Friday, August 14, 2009

By-Laws Meeting at Our New Regular Time: Monday, 7:00 - 8:15 p.m.

After the voting, Monday won out over Tuesday by almost 2 to 1. There were a number of people that were enthusiastic about the new time, so hopefully this will work well for most.

So, this Monday night at 7:00 in Centenary Square, we'll start our new meeting time routine.

This meeting should be a special one too, since top on the list will be our by-laws. It shouldn't take long though, so hopefully we'd have time to click through some of our other issues. Here's a rough agenda:
  • review our new by-laws ($5 yearly membership? no membership? five on board? just three?)
  • review our letter to the mayor's office (ready to go?)
  • review our recommended bike routes proposal (more to-do's? or is it ready also?)
  • brainstorm about a downtown proposal (creating an owner-investor consortium? presenting said consortium with a general vision and a means of coordinating players needed to get there? [still sounds vague; specifics?])
  • review Coates Bluff progress (promotional flier materials: photos, description, potential partner profiles; meetings with potential partners; to-do's)
Summarizing our last meeting on Tuesday, in attendance were: April Dahm, David Nelson, Dan Marcalus, Stewart Greathouse, Loren Demerath, Jimmy Couvillion, David Aubry, and Feico Kempff.

Just before the meeting Feico gave copies of maps he'd acquired showing the sewer right of ways along the Coates Bluff route. The gist of the maps indicate that the part of the greenway by Anderson Bayou seems to lie on public land; it would therefore be a relatively simple task for the city to lease out the land to a land trust for the purpose of maintaining the greenway.

David Aubry, who is cochair of the Community Advisory Group for the Master Plan, and director of the Strategic Action Council, and who has been involved with the Riverscape development, talked about S.A.C., and it's goal of leveraging development for urban revitalization and addressing community needs. Jimmy Couvillion also talked about his background and interest in development in Shreveport. April mentioned how both David and Jimmy had attended the large downtown meeting she'd organized last week.

Both David and Jimmy noted how a group like this can use contacts with people who've come to meetings to mobilize them on planning and issues important to the community.

When we mentioned the need for investors in certain projects, David said there are many investors but not so many developers. He explained that developers often want to build straightforward Section 8 housing that's profitable for them but hasn't been thought through to be mixed-used or mixed-income and ends up hurting the community in the long run.

We discussed the Riverscape development and how the Coates Bluff Greenway could benefit not only Riverscape, but the students attending Magnet High School, Stoner Hill Elementary Lab School, and Montessori for Shreveport School, and the residents of Stoner Hill, Anderson Island, Highland, Broadmore, and indeed, the city as a whole. David expressed his support for bike paths in general, and others agreed, some noting that our city can easily do better in providing safe, attractive routes for biking. While greenways are one way of doing that, our recommended bike routes plan is another.

In shifting our discussion to the bike routes plan, Mark Goadrich raised the following question: Should we recommend low trafficked, residential streets for routes, or, should we use more direct higher trafficked roads, considering we would be painting sharrows, and in some cases bike lanes? We didn't answer that question with complete certainty, but we seemed to agree that cyclists would tend to prefer not being near motor vehicles, particularly this age of driving while using a cell-phone. We also agreed that different kinds of routes can recommended, perhaps ranging from "quiet" to "highly trafficked".

After the meeting, Mark helped Loren improve access to our web site and set up our new group membership that can allow people to subscribe and unsubscribe to the e-mail list. (Thanks Mark!)

The next meeting has been set for Monday night from 7:00 to 8:15 to discuss our new by-laws, and our on-going projects.

See you then!

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