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Vision Zero Coordinator Chat

3 Jun

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.

Scooters Make a Comeback

17 May
Six orange and black Spin scooters are parked at a charging station with a digital display on the right.
Spin Scooters parked in a hub with digital display.

We’ve been communicating with the folks at Spin Scooters recently about their operations and potential partnership with MSO. Some exciting opportunities are in the works around data collection and demonstration projects, but tomorrow we’re testifying in support of their pilot program and Spin Hubs. For now with the return of the scooter pilot, our main concerns are with clutter of the scooters on sidewalks, impeding access for mobility device users in particular. Gratefully, their Spin Hubs should remedy that issue. Items #75 & 76 on Tuesday’s City Council agenda involve scooters from Lime & Spin, so read up and weigh in with your thoughts. Find your City Council rep here and email them your testimony if you can’t make it to City Hall Tuesday at 2pm.

Our main suggestions include:

  • Create more places for people to safely use the scooters! This will benefit all road users, particularly during the pandemic when we really need more outdoor spaces.
  • Allow on-street parking for scooter hubs, bike share, and everyday bike corral parking!
  • Design > enforcement. Fining someone $100 for riding on a sidewalk is reactionary and won’t solve the issue. 
  • Use this as an opportunity to create a better transportation system, as many City Council candidates brought up this past election cycle. This is one small step and now is the time to act! 

To read our full letter of support, download it below.

Earth Day Group Rides!

17 Apr

Here’s where we’ll have groups leaving from for Saturday April 17th’s Mini Earth Day Celebration:
Benson, Ted & Wally’s parking lot, 60th Ave & Maple, rolling at 10:30a
Blackstone, meeting at the corner of 40th & Farnam by the bike share station, rolling at 10:30a
Dundee, leaving the Dundee Community Garden on 49th & Underwood at 10:30a
Hanscom Park, 32nd & Center, roll at 10:15a
Culvers/Twin Creek/Keystone, roll at 10:00a
Democracy Park/87th & Templeton, roll at 10:30a
~ N. 24th St& Lizzie Robinson St., by the BCycle station (just south of 24th & Lake), roll at 10:30a
Right now the weather looks cloudy and cool but no rain. We’ll keep you posted here and on FB if anything changes. Otherwise, see you Saturday in the park!