Search results for '2018 street bond vote'

Why 151 Million?

20 Apr

On May 15, 2018, Omaha voters will be asked to approve $151 million of Street And Highway Transportation Bonds (which we will refer to as “Street Bonds”). In return for this approval, the City commits to complete some transportation projects.

Mode Shift believes it is incumbent on the City to perform three steps:

  1. Inform the voters what projects it plans to build with the Street Bonds
  2. Account for Street Bond spending and the progress of the planned projects
  3. Disclose how it selects the projects that receive Street Bonds funding

Future Mode Shift blogs will address these points, but let’s start with a simple question.

Why $151 Million of Street Bonds?

Street Bonds have been issued periodically following a vote as a “special issues” ticket. Here is the history:

$ Amount of Omaha Street Bond Issue

The City will ask voters to approve the issue $151 million in Street Bonds (1)

So taxpayers will be asked to approve a City expenditure of $151 million, plus interest, funded by property taxes. This is more than triple the historical average. How does the City arrive at this number? In short:

  • The City plans to double its spending on transportation projects
  • The City forecasts a decrease in federal funds and a heavier reliance on Street Bonds

Continue reading

The Transparency Project: Part 2 – What Is the Fund Source?

2 May

To catch up on the Transparency Project, you can review our Introduction to Capital Improvement, and Transparency Project: Part 1 – Capital Improvement Program, What’s Inside

This is the second blog post from our Transparency Project series on the Capital Improvement Program (CIP). We’re following the Mode Shift CIP game board and we’ve reached step 2: A look at the CIP’s funding.

We started by looking at the details inside each of the three bins shown above. Along the way, we question a surge in the use of City funds, a plunge of the federal contribution, phantom local funds, and millions of work left out of the CIP.

Three Main Sources

We can divide the $322 million 2017-2022 capital budget for transportation projects into 3 main sources:

Continue reading

Candidate Questionnaire Responses for the 2017 Omaha City Election

20 Mar

Candidates Questionnaire Responses

We invited all qualified candidates for city offices to respond to our questionnaire about transportation issues facing the city. We present their responses here in the order they were received. We have not edited the responses and only adjusted the formatting where necessary for online presentation.

1. What are Omaha’s most pressing transportation needs? If elected, how would you address these needs?

Mayor

Ean Mikale (EM): Transportation currently is hindering job growth, accessibility to health and human services, and overall functionality as a growing metropolis.

Jean Stothert (JS): I believe Omaha’s most pressing transportation needs are addressing the backlog of street resurfacing and repair work and enhancing public transportation, especially in our downtown and urban core.

To address these needs, my vision is to provide reliable, safe, efficient and well-managed transportation systems that move residents, employees, and commerce across a wide variety of transit modes.  These modes include bicycles, pedestrian traffic, automobiles, commercial trucking, public transit buses, and related modes such as bus and train travel.  High quality transportation and related infrastructures are critical for a growing city like ours to provide a system that stimulates commerce and everyday living.

The City of Omaha will soon have doubled the amount of funding dedicated to street resurfacing and repair since I first took office four years ago.  We are actively engaged in supporting the Metro Transit Bus Rapid Transit System project, expanded bike-sharing programs, and improving parking.

In addition, Omaha is growing to the point where a modern street car system makes sense.  Although years from completion, it will further develop our urban core, reduce traffic congestion, and connect Omaha’s most popular venues.

Proper maintenance and expansion of the Interstate Highway System that runs throughout Omaha and connects us to neighboring communities is critical to residential and commercial transport.  Recent funding from the Build Nebraska Act directed to Omaha projects that include portions of I-80, I-680, and I-480 have been critical to this objective.

Heath Mello (HM): Since I announced in August 2016, I have stated that for us to build the Omaha of the future we must focus on creating a modern transportation system that allows any resident regardless of where they live to move around Omaha without a car. My vision includes a citywide light rail system that incorporates bus-rapid transit, existing OMetro bus lines, ridesharing (Uber and Lyft), and a dramatic expansion of bicycling lanes and trails to connect our city.

Christopher N. Geary Did not respond
Taylor Royal Did not respond Continue reading