Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, San Antonio Style

Leadership San Antonio Class 44 just completed its third session. The topic? Transportation and mobility. The Transportation and Mobility Team filled their day with fun and disruptive experiences to challenge their colleagues to think critically about what factors influence transportation and mobility in our city and how that affects people’s lives.

LSA 44 kicked off their class day by starting at the historical VIA Grand with breakfast by Tim the Girl & Bird Bakery. During this time, the class members did a deep dive into the history and policies of transportation in San Antonio with some of our cities finest experts: Jeff Arndt, VIA, Secretary Hope Andrade and Bill Barker, ACIP, with Representative Charlie Gonzalez – of LSA Class 1 – as the moderator.

After contextualizing the city’s priorities in transportation, the LSA class took a tour of Central Plaza and walked from the Grand to the UTSA Downtown Campus where they played a trivia game with Game Show Host Roberto Mendez. The game challenged class members to wrestle with what they know about transportation and mobility as it currently operates in San Antonio. Class members heard from Councilman Rey Saldana throughout the game and learned more about his personal experience using solely public transportation in San Antonio and his engagement as a council member with policies affecting our transportation system.

After the trivia game, the class hopped on the bus and headed to Confluence Park, where they were greeted with lunch in style by MoJo Man Eateries Food Truck. The San Antonio River Authority, who graciously sponsored the lunch, reminded the class of a unique way to travel in San Antonio: kayaking the river. Providng tips and tricks, SARA noted that along the Mission Reach, there are occasional paddling chutes through restored riffles.

After refueling from lunch, the class went on a great adventure! Geared up for the challenge ahead, LSA class members and steering committee members divided into six teams and were tasked with making their way to Brick at Blue Star Arts Complex by using different forms of transportation mobility. Throughout their adventures, LSA make pit stops, exploring the city, learning fun facts about their unique modes of transportation and expanding their understanding of equity and access to transportation in the process. The Arts, Culture, and Wellness team were the first to arrive to Brick using Blue Duck Scooters, and up next, in waves, the walking groups, rideshare groups, and VIA Bus riders arrived with the Swell Cycle bike riders crew coming in as the caboose.

Working hard for a full hour, class members earned treats from Queen B’s Cupcakes and had the opportunity to debrief their experience over refreshing Paletas from Burgerteca. Sharing their reflections around what they learned and saw on their journeys, class members discussed topics such as safety, costs, time, convenience and access of these different modalities. LSA continued to deepen their perspectives of the impacts of transportation on people’s lives by hearing from a representative from the military and a senior citizen in our community about their unique experiences and their hopes for our city moving forward.

Following the scavenger hunt, class members traveled to Toyota where they learned more about future initiatives in our city. Class members had personalized agendas based on their interests and learned from a variety of experts in various fields. Engaging in four rounds of learning with a chance to explore the Toyota Exhibit Museum at the Visitor’s Center, class members shared intimate dialogue with city leaders:

 

Name Role, Organization – Topic
Russ Handy Aviation Director, CoSA – Airport Services
Kristen McKenney Baggett Executive Director, Yoga Day , US – Physical Mobility
Commissioner Kevin Wolff Bex. Co. Comm. | Chair of AAMPO – Regional Mobility
Art Reinhardt Interim Director, TCI, CoSA – Autonomous Vehicles
Lt. Col. CageTodd Deane Commander, 502d Logistics & Readiness, JBSA – MilitaryCIV USAF AETC, 502d Logistics & Readiness, JBSA – Military
Casey Whittington Nat’l Director of Gov. Affairs, Blue Duck Scooters – Micro Mobility
Greg Reininger Principal Transportation Planner, TCI, CoSA – Vision Zero
Chief Tony Trevino Asst. Chief, San Antonio Police Department – Police Safety

As they closed out the day, class members traveled to The Garage at the Pearl for a Happy Hour Tailgate. Post day celebrations included a Pedal Party by Cyclo Fiesta, music by DJ Dru, delicious food by La Gloria, and beer and wine from Hops and Vines Distributors. Viva Fiesta – in true San Antonio spirit, they capped off their day by passing out their very own LSA medals and raffling off an assortment of celebratory prizes.

The Transportation and Mobility Team, along with all of Leadership San Antonio Class 44, would like to thank all the speakers, sponsors, and in-kind support that helped make this event successful!

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Dear LSA Family,

We hope you and your families are remaining healthy and safe. During these past two months our great city has taken many necessary measures to ensure that our community stays safe and slows the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing measures that help to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus has greatly impacted our businesses, our schools, our families. We are all finding new ways to stay engaged, stay productive, and stay connected while supporting and rallying behind many of our LSA family who are struggling in our hotel, restaurant, tourism and travel industries, small business and non-profit sectors, as well as many others who have been professionally and personally affected.

With that said, the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce have agreed to continue LSA 45 (aka LSA 2020) into 2021, modifying our current class days using creative shortened virtual programs, challenging each other to serve the community and buy local, and to focus on the way ahead into next year. During these unprecedented times, our priorities are to ensure our businesses and families are safe and supported. We are challenged to improve ways that LSA can directly impact our neighbors and our community. In January 2021, we will reconnect to carry on the traditional mission of the program through full LSA class days – to educate and inform class members in the vital areas affecting San Antonio, as well as to encourage Chamber Business involvement and Community advocacy.

We find the COVID-19 challenges as a unique opportunity to leave a Legacy through Service and Action for our current class.

We look forward to seeing what LSA 45 can accomplish and we stand with you! We thank you for your continued commitment, leadership, and support to our great city!

We are all in this together!

Cristina J. Bazaldúa and Brian Hurtak
LSA 45 Co-Chairs