Bringing the TAP to the TIP – Public Input Requested from MAPA

21 Feb

MAPA is putting together their 2019-2023 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and is asking for public input on two projects that will be proposed for the final year of the program that qualify for the federal Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). Transportation Alternatives (TAP) are federally funded, community-based projects that expand travel choices and enhance the transportation experience by integrating modes and improving the cultural, historic, and environmental aspects of our transportation infrastructure.  Any questions or comments that people have should be sent to mapa@mapacog.org.

First Project is one we have raised awareness about in the past, and that is the addition of a multi-use bridge to the US Hwy 34/75 over the Platte River on the border between Sarpy and Cass Counties. Currently, pedestrians and cyclists can share the current bridge with automobiles. After a planned expansion of the road, the highway will be designated a freeway, and people walking or riding bikes will not legally be allowed to share the space with people driving motor vehicles.

Details of the multi-use bridge project over the Platte River at US Hwy 34/75 – click for larger view

Second proposed project is an exciting effort to make active transportation modes work better together. The $200,000 project will add meaningful way finding to the Omaha trail network that will help people walking or riding bikes connect with Metro transit as well as the immediate environment surrounding areas where the trail intersects the road network.

Details of the bus-to-trail directional signs project that will help to meaningfully connect the Metro transit network with the Omaha trail network — click for larger view

One, minor note on nomenclature: Mode Shift does not consider walking, riding a bike or using public transportation to be an “alternative” for no other reason than the fact that, for some, these active modes of transportation are the primary means of getting around. Please let MAPA know if you have any questions or comments about these projects by sending an e-mail to mapa@mapacog.org.

Five Questions for Jason Valandra

15 Feb

Energy policy is closely associated with transportation, so we would like to welcome Jason Valandra from Bold NE to be our February Coffee Chat guest, Friday, February 16, 8 a.m. at Spielbound, 3229 Harney Street.

Jason Valandra, Bold Organizer, is a proud Nebraskan and longtime supporter of Bold. Jason is thrilled to be part of the Bold team and has enjoyed working on projects such as the “Give Keystone XL the Boot” march and the ongoing Solar XL clean energy projects. Jason has over 20 years of professional event planning, sales and fundraising experience, and is passionate about volunteering regularly in his community to support local nonprofits and progressive causes in his hometown of Omaha, NE. A lifelong Democrat, he also serves as the Douglas County Democratic Central Committee Diversity Representative and the Nebraska Democratic Party Native Caucus Vice-Chair, working to bolster progressive politics, especially for Native communities. In his spare time, Jason can be found renovating his 1950s era North Omaha home, cooking with his wife, playing online video games, or discussing politics over coffee with friends. Jason is looking forward to the expansion of clean energy efforts, and will continue to advocate for growing the good life in Nebraska.

We asked him five questions . . .

1. What is your preferred mode of transportation?
Light rail would be awesome. I travel back and forth from Omaha to Lincoln and Omaha to Hastings pretty often. I would really like it if there was a public system in place to accommodate that.

2. What, in your opinion, is the greatest challenge to multi-modal transportation in Omaha?
Lack of political will by leaders in Omaha. They fail to see the importance of this issue and how it effects our economy and growth as a city.

3. What, in your opinion, the the greatest multi-modal success in Omaha?
The implementation of ORBT seems like a move in the right direction. I hope it’s successful.

4. How did you come to have an interest in transportation?
My work with BOLD is to stop the KXL pipeline and end our dependency on fossil fuels. Part of our mission is to influence legislation and promote projects like light rail, more bike lanes, and government vehicles shifting to electric vehicles.

5. If you could magically change one thing about the transportation systems in Omaha, without limit to budget or feasibility, what would it be?
More self driving cars and car sharing programs. Would be nice to have to that available. Shared systems in place would be great. Especially when you consider the number of university and community college people we have in the city

Keystone Trailhead Closure at 75th

15 Feb

The Keystone Trail parking lot trailhead on S. 75th Street just north of Jackson Plaza will be closed for two weeks starting on MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2018 so the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can undertake stream and embankment improvements to the Little Papio Creek. Parking lot will reopen on MONDAY, MARCH 5, 2018.

S 75th North of Jackson