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Five Questions for . . . Curtis Wilson of Bike Union!

7 Jun

Curtis Wilson is the Operations Manager of Bike Union and he will be our guest (and host!) Friday, June 15th, for our monthly coffee chat. Bike Union is a full service bike shop and coffee house dedicated to providing workforce and personal development to youth aging out of foster care and to strengthening our community as a whole. We’ll talk to Curtis about the Bike Union model, and the good they do in the community, but first, we asked him five questions.

1. What is your preferred mode of transportation?
I prefer to ride my bike any chance I get. Though most days I end up driving to work because throughout the day the youth in our program tend to require transportation to different appointments and errands.

2. What, in your opinion, is the greatest challenge to multi-modal transportation in Omaha?
General public awareness/acceptance of multi-modal transportation and a true desire on motorists part to share the road. I have had more close calls with vehicles on my bike in Omaha than any other place I have lived.

3. What, in your opinion, the the greatest multi-modal success in Omaha?
The Leavenworth/St. Mary’s bike lane gives us an example of what is possible in Omaha in regards to safer cycling routes. It would be great to see more miles of that type of infrastructure.

4. How did you come to have an interest in transportation?
As a cyclist I use my bike for transportation and recreation. Being on the road with motor vehicles and being concerned for my and my friends safety has given me an interest in multi-modal transportation. Also, a lot of our youth program participants use some form of multi-modal transportation on a daily basis.

5. If you could magically change one thing about the transportation systems in Omaha, without limit to budget or feasibility, what would it be?
I would love to see a network of protected bike lanes linking the entire city. With the emphasis being on linking every part of the city, so cycling could become a more feasible transportation solution for all people.

Five Questions for Alexis Bromley from Seventy Five North

10 Apr

Join us Friday, April 20th for our next Coffee Chat at the Hardy Coffee located at the Highlander, Omaha’s purpose-built community. Joining us will be Alexis Bromley from Seventy Five North Development Corporation.

Alexis is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Seventy Five North where she establishes and develops relationships to create programming for the Highlander neighborhood. Previously, she worked at the Greater Omaha Chamber implementing talent and workforce strategies.

A native Omahan, Alexis graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in International Business. She currently sits on the ACE Mentor Program of Greater Omaha Board of Directors, a high school mentor program for architecture, construction and engineering professions, and was a 2017 Fellow for New Leaders Council Omaha, a leadership and professional development training program.

We asked her five questions . . .

1. What is your preferred mode of transportation?
Walking! I’m a rare individual who has the ability to walk to work every day. The fresh air always improves my mood and gives me time to clear my mind. Continue reading

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