Gold Coast Statement

18 Nov
A photo from KETV of the 3 historic brick homes that would be demolished for a new 130 unit apartment. There are cars parked in front and the KETV blue banner at the bottom says, "Planning Board Approves Apartment Building on 38th Ave & Dodge, will Advance to City Council."
Homes to be demolished. Credit: KETV

Mode Shift is Omaha’s transportation equity advocacy group, envisioning a city where anyone can safely and efficiently walk, cycle, take public transit, or utilize other sustainable and less costly modes of transportation. We are excited about the potential of increasing residences along the Dodge corridor with the goal of providing sustained increased ridership on Omaha’s first Rapid Transit line, ORBT. Rapid transit will not succeed without a greater density of homes along this transit corridor. However, we can not fully support this project, as proposed by Skylark, LLC on South 38th Avenue.

Whenever we replace existing affordable housing in our community, it is important that we hold new development to a high standard. The proposed development on 38th and Dodge fails to meet these standards in two ways; the amount of parking is inappropriate for the development, and fails to use TIF funds responsibly to at least replace the existing twenty one affordable housing units. 

Parking comes at a tremendous cost to our community – over the course of its life, a single garage parking stall costs between $119 and $224 per month to build and maintain (as per a 2014 Omaha specific study). This unnecessarily increases the cost of each unit on the occupants for the life of the building. When free, ample parking is provided, residents have less incentive to utilize the local rapid transit line. We recommend the number of parking units decreases from 130 to 65. We’d also like to see the units decoupled from parking to allow for affordability.

TIF is designed to provide developers funding to create “market-rate and affordable” housing as well as “replace deteriorated structures.” By only providing 10 affordable units, this development is an inappropriate use of TIF funds, and should at minimum replace and add additional affordable units to our community. Existing units are not deteriorated, and in fact in good shape and fully occupied. Affordability of transit is only productive if residents who rely on transit can access it on a regular basis. We would like to see 30 affordable units in the new development.

While increasing density along the Dodge corridor will require demolition of properties, we question beginning with these three buildings which are all in good condition, fully occupied.

Happy Cranksgiving!

17 Nov

This Saturday, November 20th, at 11am we’ll be hosting a canned good drive (well, ride actually!) starting at the new Millwork Commons skate park at 12th & Millwork Ave (just north of Nicholas). Look for cargo bikes with Mode Shift banners and you’ll know you’re in the right spot!

The concept is simple: show up with your bike, helmet, bag (backpack or pannier will do the trick!) and some cash ready to pedal around town purchasing items to donate to the Siena Francis House and Omaha Autonomous. It’s sort of a race, sort of a ride, with a prize for the first one back with 5 different items from the manifest, with receipts showing you went to 5 different markets. Can’t think of 5 different locations nearby North Downtown to collect canned goods? Don’t worry! We’ll have fliers for you that morning with different options within about a 5 mile radius of the starting point. *This is a ride at your own risk event on open city streets. Arrive at 11:00, ready to roll at 11:30.

If you want to donate but don’t want to pedal, no problem! We’ll be ready for you from 11am-2pm so swing by with anything on this list and we’ll pedal it over to the Siena Francis House and the Omaha Autonomous group after 2pm. This is our last in-person event of the year so we’ll hope to see you Saturday!

Park(ing) Day Take Aways

27 Oct

On Friday, September 17th Mode Shift Omaha joined countless cities across the world and celebrated Park(ing) Day by building a temporary parklet, or miniature park, in a parking spot on South 13th Street in front of The Green House in Little Bohemia. We were one of 30 communities around the globe that received a grant, thanks to Spin, to make this parklet a reality.

What is Park(ing) Day first of all?!

“Is a global, public, participatory art project launched by Rebar in 2005. It is a day where people across the world temporarily repurpose street parking spaces and convert them to tiny parks and places for art, play, and activism.”

https://www.myparkingday.org/
A group of folks are sitting on benches made of pallets topped with bright teal cushions, surrounded by pink and white flowers and plants tucked into the arms and headrest of the benches. A red sign that says "Park(ing) Day" is being held by a man with dark hair just on the outside of the parklet. Umbrellas are in the foreground and a 4 lane street is behind them all.
The finished parklet!

Our goal was simple: use the parklet to host our monthly Coffee Chat to bring folks together to shift perceptions about land use and highlight the dangerous speeding issues along the 13th St. corridor. We were so lucky to have the support of the local businesses in the area. Archetype Coffee even donated the coffee for our chat! Christina of The Green House helped choose the flowers and planted them in our pallet benches. Yay for community!

A tiny table with a black and silver airpot of coffee and some cups sits in front of the parklet. The airpot says "Archetype Coffee" and the parklet behind it has bright teal cushions and pink and white flowers planted.
A donated airpot of coffee

The build out did take about 15 hours of work, mostly completed by our Volunteer & Membership Coordinator, Sarah and her husband Scott. Pallets from Heartland BCycle were used for the base and benches, and bright teal (matching our MSO color!) cushions made it comfy. Plants also brightened up the space, surrounded by blue corrugated metal pieces and a few bright orange safety cones to make sure drivers were aware of the unique installation.

Scott is sitting in his driveway surrounded by yellow DeWalt power tools. The beginning of a bench made of repurposed pallets is in front of him.
Scott mid-build

Overall, it was a huge success! We had countless conversations with passers by and really helped folks shift their thinking when it comes to land use, lane width, and place making.

A group of people are gathered in and around the parklet drinking coffee. There's an orange Spin scooter parked just outside the parklet.
Our Coffee Chat was a success
Time lapse of the build!

If you have feedback about the project, or ideas for future installations, please take our survey. Wednesday, October 27th at 7pm our Membership Meeting will be focused on discussion of this project and what our next projects will entail. Zoom registration for this meeting is here: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIqdOqtqz0pGdd27NAxFGUgvahOxM6BErO8