“THRED Talks” Launch in San Mateo

SAMCEDA, the San Mateo County Economic Development Association, has launched its own answer to the “TED Talks.” The region’s business organization kicked off “THRED Talks” at its June meeting.

The talks will focus on the Big 5 challenges our region faces: Transportation, Housing, Regionalism, Economy and Development. As Silicon Valley continues to grapple with solutions to these challenges, brought on by a booming economy, SAMCEDA plans to continue to be there to weigh in on behalf of its members.

Jeral Poskey, head of transportation planning at Google, kicked off the THRED Talks with a presentation on that company’s priorities for transportation.

“Google didn’t intend to be a transportation provider,” Poskey explained. As the company grew, its employees informally began a shuttle program, which grew and grew until – today – Google has millions of employees each year riding the shuttle, which would account for 6,500 cars removed from the freeway each day.

Poskey notes that Google’s transportation system includes not only the shuttle network, but also fleets of electric vehicles; a one-thousand fleet bike-sharing program, and it works to improve the transportation infrastructure on its campuses: improving sidewalks, cross-walks and bike lanes.

Poskey is working with SAMCEDA to advocate for the company’s transportation priorities, as follows:

  1. Bikes – ensuring a safer, more connected network of bike infrastructure on a regional level. 20% of Google employees do bike to work and the company believes it could increase that number
  2. Connected Transit – there are significant gaps between various public transit systems that makes it discouraging for workers to use transit. Also, advocating for more ways to encourage people to connect TO transit, through biking, walking or even using ride-sharing systems.
  3. Highway 101 –how can we add additional capacity through additional HOV lanes or managed lanes on this critical corridor for Peninsula transportation?
  4. Activate the Bay – Google ran a ferry pilot project for one month, with good success. Google believes the Port of Redwood City is an asset that is being greatly underutilized.
  5. Caltrain – the long-range plan to double Caltrain’s capacity is vital, however it is contingent on a reliable funding source.

Lastly, Poskey stressed the need for these transportation modes to be planned in an integrated fashion, not in silos.

Stay tuned for more “THRED Talks” from SAMCEDA soon.

Looking to mix up your fitness routine? Meet your neighbors and enjoy the fresh air with pop-up fitness and yoga classes at Bay Meadows. Or maybe mixing it up with your pooch is more your style. Twilight Tails, Thursdays 5-6 pm at Landing Green Park, is a chance to meet other dog-owners and hear about local pet resources. Is gardening more your speed? Our monthly Dig It! Workshops in Persimmon Park are free and open to the public. Also, keep an eye out for our annual end-of-summer Red Hot Round-Up spicy food truck event. Check out our Facebook page for more events.