Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 27 Meeting Minutes

In attendance: Mike Mayo, Jennette Ginsburg, William Hartman, Feico Kempff, Carolyn Manning, Susan Keith, Cynthia Keith, Robert Trudeau, Garrett Johnson, Jack Waterman

Capacity Building

Jennette explained Any future issue that ABS has can be enhanced through Please tell your friends and colleagues to sign our petition demanding crosswalks at three intersections currently in design mode: Youree/Kings; Youree/E.Washington; E. Kings/Shreveport-Barksdale Hwy.

Jennette has been looking at Google Group emails and splitting up our communication channels with the general membership using MailChimp monthly or bi-monthly newsletter with special editions. Mike mentioned that some stuff can be automated.

Jennette suggests a point person for our communications and massaging our minutes. It’s important that this stay brief, and Robert will lead the effort. Jennette will send an email to abs and inform them of the changes this week.

There will be a separate board-only google group. A separate committee group, like Coates Bluff, should have a google group. The Dog Park Alliance has a Facebook(FB) site as their media. Brian Salvatore’s group Education group should have a google group. The radio show group needs to post on the Abettershreveport Facebook page. A Facebook site could be the radio show group. We will use keywords to link back to the blog.

Jack is going to get a site for us to upload to a plug-in. Stephanie will send a webapp.

Jennette asked if there are any other groups that need to be added. We should have a link to TACA, HRA, Community Foundation, and Minicine on the website and blog.

Coates Bluff

Robert got in touch with Larry Raymond, and Larry thinks it is too much for his group.

Garrett will ask Montessorri if we can hold the meeting there.

Member Updates/Remarks

Garrett thought bicycle caps with ABS logo is a good sale item for Velo Dendro.

Stephanie ordered chalk for the Velo Dendro.

Jack said that there are drawings of naked women and profanity when the 'I Wish I Were' stickers were posted on abandoned buildings. It would be good for an event to be shortly posted on the buildings. Another one that Candy Chang did was a mural that says 'Before I Die I Want To...'.

James Scott, Stoner Trails FB page is wanting to do a path from the VA to the Veterans Park. Carolyn has been following him on FB and has invited him to invite ABS to volunteer. Carolyn will coordinate beginning two weeks from now. Jennette thinks it would be a great introduction to cross interests and memorialize veterans. ABS is in need of a member ride, so expect one in late July/early August!

Tuesday, the ordinance for off-leash laws was read. It was offered if we need support.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

No meeting on Mon, July 4, nor a KSCL broadcast

What's the greenest building in the region? probably the Port of Shreveport Regional Commerce Center

Members of A Better Shreveport recently took advantage of a LEED-focused tour of Port of Shreveport HQ building.

It is designed at attract business to the port, both by its progressive image and by being available to companies as a temp HQ.

On a site off Youree Dr / Hwy 1 some 5 miles south of LSUS, it's so hip there's a bike rack on the ground floor.

ABS member Will Loe was landscape architect for the project.

Pratt Industries, Shreveport's recycling center, is the star tenant at the Port of Shreveport. I was told off the record by Nancy Larned that Pratt will soon announce that they have found a way to recycle glass products.

A small stimulus package for Biking to Work - if you commute at least 3times a week

The Renewable Energy Tax legislation that passed a few months ago contained a clause designed to stimulate cycling, the Bicycle Commuter Act.

As quoted by, "For employees who regularly commute to work by bicycle, employers may offset the costs of bicycle purchase, improvement, repair, and storage at the rate of $20 per month."

To cash in your workplace has to have a participating benefit provider.

"Speak to your company's liaison to the benefit provider about receiving your bicycling commuter credits. Your employers may elect not to provide these benefits. It would be wise for your employers to do so. They can save about 9.5% of their FICA contributions by participating in a commuter program."

See more here.

Also, for local cycling news and discussions, we must recommend the Facebook group page begun by River City Cycling.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

ABetterShreveport Meeting Monday, June 20, 2011 @ the Downtown Shreve Memorial Library

In attendance: William Hartman, Carolyn Manning, Jack Waterman, Feico Kempff, Will Loe, Robert Trudeau, Susan Keith, Cynthia Keith, Maurice Loridans, Ian Webb, Garrett Johnson


Feico questioned why the other bike clubs do not participate in bicycle advocacy. Ian responded that they look to to do this work for them because their main focus is riding, not administrating, meeting, and advocating. They help out on the sidelines, and offer advice when sought out, and sign our petitions, give us moral support, etc. ABS is the voice for the people who ride for choice or for economic necessity.


