Picture of Michele Beasley

Michele Beasley

San Mateo’s Taste and Talk Series hits the ground running (or cycling)

Those who remember Redwood City’s The Forum fondly should fret no more. A new event series is gaining traction on the Peninsula: the City of San Mateo’s Taste and Talk Series—a series of speaker forums on sustainable streets.

Last week, Michael Moule of NelsonNygaard and Paul Zykofsky of the Local Government Commission gave a presentation on the key to complete streets. The key is to design streets that are safe, comfortable, and convenient for an 8 year old and an 80 year old (aka the 8-80 rule). After all, streets are part of the public realm and 33% of the U.S. population does not drive at all. Combine that with the fact that nearly 40% of all trips are less than three miles, and one quickly realizes that streets should be made accessible for more than just cars. The kid riding his bike to school, the mom pushing the stroller to the park, and the millennial commuting to work by bike and train need safe access as well.*

Every trip we take, whether by car or train, begins and ends with walking. And as Moule and Zykofsky point out, cities are competing to attract millennials, who aren’t big on driving. Designing complete streets is good for business, good for our health, and good for the planet.

The City of San Mateo’s Taste and Talk Series is true to its name. The forums are free and great food is provided, giving people an opportunity to network with their neighbors. Upcoming forums include Safer Routes to Schools and Transit and The Dark Truth and the Bright Future of Parking Policies. RSVP for next month’s forum below:

What: Greening the Street Involves more than New Trees
Who: Presented by Phil Erickson from Community Design & Architecture
When: Wednesday, March 5, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Where: Hero’s City, Draper University, 55 E. 3rd Ave., San Mateo


The City of San Mateo is working hard to create more sustainable streets. The first project has been completed on Delaware Street in front of Kmart, featuring a road diet plus wider sidewalks and marked bike lanes. Next up: El Camino Real between 20th and 25th Avenues. Make sure to stay tuned!

* Statistics courtesy of the National Household Travel Survey, 2009

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