A Community Conversation

11 Nov

If you would like an overview of the mission and work of Mode Shift Omaha, take 30 minutes to listen as Board Member Crystal Edwards speaks to Jane Nielsen of the Radio Talking Book Service.  Radio Talking Book Service (RTBS) serves Nebraska and southwest Iowa with a mission to provide human-voiced information choices to individuals who are blind, visually impaired, or have physical disabilities which prevent them from reading. Crystal’s relationship with RTBS began after Mode Shift volunteers worked at a spring health fair and spoke to visually impaired adults about their transportation options in Omaha.

In this wide-ranging community conversation Crystal talks about the work that all the Mode Shift Omaha Teams are doing – and then highlights the work of the walkability team, which she chairs.  They talk about transportation challenges faced by blind and visually impaired people in Omaha; from a RTBS staff member having to navigate down an icy hill to get to their MOBY ride – to a story of a blind woman and her young child trying to navigate around construction at 72nd and Dodge.  These experiences make it clear that we need good policies and ordinances related to sidewalk users at construction sites – and that we all need to be mindful of the importance of keeping our sidewalks clear in the winter weather.

Please enjoy this thoughtful and interesting podcast.  Just for fun, be the first to share what mode of transportation Crystal was using when she recently encountered a pothole.


Signs of Progress…(literally)

28 Oct

An astute follower of Mode Shift Omaha sent us a note stating that both sides of the sidewalk on Farnam Street in Blackstone are closed due to construction.  This citizen reported their concerns to the Mayor’s Hotline and to the construction company. We appreciate their work letting all parties know what they found and their concerns.

Shortly thereafter, a walkability team member was walking on the south side of Farnam and heading east.  About a block before the construction site, at 38th Street, we discovered that either Public Works or the Construction company put in a pedestrian detour. 

Pedestrian detour sign at 38th and Farnam

The detour routes sidewalk users south toward Harney Street.  At 38th and Harney the detour directs you across the street to the sidewalk on the south.  (The north side of Harney is also closed due to construction). Users of all modes of transportation should be cautious as there is no light or stop sign here.

Pedestrian Detour sign at 38th and Harney

You then head east on Harney Street and the detour is marked all the way to 36th Street.  

At 36th and Harney there are crosswalks and lights that allow a pedestrian to head back north to Farnam and get back on the path to their final destination.

We want to give a shout out to the Mayor, Public Works and the construction company as we consider this progress.  Construction will always be with us, and while inconvenient during the process, is often a sign of progress in our city.  This level of thoughtfulness that considers the needs of our most Vulnerable Road Users during construction is a step forward and puts us in a better position to achieve the goals of Vision Zero.  We hope this is a new normal that will be replicated and improved upon in all parts of the city.

Definitions: A Glossary of Transportation Terminology

21 Oct

Do you ever wonder what the CIP is?  Of what a TIF is? Or what TIP means in Omaha?  Do you ever want to know the definitions of Paratransit, Transportation Freedom or Articulated Buses?  Well, thanks to Mode Shift Board Member, Lee Myers – you can know the definitions of all these terms – and many more.  The attached glossary can help all of us better understand many of the terms that pertain to transportation advocacy.   Bookmark it, use it – advocate with it. There is a lot of great information within.