Thursday, December 13, 2012

This Monday Night: Shreveport Greenway Proposals and Holiday Party!

Yes, two good reasons to come to the ABS meeting Monday night.  Here's the story:

Dr. Bruce Sharky
ABETTERSHREVEPORT GOES TO L.S.U.: As some readers of this blog may recall, Loren Demerath was requested by Dr. Bruce Sharky (an expert in greenway design) to attend presentations of greenway proposals for Shreveport.  Previously, Dr. Sharky had been alerted to the interest in Shreveport Greenways by the National Park Service, and through the grant won by ABS to work with the NPS to the end of creating a master plan of greenways (which, by the way, can be any combination of nature trails, bike paths--great for healthy transportation, as well as fun recreation).  Accompanying Loren to view the presentations in Baton Rouge was Ian Webb, a founding member of ABS, as well as one who's had experience in creating a network of greenways in Roanoke, Virginia.

         Dr. Sharky pointed out that the following proposals and materials haven't been gathered together to create an overall narrative and full plan.  The students completed this work in one month as part of a class, and there is work left to be done to create something with fuller impact.  We're hopeful that could be done by finding funding for a graduate student to work on that task during the spring semester.  The NPS intimated they could help with that but haven't gotten back to Dr. Sharky about it yet.  

a new drainage canal greenway in Anchorage
SHREVEPORT'S SPECIAL: Maybe the best part of the whole trip was hearing Dr. Sharky tell us the following: he's seen lots of drainage canals over his career as a landscape architect of greenways, but he's NEVER seen a city with such easily convertible canals as Shreveport has!  He said it would make construction of greenways more affordable than it has been elsewhere by an order of magnitude!  Dr. Sharky also said, Shreveporters "have no idea how this is going to change their city." To get an idea, he mentioned they might visit Anchorage, Alaska, the site of a recent renaissance due to greenways.

        But certainly this work has a lot of value that can be developed much further--and isn't that just what we'd say about our city? Links to the proposals and miscellaneous materials are below.  We hope you find them as inspiring as do Ian and Loren.
sample of the work showing bayou-crossing difficulties

by Li Wang
(500 MB, but worth it: a full plan for the southeast side to leverage the existing bike paths and provoke demands for similar facilities throughout the city)
by James Mann et al.
(6 MB, an easy loader with big downtown relevance; along Cross Bayou to the north, and aside a forested railway to the south)
by Xueyao Wei
(122 MB, but again, worth it: the marketing of Shreveport through the artistic representation and design of our city; check out that bridge!)
Other materials:
categorization and documentation of drainage canal types (wow!), some potential routes, a greenway plan along southern Fern Ave., the route and programming, analysis of city vegetation, sites from Columbia Park to Querbes.
       So, if you're interested in discussing these, join us at our holiday themed meeting Monday evening at 6:00 in the Wright Math Building.  Bring your own beverage and/or a nibbly to share, or just yourself.  We'd love to hear your thoughts on these proposals and how to move them forward.

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