Thursday, October 1, 2009

Positive Meeting Held with David Alexander of Vintage Realty for Coates Bluff Greenway; Itinerary Set for Saturday's Walking Tour

Yesterday, Feico Kempff, Sharron Swanson, and Loren Demerath had a good meeting with David Alexander of Vintage Realty. He's the main person behind the Riverscape Development that will be breaking ground soon at the southeast "corner" of Stoner Avenue and Clyde Fant Parkway. We talked about the possibility of a Coates Bluff Greenway skirting the edge of his development behind Magnet High School on its way between Savoir St. and Stoner.

David said Vintage is the kind of firm that is pro-walkability and bikability is open to the idea of a greenway. Loren talked about the current trends in people looking for housing on or near bike paths, and how it could add value to the development. Sharron talked about how the current street design of Riverscape might have to be altered to accommodate the path. Feico noted that none of us have an "interest" in the path, but would just like to see it happen for the city. Feico also mentioned the support we're getting from the National Park Service in promoting the plan, and we described the grant we won through their Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program to plan for a system of greenways throughout the city, with the Coates Bluff project as the first pilot project. David said he would talk to his partners about the project.

One of our next steps will be to find funding for planning and implementing the greenway. We discussed funding possibilities from ISTEA, Saftey-Lu, in terms of transportation, and other sources may range from those seeking to promote health, education, or history.

More immediately, our next step is literally a number of steps! There'll be a walking tour of the Coates Bluff Greenway site this Saturday morning at 9:00. Although neither David nor Sharron will be able to make it, other notables will, such as state archeologist Jeff Girard, local historian Gary Joiner, and outdoor educator Jon Soul. We'll meet at the Montessori parking lot on Sevier St.

Jon Soul just sent out the following itinerary:

9AM The Montessori School for Shreveport (front parking lot)

9:10 Overview of Coates Bluff history & Greenway project (maps/handouts provided)

9:30 Walking tour of existing bayou trail

10:00 Drive to Valencia Rec Center picnic shelter (refreshments/restrooms provided)

10:15 Walking tour of Coates Bluff

11:15 Return to shelter – discuss next steps & further information sharing

1l:30 Leave as needed

See details in a post below about the walk if you'd like more info. Please join us if you're inclined.

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