Monday, November 3, 2014

Williams and Provenza respond to bike-ped questions

Patrick Williams and Victoria Provenza responded to some questions I'd asked recently (much too recently, I'm afraid! my apologies! Also missed additional text Patrick Williams' team had sent the first time I published this.  Sorry! - Loren).
Questions from ABetterShreveport:
1. Many cities in the United States now have regular "Cyclovias," often on a weekend day. This is where an entire street, or one or two lanes of a street, is blocked from automobile use and reserved for pedestrians and cyclists. Could we look forward to enjoying Shreveport's first Cyclovia under your administration? And do you have any ideas on what street or streets might be good to use for the event?
2. Many cities have begun developing networks of multi-use paths that pedestrians, cyclists, and those using mobility aids can use for transportation, not just recreation. Paths have put alongside working railroads, drainage ditches, and atop levies. Would you be in favor of developing such a network using those kinds of resources in Shreveport? 
3. Assuming your answer above is yes, which of the following multi-use path opportunities would you want to see developed first, and why?
- connecting downtown to the north and the MLK neighborhood with a path along Cross Bayou
- connecting southwest Shreveport to LSUS and the retail areas in southeast Shreveport using combinations of paths beside drainage ditches and streets
- connecting the Southern Hills neighborhood to Cedar Grove and points north with a path along a drainage ditch
- connecting the Anderson Island and Shreve Island neighborhoods by Shreveport Barksdale Highway to the retail areas around 70th Street with a path along the "duck pond" bayou.
Alternatively, are there other paths you would develop first instead?
Patrick Williams:
In the interest of time, I want folks in Shreveport to know that I am committed to alternative modes of transportation wherever possible. Progressive, forward thinking cities and regions are looking to incorporate these plans into their overall transportation planning strategies. Sometimes that takes the form of paths and trailways and sometimes it is accomplished by building roads that are safe for pedestrians and cyclists. As someone who has walked all the way from Shreveport to Baton Rouge to promote awareness for childhood obesity and autism, I can speak firsthand to the need to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe. I also have a track record of promoting these types of plans having sponsored legislation in Baton Rouge called Safe Paths, Safe Streets in 2011 which ensured that cyclists and pedestrians had the right of way and were safer on the streets.

Some years ago a prominent Shreveporter had the idea and vision that the City eventually commissioned and developed called the “String of Pearls” project that would link the different parks across the City.  This project was never implemented and would have been good then and with recent enthusiasm for the healthcare and wellness benefits from walking and cycling would be great today.  As Mayor, this project will be taken off of the shelf, dusted off and updated. 

Our city has an Infrastructure Deficit and my goal is to get that backlog of projects from planning to construction.  We can incorporate the needs of pedestrians and cyclists when we build these projects and I will seek to work with community partners and other governmental bodies that make funds available for these types of projects.  With Louisiana’s national rankings for obesity, access to park space and mobility options, we ought to be poised for success in garnering these grants. By working with community partners in healthcare and other industries we can leverage their access to local funding to better compete for the national dollars that are available while offering these local companies the opportunity to sponsor an important resource for our citizens.

To be a true progressive city and move Shreveport forward, we must develop projects and have events that offer alternatives to our citizens.  Progress means working together for one goal and what is right for Shreveport.  A commitment to these types of projects will also assist us in economic development efforts as we work to recruit companies and employers from other parts of the country.  As Mayor, I will work with all groups to do what is right and build our economic status as a competitive City.
Victoria Provenza:
Yes, being that a sustainable and prosperous 21st Century city is the center stone of my platform I have already addressed this issue publically via the numerous forums and published questionnaires on various sites throughout the Internet. In the event you missed any of my walkable and bikable city talks, I suggest you visit my website at victoriaprovenza.com for more detailed information.

1 comment:

Narasiman Ramachandran said...

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Prototyping Shreveport