Monday, September 7, 2009

High Speed Rail through Shreveport?

A friend of mine forwarded me a link of a map showing the plan for a national high speed rail network going through Shreveport. I said it be wonderful and that I'll now start fantasizing about it. He said:

It would be amazing if the HSR came through Shreveport and the station was downtown (that would be a natural match for downtown redevelopment).... The ultimate hijack would be for the station to be located near CenturyTel or somewhere in south Shreveport... or some other outer reaches... or even over in Bossier...

But, you speak of fantasy... so I am going to send the link that led me to the HSR site... I cannot completely buy into the New Urbanism idea but I do like some aspects of it... If you remember the british tv series, The Prisioner, from the 60's (with reruns in the 90's) there is just something unsettling (maybe creepy) about some of these developments... i.e. - a place called Provenance... where New Urbanism has been applied to create an island in suburbia...

Anyway, here is how I got to that site... Critique of Chicago's "Glenview" development...

Thanks friend!

Monday, February 25, 2008

A map of Tim Wachtel's proposed trails

Here's a map of the trails proposed by Tim Wachtel, whose proposal is in the following post.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Proposal from Tim Wachtel

Tim Wachtel, a planner at SPAR, has written a draft (below) of a proposed plan that would give Shreveport more bike paths. Keep in mind, this is just a DRAFT, and draft of a PROPOSAL, at that. In my mind, that means at least three things:

Because it's a proposal, it won't necessarily be adopted.

But because it's a draft, any part of it could change.

And because it's a city proposal, we can help make it even better.

Still, it's heartening just to see plans like these, and know there are city staff striving to improve our community.

Thank you Tim! Both for working on this draft, and for letting us have access to it. There are so many of us in our community who care about this.



Shreveport Public Assembly & Recreation

* Draft December, 2007 *

Please reference the “Proposed Recreational Trail” Map


Go to a park or school within __ miles (1, 2?) of your house and get on a Recreational Trail for a __ (3-4?) mile walk/run/bike/skate with __ (2?) or less arterial roadway crossings. (January 2008)

What is a Recreational Trail?

Our definition of a “Recreational Trail” is a multi-use trail, primarily for walking, running, cycling, skating and other non-motorized uses, with minimal cross flow by motor vehicles. It is separated from vehicular traffic, sometimes in its own right-of-way, sometimes in a street right-of-way some distance from the curb or atop a levee. Generally, the paved trail would be eight to ten feet wide in a thirty to fifty foot wide trail right-of-way. Benches, drinking fountains, overlooks, way-finding signs, landscaping and other features are part of the trail facilities. Other kinds of “trails” such as sidewalks and bicycle lanes may be needed for short segments to provide trail continuity in certain complex areas.

Recreational Trails should be considered complementary to a non-vehicular transportation system because they can have non-recreational uses. They may provide a key link in a city-wide bicycle transportation plan, for example, but there may also be a need for parallel on-street bicycle facilities that are more convenient and efficient for commuting.

Other Kinds of “Trails”

* Fitness Trail: A loop trail inside a park or other site used primarily for low-impact walking or jogging. Recreation trails should be connected to these facilities where practical.

* Nature Trail & Mountain Bike Trail: These are generally minimally improved trails through natural areas. The surfacing is generally not all-weather and may not be ADA accessible.

* Bicycle Lane, Bicycle Route, etc.: “Trails” incorporated into the street/highway network for use by cyclists for a wide range of purposes such as commuting, shopping, and recreation. Recreation trails can be used as a part of this network, but recreation trails may be inappropriate for some bicycle uses due to the presence of slow-moving pedestrians, and the trail alignment may not accommodate commuter and touring bicycle speeds.

Paul Lynch Park Trail

Route: From a new parking area near Martin Luther King Drive along McCain Creek, under the I-220 bridge to the lake in the park parcel on the south side of I-220.

Approximate Length: 0.75 miles

Features: Fishing pier at lake

Other: Connects park parcels, provides some access to south parcel

Acquisition Issues: Park is City property, require State approval of access under I-220 bridge.

Cross & 12-Mile Bayou Trail

Route: Along the south bank of Cross Bayou from the Clyde Fant Parkway, under Spring and Market Streets, to the area of the Shreveport Convention Center, then along Cross Bayou and 12-Mile Bayou to Paul Lynch Park

Approximate Length: 3.67 miles

Features: Historic shipyard property, McNeil Street Pump Station

Other: Final planning contingent on other Cross Bayou area planning efforts. Part of this trail may be a “water trail” for use by boats.

Acquisition Issues: Some property is owned by the City and there may be significant acquisition needs as well as state and federal approval & coordination.

Allendale Trail

Route: Along a drainage corridor from the north side of Lakeside Park and Booker T. Washington High school, southeast to C.C. Antoine Park, and south to Andrew Currie Park.

Approximate Length: 1.15 miles

Features: Lakeside Park, Booker T. Washington High School, C.C. Antoine Park and Andrew Currie Park.

Other: Preliminary proposal from the AllendaleONE Plan

Acquisition Issues: Anticipate need for extensive and perhaps complicated property acquisitions.

