Tag Archives: transportation

Five Questions for Legislative District 8

13 Mar
2018 is a legislature election year, and we are going to make an effort to get all the candidates for Nebraska State Senate in to meet our members before the general election. To start us off, we have the term-limited seat of Sen. Burke Harr, LD-8. Harr’s seat is contested by three candidates, (in alphabetical order) Mina Davis, Josh Henningsen, and Megan Hunt. These are our guests for our Coffee Chat — Friday, March 16. at 8 a.m. in our usual haunt, Spielbound, located at 3229 Harney St.
We asked them each Five Questions.

Mina Davis

Mina is 25 years old, a data scientist at Creighton and a community organizer at heart. Mina is also the Vice Chair of Chapter Building for Young Democrats of America, an active member in her local chapter of Young Dems, and the Secretary/Treasurer of Douglas County Farmers Union.

1. What is your preferred mode of transportation?
My preferred mode of transportation is light rail.
2. What, in your opinion, is the greatest challenge to multi-modal transportation in Omaha?
I believe the greatest challenge is getting political leadership on the state and municipal levels to embrace a transportation/infrastructure policies that are innovative and environmentally friendly.
3. What, in your opinion, the the greatest multi-modal success in Omaha?
I believe the greatest multi-modal success is the ORBT bus. I really enjoyed hearing about it and hope to see more projects like this come to fruition.
4. How did you come to have an interest in transportation?
I came to have an interest because I grew up in cities that had fantastic transportation systems. I also at one point did not have a car and to be left in a place where there was not a good infrastructure inspired me to be a more ardent advocate for transportation policies that work for all.
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 would love to have a simple light rail/bus system that was actually on time and could connect all parts of the city. I would love to drive my car less. Continue reading

Dangerous but Fixable: Vote on Your Nominated Intersections

11 Mar

After our initial Advocacy in Action at 52nd and NW Radial, we asked the community to nominate the intersections they felt were dangerous but fixable. We got a bunch of responses. Folks throughout Omaha have identified areas where people walking or riding bikes find themselves at greater vulnerability. Take a look at the nominations below and then vote on which intersection you think Mode Shift Omaha (MSO) should tackle next.

The Intersection: 13th & Spring Lake Dr./Gifford Dr.

Why Is It Dangerous? No sidewalk west of 13th connecting to Spring Lake Park

What Can Be Done? Sidewalk/trail connection, adequate crosswalk striping

Nominated by: Anonymous

Notes from MSO: This intersection is also served by Metro Route 13. The absence of a sidewalk on Spring Lake makes the transit less accessible to nearby residences.

Continue reading

When More is Not Nearly Enough: Pothole Season Edition

29 Jan

During the last race for Mayor of Omaha, an undisputed detail of the state of the city’s transportation infrastructure is that we, as a city, are more than a half century behind schedule resurfacing our vehicle lanes.  And the breakdown of vehicle lanes leads to our annual vehicle lane issue of winter potholes. Mayor Stothert recognizes that the resurfacing backlog is an issue that requires action. She has nearly doubled the budget for resurfacing projects in her time in office from $6.6 million to $12 million.

In her first term, Mayor Stothert reports that she spent $44.6 million resurfacing 400 lane miles throughout the city. That roughly works out to 100 lane miles per year at a cost of $111,500 per lane mile. According to public works, the city currently maintains 4823 lane miles throughout the city. A well maintained road should last approximately 20 years, depending on environmental conditions and use. Let’s look at the math and see where we end up.

First, if we are only resurfacing 100 lane miles per year, it will take 48 years to resurface all the lanes currently being maintained by the city. That’s well beyond the expected useful life of our streets. But let’s assume the demand for resurfacing continues at a consistent rate, and we are going to resurface on the anticipated schedule of every 20 years. The 4823 lane miles multiplied by the $111,500 per lane mile cost gives us a total of $537,764,500 to resurface all the current lanes. To meet the goal of resurfacing all the lanes every 20 years (and assuming a consistent rate of demand) we would need to be spending $26,888,225 every year, or more than twice the current budget. And these numbers only account for resurfacing; some roads will need to be entirely replaced at a higher cost per lane mile. Continue reading