Thursday, April 3, 2008

State Wide Bike Pedestrian Plan

Just came back from a good trip to Lafayette with Tim Wachtel (a planner for SPAR) for the first of the Advisory Committee for the State Wide Bike Pedestrian Plan being designed by the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) .

It was a good trip for Tim's company, for one; we got to share our visions and assessments of Shreveport, of how change has, does, and could occur, and how horses might not be able suitable substitutions for bikes in our cowboy-cultured ArkLaTex. (Don't have to treat bikes like athletes, they warm up pretty fast, don't eat, etc.).

But the meeting itself was also instructive; we sure saw an easy and cheap way to put bike lanes on streets, we saw how the planning and funding process works--sort of--and who the actors are, kinda'--and did get a sense of what this one division of DOTD is actually doing: writing into our state's laws the requirement of street and traffic design engineers are able to demonstrate they have taken into consideration the needs and perceptions of all modes of travel. At one point, one of the leaders said something like, "we're not drivers or bikers or walkers with different ranks of importance. we're travelers. we're all just travelers."

Cool huh? As to how soon we'd see results, well, I guess it all depends....

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