The Coalition for Sustainable Transportation will recognize former county Supervisor Naomi Schwartz with the Barry Siegel Award at the fifth annual Train Party from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Amtrak station.

COAST is a local nonprofit organization that promotes pedestrian, bicycle, bus and rail transportation in Santa Barbara County. The Barry Siegel Award — named after one of COAST’s founders — is presented annually to individuals for their outstanding contributions to alternative transportation.

Schwartz was elected 1st District supervisor in 1992 and served three terms. She was a “champion” for sustainable transportation planning and funding. Siegel was her top public adviser on transportation.

Schwartz served on the boards of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments and the Air Pollution Control District. In 1993, with the South Coast up in arms about Caltrans’ plans to convert the scenic highway corridor south of Milpas into a standard concrete channel, Schwartz convinced her colleagues at SBCAG to hire internationally renowned firm Parsons Brinckerhoff to conduct a “Highway 101 Corridor Alternatives Study.”

Under her direction, SBCAG established a “101 Task Force” that conceived the operational improvements that ultimately became the alternative to the full Highway 101 widening. Schwartz appointed Siegel to that committee.

Schwartz changed the way public transportation projects were planned and funded by dramatically improving public participation in processes previously controlled by Public Works directors. She also led multijurisdictional efforts to create Highway 101 design guidelines to guide the aesthetics of future Highway 101 projects on the South Coast.

In recognition of her achievements, COAST will present Schwartz the 2009 Barry Siegel Award.

Click here for more information or to attend the event.

— Eva Inbar represents the Coalition for Sustainable Transportation.