Category: Advocacy | Tags: bike lanes, commuting, filling in the gaps, safe routes to school
Please take five minutes to read through the two page Complete Streets Policy draft.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any suggestions.
I have included my suggestions below. If you agree with any, please write in your own words and send them to the email above.
I have the following suggestions for improving the Complete Streets Policy:
A.6. Complete Streets requires appropriate performance measures.
A.6.2 Linear miles of new/restriped on-street bicycle facilities
First, I suggest the need to measure new/repaired street furniture such as bollards, planters, curbs, directional signage, etc. for protected on-street bike lanes.
Bike facilities consist of more than putting down painted lines and sharrows on streets.
Second, expanding the Omaha Area Metro Trail System should be included in complete streets because these act as “streets” for people who walk or ride bike. We don’t segregate funding for roads based on why a person is driving their car on them. Likewise, the Metro Trail System should not be conceptualized as just a recreational trail but as a non-motorized ‘street’. As such, the City, County, and State should contribute a percentage from the transportation budget to this non motorized street system.
A.1. Complete Streets serve all users and modes.
The City shall develop the community’s streets and right-of-way …
Since the OAMTS is a public right-of-way, it should be considered with motorized streets for the movement of people from one place to another. For non motorized transport, the Metro Trail System should be conceived of as the backbone or ‘limited access’ highway for people who move by walking or biking.
Think about how many people like to live on a connection to a ‘limited access’ motor highway for commuting. The OAMTS can reach along creeks and railroad lines to Benson, Cunningham Lake, Bennington, Valley, Elkhorn, Gretna, Springfield, Ralston, La Vista, Papillion, South Omaha.
See this map on OAMTS gaps:
Omaha Area Meto Trail System gaps
Taking our cue from nature where tributaries add to the major Papillion Watershed creeks; where possible, these tributaries should have non motorized streets to reach out via the lowest grade available into the surrounding bluffs and hills. This is how people traveled on foot and horse back before mechanized transportation vehicles removed the need to base routes on the horses’ or person’s energy output needed to change elevation.
I suggest a member from the Mayor’s Active Living Advisory Committee should be included with Director of Public Works, Director of Planning, Director of Parks in order to write up an Exception to this Policy. Reasons for this suggestion: 1) There needs to be input from a person who moves around the city by walking or riding a bike in order to see how the exception would affect non motorized users. 2) Having such a non motorized advocate would provide cover from public discontent over any exception.
Thank you for considering these suggestion.
Thank you for the many hours of work already put into the policy draft.