After choosing to do away with the Bike/Ped Coordinator position last year, Mayor Stothert promised three “deliverables”: the Active Living Advisory Committee (ALAC), a named individual in the Planning Department to handle bike/ped issues, and a Complete Streets Policy distilled from the multiple existing documents and plans. The ALAC has been formed and have started holding their sessions. While I haven’t heard the results of their meetings, I have faith that this group will make great recommendations to the mayor. I further hope that she will take those recommendations to heart, giving them the consideration they’ll deserve.
I’ve also heard that there is a group working on the Complete Streets policy. I’m know that reconciling and combining nine documents is not an easy task , but I’m sure I’m not the only member of the alternative transportation community who’d appreciate a progress report. A true policy (an ordinance would be better) will enhance the viability of the major public spaces in Omaha, moving the city from a car-centric community to one based on the people who inhabit it.
That brings us to the final deliverable: who in the Planning Department is the GoTo for bike/ped issues? Which member of this hard-working group (yes, I do believe they work hard in what can be thankless efforts) will be assigned to accept the responsibility to publicly represent the voices of those who walk and bike in Omaha? My recollection is that this was promised by January 1, 2015. Today is the first day of March. In earlier discussions, the mayor said this person was already in the department, so the failure to name her or him is even less understandable.
While I have been actively looking for news on these deliverables, it is possible that I may haves missed announcements; if so, I apologize to the mayor and her staff. If not, I urge the mayor update the community on all three.