The radio show hosts were very impressed with Councilman Jenkins' interview on Monday. Oliver explained why the bond issue will not cost us anything more. This is because there is a sales tax allocation that will service debt left over from other bonds, and no new millage rate will be needed. The fees that we pay make our property tax lower. Franchise fees, 2% is rolled into our rate, and Bossier has higher rates than us. We charge SWEPCO 2%, but cities are allowed to charge up to 5%, but it would be taxed to us. So, the question is who’s getting the wash out? Carolyn will get back with Oliver on that question. Oliver Jenkins was a great speaker. The trash pickup is undergoing a study for the next three months so that the two cities could have a fair contract. Should Shreveport privatize trash? Should there be a weight-based fee?

Angelic Feister, a drama production of Mohagomy Productions was the other radio show guest. She is taking their show on tour.

It was asked if there are there any Neilson ratings for our show. We'd like to quantify our listener base as we are hearing more and more about people listening to the show.


The logo is almost complete. Please respond to this blog if you have any other changes you'd like made.


It’s going to be hard to get things done other than just meetings if we do a road show. It was suggested that we have liaisons that will help us, such as PR and Communications college students.

The library closes at 7pm, and there is no AV equipmemt, but we will continue to meet there until Loren gets back, then we will go back to Centenary Square.

Artspace was an idea, but not open past 6, and they are getting ready for an expansion, and working on a full installation.

There is a gallery space in Lee Hardware, but we would need A/C.

Ian offered his space, but no chairs.

Maurice suggested SciPort—we can ask Jennette

Qurerbes Park and Valencia Community Center—Feico checked on this & it's $20 per visit.

Barnwell is not an option because ABS does not have an art or gardening focus.


Dan Marculus of the Highland Restoration Association reached out to ABS for advice on Highland Park improvements. The group suggested that terracing could be an option. The Native Plant Society could be explored to look at a native solutions for erosion control. A man in Doyline is specializing in native plants, called Willis Farms. The owner is a retired doctor.


Cynthia and Stephanie met with Jeff Everson and SPAR on an update and Cynthia presented the north end of the park as the new location, which is a Civil War bluff used to build tanks in. Gary Joiner has promised to come talk to us next week about a partnership with LSUS to establish a marker and promote the site to tourists.

SPAR is mandating that the Dog Park Alliance install a wrought iron fence instead of a green chain length fence. The fence preference in nearly all dog parks is chain length. SPAR wants the riverfront to look nice, and they think a green chain length fence will not be aesthetically pleasing. But Loyola football field has a black chain length fence along the riverfront. A wrought iron fence costs about $60-75 per linear foot, and would not be feasible to raise funds for. A six foot green chain length fence is $10.50 per linear foot. The City Council will introduce the ordinance at the next City Council meeting just after the first of July!


The National Park Service is writing a bike co-op grant for ABS. Garrett is taking the lead on assisting the NPS. Ian and/or Feico is checking on a location for the co-op.


Ian suggested that ABS create a Facebook page so that the citizens can show their enthusiasm for a safe place to walk and bike in Shreveport. The FB was created Tuesday, and it already has many posts, including what facilities other cities have, photos, and videos. We already have 132 likes!


We have made a lot of headway with getting crosswalks and bike facilities included in the three intersection designs at Youree/Kings, Youree E. Washington, and E. Kings/Shreveport Barksdale Hwy. Steph Pedro was interviewed on KTAL Thursday, and the story was the third of the night on the 10 o'clock news.

Jennette and Steph created an online petition which automatically sends an email to our state legislators and highway administrators each time a person signs. We have 100 signatures already. Please post the link on your own FB page to spread the word about our intersections not including crosswalks in the design. Also, DOTD Secretary LeBas has launched a study of the project thanks to Senator Buddy Shaw and Commissioner Matthew Linn. ABS has asked Kent Rogers, Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments (NLCOG) for a public meeting to discuss what type of planning, if any, was conducted, and what kind of public input was there?

Louisiana already has its own Complete Streets legislation, and now there is national Complete Streets Act that is in the Commerce Committee, which Senator Vitter is a member of. Vitter emailed Stephanie Pedro last week to inform her that he will be closely monitoring the Complete Streets Act, and any other legislation regarding the safety of our roads.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Time for A Better Shreveport: Angelique Feaster, Carolyn Manning, Oliver Jenkins, Shreveport, KSCL Fm

Angelique is founder and director of the award-winning Mahogany Theater, Oliver Jenkins is a city councilman.

