As part of Mode Shift’s Transparency Campaign, Mode Shift members have set out to answer the following questions: Who decides which transportation projects go forward in Omaha? Who controls the funding? What is the public input?
We suspected the process was complex and that the public had little input, and unfortunately, that’s what we found. In short:
- The City Executive Branch (that is, the Mayor) largely controls the Capital Improvement Program (CIP), which outlines the City’s transportation and other projects for the next 5 years.
- Years 2-5 of the CIP can be molded by public opinion, but there is no formal process for public input. City Council members recommend requesting meetings in January or February to provide input.
- The CIP is published in August for the following calendar year and is not easy to understand by the average citizen.
Mode Shift Omaha is launching a new campaign in June–Omaha Safe Crossings. The goal of the campaign is to make intersections safer for people of all ages and abilities who walk, bike, or use mobility aids.
To this end, we’re in the process of putting together an easy-to-use assessment tool to record data on intersections around Omaha. We’ll need your help gathering data!
Any intersection can be chosen to analyze, or you can choose one of the intersections where crashes involving people walking or bicycling has occurred (see this map compiled by Lacey Matney). The audit can be done in one hour, any time of day. Depending on the activity level of the chosen intersection, it may be helpful to bring a friend and complete the analysis together. If possible, take photos of intersection and share on social media using the hashtag #OmahaSafeCrossings. Continue reading
Mode Shift Omaha has been concerned with community participation in the transportation planning and implementation process since its inception. We have noted before some areas in need of improvement in relation to public participation processes in Omaha. This is why democratic engagement is a key aspect of our vision and values statements.
We aim to build greater capacity for community participation in transportation processes through at least three avenues: Continue reading