This Sunday At 7 a.m.

Tune in to The Sound this Sunday at 7 a.m.

Tune in to The Sound this Sunday at 7 a.m.

On Sunday morning, hear Streetblog L.A. Editor Joe Linton interviewed on Tina Mastramico’s 5900 Wilshire radio show on The Sound at 100.3FM. The 12-minute interview is scheduled to air this Sunday, January 17, between 7 and 7:30 a.m. Listen online here. Once it has been aired, the audio will be available here.

Joe talks parking, CicLAvia, Vision Zero, rail construction, bike lanes, bike-share, speed, safety, trade-offs and much more.

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Happy Holidays From Streetsblog Los Angeles

Enjoy some Metro rail caroling courtesy of RailLA! Streetsblog Los Angeles will be off for the holidays tomorrow and Friday. From the team who brings you Streetsblog, we wish you safe and fun holiday celebrations, a beautiful commemorative unlimited-use TAP card in your presents, and a year ahead of increasingly walkable and bikeable streets!

On Monday December 28, SBLA returns with three days worth of posts announcing the 2015 Streetsie award nominees. Please weigh in on your favorite livability leaders, from the elected, agency, business, media, and advocacy fields. Reader polls will be published December 28, 29, and 30 with voting extended through Tuesday January 5.

Lastly, if you enjoy SBLA and you’re in a position to give back, consider making a year-end donation.

p.s. if you’re looking for something streetsbloggy to pass the time on, check out and vote in Streetsblog USA’s polls for the best and worst of 2015.