California Policy Cap and Trade Education/Webinars GHG Reduction Livable Communities Local Government NewsFlash SB 375 State Policy Transportation Funding

Cap and Trade Resource Center Launches! Website + Infographic + Brochure (with a side of Podcast) 

Multi-Media Transportation Policy

This month, Policy in Motion is pleased to announce two exciting communications projects that will help local governments and interested stakeholders better understand the basics of transportation planning and new grant funding opportunities under California’s new Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.

If you happen to be one of the 216,000 people following Streetsblog podcaster, Jeff Wood, on twitter you may have heard that Policy in Motion’s Lauren Michele was recently featured on a podcast called Remaking California’s Transportation System for People and Their Environment. This first podcast in a three part series looks at California’s move to change the way transportation is funded and organized at the state level. With major environmental laws passed in the last decade that focus on reducing greenhouse gasses, California is on the cusp of great change. Lauren Michele and Kate White, Deputy Secretary for Environmental Policy and Housing at CALSTA, were hosted in Part 1 to talk about the new laws and the consolidation of state transportation departments under one agency.  Listen to the 13 minute segment on-line or on your phone here.

Policy in Motion worked with the Institute for Local Government (ILG) to launch a new “Cap and Trade Resource Center” this month – a one stop shop for locals to get a reader’s digest version of how California’s cap and trade program works, and what grant funding is available for local governments.  Lauren Michele developed the content and materials for ILG’s Resource Center, which summarizes 13 new and existing state agency grant programs funded through AB 32 cap and trade auction revenues that could fund or support local government sustainability efforts.

The information can be found on-line at ILG’s website, downloaded as a full brochure, and/or viewed as an Infographic!

Lauren Michele, Principal / Founder, Policy in Motion.

Lauren earned a Master’s of Science degree from the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies after working as a transportation planning professional at Fehr & Peers, a climate change policy analyst at the Center for Clean Air Policy in Washington D.C., and an air quality program assistant at the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District.  At the UC Davis Urban Land Use and Transportation Center (ULTRANS) she focused on the links between California’s Senate Bill 375 and developing federal climate/energy legislation and the transportation reauthorization.  Her academic work includes teaching undergraduate courses in Transportation Policy at UC Davis and experiential learning while living and researching multi-modal transportation planning in Europe.

Lauren organized and served as Policy Director for the Transportation Coalition for Livable Communities — a coalition which includes the California Alliance for Jobs, California Transit Association, National Resources Defense Council, League of California Cities, State Association of Counties, and the Metropolitan Planning Organizations and Councils of Governments throughout the state. The Coalition promotes the investment of cap and trade revenue to address both the greenhouse gas reduction goals of AB 32 and critical transportation system maintenance and operation needs that build on the framework of SB 375 and other GHG reduction strategies.

Her firm, Policy in Motion, specializes in sustainable transportation policy.  Policy in Motion offers planning practitioners, policy makers, and public agencies an understanding of how to integrate sustainability policy into transportation infrastructure and land use decisions.  Lauren Michele’s 2011 book, “Policy in Motion: Transportation Planning in California after AB 32” explores the State’s evolving policies for sustainable living through transportation planning, and identifies how outdated regulatory frameworks must be aligned with supporting paradigm shifts if California is to move forward in a truly unified vision for “People-Oriented Development” and transportation.  Lauren’s 2012 film documentary, “Policy in Motion: Growing Beautiful Communities” continues to explore how an integrated approach to transportation planning and funding based on “People-Oriented Development” (POD) can improve community quality of life while meeting California’s environmental and economic goals. Policy in Motion’s book and film are available for purchase on-line at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and


Education/Webinars Mentorship

Happy Holidays from Policy in Motion

The holiday season is always a good time for reflection on what we’ve achieved in the transportation and sustainability planning profession, as well as thinking about the upcoming year’s goals.  However, the other 11 months of the year often fly by us in a frenzy as we are inundated with deadlines and meetings.  Here at Policy in Motion I’ve learned a trick to balancing out the immediate demands of work with long-term thinking: MENTORING

It may sound like something that just requires more time, but incorporating professional and personal mentorship into our schedules is the best thing we can do not only for our future transportation and planning leaders, but for ourselves too.

I started the Policy in Motion “Career Development” Mentorship Program in 2011 as a way to bridge student interests with real-world projects.  I’ve since worked with half a dozen high school, undergraduates, and grad school students on projects in the Sacramento region and it has been a joy to see these bright leaders go on to pursue careers in the public, private, and academic transportation sectors.

This year I have the great pleasure of mentoring a young professional through the American Planning Association’s “Planning+Leadership+Advancement+Networking” (PLAN) Mentorship Program with 10 other mentors and their mentees.  Say hello to Emily!

