Thursday, April 15, 2010

Low Income Housing, I-49, Coates Bluff Trail, Walking Youree & 70th Among Topics at Last ABS Meeting

In attendance: Lamar Wright, David Aubry, Susan Keith, Carolyn Manning, Sarah Savage, Loren Demerath

Sarah Savage described her work on the nature loop section of the Coates Bluff Greenway; how she had gone through the area with Botanist and Biology Professor Dr. Ed Leuch, how she is working on creating two guides for the loop, one for adults, and one for children.

Sarah also noted, as Jon did last week, the low lying sections of the trail near the water, and how natural barrier would help reduce erosion.

It was Lamar Wright's first time attending an ABetterShreveport meeting, and when asked what he thought would make Shreveport better, he said he'd to more places to ride his bike. Lamar lives around Youree and Milicent Way, and that area is difficult to ride around.

Carolyn expressed frustration that the link from Preston to Clyde Fant bike trail hasn't been built yet, and how she had heard it was scheduled to built over this winter.

The Urban Biker MeetUp group is working on meeting at the Robinson to have drinks then roll; sort of a pub crawl on the 22nd of April.

Carolyn said she recently walked from Kings Highway all the way to LSUS to see how dangerous it was and to see if it was possible; she said she received some unfriendly beeps and even got flipped off. She said Southfield is the last safe place as you walk south to cross Youree. Sarah said she's encountered the same sort of thing trying to jog around the Gilbert and Fern intersection, even getting flipped off; and walking from Centenary to Walmart and having to sprint across Youree at Kings.

Lamar noted a link from the end of Clyde Fant path to LSUS would be nice, and it was noted that such a path is in the SPAR plan. Lamar also noted, and others agreed that walking around the 70th and Youree area is all but impossible.

Loren asked David Aubry what he knew about the development of low and mixed income housing where I-49 would apparently go in the future, and David had good things to say about Mr. Harrington's success in developing, and most especially, managing low income housing areas. Mr. Harrington likes mixed income, and doesn't like any product where you could identity from appearances as a low income property, and Harrington insists that all who live in his properties must work--something that can accomplished, apparently, with diligent management. David noted that the funds for I-49 are not there yet. This is a "Hope Six" kind of project where organizations collaborate on the development. Carolyn noted that her brother quit his partnership to work with Harrington, and he's sold on him. The development he did in Texarkana has apparently been a real success and has helped transform a neighborhood. Carolyn has taken the Happi Homes class; a revitalization program for cities where people have to qualify for loans and the city will pay up to 10K for closing costs, and will also help with home repairs.

The conversation turned to Stoner Vista with someone asking who owned it. The housing authority doesn't own Stoner Vista. David said he wished they did, since he thought Huntington would clean it up. Places like that can be managed well or not well; caring or not caring about the behavior or standards that are happening. There are good property managers and bad ones; and good standards held for them and not.

It was said that if the PTA at Magnet were to write a letter to the chief of police, especially this chief, he'd do something about it.

Monday will be the next ABS meeting to talk greenways, bike lanes, and downtown development.

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