Caddo Anticipates Diverse Transportation Plan

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Bicycle-Pedestrian Friendly Sidewalks
Bicycle-Pedestrian Friendly Sidewalks

by Marion Marks

The use of local funding to initiate a codified “Transportation Vision” for Caddo Parish seems to now be nearing approval. This vision required joint action by “Northwest Louisiana Council of Governments (NLCOG), the Metropolitan Planning Commission (MPC), the City of Shreveport, the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (LA DOTD), Caddo Parish Commission and other government entities.”

I became aware of this work when I filmed the Bicycle Forum last October [Draft plan] along with following actions of the various agencies mentioned above that was related to the ongoing plans. As I recently followed public emails that indicated this program may actually become a reality, I am finding that some of the money spent to educate public officials and staff was money well-spent!

From one email: “The reason the Caddo Parish/Shreveport Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan was submitted to the federal government is because we recognized that what U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx outlined in his Transportation Vision was becoming and has ultimately become fact.”

Bicycle on BusIn 2015 the Caddo Parish Commission and The City of Shreveport actively participated in assemblage of The Caddo Parish/Shreveport Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. In this cooperative endeavor we were successful in being able to include the Caddo Parish/Shreveport Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan with our ten year transportation study that was submitted to the Federal Government earlier this year, 2016.

The reason the Caddo Parish/Shreveport Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan was submitted to the federal government is because we recognized that what U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx outlined in his Transportation Vision was becoming and has ultimately become fact. Please watch Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx speech from 2014.  Transportation Secretary Foxx request in his 2014 speech became fact in December of 2015.

By your local government being prepared and submitting The Caddo Parish/Shreveport Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan to the Federal Government, we as a community are now able to apply for federal dollars for the implementation of the Caddo Parish/Shreveport Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan. With work-force mobility being a major factor in corporations making the choice to move into our community we knew the Caddo Parish/Shreveport Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan was the base to create that incentive. Currently the Caddo Parish/Shreveport Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan is moving towards being introduced for local adoption. With the potential for all of our local government bodies adopting The Caddo Parish/Shreveport Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan in the near future, questions will be asked.

It is for this reason we all need to “be our community’s advocate” so that the Caddo Parish/Shreveport Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan actually becomes a reality. We all succeed together or fail by working against each other.

Following the work of these agencies, Caddo Administrator Dr. Woody Wilson, Commission President Matthew Linn, Chris Petro (NLCOG), Stephen Pederson(private advocate), Bud Melton(Special Projects Manager for Bowman-Melton and Associates), Ila Broyles(private advocate), JD Allen(Alliance Transportation Group), Kent Rogers(NLCOG) and many others at various government levels, This plan is now before the Department of Transportation in proper format for approval.

Bicycle-Pedestrian Friendly Paths
Bicycle-Pedestrian Friendly Paths

The Caddo Parish/Shreveport Bicycle and Pedestrian Master Plan Page is about to reactivate on Facebook for public input and questions. Active participation in moving Caddo’s pedestrian-friendly multi-modal plan forward will make our community equally accessible to non-auto citizens. Communities that promote this greener approach have a more diverse and successful population.

*The following documents are also worth review:

Memo to Economic Development Committee –This memo outlines gives a brief summary of the Caddo Parish Bicycle Plan and the implementation opportunity available through Surface Transportation Block Grant (STGB) program formally known as Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) that is administered through the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (LaDOTD).

Summary of 2015 Caddo Parish Bicycle Plan by Bud Melton, Special Projects Manager for HALFF Associates. This document also described the Caddo Parish Bicycle Plan and the grant opportunity but goes into more detail in regard to potential projects that may be included in the grant.

New Economic Development Model – This document describes a new model for economic development that Smart Growth America released in June 2016 in a report entitled Six Cities Utilizing a New Model for Economic Growth.

Bike Investment Facts – This document outlines facts obtained from a number of sources that documents the benefits of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

Copy of Caddo Parish Bicycle Plan Presentation– This presentation is a summary of the Caddo Parish Bike Plan – Presented for funding.

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