Emily Alice Gerhart is a recent graduate of UC Davis, with a Bachelor of Science in Community and Regional Development and a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations.  She is a project coordinator at WALKSacramento, a non-profit that promotes walkable communities through active transportation planning and advocacy.  She currently works on a variety of projects, leading a Safe Routes to School project in West Sacramento, reviewing development projects and plans, and analyzing regional policies related to Complete Streets. Emily was an invited speaker at the Pedestrians Count! 2014 statewide conference in May 2014, where she gave a presentation on using social media to achieve pedestrian advocacy and outreach goals. In Fall 2014, she was accepted into the American Planning Association award-winning PLAN Sac Valley mentorship program for aspiring planners.  Emily Alice is passionate about creating safe public spaces and promoting active transportation through urban and environmental design.

Here are a few easy tips on how to help students succeed:

  • Share internship opportunities with related programs at local Universities. For example, contact Cynthia Goldberg at the UC Davis Internship and Career Center with internship announcements related to environmental planning/policy at
  • Volunteer with college outreach activities through a local professional organization, such as the Women’s Transportation Seminar, American Planning Association, Urban Land Institute, or the Institute of Transportation Engineers.
  • Encourage your agency, company, or organization to make donations to local scholarship funds.  Most professional organizations have a student scholarship program. Share information about these scholarship opportunities with local teachers and advisors.
  • Meet for coffee — invite a young professional at your organization or someone you met in a meeting out for a morning coffee.  The best mentorship is subtle, casual, and genuine.
  • Bring a student or young professional with you next time you have a WTS luncheon, ITE holiday party, APA planning program, or ULI happy hour. Introduce them to others in the field. Mentorship breeds easily :)

Happy Holidays Everyone!


California Policy Complete Streets Education/Webinars Livable Communities Mentorship Safe Routes to School

Safe Routes to School Decision Maker Toolkit :: Webinar Launch of Web-Based Interface

Student Focus: Learn, Involve, Give

With all the hustle and bustle of the state budget, legislative frenzies, and policy activity it is easy to lose sight of the future when so entangled in today.  Here’s a few ways you can keep the vision forward by thinking about California’s upcoming leaders — our students!


  • Join Lauren Michele and the Institute for Local Government for the launch of the “Safe Routes to School Decision Maker Toolkit” — a guide for local government leaders to create safer walking and bicycling environments through transportation investment decisions in California and to improve collaboration across cities, counties, and schools. By working across traditional silos for better land use and transportation planning, policies, and investments we can create safer communities for California’s students and residents. Policy in Motion is excited to see this exciting project now in web interface and is happy to answer any questions you may have!  Check out the toolkit here and register for the webinar here.


  • The Safe Routes to School National Conference is coming to Sacramento! Policy in Motion nominee Zelia Gonzales from the Met Sacramento High School was selected by the Youth Engagement Committee to be a Youth Facilitar at the national conference….congrats Zelia! Learn more, register early here, and donate to the Charitable Bike Build! See you there :)


  • Policy in Motion’s founding principle is service to others, exemplified by the firm’sCareer Development Mentorship Program and scholarships for outstanding interns.
  • The firm is a 2013 DBE Sponsor for the Sacramento Chapter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar and encourages others to support their outstanding Student Scholarship Program.
  • The California Transportation Foundation is also seeking to raise $50,000 for the Bimla Rhinehart Scholarship Fund geared toward future transportation professionals.
  • Lauren Michele has benefited from these programs and organizations as a student and young professional, so please help invest in California’s future leaders today with her!


California Policy Education/Webinars Livable Communities NewsFlash SB 375

Caltrans Planning Horizons to Host Live Policy in Motion Webcast Feb 20th

Please Join Caltrans “Planning Horizons” for a live program on Lauren Michele’s research, film, and vision for how integrated land use and transportation investments can support the goals of AB 32 and SB 375. The program will be held on Wednesday, February 20th from 10-11:30am. It will be webcast for all Caltrans employees in Headquarters and District offices, and will be available for public viewing at this link: (live 5 minutes prior to presentation)

California Policy Complete Streets Education/Webinars NewsFlash

Documentary Now Available on Amazon and Policy in Motion!

Al Gore may have produced An Inconvenient Truth, but on August 10th Policy in Motion premiered a film documentary depicting the very convenient truth that by investing in better communities we can improve quality of life, economic growth, as well as meet environmental goals. Joined by state agency policymakers and leaders in local implementation, a new conversation began around integrated approaches to fostering sustainable communities through collaboration and innovation. Lauren Michele awarded two student scholarships to interns with Policy in Motion’s Career Development Mentorship Program: UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies Graduate Student Brigitte Driller for her help on the Department of Public Health’s Safe Routes to School “Active Transportation Planning and Funding Guide for Local Policy Makers”; and Met Sacramento High School Senior Jeremy Gray (now at film school in New York!) for his incredible commitment, creativity and joy in Directing Growing Beautiful Communities.