Interviewer Carolyn Manning is a realtor and interviewer / photographer Robert Trudeau is a teacher and city blogger.

Next Mon at 5 pm: Caddo Parish commissioner Matthew Linn.

Stream the show at KSCL.FM.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Velo Dendro Shreveport: planning the 2011 event for Sat, Oct 22

Velo Dendro Shreveport, 2010 by trudeau
Velo Dendro Shreveport, 2010, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

Notes, Velo Dendro planning meeting no. 1. Robert Trudeau & Garrett Johnson.

Event is Sat, Oct 22!
Basically we are going to continue to enjoy the
support of Matthew Linn and Columbia Cafe and start and end the event
at the Cafe. Hallie Dozier will continue to lead the ride.

We reviewed insurance material from League of American Bicyclists and
sent email to a representative to try and get the insurance for free!
As we read it the fee would be $75 then there is an unspecified
additional fee about which we have inquired.

Robert sent an email to Ron Sheppard, Pratt Industries, requesting a
re-up of $500 grant to cover expenses.

Garrett proposed ending the Velo Dendro with a Dog Park fundraiser at
Columbia Cafe, to be submitted for consideration to Matthew Linn.

Garrett and Robert considered a handout at the ride, but felt that
perhaps a map on the website/.pdf of the route might be a better use
of materials.

T-shirt: We would like to find an alternative to the traditional
t-shirt. Maybe move to a different material, such as a thinner
material. Messenger bags, bicycling caps, or a large fluorescent
patch of material, bike badges, etc. We'll have to look further into
customizable goods for bicycling. Garrett has a cycling cap from
Spokepunchers, a company out of Pittsburg who does bulk, customizable
orders. Maybe we could do a bulk order of Veldo Dendro/ABS cycling
caps and sell them at the event for those who would like a
one-of-a-kind memento.

Marketing: Reach out to the Shreveport Convention & Tourism Bureau
through Chris Jay for ideas to fully publicize the event this year.
Tactics such as a Facebook event and email newsletter (Jack Waterman,
would you be willing to take this design task?). A poster
communicates a branding opportunity and opportunity for businesses and
individuals who share our vision to demonstrate it. Robert reinforced
the notion that this poster should be a cutting edge and modern view
of the bicycle commuting community, maybe with the inclusion of one of
our members on their bike with big, smiling face.

Publicity Stunts: Like the Mayor Glover bike riding photo op from the
elected official ride. Pre-ride media event such as having elected
officials (Oliver Jenkins and others) riding a leg of the Velo Dendro
ride as a photo op.

Goal 1: Have a ripple effect of being able to pay designer for work,
professional photographer, and Matthew Linn/Columbia Cafe to name a
few whose in-kind services we employ.

Goal 2: Specific invitations to community leaders from outside our
East Shreveport Region such as Cat Daddy, Pamoja Society, Sankofa
Gardens, Hindu Temple group, Deborah Coleman at Valencia, Grace
Peterson, etc.

We await your helpful suggestions!

Sankofa Harvest Jubilee 2011

An emerging cultural destination that adds value to our community... Please attend this exciting event!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

ABetterShreveport Meeting Monday, June 13, 2011 AT COHABITAT

In attendance: Maurice Loridans, Garrett Johnson, Jennette Ginsburg, William Hartman, Jack Waterman, Carolyn Manning, Cynthia Keith, Steph Pedro, Robert Trudeau, Feico Kempff, Susan Keith


Maurice opened the discussion with the Times article on the annexation and it’s impact on the City and how it does not jive with the Master Plan. He enjoyed the good journalism that it portrayed. Carolyn commented that we need new businesses, and tax dollars, and annexation is not the answer.

Jennette brought a book by William Upski Wemsatt, Bomb the Surburbs, to share with Garrett.Stephanie is currently reading Wemsatt's book No More Prisons which references that book and it is quite refreshing.

There are urban pioneers that develop an urban core correctly. Maurice: Austin is not a good model because they have a huge university and Austin is the state capital. Steph: We should look as close as Tyler, TX; Lafayette, LA; and Little Rock, AR. Just like New Orleans, the nonprofit sector is fully engaged in the progression of the city, and they get the big rock of local government slowing beginning to move. First things first: have a solid, fully vetted, and UPDATED zoning code! Zoning is one of the most powerful tools that local governments have! So let's use it to reduce risk in investment!

