SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) will present 13 "Excellence in Motion" awards during a ceremony on Wednesday, Oct. 26, to honor people, projects and organizations for exceptional contributions to Bay Area transportation. The ceremony, open to the public, begins with a reception at 8:30 a.m. and the presentation of awards by MTC commissioners at 9 a.m., at MTC's offices at 375 Beale Street, San Francisco. The 2016 program marks the 35th presentation of the now biennial Excellence in Motion awards, which began in 1977.
"This awards program has become an institution in Bay Area transportation," said Dave Cortese, MTC chair and Santa Clara County Supervisor. "It is important to show that good ideas and hard work can make a difference. From a field of nearly 100 nominations, the winners were chosen by a six-member jury representing business, environment interests, the Commission and MTC staff."
This year's top honor, the 2016 Grand Award, goes posthumously to Deb Hubsmith as a reminder of the impact that one passionate, tenacious individual can make. Her work to create safe, active transportation for children and adults spread from Marin County to the entire Bay Area, California and the nation. Hubsmith founded the Safe Routes to School National Partnership that advocated for and landed $1.1 billion in federal funds, with more than 17,000 schools in all 50 states benefiting since 2005. Hubsmith brought that same energy to her fight against cancer until her passing in August 2015 at the age of 46.
The Bay Area's own Assembly Speaker pro Tempore, Kevin Mullin, is the recipient of the 2016 John F. Foran Legislative Award for authoring Assembly Bill 516 and carrying it across the finish line to be signed into law in July 2016 by Governor Brown. The new law requires vehicle dealers to issue temporary license plates that are linked to the owner. This will help law enforcement solve crimes involving recently sold or possibly stolen vehicles and will improve toll collection on the state's bridges, toll roads and express lanes.
The Doris W. Kahn Accessible Transportation Award recognizes individuals or organizations that have helped make the Bay Area transportation network work better for seniors or persons with disabilities. This year's Kahn award goes to Dr. Joshua Miele of the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute and Greg Kehret of LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired for inventing and developing Braille and tactile maps that allow blind and visually impaired persons to navigate in BART and Muni Metro stations.
Jose Macasocol, a transit operator for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, receives the David Tannehill Special Employee Award for practicing safety and courtesy every day on the job as a bus driver. The Tannehill award is intended for a bus driver, train operator, road maintenance worker or other transportation professional who provides exemplary service and goes beyond the call of duty on a routine basis.
Castro Valley resident Billy Bradford is this year's recipient of the Miriam Gholikely Public Service Award. This award recognizes extraordinary accomplishments in the field of community service, volunteerism, advocacy, leadership or minority affairs. Mr. Bradford acquires old bikes, rehabs them in his garage and gives them away for free to those in need. His operation, dubbed "Bad Business Model Bikes," uses social media to locate bikes and also to connect with lucky recipients.
Brian Maroney, who serves as Caltrans' chief bridge engineer, is this year's recipient of the Greta Ericson Distinguished Service Award. This award is named for the founder of MTC's awards program and recognizes achievements by employees in long-term public service. Maroney has been a leader in the area of bridge seismic safety for 32 years and has worked on most of the bridges and transportation structures in the Bay Area.
In addition to these awards, MTC also will present Awards of Merit to the following seven projects:
- The Free South San Francisco Community shuttle, operated by the city of South San Francisco, for providing transportation services to students, as well as to low-income and disabled residents, after a major bus route was eliminated.
- The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of Transportation YOU, a national mentorship program of the Women's Transportation Seminar and the U.S. Department of Transportation. The program encourages girls to become interested in the field of transportation and to take math and science courses to fulfill that goal.
- The West B Street Undercrossing in the city of Dixon, which created a safe route under railroad tracks for students, disabled persons and other residents, and encourages walking and biking.
- The West County Transportation Agency, a joint powers authority of 16 school districts in Sonoma County, for providing transportation for all students, including the disabled, in a safe and efficient manner.
- Solano Mobility, a program of the Solano Transportation Authority that identifies and addresses the needs of seniors, disabled and low-income residents. The multi-pronged program includes a mobility call center, one-stop transportation information available via a website, in-person ADA eligibility assessment, and training for how to ride transit.
- MidPen Housing and Eden Housing, two non-profit organizations, for providing affordable transit-oriented developments for low-income residents including families, the formerly homeless, disabled persons and seniors.
- The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District for successfully installing the Moveable Median Barrier and making related traffic control improvements. The moveable barrier is designed to reduce traffic accidents, including head-on collisions, for the 2.5 million vehicles that cross the bridge monthly.
MTC is the regional transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. For additional information on the awards program and this year's winners, visit our website at http://www.mtc.ca.gov/about_mtc/awards/.
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SOURCE Metropolitan Transportation Commission