Getting to Know Nancy Hernandez, San Francisco Department of Environment

Posted: 12/20/2018
Category: Member Spotlight

Nancy is a Transportation Associate with the San Francisco Department of Environment, helping the city reach its goal of shifting 80% of all transportation trips to sustainable modes by 2030. She is currently working towards increasing participation in sustainable transportation programs and is looking for new ways to promote walking, biking, and public transit. Nancy is a recent college graduate interested in increasing access to bicycling, poetry and art as mediums to help shape environmental attitudes, and the intersection of the environment with health and social justice.

What brought you to TDM/how did you get involved in the field?
I think the moment I transitioned from using my bike as a form of recreation to a form of transportation, I was automatically plunged into the world of TDM. I grew up navigating unsafe roads and limited public transportation options just to get to the local library, nearby stores, and then later, my high school almost 10 miles away. It wasn’t until a college internship that I learned about “complete streets,” or designing streets with the needs of all users in mind. As a cyclist, I didn’t have to be relegated to the sidewalk by aggressive drivers passing at speeds of 40 mph. I learned how street design can create safer streets through physical infrastructure, but also by shaping human behavior.

I am guided by a desire to help people feel safe crossing the street or riding a bike on the road, and ultimately, the idea that streets are not just a way to get from point a to point b, but places in and of themselves.

Why did you get involved in ACT?
My departing colleague recently passed her ACT membership along to me, so I am still getting privy to the work that ACT is doing, but so far am enjoying hearing about the work of the organization and learning from other members working towards the same sustainable transportation goals.

Within your work, what do you see as the future opportunities/challenges for TDM?
I think as TNCs become more convenient and ubiquitous, other sustainable transportation methods will have to work harder to become a first choice for users. There’s no greater feeling than riding your bike past stopped traffic, and I see similar opportunities in designing streets to promote sustainable transportation, like designated bus-only lanes.

There’s a lot of work being done in the field of TDM– and there’s so much opportunity for communication and collaboration between organizations working towards the same sustainable transportation goals. Within the ACT network, there’s great potential for members to combine knowledge and learn from each other’s experiences, and I look forward to any opportunities for collaboration.

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