Monday, July 13, 2009

Bike Route Network, Cycling events, Bickham-Dickson Park, Great Expectations City-wide Vision Forum; next meet Tues, July 14, 8:20 am

From Loren Demerath:

Thanks to all who attended the ABetterShreveport.org meeting Tuesday the 7th. In attendance: Jamie Johnson-Eddie, Mark Goadrich, Dan Marcalus, Ian Webb, Robert Trudeau, Feico Kempff, Jeff Welborn, Barbara Jarrel, Ford Bevins, David Nelson and Loren Demerath.

The meeting began to thin out after 9:30, but Ian, Mark, Jamie, and Loren stayed for two more hours (!) mainly discussing the bike network signage.

BIKE ROUTE NETWORK

On that note, thanks to all of you who registered your preferences for the various names. There was no runaway winner in e-mail responses, with HUB and BAHN tied in the lead, and BiRN coming in second. And that was without many viewing the options submitted by Dan Marcalus (I likeed "SPINR" personally, for ShrevePort Interconnected Neighborhood Routes).

HOWEVER, despite all the good suggestions we decided that an acronym would be less effective than a simple two or three word title to the map. People driving buy need to understand it and can't stop their cars to read what the acronym stands for. We tried simple titles then, and arrived at "Best Bike Routes".

Jamie suggested that beneath every route sign a web site could be shown where people can get the map, as well as educational cycling information. We settled on bikeSB.org, and I've just gone ahead and bought the domain for us. (We beat Santa Barbara! San Bernardino! And Stockholm and... whoever!)

We also settled on the idea that we would not have abbreviations for the routes, or logos for each route, but simply label the destination of a route given the direction and side of the street of the sign. The painted chevrons on the surface of the street would also not have have logos or destinations on them, just a bike image.

All that said, a number of wise people have said we shouldn't try to reinvent the wheel in all of this--forgive the pun--and should research what other cities have done in their efforts to publicize safe routes. Jamie Johnson said she would get phone numbers from Ian, and call people in national organizations such Bikes Belong and the Thunderhead Alliance to ask about that. Mark Goadrich said that he could conceivably design a cellphone application where people could bring up the network on their phones. After the meeting, Mark found a link to Austin's most recent bike plan from the city: http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/bicycle/update2008.htm. He doesn't know know if it has info on designing signs, but he said it looks comprehensive and might help us out.

We decided that our goal should be to spit and polish a specific proposal that we can all support and which we then invite Mike Strong to review. Mike Strong is head of the Department of Operational Services in the city and the main person in charge of things like painting streets. I had a very encouraging conversation with him last fall, and he said if we come up with a plan, they'll consider it.

INSURANCE FOR EVENTS

On other topics, it was mentioned that ABetterShreveport could help sponsor various events such as the velo dendrum tree tour Hallie Dozzier has been organizing for the fall, if we have a means of insuring participants. That would be assisted by our becoming a member of a national organization such as Bikes Belong, The League of American Bicyclists, or the Alliance for Walking and Biking (formerly the Thunderhead Alliance).

CITIZEN ADVISORY GROUP FOR MASTER PLAN

Earlier in the meeting Jeff Welborn informed the group that the flooding of Bickham-Dickson is intentional, and is done partly in order to study it. The park is supposed to flood, in other words, and it's part of the bargain that was struck to make it. (Do I have that about right?)

The group also discussed the Citizen Advisory Group caucuses and how members of our group should be part of them. Loren later reported on several underrepresented areas he learned about. It was suggested that a range of different people normally part of ABetterShreveport could still consider attempting to become part of the group.

PLEASE NOTE: If you want to apply to become a member of the citizen's advisory group and need information or an application, feel free to e-mail me.

If I missed anything, let me know, and I can ammend this summary as posted on the blog.

NEXT MEETING TUESDAY

Because we have momentum on projects this summer, we've decided those of us who can will meet weekly. So, we'll meet again this Tuesday at 8:20, and and we'll do the following:

* look over our draft of a letter requesting the Mayor's office to appoint a commission for establishing new construction standards that consider bike-ped needs
* look over some logo and type logo suggestions for our letterhead
* review what Jamie and Mark's research tells us about what other cities have done for recommending bike routes
* review what April, Robert, and Mike Harold have done in the technology group
* review what the downtown group has done and on what tasks it needs help.

Join us!

2 comments:

Kristen said...

Thunderhead Alliance is now the Alliance for Biking & Walking. Find us online at www.PeoplePoweredMovement.org. We'd be happy to talk with you about this. - Kristen Steele, Communications Director, Alliance for Biking & Walking

Anonymous said...

I wanted to clear up sometning about the flooding of C. Bickham Dickson Park:
The lake in the area now known as C. Bickham Dickson Park (Old River Lake) used to be the Red River channel until the river changed course (Early in the 20th century?). The area has flooded for centuries. The Red River Waterway Project was a navigation project and not a flood control project. The park continues to flood, perhaps more than before, but that is incidental to the Waterway project, not the intention.

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