SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Mayor Edwin Lee on Wednesday announced that San Francisco received the 2012 Sustainable Transport Award from the Institute for Transportation and Developmental Policy, for the City’s innovative parking management system and cycling and public space improvements. SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin accepted the award during the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting in Washington D.C.

“San Francisco is taking on problems all cities face, such as congestion and the need for clean transportation and open space, and finding innovative solutions that are being modeled throughout the country,” said Mayor Lee.

San Francisco was recognized for “capturing imaginations locally and around the world” for its SFpark program, a federally funded pilot project that uses smart parking management technologies and pricing policies to make it easier and faster to park in San Francisco, and its Pavements to Parks program that reclaims unused street spaces and quickly and inexpensively turns them into public plazas and parks. San Francisco was also acknowledged for upgrading and expanding the City’s bike network to attract riders of all ages and setting an ambitious target of 20 percent of all trips by bicycle by 2020. The award also highlighted implementation of slow speed zones around schools and the popular Sunday Streets program.

“As the SFMTA takes a balanced approach to our limited street space, we will continue to strategize to encourage sustainable transportation options,” said SFMTA Board of Directors Chairman Tom Nolan.

“The success of the Pavement to Parks program is largely due to its ability to creatively enhance streets with minimal impact and cost, said San Francisco Planning Director John Rahaim. “We are pleased that this program continues to provide popular public spaces in many communities throughout San Francisco.”

The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) works with cities worldwide to bring about transport solutions that cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce poverty and improve the quality of urban life.
Every year the Steering Committee selects a city from around the world that has made profound advancements in sustainable transportation innovations. Both San Francisco and Medellin were selected based on four criteria: increasing mobility for residents, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution from transportation, improving safety, and increasing access for cyclists and pedestrians.

“San Francisco and Medellin are setting the example by working on various fronts – giving people opportunities through high quality transport options,” said ITDP CEO Dr. Walter Hook. “We are excited that this is the first year a parking program, San Francisco’s SFpark, is being recognized. Parking is the next wave of powerful tools to control congestion, fight climate change, and redefine urban form.”