September 2016 Coffee Chat with Greg Youell from MAPA

10 Oct

We welcomed Greg Youell, Executive Director of the Omaha – Council Bluffs Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA), to our September 16, 2016 Coffee Chat. According to its website:

MAPA is a voluntary association of local governments. It was created in 1967 under the terms of an interlocal agreement to provide a forum for coordinating local planning and development activities. As an organization of local governments, we exist to help member governments address problems that are regional in scope and may cross jurisdictional boundaries.

14355755_1141377012623749_1387272653530084277_nThis includes transportation planning. As Greg noted, any project that gets federal funds has to go through MAPA’s planning process. Just as the City of Omaha has its Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which lists projects that are planned to be implemented in Omaha in the next six years, MAPA also has its Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), which does the same for regional projects. Continue reading

Welcome New Board Members

21 Sep

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


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!