Policy in Motion Pictures Presents… Growing Beautiful Communities.

All Proceeds Go to Student Scholarship Fund:

Growing Beautiful Communities is an independently-produced documentary building upon the themes in Lauren Michele’s book Policy in Motion: Transportation Planning in California after AB 32. Through interviews with policy leaders and planners in transportation and sustainability fields, the film illustrates how the POD (People Oriented Development) concept can be used as a process to not only help California meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals but also to create sustainable communities and beautiful places to live. POD is driven by six main areas explored in the film: Job Growth, Community Schools, Places to Play, Quality Travel, Resource Management, and Housing Diversity. Growing Beautiful Communities depicts how an integrated approach to transportation planning and funding can improve community quality of life while meeting California’s environmental and economic goals.


California Policy Education/Webinars GHG Reduction High-Speed Rail Metropolitan Planning NewsFlash SB 375 Transportation Funding

Caltrans Report Released Today with California Interregional Blueprint Summit :: Joined by BT&H, HSR, CTC, CARB, MPO Leaders

With today’s release of the California Interregional Blueprint Draft Interim Report (CIB), hundreds of participants from across the state gathered to hear two of Governor Brown’s most recent appointees as well as other regional and state transportation leaders – echoing the need for innovative funding and strategies to support integrated transportation solutions.

Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty welcomed Acting Secretary Brian Kelly from the Business, Housing and Transportation Agency who opened the event tying the CIB to Senate Bill 375 and how Senate Bill 391 is now bringing the “regional revolution up to the state” by focusing the future on investing in a multimodal transportation system to create better communities while working toward the goals of AB 32.

The first panel discussed new tools, partnerships and integrated approaches to transportation – ranging from new investments in active transportation and transit to freight and system efficiency all working together to create an integrated transportation system. Directors from SANDAG and SCAG were asked to respond to how the state can support regional SB 375 efforts. Reinforcing the positive relationship that has been built between the state and the MPOs, the Directors noted several areas for additional support including:

  • Implementing and funding Sustainable Community Strategies
  • Streamlining project delivery
  • Creating sustainable forms of funding sources
  • Exploring public-private partnerships
  • Funding for the existing transportation system for maintenance and operations
  • Integrating school planning into transportation
  • Supporting high-speed rail with local roads, transit and land use
  • Providing a coordinated voice across state agencies
  • Standardizing simple performance measures statewide for local and regional investments

The second panel was led by Bimla Rhinehart, Executive Director of the California Transportation Commission, with a focus on the next steps for the State given the billions of dollars needed to bring the existing transportation system up to preservation alone. Brian Annis, Deputy Secretary for Business, Housing and Transportation Agency, noted that we can leverage investments in both high-speed rail and other strategies like supporting local transportation by integrating our whole system. Reinforcing the theme of integrated approaches, Tim Schott, Executive Director for the California Association of Port Authorities, recommended a blended funding system for a blended transportation system. Considering key performance measures like location efficiency/land use, social equity, health, and safety for not just motorists but bicyclists and pedestrians was also encouraged. Finally, Dan Richard, Chair of the California High Speed Rail Commission, reinforce the need to integrate high-speed rail into local and regional infrastructure while also explaining the importance of engaging the public and media in “ribbon cutting” for important maintenance and operational improvements on our existing system.

Overall the theme was we must integrate our transportation system to maximize not only greenhouse gas emissions but other important performance measures – and we must think with innovation and leadership to find and leverage new integrated funding sources.


Senate Bill (SB) 391 ushered in a new era for statewide transportation planning in California. Among its many provisions, SB 391 directs Caltrans to prepare a new California Transportation Plan (CTP) by the end of 2015. This 2015 CTP will demonstrate how major metropolitan areas, rural areas, and state agencies can coordinate planning efforts to achieve critical statewide goals such as supporting greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets established pursuant to Assembly Bill (AB) 32 and SB 375.

The California Interregional Blueprint (CIB) is a strategic framework that links statewide transportation goals with regional transportation and land use goals to produce a unified transportation strategy. This CIB Interim Report lays the groundwork for the 2015 CTP by summarizing regional efforts with respect to transportation-related GHG reduction, and the potential influence of these regional efforts on the statewide transportation system.


California Policy Education/Webinars GHG Reduction High-Speed Rail Metropolitan Planning NewsFlash SB 375 State Policy

California Interregional Blueprint Summit May 23 to Host Governor Appointees and Directors: BT&H Acting Secretary Brian Kelly; HSR Chair Dan Richard; Directors of Caltrans, SCAG, SANDAG, CARB

Come see two of Governor Brown’s most recent appointees speak at the California Interregional Blueprint (CIB) Summit: Brian Kelly, Acting Secretary, Business, Housing and Transportation Agency, and Malcolm Dougherty, Director, Caltans.  If you have not registered for the Summit yet, please do so today!  Join us in-person in Sacramento, or on the Web, and help shape California’s future transportation system.