Cynthia shared a FB group on Stoner bike trails. These guys are putting in long hours of sweat equity--join the fun and see what they're up to!


Maurice and William are volunteering on the DDA's Edwards Streetscape project. Other members include Liz Swain, Tim Wachtel, Valerie McElhose (Sportran), Donna Curtis. Edwards ends up dead ending at the convention center. The grant is to fix Texas as far as Milam, one street short of the bus station. We will figure out a way to get it all the way. Trees, planters, bike racks, trash, Maurice wants to see how many bike racks our citizens will need. Bike rack designers were talked about. It was asked why the grant is focused on Edwards. Convention Ctr was to help spur tourist activity (Edwards is conduit to street level retail on Texas & Milam). There is a ½ block gap between Fannin & Travis. It was asked where the tourists walk around? No where, cause the retail is obsolete as of now. Casinos never gave the tourist flow through downtown. Edwards could end up as the sidewalk cafĂ© street. William asked the streetscape committee why it doesn’t go all the way to Crocket, where the bus terminal, residential buildings, and Festival Plaza are? Well, because Andy Taft, past DDA Director didn’t think it should go beyond Milam, and they can’t amend the grant right now.


The following locations have been identified for needing bike racks. ABetterShreveport members suggested the following be added to the list:

2 at Festival Plaza

Noble Savage


Lee Hardware

United Jewelers

Water Spray Fountains


Travis @ Market

Travis @ McNeal

Travis @ Louisiana

Texas @ Common (Outbound Side)

Texas @ McNeal (Inbound Side)

Texas @ Marshal (Outbound Side)

Texas @ Spring

Milam @ McNeal

McNeil @ Crockett

Edward @ Milam

Cotton @ Common

Fannin @ Spring

Spring @ Caddo

Maurice: bike rack style should conform to the green streetlamp color, called bollard, a post with a loop that needs to face so that bike is inline with street traffic. There is a city that did lamppost bikeracks.


Did you? Maurice shared a nice poster promoting Valerie McElhose's Dump the Pump Day, June 16. She is quite the progressive assistant director of Sportran, a semi-new position for her. She came from Monroe, and is from Kentucky. She's managed transit in various cities, and is a go-getter! Yay! Robert has noticed bikes on the front of buses. Robert asked how many of us will commit to riding the bus Thursday. Carolyn wanted to know where the maps of the routes were, and it takes too long. Steph noted that you have to call the number to get the schedule. Robert and others did not know that—most people don’t!


Since we are in a long range planning cycle, (October 22), Matthew Linn, Donna Curtis, and Hallie all have approved of the date. Robert is in contact with League of American bicycles and they want $75 for one-year of membership which includes insurance. The group thought it was a great deal. The next step is to ask Pratt Industries for a donation. Dates need to be included on t-shirts. Jennette: In New Orleans, there are tree tours of what happened during that tree’s lifespan and brought in historical antidotes that way. Hallie does a little bit of that, but attention is lost after about 1.5 minutes. Robert will mention the idea to Hallie, and she can feature the log jam. The tree planting was a favorite among some of the members that rode last year.

The contact lists are scarce. Michael Hartman and Carolyn will research it. Carolyn will also ask Matthew Linn about the contact list. Steph will make a project timeline. Posters, t-shirts, are needed, and marketing to bike stores should be heavy. Ian has been contacted, but the Peddler needs to be contacted, as well as Scooters. Garret will serve as Robert’s soundboard for input.Safety wagon logistics is needed, last year there were 2 incidents, need to purchase first-aid?


The top left gray background looks great! All the icons will be different links on the website.Icons: people, bus, tree, city, bike, bell pepper, anchor with people on both ends. Italicize ‘better’ through in a recycle sign. Narrow down to 5 symbols. The framed look is nice to apply to every other icon. Move Shreveport to second line and then have icons spaced evenly. Could be a winding road to keep symbols. Love the colors. The group got a little unwieldy and some who were trying to voice their opinions were not heard. Perhaps they could reply to this blog for the unheard critiques.


