Welcome New Board Members

21 Sep

We are pleased to welcome a few new members to the Mode Shift Omaha board! 

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Madeline Brush grew up in Dundee and now lives downtown so she can more easily get around the city without a car. She studied Public Relations, Communication and International Studies at Wayne State College and has travelled to the Czech Republic, Greece, and many places in the U.S., experiencing getting around without a car in these places. She wants to better understand how Omaha can become a more walk-friendly city and also how to more effectively participate in City decision-making. She is also involved with The Gifford Foundation and the Omaha Children’s Museum.

Kevinkevin Flatowicz-Farmer’s path to transportation advocacy began with the flat tire on his car that pushed him to ride the Omaha bus system for the very first time. From that moment, he was hooked. In 2008, he wrote a series of articles in the Omaha City Weekly about the Omaha bus system titled, “Diary of a MAT Man,” that examined the possibilities, deficiencies, frustrations and ultimate joys of transit use in our city. In 2011 he was the Public Stakeholder Committee Chair for the update to the Omaha Master Plan Transportation Element. Kevin was one of the founding members of Mode Shift Omaha and is proud to join as an active member of the board. He is taking over organizing the Mode Shift monthly Coffee Chats and managing the blog.

Jenn Kephart receijennved her Bachelors in Education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha, is an alumni of the Citizen’s Academy for Omaha’s Future, and is finishing up her Masters of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Through her studies, Jenn recognized the link between transportation systems and our health and the need to improve the systems we have. She is currently heading up the Mode Shift Safe Crossings Campaign and hopes this project will bring necessary changes to some dangerous intersections around the city.  

Five Questions for . . .

15 Sep

mbj_photoGreg Youell is the executive director of MAPA and our guest at the upcoming coffee chat, September, 16. We wanted to discover a little more about Greg, so we asked him Five Questions . . .

1. What is your preferred mode of transportation?

Walking in the beautiful outdoors.

2 What, in your opinion, is the greatest challenge to multi-modal transportation in Omaha?
Getting “over the hump” to get a robust mass transit system started.
3 What, in your opinion, the the greatest multi-modal success in Omaha?
4 How did you come to have an interest in transportation?
Began working at the Kansas City MPO, the Mid America Regional Council (MARC).
5. If you could magically change one thing about the transportation systems in Omaha, without limit to budget or feasibility, what would it be?
 Heartland 2050’s Close the Gap Plan!

Omaha Safe Crossings Update: What We’ve Learned So Far and Next Steps

30 Aug

We kicked off our Omaha Safe Crossings campaign this past June and have been piloting an intersection assessment tool that volunteers can use to record data over one hour at intersections in the Omaha area.IMG_0371

We’re grateful for the several people* who have used the tool to gather data, including at key intersections shown to be dangerous for people bicycling or walking in the past. Intersections where data has been gathered so far include: 18 & Vinton, 72 & Maple, 72 & Cass, 72 & Dodge, 76 & Western, Saddle Creek & Farnam, Raynor Parkway & Papio Trail, and Leavenworth & Happy Hollow.

Some key data points from the assessments include:

  • People crossing the street often have to wait quite a while before they get a walk signal after pushing the button—more than two minutes at 72 & Maple; at other intersections where there were signals, about 30-60 seconds. Only one of the signals (at 72 & Dodge) was audible, posing a significant challenge for people crossing who are blind or visually-impaired. If an intersection did have a walk signal, it was working and all intersections had ADA ramps.

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