Friday, July 9, 2010

Louisiana Bike Racks and Other Topics Discussed at Last Meeting

At the last meeting the group discussed statewide Louisiana bike racks, grants, ABS dues and contribution levels, Complete Streets as Louisiana law, and the Farmers Market.

In attendance: Robert Trudeau, Carolyn Manning, Maurice Loridans, Garrett Johnson, Loren Demerath.

Carolyn Manning showed pictures of the new bike racks that the state DOTD is encouraging use of state-wide.

Garrett Johnson talked about the federal government grant that Pam is mulling it over right now to see if they can get it together in time. It’s a 25 page grant and would involve using partnerships that aren’t quite in place yet. It would be written by the people that collect data for the city.

The arts community that Pam and others want to create in the arts district could be highlighted by an arts and music festival. The triangular space at Common and Texas could be a space for that, as well as a regular artists market perhaps, or a farmers market in the months when it isn’t in Festival Plaza.


Carolyn said because we’re growing as an organization and developing higher aspirations, we should do things like formalize our board positions, and develop procedures for fund raising.

After some discussion, the consensus was that could we have different levels of organizational involvement and support (e.g., gold, platinum, silver, etc.) and it would be voluntary what people do. People who want to contribute more to support things like letterhead, hosting guests at meetings for coffee and refreshments, sometimes lunch for small group meetings with government officials, etc., can do so. It was noted that we should take advantage of our current momentum or we’ll lose our new members and energy. Garrett mentioned that we could have a sponsorship page as part of our website with the names of sponsors displayed there according to level of sponsorship as ArtSpace does on it sponsor wall.

Carolyn said she’s willing to do a fund raiser such as what they often do in Dallas: a scavenger hunt, pub-crawl. The streets are packed with hundreds of people; they’re very popular. Here it would be a smaller scale, of course, but Carolyn thinks she could get enough people to build on if we each recruit some friends. Even if we just had 25 people the first time it would be a success. It would also be an opportunity to show off downtown. That could be the motive for holding the event as much as raising funds.

Carolyn held little street festivals (100 people went to the first one including the volunteers) to raise money for trolleys, and eventually it worked.


The group briefly discussed the Farmers Market briefly. Loren said he had communicated the gist of the group’s letter in an email to Kip, and was sending the hard copy with the picture.


Carolyn said she’ll be talking with Stacye Palmer about helping us to put together pieces for bicycle-pedestrian master plan. Such a plan is what the grant is really part of, and support for which is the reason we began working on the Coates Bluff Greenway and Nature Trail some time ago. Stacye had been spending most of her time for a while on the Mississippi River bike trail, but can now take direction from us on what we need.


Maurice made the official announcement that Complete Streets passed and was signed by Governor Jindal, so that means the DOT has to include not motorized use of all their projects. It doesn’t apply to private or local government projects, only those that receive state funds. It also only applies to new projects. They’re not going to go back and refit the Shreveport-Barksdale bridge to get to Bossier, etc.

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