Stephanie spoke to the City Council about the history of the three intersections, E. Washington/Youree; Youree/Kings; E. Kings/Shreveport-Barksdale Highway. The project has been in design since 1989. It was noted that traffic patterns have drastically changed in those locations since 1989, and the enlarging of the intersection could be a waste of taxpayer dollars. A few ABS'ers have been filming at the intersection of Youree/Kings at 5pm on various weekdays, and there is hardly a traffic que even at peak traffic flow! If alternative modes of transportation were integrated into the design, then there would possibly not have to be any widening, only geometrically correcting, and painting crosswalks and installing pedestrian count-down signals. One of our ABS members put Stephanie in contact with the engineer that the City has been contracting with since 1989, and when asked if Complete Streets policies would be used, he had not heard of the Complete Streets Policy.


Our new design intern presented a rendering of the Sheriff's Marina bridge over Bayou Pierre where Woodward Street deadends. The group was thoroughly impressed, and decided to pursue the engineering report from some of our engineer members. Susan Keith has put us in contact with the school board engineer that has done a similar bridge at Caddo Magnet High, and we will follow up with him as well.


Carolyn and others like the old Centenary meeting space and the downtown library. Parking is free for those auto-dependents in both places. Jennette thinks eateries are discourages and exclusive, but it’s a good time to start our road show, and meet every first week at the host location. Feico got us signed up starting Monday, June 20 at the downtown library. ABS will be road showing it beginning in July hopefully with Caddo Heights/Ingleside neighborhood...there is a lot of culturally significant activity happening there and Stoner Hill, as well as North Highlands...all representing our City's core.


Susan spoke with Diane about Coates Bluff funding, and Diane asked if Billy Montgomery was contacted because he got them a $70K grant for trails. Maurice knows Billy and will reach out to him.

Friday, June 17, 2011

ABS Meeting site change: downtown Shreve Memorial Library, 3rd floor

"Our group is registered to meet at the Downtown Shreveport Public Library every Monday from 6-7 PM," writes Feico Kemmpff, who did the legwork.

"We will meet in one of the 3rd floor meeting rooms. Parking is free after 5PM."

"The meeting room on the 3rd flr has tables and abt12 chairs. AV equipment is free and available on request. To meet at other Shreveport system libraries requires separate registration at those locations."

ABS plans to have one meeting a month at neighborhood centers.

"To increase the diversity of meeting other like minded folk throughout Shreveport, we discussed possibly a home base of meetings at downtown and then a once monthly meeting at other branches," notes Feico.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Meetings return to CoHabitat Shreveport, 610 Commerce St, Mon, June 13,6 to 7 pm

CoHabitat Shreveport by trudeau
CoHabitat Shreveport, a photo by trudeau on Flickr.

Stephanie Pedro is presiding while Loren Demerath is in South America. On the docket: how to help Shreveport govt understand and implement the Complete Streets act. Also, planning for the Oct. Velo Dendro.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Coates Bluff Strategic Planning Meeting II


In attendance: Jon Soul, Garrett Johnson, Nadine Charity, Michael Hartford, Caroline Majors, Robert Hattan, Mary Anne Bowie, William Hartman, Feico Kempff, Maurice Loridans, Jeanne Hamming, Jack Waterman, Kim Mitchell, Sid Crump, Roger Barnes, Pam ___

Stephanie Pedro briefly announced the following working groups that were defined in the first community meeting:
  1. Education and Curriculum Development. Jeanne, Robert, Deborah and Jon
  2. Transportation Connectivity Loren, Maurice, Donna, Tim and Stephen
  3. History Archeology− (Need to recruit working group leaders)
  4. Nature−John Davenport, Jon Soul
  5. Physical Planning/Governance/Maintenance −Mary Anne, Fieco, Stephanie, Caroline, Murray and Kim
  6. Outreach/Marketing−Nadine, Kelly and Michael (Bring artists to interpretive event)
  7. Funding

The Education and Curriculum Development group was the first to meet, and Robert opened the discussion to report on their meeting. The group decided during the meeting that the Education and Curriculum Development group had to be something bigger than just teachers. Jeanne followed up with talking about how they are structuring working groups within working groups. They have categorized the materials into environmental ed, history (archaeology, cultural history, website ( for teachers & educators, has calendar, links, like Facebook). Getting on our edmodo group is pretty easy. Go to and set up an account. You can be a teacher or student. Doesn't really change much, except that as a teacher you can create new groups.

