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5 Questions with . . . Geoff DeOld

15 May

1 What is your preferred mode of transportation?

Walking. Our first five years living in New York we lived in Lower Manhattan and I was able to walk to work from the first two apartments we lived in, on top of being able to walk to grocery stores and other day to day amenities. When we moved to Brooklyn I was able to commute via subway and cycle in a connected bike network, but it was never quite the same as walking. Now my commute is down a flight of stairs from our apartment to our design studio.

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

Our current urban form. Even in the eastern sections of the city that were developed pre-postwar (pre-war?) that have slightly higher densities, a continuous street grid, and clusters of commercial districts leftover from the streetcar days, there is a lot of underdeveloped urban substance that can be difficult to bridge if walking or on bike. Walking or cycling should be interesting and stimulating so it doesn’t feel like a chore.

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

Probably the commitment to build our first BRT line. Omaha is a very spread out, and well-designed rapid transit could make transit feasible outside of the downtown and midtown sections of the city.

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

A love of cities. The best way to use a city is through its transportation system.

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 really, really want the bus system to be more useful and reliable. BRT is great, but the rest of the bus system has the potential to serve a greater population spread out across the rest of the city who choose or need to use public transportation. I worry the BRT won’t be as effective as it could be if the rest of Metro’s system isn’t able to effectively serve new ridership.

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.