We were lucky to spend some time talking with Omaha’s new Vision Zero Coordinator, Jeff Sobczyk, at our May Membership Meeting. It was full of robust discussion and Q&A. He’s positioned in the Public Works Department and feels that the Mayor’s involvement in the Vision Zero committee will create legitimacy around the program. He knows there’s a need for culture change and we as MSO are ready to help push that along!
“The role of the public is to kind of push a city to be a little bit more bold with what they want to accomplish and zero deaths in a 10 year period is very bold.”-Jeff Sobczyk, VZ Coordinator for the City of Omaha
We talked about design over enforcement, the latest with Harney Street’s protected bike lane, and the potential for Mode Shift’s involvement in the new VZ Action Plan! It’s going to take a lot of work and a lot of perspective to get it right but we’re hopeful that it can be done in Omaha.
It was great to hear what Jeff had to offer, finally. My one take away is that there is a paradox here. “The Mayor’s Involvement in the Vision Zero Committee will create legitimacy around the program” and the mayor’s many statements about pedestrians disrupting traffic on 90th and Dodge if they push the crossing button, and how the signals going east on Dodge have been synchronized so if that were to happen, the signals would adjust for ‘smooth sailing’ for motor vehicles. (allowing them to go faster as in speed is safer? my snark.) She has said this many times.
Help me resolve this paradox.