Once you have an ID, just click on join group and put in this code: cc3yf1

Jon: Susan Keith brought a bunch of resources—a draft story that she shared with her 9th graders (history, maps). Jon took her materials and put into a presentation report style that he will make available to people of interest. In that report, there are different articles by Dale Jennings, the process for getting the historical marker for Coates Bluff, and other articles in Shreveport Journal. What a nice document to have on edmodo!

Caroline: Currently, we have no implementation plan because our grant was disqualified due to the Audubon Society not having a local chapter. If we want to engage other avid birders and naturalists, there is a $75 fee to start an Audubon Chapter that is willing to meet monthly. The chapter does not meet monthly or pay fee.

Caroline will share the grant narrative to edmodo. The value of distributing it is that there is content to build on.

Jeanne offered to the group if they will send her the grant narrative, she can find grants.

Feico wants to help establish a Corporate Endeavor Agreement between the property owners (CEA).

Murrey Lloyd created a model through the Audubon society with an agreement between the City and State that we can explore how it could fit with our vision.

Red River Wildlife Refuge is another collaborator that we need to contact soon.

Maurice asked if anyone was a member of the Shreveport bird group. Larry Raymond, Roseman, and Robert’s dentist are all members.

Robert will ask Larry about the Audubon Society.

Maurice questions whether Audubon will be amendable to the fact that there is a sewer right-of-way along the path?

Mary Anne Bowie has donated the first $20 of the $75 to the Audubon Society dues to becoming an Audubon Society group. Jon Soul has matched Mary Anne's $20.

Larry & Murrey thought about birding opportunities.

Think of it as a Central Park.

Kim: need to understand the philosophical undermining.

Sid: what’s the objective? Break grounds. Bike/walk way in.

Kim: understood wilderness, bikes are a forced element to a natural area.

Mary Anne: Coates Bluff needs to be multi dimensional; room for everyone. There is enough area to work with.

What really drives decision-making?

Maurice: use bayous into multi-use path.

Wilderness means untouched—this is a utility ROW. There are areas that are suitable to be fixed to multi-use trails.

Maurice: City has tolerated people to whip out machetes and create Stoner Forest to what they want it to be; benign unknowing. Do what you want to do.

Caroline: The goal of planning would uncover multiple desires and is solved through design to choreograph the ideas. Physical plans will give us options.

Mary Anne—the sooner we can do something that looks like framework, the better, even if it’s rough.

Nature Conservancy—called them once already. Mary Anne suggested to go sit face to face. Ask for their help to us get through this.

Pam--Partner with biology professors

Mary Anne—On the conceptual map, draw the circle bigger and define areas.


Mary Anne—show UL Coleman as a stakeholder in this.

Jeanne: David Rowe mentions that we need 2 narratives: door opening and wallet-opening.

Letter & graphic. Coherent, visionary, meeting multiple needs simulataneously. Physical environment will have tradeoffs.

Mary Anne—incredible opportunities await once the concept is on paper.

Sid—does LSU do research, or can the trail be extended?

Contact Red River Wildlife Refuge

“ Red River Watershed Institute

VA—reach out

Vision: Safety and visibility

Nadine: public artists will organize a show in October.

Robert has 150 photos to back up what we are talking about.

Caroline had mentioned the graphic of looking at road capacity w/ cars, transit, pedestrians.

Nadine shared her Bike Lexington event and gave givewaways.

Jon proposed to meet one month from now on Coates Bluff and discuss the narrative/graphics.

What can you do?

  1. as a teacher, and once you have an ID, just click on join group and put in this code: cc3yf1.
  2. Join a working group of your choice (or two).
  3. Read the docs that our group is posting, and give your input.
  4. Encourage others about this group and see if they would like to join and help us find funding and legal advice on how to protect the land through a land trust or some other preservation-oriented solution.
  5. Volunteer to contact the Red River Wildlife Refuge.
  6. Volunteer to contact the Red River Watershed Institute.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Stabilizing Coates Bluff Trail as an entity: meeting 6 pm Mon, June 6

Monday is our next big Coates Bluff meeting at 201 Hurley on Centenary's campus, says Stephanie Pedro.

Please join us! 6 pm to 7 pm.

