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.