Bickham Bayou Trail

Route: Along Bickham Bayou from Bill Cockrell Park to Lakeshore Drive then west to Ford Park.

Approximate Length: 2.0 miles

Features: Bill Cockrell Park, Bickham Bayou oxidation ponds, Ford Park

Other: Grading and impoundment re-design at Bill Cockrell Park & Bickham Bayou oxidation ponds to create fishing areas.

Acquisition Issues: Anticipate need for extensive and perhaps complicated property acquisitions.

Bayou Pierre Trail

Route: Along Fern Avenue/Bayou Pierre north from 70th Street to Pierremont Road, and along Fern Avenue north to the existing Bayou Pierre Trail at Ockley Street.

Approximate Length: 1.6 miles

Features: Connects existing trails to the north and south.

Acquisition Issues: Minor, trail expected to be located in existing right-of-ways.

East Kings Highway Trail

Route: From LSUS along East Kings Highway north to Preston Street and east to the existing trail on the Clyde Fant Parkway.

Approximate Length: 5.1 miles

Features: LSUS, East Kings Highway Park, Clyde Fant Parkway

Other: The exact routing of this trail is undetermined, but opportunities exist along the East Kings Highway right-of-way and several levees and drainage ditches. In some areas it may be no more than narrow bike lane adjacent to the street, in others it may be wider and separated from the street. The primary purpose is to connect LSUS to the Parkway trail.

Acquisition Issues: Coordination with existing right-of-ways and Levee Board may minimize acquisition.

Red River Trail Extension

Route: South from the southern end of the Red River Trail to C. Bickham Dickson Park.

Approximate Length: 1.75 miles

Features: Existing Red River Trail, C. Bickham Dickson Park, Red River fishing.

Other: This may be developed in conjunction with a new vehicular access (park drive or Parkway extension) from the Clyde Fant Parkway to C. Bickham Dickson Park, allowing the closure of the problematic entrance from Bert Kouns. Trail design and routing may be coordinated with private development plans.

Acquisition Issues: Anticipate need for extensive and perhaps complicated property acquisitions.

Brush Bayou Trail

Route: From Lambert Park north along the right-of-way of Brush Bayou to 70th street, with connector trails to Southern Hills Park (along a drainage easement) and Wildwood Park (along Airport Ditch).

Approximate Length: 5.67 miles

Features: Linking Southern Hills Park, Wildwood Park and Woodlawn High School.

Other: Lambert Park oxidation ponds can be developed into wetlands/fishing areas at the south terminus, the trail could be extended north to Hollywood Avenue along Canal Boulevard.

Acquisition Issues: Minor, trail is expected to be within existing right-of-ways. Some State coordination will be required to cross some roadways.

Other Trail Facilities

Other trail and path facilities are recommended to connect the Recreational Trails to an integrated non-motorized transportation system. The other trail facilities are conceived to be a mix of local and state shared roadways, bicycle lanes, sidewalks and other appropriate facilities for safe and efficient bicycle and pedestrian travel. This type of planning is not within the scope of this proposal, but should be undertaken by local, state and federal officials with considerable input from citizens.

Goals by Others??:

* Establishing a bikeway within a half-mile of every resident. [Reference: Chicago’s Bike 2015 Plan:]

* Bikeways to priority destinations, including schools, universities and transit stations. [Reference: Chicago’s Bike 2015 Plan:]

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A task for this blog...

One nice thing to have here would be pictures and descriptions of the various kinds of alternative modes of transportation there are.

The self-propelled kind might be most important to show. After all, most of us aren't getting the exercise we want, and we also tend to live within five miles of work.

Some of the forms I'm thinking of are recumbent bicycles, spring stilts (or whatever they're called--remember that ad when everyone in an outdoor urban setting of the future when all sorts of business dressed, upscale types are standing, walking and jogging by on them?), roller blades, skateboards, waveboards (especially), and there's another contraption I've seen that looks like almost like mobile eliptical trainer where you use a free-style cross-country skiing technique to move about as fast a slow bike (some guy did it across country to promote it).

Walking School Buses, Meetings, Classes, etc.

I learned about the "walking school bus" concept from an article I stumbled over while researching bike commuting for a paper at gave at an Anthropology conference. I've been walking my kids to school ever since that, and a couple times a week two other kids join us. I didn't expect it be, but it's really my favorite part of my day.

Could it be extended to walking meetings among office colleagues? Or classes of students? Tough to take notes while walking, but I give a campus tour every time I teach Urban Sociology, and we pause do for note-taking.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Using Our Experiences to Help Decision-Makers Increase Transportation Options

Whatever your experiences are--say you're an experienced road-biker, bike-commuter, mountain-biker, skateboarder, rollerblader, or pogostick user, or whatever the case may be--they can be the basis for key contributions.

For example, city leaders need experienced Shreveport walkers to tell them what the problems and prospects are for making the city more walkable. Those leaders want a healthier and happier city, research shows a link between walking and those things, so they'd want to know how it can happen.