On Wednesday before class, the group met with Deland to review our potential for community outreach. In last week’s reflection, we expressed concern that the nature of our project would make interaction with the community difficult; after our meeting with Deland, we felt reassured that our goal to attend bi-weekly community meetings and share our research with these communities.
With this in mind, our met with Aaron Aknin on Thursday morning and discussed some of the current issues in Palo Alto, what the planning department is investigating, and how our work could be of utility to their efforts. Specifically, we hashed out some ideas of potential research questions for our TDM study. For our study, we will be looking mainly at the funding mechanisms of independent third-party TMAs, how existing businesses can be enticed into the program, and how to maintain social equity within the TDM. With this framework in mind, we can make a more focused search and obtain more useable results.
Finally, we visited Patricia during her office hours and worked together to learn how to add our Census data into GIS successfully. So far we completed the most recent ACS study for the three counties, and with this guide in mind, we now will do this with the 2000 and 1990 Census data for San Mateo, San Francisco, and Santa Clara counties.
What We Observed and Learned
With our project now in full swing, significant headway was made this week addressing all facets of our scope. On Monday, Marisa Raya, a guest speaker from the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG), came to class to present on Plan Bay Area, a long-term land-use, housing, and transportation plan for a sustainable metropolitan region. Several themes from Marisa’s presentation pertained to our work. Through their Plan, ABAG hopes to reduce vehicle carbon emissions by encouraging urban density and transit, bike, and pedestrian infrastructure. Unfortunately, ABAG as an organization lacks the legal authority to enact this zoning and policy.
Our first internal deadline-- complete downloading all of our data-- is being steadily worked on. We have learned how to transform the Census data into GIS maps, and are working steadily on creating the maps of mode share for individuals nearby Caltrain station. On the TDM front, we know now how we will be quantifying success, and can search for programs we evaluate to address our desired goals. Next week, we will also be meeting with Adina to discuss potential sources of employment data (for the maps which cover those who work near the Caltrain stations), and our progress thus far.