Mode Shift Year in Review 2016-2017

21 May

Omaha Gives! is happening this Wednesday, May 24, 2017. We are very grateful for your support and hope you will continue to include Mode Shift in your Omaha Gives giving this year. Please schedule or make a gift here.

We’ve done quite a lot this past year to advocate for safer and more efficient transportation options for everyone in the Omaha area. Here are some highlights in our three areas of focus:

Monitoring

Created by: Chris Behr

As part of our Transparency Project, Mode Shift studied the City of Omaha’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for over a year. The report of our findings are included in a series of blog posts. We found that:

  • The CIP data are incomplete, the content is out of date, and the totals don’t add up;
  • Master plans are ignored and the project ranking process specified in the City Charter is not followed; and
  • There is little to no opportunity for citizens to provide input on the process.

We’ve also filed a Freedom of Information request to obtain data missing from the CIP. We’ll use this information to work toward getting the City to create a transparent, understandable, and accurate CIP.

Photo credit: Cindy Tefft

We also initiated our Safe Crossings Project this past year. Volunteers tested a data collection tool last spring (see the results here), spent the winter refining it, and hope to collect data again this summer or fall. Thanks to work by one of our members, Cindy Tefft, and others, some improvements to the 72 & Dodge intersection were made—but issues at this intersection and others still continue and we’ll be working to get them addressed.

Influencing

Over the winter, we created a program to bring attention to the need for better snow removal from sidewalks, including creating snow removal cards and information sheets you can print and share with neighbors and businesses. Continue reading

Transportation-Related Groups Participating in Omaha Gives! 2017

17 May

There are several transportation-related organizations participating in this year’s Omaha Gives, taking place next Wednesday, May 24, that would very much appreciate your support. Please plan to make a donation next Wednesday or schedule a donation now by following the links below.

Thanks for supporting better and safer transportation options in the Omaha area!

Mode Shift Omaha

Advocates for transportation options that enhance quality of life and opportunities for everyone to live, work, and play.

Back to the River, Inc.

Connecting the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge to North Downtown Omaha.

Chariots4Hope

A faith-based organization that provides automobiles to low income families and individuals in need of transportation.

Community Bicycle Shop of Omaha

Strengthens Omaha neighborhoods by promoting the bicycle as viable, reliable, and fun transportation.

Keep Kids Alive Drive 25

Makes streets safer for all who walk, cycle, play, drive, and ride.

Live Well Omaha

Improves the overall health of area residents and position Omaha as a thriving community now and into the future.

Nebraska Bicycling Alliance

Cultivates a safer, more bicycle friendly Nebraska through partnerships, education, and advocacy. Continue reading

5 Questions with . . . Geoff DeOld

15 May

1 What is your preferred mode of transportation?

Walking. Our first five years living in New York we lived in Lower Manhattan and I was able to walk to work from the first two apartments we lived in, on top of being able to walk to grocery stores and other day to day amenities. When we moved to Brooklyn I was able to commute via subway and cycle in a connected bike network, but it was never quite the same as walking. Now my commute is down a flight of stairs from our apartment to our design studio.

2 What, in your opinion, is the greatest challenge to multi-modal transportation in Omaha?

Our current urban form. Even in the eastern sections of the city that were developed pre-postwar (pre-war?) that have slightly higher densities, a continuous street grid, and clusters of commercial districts leftover from the streetcar days, there is a lot of underdeveloped urban substance that can be difficult to bridge if walking or on bike. Walking or cycling should be interesting and stimulating so it doesn’t feel like a chore.

3 What, in your opinion, is the greatest multi-modal success in Omaha?

Probably the commitment to build our first BRT line. Omaha is a very spread out, and well-designed rapid transit could make transit feasible outside of the downtown and midtown sections of the city.

4 How did you come to have an interest in transportation?

A love of cities. The best way to use a city is through its transportation system.

5 If you could magically change one thing about the transportation systems in Omaha, without limit to budget or feasibility, what would it be?

I really, really want the bus system to be more useful and reliable. BRT is great, but the rest of the bus system has the potential to serve a greater population spread out across the rest of the city who choose or need to use public transportation. I worry the BRT won’t be as effective as it could be if the rest of Metro’s system isn’t able to effectively serve new ridership.