Directions: or 272 6045 c.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

ABetterShreveport Monday Meeting on the steps of Hurley Music Hall


In Attendance: Jack Waterman, Robert Trudeau, Annie Blazer (our soon to be newest resident of Shreveport and Centenary Professor!), Craig (local IT business partner), Jennette Ginsberg, Feico Kempff, Randy Ross


It was noted to follow up on Loren's point to make public the 50 or so interviews that the Shreveport Common Team have conducted. Without public meeting minutes, the team is participating in back-door urban planning which took place during the urban renewal ages and still happens in some cases today. Another comment that was made is to emphasize Steph Pedro's point to integrate the plan strategies into existing resources that we already possess as a community today. Our community has a lot to offer in terms of infrastructure, land, skill sets, and investment potential, but the will to utilize them is still bleak. Robert Trudeau is going to invite Wendy Benscoter, Project Manager for Shreveport Common, to the radio show next week. Jennette and Jack have volunteered to join them as well.


Two ABetterShreveport members are attempting to acquire the design drawings of the Youree Drive/E. Kings Hwy intersection. The E. Kings/Shreveport Barksdale intersection design has been provided by Andrew Zagars, City of Shreveport Engineering Department. The Youree Drive/E. Kings Intersection design has been offered to view only at the City office. Representative Carmody has been notified of the City's reluctance to send a pdf of the Youree Drive/E. Kings Intersection design and ABetterShreveport is waiting for his response. Also included in the letter to Rep. Carmody is the statement: We strongly believe that pedestrian countdown signals are needed at this intersection in order to cross safely. Many pedestrians are crossing the intersection with children at their own risk today.

Robert Trudeau has offered to shoot a short video this Friday to further explain the issue and importance of creating a walkable environment for our citizens when we invest public dollars into road construction.

Our new summer design intern, Jack Waterman, has offered to integrate bike and pedestrian facilities into the drawing once it is acquired. We are seeking to request a public meeting to openly discuss the use of DOTD's new legislation called Complete Streets. DOTD's Complete Streets Policy states that restricting non-motorized access should not be considered as an appropriate strategy with the exception of those limited access facilities where pedestrians and bicyclists are prohibited.

City Engineering is currently checking into whether Youree, E. Kings, and Shreveport Barksdale are limited access facilities. Since there are bus stops along all three corridors, pedestrians are currently permitted to be on the corridors.


An update was given to the group for the status of relocating one of the pedestrian bridges attached to the Sheriff's Marina to Bayou Pierre near Woodlawn (behind the baseball fields at Centenary). A ABetterShreveporter took some pics of the bridge and sent to Ron Norwood, Chief Engineer, City of Shreveport, for review. His response was that ABS should hire a structural engineer to verify the sound relocation and ensure that it will not impede the flow of the bayou for this public pedestrian bridge that will connect two neighborhoods in Shreveport. City Engineering also needs a canvas of both neighborhoods to ensure that there is a willingness for the pedestrian bridge.


Every other year, DOTD offers all communities in Louisiana to apply for projects under the Transportation Enhancements Program (TEP). Examples of projects funded through TEP include, but are not limited to, sidewalks and bike paths, safety and educational activities for pedestrians and bicyclists, landscaping and other scenic beautification, and historic preservation.
ABetterShreveport is advocating for a levee trail that connects the MLK neighborhood along 12-mile Bayou to downtown. Another project mentioned was a bike path connecting the SWEPCO Park in Allendale to downtown. Lee Jidders of the Fuller Center for Housing was mentioned as a contact for that potential project.

Jack Waterman, a Tulane architecture student, is joining us for the summer to help brand ABetterShreveport and provide design work for us. He will also be interning at a local architectural firm. His interests include downtown, bike and pedestrian designs, and an online resource library for urban best practices that apply to Shreveport. The resource library is anticipated to have a video for viewers to quickly get into the same mindset as ABetterShreveport members have and provide an enlightenment system to all.


The Shreveport Dog Park Alliance (an ABS committee) is patiently waiting on approval of Hamel Park as Shreveport's first dog park. Once the City Council passes a resolution approving the site, fundraising from the big donors can begin. The City through SPAR is also working on a new design at Hamel that incorporates the higher elevation areas on the north side of the park.


Robert Trudeau noted that in three weeks City Council Chair, Oliver Jenkins, will join us on Time for ABetterShreveport, our weekly radio show airing Mondays at 5pm, 91.3.

Robert also noted that he will be chairing the 3rd Annual Velo Dendro leisurely tree ride in October. It was noted to contact Shreveport Green as they are usually a partner in our event.

Monday is our next big Coates Bluff meeting at 201 Hurley on Centenary's campus. Please join us! It was noted that Sci-Port be invited to attend that meeting.