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Upcoming Benson Block Talk

15 Oct

We’re helping spread the word about an upcoming event gathering feedback on some issues at an intersection that Mode Shift Omaha has brought attention to previously: 52nd & Radial! This is the dangerous spot near Benson High that pushed us to rally for a Vision Zero plan in Omaha, and due to our advocacy, Omaha hired its first Vision Zero Coordinator, Jeff Sobczyk. While we haven’t heard much from him so far, he is currently working on an action plan!

So, how can you share your thoughts on this area’s safety issues? Join an upcoming virtual event on October 20th, or submit your thoughts on your own time using the survey.

Metropolitan Area Planning Agency (MAPA) is partnering with the City of Omaha, the Nebraska Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, the Benson Neighborhood Association, the Benson Business Improvement District, and other partners to host a Block Talk for the area around 52nd Street and NW Radial Highway in Benson, near Benson High School, Monroe Middle School and Gallagher Park.

Block Talks help communities understand the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists and transit users in a specific area and identify projects, programs and policies to make improvements and increase safety

Register now to attend the virtual facilitated walk event on Wednesday, October 20th from 6-7:30 pm.

During the event, project staff and stakeholders will take you on a virtual walk through the study area and record your questions and comments.

Registration is required. https://tinyurl.com/3apyfh8v 

TAKE THE SURVEY if you can’t join virtually on the 20th. (You know how we love surveys!)

If you prefer to provide feedback at your own convenience, visit the online StoryMap anytime before October 29th and share the concerns you have when walking, biking or using transit in the study area! https://bit.ly/3EPXzsr 

Walk With Us Recap

7 Oct

In September we hosted two Walk With Us events, one in Aksarben and one on North 78th Street by Fort. Both events brought awareness to mobility issues regarding sidewalk accessibility and street safety.

A torn up sidewalk with construction tape and cones around a sky-high Verizon cell tower right in the middle. The sky is blue with a few white clouds and the grass in the foreground is green. There's a news camera to the left, with a reporter talking to the home owner, Jane, wearing pink shorts and shirt.
55th & Poppleton with the ADA violation

Aksarben was on our list because of the giant Verizon monopole installed in the middle of a sidewalk, with no forewarning or communication to the neighbors. The pole was installed without an ADA plan either which is inexcusable, yet somehow got through city processes anyway. A new sidewalk is finally poured but it took too long plus a significant portion of the homeowner’s yard was destroyed since it loops around the pole toward the house and not the street.

We invited Senator John Cavanaugh and City Councilor Danny Begley (and the Vision Zero Coordinator who declined) to our event and they gave us an update on their plan to prevent it from happening again. Their goal is to craft an ordinance requiring communication from Verizon to the property owner ahead of time. While this is a good step, we would like to ensure that a full ADA plan, including reasonable timeline, is also approved before construction begins. We’ll be following this issue as it moves forward. Feel free to email your City Councilor and ask them to add the ADA requirements to the proposed communication plan.

The latest with the City Council’s progress is covered here: https://www.ketv.com/article/conversation-can-happen-up-front-proposed-ordinance-seeks-to-address-cell-towers-on-sidewalks/37889316

Our second event on North 78th Street was focused on street safety and a dangerous speeding issue along that corridor. After a concerned neighbor reached out, finding little help from the City, a group of Mode Shift members and neighbors gathered with signs, safety vests, and a speed gun to bring attention to the speeding drivers to SLOW DOWN. We clocked speeds over 60 miles per hour in a 35 MPH zone. Wow!

Many productive conversations took place and many other drivers honked and waved at our demonstration. Aside from the reminder to motorists, the big benefit of our event was bringing the neighborhood together over their shared concerns about street safety. One neighbor even brought out his own speed gun for us to use!

A group of people are standing along a road holding signs that say "We Need Safe Streets" and "Speed Kills" as well as a black and white Mode Shift banner. In the background there's a yard with a black and white sign showing kids playing with the words "No Need to Speed!" below.
A group gathers with signs to slow drivers

We invited the Vision Zero Coordinator and Councilor Festersen to the N. 78th event but both declined. The good news: there’s a new Vision Zero Action Plan in the works! We’ll keep tabs on that progress as well and keep you posted on what we learn.

MSO Shirts for Sale!

15 Sep
A teal crew neck t-shirt with a black and white brain with the word "Shift" in white below it. Under that also in white it says "your thinking" with ModeShiftOmaha.org in black at the bottom.

Ask and you shall receive: Mode Shift Omaha t-shirts are finally for sale. If you’re a member they’re only $10, $20 each for non-members; shipping is $5.00 or pick up at an upcoming MSO event is free. We have unisex sizes available from XS-XXL, printed locally on 100% cotton Next Level tees in teal. If you’d like one email Sarah and we’ll get you set up!

We’ll be bringing completed orders to our events this Friday for Park(ing) Day at 1234 S. 13th Street at 9:00am during the Coffee Chat; or Saturday at our Walk With Us Aksarben event, meeting at 10:00am at Legend Coffee at 52nd & Leavenworth. Hope to see you at one or both!