Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bicycle advocate Maurice Loridans views the Clyde Fant Recreation Plan from a rider's point of view

From bike commuter Maurice Loridans to city planner Tim Wachtel:

Overall I am very pleased and impressed with the Clyde Fant Recreation Plan. You have done a lot of work and made valuable use of the input so far. I approve of almost everything with a few minor exceptions.

First, though, I want to amplify your plan on two points that were not emphasized. The Preston Ave trail connection is very important because it serves the large neighborhoods of Shreve Island, Broadmoor and Broadmoor Terrace. Don't just think how they would access by car and park but how they can enjoy the Parkway by bike from their doorstep.

Currently you have to carry the bike over grass because of goathead thorns to/from the parkway and ride along a shoulder of the Parkway that jars your teeth because of deep cracks and is full of debris. Then you either ride on a bumpy slab sidewalk (technically illegal) or share a high traffic two lane that people do 45 and 50 on which is not appealing to the casual recreationalist. Please extend the trail to Captain Shreve. Just take that sidewalk and overlay with asphalt.

Next, there is the underpass that leads from the bike trail at the wooden bridge, under the Parkway to the Coats Bluff area. Please fix the drainage there too, like the underpasses at the Disc Golf Course.

Did I understand that an extension of the trail to C. Bickham Dixon would not be open to cyclists? Even on blacktop? Not good. This Greenway has potential as and alternative transportation corridor but it needs to serve neighborhoods at LSUS and Shreve City Shopping. It is not that much to ask that it be functional as well as recreational.

Think of students and shoppers, Farmer's market customers and Festival goers not having to use their cars and having such a pleasant greenway to use.

The only proposal I really disagree with is doing away with the informal parking across from SciPort.

First, there is not enough parking in the area. The Railroad is famously uncooperative about giving up their property, it is the best parking for the interactive fountains, and as a canoeist, I can carry my boat, paddles and life jacket to the dock and launch in one haul. I couldn't do it from where you propose.

best regards,
Maurice Loridans
attorney at law

Monday, June 23, 2008

See the city's Plan for outdoor recreation along the Clyde Fant Parkway

Originally uploaded by trudeau
Shreveport Public Assembly & Recreation is preparing a plan for outdoor recreation along the Clyde Fant Parkway, says Tim Wachtel. After considering public comments from our Recreation Master Plan and working with a panel of local experts in recreation, conservation, special events, zoning, and history, we prepared a 2nd Draft for public comment. You can see it here.

This draft is intended to be a starting point for a community discussion of the future development of outdoor recreation along the Clyde Fant Parkway. We care what you and your neighbors think, so let us know! You are free to comment any way you please: phone, fax, mail or email.

Please send your comments to:
Tim Wachtel, ASLA, Planner III, 505 Travis Street, Suite 560, Shreveport, LA 71101
Phone: (318) 673-7721/Fax (318) 673-7878
Email: (Please put “Parkway Plan” in the Subject line.)

We are also having an "Open House" for the Plan on Thursday June 26 from 5 to 8 pm at the pavilion at the Stoner S'port Marina. This is not a "meeting," so you can stop by at your convenience to see the plan, discuss your ideas, and "vote" on what you like and don't like.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Times intern AJ King writes on bike and bus commuting

Quoting Sportran's Gene Eddy and River City Bicycling's Ian Webb, Times intern AJ King has written a recommendation for alternative transportation in Shreveport.

And comments, if a bit discouraged in tone, have begun to accumulate.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Roll-out of blue bins for Shreveport has begun; you'll get yours soon

The City of Shreveport, thanks Mayor Glover, et al, and Pratt Industries, have delivered a new day to the old town. It's called single-stream recycling and you'll read all about it at

Maybe the question is how SptGreen, A Better Spt and the Planning Commission and other groups might capitalize on the optimism of the affected citizenry by offering them next-step buy-ins.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Shreveport Times' Discussion Forum for Master Plan

Jeff Wellborn just alerted me to the Shreveport Times’ forum for discussing the our city’s master plan process. Craig Durrett has set it up, and he’s started it off by posting Don Shea’s letter to the Metropolitan Planning Commission. Craig pointedly asks visitors to the site what they think about Don’s comments, and it’s a good chance to document concerns and hopes any of us might have. The site is:

Last Week's Meeting on Downtown Development

Sorry for being so tardy in publishing a summary of our last meeting. Since Sunday I've been in Ecuador leading a course module for Centenary with my wife Janine, and I'll be here with the family until the end of July. (Writing now from a lodge at 14,000 feet above sea level below the world’s highest active volcano! Ah, the wonders of wireless internet.)

So, I won't be summarizing meetings for a while, but I hope to be able to keep contributing to our group from down here.

The meeting we had almost two weeks ago now was helpful, particularly to those of us trying to understand how our downtown can be improved, and how the ideas we develop in our "ABetterShreveport" network could help.

First, I want to thank Chris Jay and the other folks at Robinson Film Center for letting us use a room for our meeting. After Mike McSwain had to cancel hosting the meeting at his offices, Robinson it turned out to be quite appropriate a place to meet. After all, one of the things we want to do is bring in other attractions to downtown that will compliment Robinson and bring pedestrian traffic to their area, and we want that to happen before it's too late, as it has been for many a failed Texas Street business venture before Robinson Film Center.

We organized the meeting to learn what we could from Gregory Kallenberg about what his experience doing development work working for Whole Foods means for getting something like that in Shreveport. One of the things we learned is that stores like WholeFoods are unlikely to come here because our upper income population isn’t big enough. Moreover, such places are even less likely to locate in our downtown, since they tend to establish stores in areas that already have a high number upper income shoppers, as well as a capacity for significant parking. That resonated with what Don Shea, head of our Downtown Development Authority, told me once: that retailers don’t lead, they follow. The shoppers have to be there first, in other words.

That said, a vision of downtown development that would be within our grasp was articulated at our meeting by Stanton Dossett. He described the strategy used by Fort Worth of bringing in local, smaller retailers through incentives and local government leadership. It’s an example of the kind of public-private partnership that can really work. But Stanton and Greg and also pointed out ways in which that partnership can become dysfunctional and taken off course if the participants aren’t “on board” with the vision of what is supposed to happen. From what I understood, a common problem is developers and retailers calculating profit rates and economies of scale that are unrealistic for a given point in a downtown development process.

Some of the other things that were discussed were… [o.k., gonna finish this later. ]