Tag Archives: Omaha

Pedestrian Infrastructure in Jeopardy

29 Jul

IMG_5619The City of Omaha scheduled the pedestrian activated crossing signals at six intersections to be removed within 90 days of notification. The residents of Dundee fought the removal of two of those signals that serve walking routes to Dundee elementary, and yesterday, the Mayor indicated that the signals at 51st and Farnam and at 52nd and Chicago warranted further study because of their proximity to a school.

There are four other signals scheduled for removal as a part of the city’s multi-year, $35 million traffic signal upgrade being majority funded by the Federal Department of Transportation. According to statements made by Public Works, these signals do not meet federal standards as laid out in the Manual for Universal Traffic Control Devices, and so their replacement would be ineligible for federal funding. Public works has not yet responded to requests for copies of the full traffic study or a description of the study methodology.

The traffic signals still scheduled for removal are the following:

120th and Arbor
108th and Oak
84th and Spring (see our video analysis of this intersection here)
73rd and Mercy

If you use these signals, or know someone for whom these signals are important for pedestrian access to work, commerce, services and community amenities, please contact Public Works at 402-444-5160 and/or email Mr. Murthy Koti at murthy.koti@cityofomaha.org and Mayor Stothert at mayorstothert@cityofomaha.org.

Five Questions for Mary O’Donohue.

17 Jul

Mary O’Donohue is our guest speaker for our Coffee Chat this Friday, July 21, at Spielbound. She is the Interim Executive Director of Midtown Vision 2050, an organization dedicated to “a bold and innovative plan that provides the overarching, coherent vision to guide and maximize growth and redevelopment in midtown Omaha for the next several decades.” Mary’s job is to “Coordinate and accelerate the next phase of midtown Omaha’s revitalization and progression into a dynamic, transit-oriented urban community.” We asked her five questions:

1. What is your preferred mode of transportation?
Automobile.

2. What, in your opinion, is the greatest challenge to multi-modal transportation in Omaha?
Limited financial resources for investment/development

3. What, in your opinion, the the greatest multi-modal success in Omaha?
Changing the way people view the use of streets, which has a long way to go, but everyday I see more progress being made on that front.

4. How did you come to have an interest in transportation?
Living in Washington DC for 10 years, many of which I did not own a car and used fixed rail transit daily

5. If you could magically change one thing about the transportation systems in Omaha, without limit to budget or feasibility, what would it be?
City-wide underground metro system.

Shifting Modes Doesn’t Have to Be All or Nothing: The Car-Lite Lifestyle

26 Jun

Curtis Bryant is a long time friend of Mode Shift Omaha and occasional contributor to our blog.

The book How to Live Well Without Owning a Car, by Chris Balish, introduced me to this continuum: car dependent > car lite > car free. The ideas of being car dependent and car free turn the conventional assumption that cars mean freedom on its head. Instead, it assumes that freedom comes from reduced reliance on cars.*

Because I drive a car and also use transit, bicycles, and my feet for transportation, I’m in the “car lite” camp. Car-lite living does offer freedom. For example, when I’m going downtown and don’t want to pay for parking or waste time and gas looking for a parking place, I know how to use transit or my bicycle (or both on the same trip) instead of driving. A car-dependent person might assume that the choice is between driving and not going. I know that parking is a choice, and that knowledge is power. Continue reading