California Interregional Blueprint (CIB) Summit May 23, 2012 8:00 AM – 10:30 AM* CalPERS Auditorium, 400 P Street, Sacramento, CA

Seating is limited so register today at:

Caltrans is sponsoring the CIB Summit to share critical information about the long-term future of California’s transportation system and receive valuable feedback from you.  Take this opportunity to speak with representatives from State agencies, metropolitan planning organizations, regional transportation planning agencies, and the private sector.

Business Transportation and Housing Agency Acting Secretary Brian Kelly will share Governor Brown’s perspective as the Summit’s keyone speaker.

Leaders from key regional and State agencies scheduled to participate in panel discussions are:

  • Gary Gallegos, Executive Director, San Diego Association of Governments
  • Hasan Ikhrata, Executive Director, Southern California Association of Governments
  • James Goldstene, Executive Officer, California Air Resources Board
  • Sharon Scherzinger, Executive Director, El Dorado County Transportation Commission
  • Malcolm Dougherty, Director, Caltrans
  • Dan Richard, Chair, California High Speed Rail Commission
  • Tim Schott, Executive Director, California Association of Port Authorities

Complete details on the Summit and the California Interregional Blueprint process are available on the Caltrans Web Site:

After registering, you’ll receive a confirmation email with directions to the workshop.  If you have questions, email Caroline Leary, Cambridge Systematics, at or call her at 510-873-8700 (voice) or

711 (TTY). If you need physical accommodations or other assistance, please contact Caroline as soon as possible, but no later than two working days before the Summit.

Education/Webinars Livable Communities Mentorship Safe Routes to School

Met Sacramento High School Bicycle Collective Dubbed Region’s “Bike Program of the Year”

For Jeremy Gray’s senior thesis project, a group of seniors at The Met Sacramento High School put together a bicycle repair facility/workshop to be housed at the downtown Sacramento public charter high school which was founded on a “project-based” approach to education.  They created the first youth-run bicycle collective in the Sacramento area and were in charge of getting the project started/funded, running and maintaining the site (which is centrally located adjacent to classrooms), and ensuring that other Metsters are able to take on the Bike Collective after they graduate.

Of the nearly 300 students at the Met, 100 bike to school and related internships in the community – less than a dozen are licenced drivers

By creating a place for students to learn about bikes through real work experience,  the students hope to promote bike-riding in the Met community. The also will be giving volunteer students community service hours and the opportunity to meet other bicycle enthusiasts.


Our mission is to teach Met Sacramento community members of all skill and knowledge levels about repairing and maintaining their bikes so that they may become more self-sufficient.  We are dedicated to providing helpful and lasting hands-on bicycle help to Metsters in an accessible and friendly environment.  Many Metsters rely on their bicycles for transportation, and we hope to create the collective to support them.

Jeremy Gray is also Policy in Motion’s first high school intern who is currently creating a full length film on a concept called “people-oriented development” (POD) and how we can create beautiful communities where people interact more and drive less. The firm’s Career Development Mentorship Program mirrors the “project-based learning” philosophy at the Met Sacramento High School – a dependent public charter high school located in downtown Sacramento that fosters community sustainability at its essence and the concept of “POD.”

Lauren Michele is a proud member of the Met community!

California Policy Education/Webinars GHG Reduction Livable Communities SB 375

Join the Association of Environmental Professionals Conference on May 7 for Policy in Motion’s Panel Presentation

As part of a panel on greenhouse gas emission and vehicle miles traveled reduction strategies, Lauren Michele – Owner/Author of Policy in Motion – will be speaking Monday, May 7th at the 2012 Association of Environmental Professionals Statewide Conference

TDM? TCM? BMP? How Do You Spell VMT Relief?

Organizations use a range of transportation demand management (TDM) strategies, transportation control measures (TCMs) and Best Management Practices (BMPs) to reduce vehicle emissions. The panel will provide an overview of applicable statewide legislation, current research on effective strategies, how to incorporate strategies into CEQA documents, and real world implementation.

More about AEP:

Education/Webinars GHG Reduction Livable Communities NewsFlash

Electric Bicycle Luncheon Hosted by ACT Chapter :: April 18 in Sacramento


Join Us to Learn What’s New With Electric Bikes

Special Guest: Lauren Michele with Policy in Motion

Demo Rides Will be Offered

When:         Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Time:          12:00 – 1:00 pm

Where:       The Electric Bike Shop, 3644 J Street, Suite B, Sacramento  95816

Cost:            FREE* Lunch

RSVP:         To Bev Rager by 4/16/12

*Any new members that apply at this event will receive the member benefit of a free lunch.  Download your Membership Application today.