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Press Release: Circulate San Diego Announces 2019 Momentum Award Winners


Contact: Colin Parent
[email protected]

Circulate San Diego Announces 2019 Momentum Award Winners

Last night local nonprofit Circulate San Diego awarded a number of individuals and public agencies with “Momentum Awards,” as a part of Circulate’s annual awards gala.

Circulate San Diego’s Momentum Awards recognize the people and projects in the San Diego region that are creating excellent mobility choices and vibrant, healthy neighborhoods.

“Every year Circulate has the honor of recognizing really exciting efforts to improve our region’s mobility. We are very excited about this year’s awards,” said Colin Parent, Circulate San Diego’s Executive Director and General Counsel.

More than 300 people attend the gala at the Natural History Museum. Guests included elected officials, staff from SANDAG, MTS, and NCTD, and members of the business and nonprofit sectors specializing in transportation and land use.

The award winners are listed below. Photos from the event are attached to this release.

2019 Momentum Award Winners

Public Voice Award

Winner: Lisa Halverstadt, Voice of San Diego

 As a reporter with the Voice of San Diego, she covers homelessness, housing, and city and county government. The value of her stories is the ability to educate listeners on difficult to understand issues, such as on mobility with her recent stories ranging from why the trolley doesn’t go to the airport to mental illness. The awards jury chose Lisa as this year’s recipient for multiple stories she reported on this year and her style of reporting that really digs into an issues. 


Walk-the-Walk Award

Winner: Mayor Catherine Blakespear, City of Encinitas  

Mayor Blakespear has been a leader for creating protected safe bicycle facilities in her city, and for pushing to bring Encinitas into compliance with state housing laws. As the Vice-Chair of SANDAG, she has helped the region reimagine its transportation and climate future. Mayor Blakespear will be honored with our signature “Walk the Walk” award to recognize her efforts to advance Circulate’s mission through her important work.


Advocate Award

Winner #1 Howard LaGrange, City of Oceanside
The nomination for Howard LaGrange noted that he is a “true champion” of safe mobility options for all users, and has volunteered his time in this role for nearly two decades. Among his many accomplishments have been creating the Oceanside Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, the establishment of a micro-mobility policy, and many safety and education programs. In making their decision, the jury commented that Howard has done amazing work over the years in promoting good, solid projects and shown a real passion and dedication towards creation of projects, programs and funding that support active transportation. Howard meets the award criteria by having served as positive impact to his community and inspiration to others.


Winner #2: Rise Up Town

Rise Up Town is a group of Uptown community members dedicated to bring progressive, pro-housing voices to Uptown planning. Key aims are creating greater housing choices aligned with the City’s climate action goals, advocating for more mobility and transit options, and density bonuses for inclusion of below market rate housing. The jury commented that Rise Up Town is especially noteworthy in promoting involvement of community residents in community planning projects as well as promoting progressive thinking on the value of walkable communities. The group meets the award criteria through its support of mixed-use, higher density development and alternative travel modes, as well as being a role model for progressive urban planning.


Vision Zero Award

Winner: Systematic Safety Analysis Report Program, City of San Diego

 This year’s award winner is the City of San Diego’s Systemic Safety Analysis Report Program. The nomination noted that the program provides a new perspective towards identifying where severe accidents occur and outlining a systemic approach to reduce and eliminate severe and fatal injuries.  The program has yielded information on hotspots or environments where there is a higher likelihood of injury crashes. The jury noted that this kind of program (one of only three in the country) provides a pro-active and systemic approach to the problem that will lead to long-term change and reduction of serious accidents. The jury also recognized the leadership at the City that brought about this program.


Connectivity Award

Winner #1: Encinitas Coastal Rail Trail, City of Encinitas, Caltrans, SANDAG, NCTD

The Encinitas Coastal Rail Trail is a 1.3 mile separated bikeway running along the east side of the railroad tracks, providing a safe biking and walking connections to several destinations in the City.


Winner #2: I-5/Genesee Avenue Interchange Reconstruction Project

City of San Diego, Caltrans, SANDAG, MTS, UC San Diego, and Scripps Hospital

The I-5/Genesee Ave project is a new multi-modal interchange that includes a widened roadway overpass with bike lanes and widened sidewalks, a 1.5 mile Class 1 bike and pedestrian path connecting UCSD with Sorrento Valley with a grade-separated bridge over Genesee Avenue, and access ramp improvements to accommodate carpool lanes.


Healthy Community Award

Winner: Parking Reforms for Transit Priority Areas, City of San Diego

These regulations are an outgrowth of the Mayor’s Housing San Diego program and the City’s Climate Action Plan, and serve to reform parking regulations for multi-family residential development in Transit Priority Areas.  The regulations remove parking minimums aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles in areas with strong transit service and reducing new home costs by eliminating the costly construction of parking and land necessary required under current regulation.


Complete Streets Award

Winner #1: Downtown Mobility Plan - Cycle Track Phase 1-A, City of San Diego

The nomination for Downtown San Diego Mobility Plan Cycle Track Phase 1A project noted that it is the first phase towards implementation of a nine-mile Downtown cycle track network. The aim is to increase safety for cyclists, scooters, and pedestrians by having pathways separated from auto traffic that encourage use of alternative modes. The cycle track network is part of the City’s efforts in meeting Vision Zero and Climate Action Plan goals. While not the final design solution, the awards jury applauded this first stage project as a low-cost, quickly implementable improvement that sets the stage towards the ultimate 9-mile plan.


Winner #2: Townsite - W. Los Angeles Drive N. Santa Fe Avenue Project, City of Vista

The Townsite/West Los Angeles and North Santa Fe Ave project nomination noted that Vista residents in this neighborhood had long raised concerns about the lack of bike, pedestrian, and transit amenities, and the over design of a roadway that resulted in excessive auto speeds and accidents. Through a series of public workshops, a comprehensive set of traffic calming, bike and pedestrian, and transit improvements were identified to change this dynamic. The approved plan has been awarded funding and the City of Vista is working on final engineering design plans. The awards jury commented on the fact that this project exemplified a complete streets set of improvements that will benefit all roadway users.


Innovation Award

Winner: Engineering and Public Works Department, City of National City

The nomination noted that the City’s department has shown great commitment towards advancing strategies and actions that execute their vision of active transportation, sustainable urban development, and community-based land uses. This commitment has been exemplified by implementation of such programs as the Safe, Multi-Modal, Accessible Route to Transit Work, School, Services, and Recreation (otherwise known as “SMART”), as well as the overall Circulation Element to the General Plan. Though a small city, they have achieved many improvements over the years.