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Five Questions for . . . Julie Reilly

13 Mar

As the executive director of Omaha by Design, Julie Reilly has some insight into the relationship between transportation and the built environment. We are pleased to have her as our guest speaker at this Friday, March 17th, Coffee Chat at 8:15 a.m. at Accelerando Coffee House in the Omaha Conservatory of Music. We asked her five questions.

1. What is your preferred mode of transportation?

Walking….whenever I can.

I also love to drive, though. The coordination of a human being with the mechanics and engineering of an automobile and the physics and character of the physical environment is pretty amazing. It’s something most people don’t think about but it’s complex and fascinating and fun. Continue reading

Five Questions for . . . Crystal Rhoades

16 Jan

Friday, January 20, the guest speaker for our monthly Coffee Chat will be Commissioner for the 2nd District of the Nebraska Public Service Commission, Crystal Rhoades.

We asked her five questions:

1. What is your preferred mode of transportation?

I like to ride my bike and use public transit; admittedly, I do most of my transportation in a car.

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

Funding – lack of political will to put public transportation and multi-modal transportation on par with automobiles.

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

I don’t know, probably the expansion of bike lanes, trails, and adding bike racks to buses.

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

I’m a horrible driver and would prefer to get places by any other mode.

5. If you could magically change one thing about the transportation systems in Omaha, without limit to budget or feasibility, what would it be?
Expanded public transit bus/streetcars/light rail and expanded trails.

Five Questions for . . . Julie Harris

11 Dec

Friday, December 16, 2016, we welcome Julie Harris as the guest speaker at our monthly coffee chat. Julie is the executive director of the Nebraska Bicycling Alliance and chair of the Omaha Mayor’s Active Living Advisory Committee.

We asked her five questions:

1. What is your preferred mode of transportation?
I love a good bus/bike combo.  I try to use my bike whenever I can, which for me, ends up being for short trips for errands.  When I travel, I usually make my logistical decisions based on active transportation availability – when I arrive at my destination, I challenge myself to see if I can make it through the trip without using a car.

2. What, in your opinion, is the greatest challenge to multi-modal transportation in Omaha?
I hate to take the easy way out and say funding, but I think it is funding. Political will for projects is much easier to build if funding isn’t an issue. Most of the cities we think about as having excellent bike/pedestrian/transit infrastructure had/have a leg up with a large grant or a dedicated funding stream. Continue reading