Livable Streets Workshop
The Livable Streets Workshop on March 29, 2011 had a full house.
Participants came from Shelby County, Clark County, Memphis, Unionville, and Kirksville. They were from city and county government, elected officials and candidates, Department of Natural Resources, ATSU and Truman faculty, staff and students, Kirksville Permaculture, and the Rot Riders, to mention a few.
Kirksville Public Works Director John Buckwalter gave us a history of bike/ped infrastructure and advocacy in Kirksville. The few existing trails in town came in 1998, but the other rail-trail plans were dropped in 2007. Bike lanes and sidewalk projects have trickled in over the past decade. John is researching the feasibility of a Complete Streets policy which the city hopes to have in place by 2013.
Dan Martin and Royce Kallerud explained the Forest Lake Area Trail System (FLATS) project, which was recently funded for Phase 1. Ultimately FLATS will connect downtown Kirksville to Thousand Hills State Park.
Trevor Harris from MU Extension gave us some background on Livable Streets and the MU Extension project that brought this workshop to Kirksville.
The main feature of the workshop was advocacy training with PedNet consultant Robert Johnson. I'll summarize the main points: Prioritize stakeholders as potential advocates. Ask them what they think Livable Streets is. You can make minor corrections to their answer. Ask the question, if they decided to walk or bike to work or school, how would they feel about route and safety?
When speaking with city and county officials, there are no partisan politics to worry about, but when speaking to state and federal representatives, it's important to emphasize that Livable Streets is a bipartisan issue. Democrats and Republicans both have good reasons to support Livable Streets. We finished the advocacy training with role-playing the parts of advocates speaking to stakeholders and elected officials.
The Walking School Bus is a popular program, and it generated a lot of interest in the room. PedNet runs the largest Walking School Bus program in the nation with 435 students enrolled! The strong interest moved this program to the top of my list. I want to get it started in Kirksville and then help these other communities who were at the workshop start their own program.
We closed with supper and a question & answer session, where I explained more about KA-Motion. The last activity was the Open House. I was very pleased to see our MoDOT engineer at this.
I haven't learned how to put photos on the website that don't have half the image cut off, so I uploaded them here.
The Kirksville Daily Express was at the workshop.