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Missing Middle Housing
 
If you read our newsletters or watch our Facebook Page you see that we have a Missing Middle Housing Campaign.  We want to make sure that you know why this is an important new priority for Mode Shift Omaha.
 
Background:  
Achieving environmental sustainability, economic prosperity and an equitable society means rethinking America's late 20th century car-centric urban design.  Two primary methods exist to attack this problem, (1) investment in public transit, bicycling and pedestrian infrastructure and (2) changes to land use policy that create the conditions necessary for successful transit, bikeability, walkability and affordability (collectively referred to as "urbanist priorities").  These policy changes must allow for sufficient concentrations of people, a mix of uses within short distances, and a diverse building stock of varying ages.  Transit investment and smart land use policy changes are mutually beneficial, with success in one creating momentum for the other and vice versa.  Focusing on only one limits the potential of the other, and the city as a whole. Omaha has significant room for improvement in both areas.

By adding land use policy to our priority list - Mode Shift is taking a holistic approach to  achieving our mission.

What is Missing Middle Housing?
This stock of housing is generally defined as residential buildings varying in density from duplex to pedestrian scale multiplexes (stacked flats).  The prototypical missing middle housing stock is the "attached townhouse."  This scale of housing fits well into existing residential neighborhoods and provides the required concentrations of people and activity to achieve urbanist prioritities.
Doesn't it already exist in Omaha?
It does - but it's rare.  Single Family Detached housing is the dominant building form in our urban core (roughly east of 680).  It accounts for over 60% of the housing stock (and is one of the highest concentrations in the country).  A 2014 Heartland 2050 Vision Report shows that people in our region would like our housing mix to be 29% Large Lot Single-Family  (instead of the 69% it  was in 2014), 36% Small Lot Single Family (vs 3%), 11% townhome (vs 4%)  and 24% multi-family (vs 22%).  

What do we need to do to get Missing Middle Housing?
We need to propose some amendments to the zoning codes in infill residential areas.  This can be accomplished through fairly simple and concise administrative changes to the zoning code language.  This campaign will develop a full set of suggested zoning code amendments in collaboration with expert partners and the city, as the campaign progresses.  The changes proposed are administrative, will not require a single dollar of public funds and appeal across partisan lines and diverse demographics.

If interested in learning more about Missing Middle Housing you can email will@modeshiftomaha.org, follow the Omaha Missing Middle Housing Campaign on Facebook and attend their monthly meetings on the 1st Tuesday of every month.
Volunteer Opportunity
Omaha 2019 Pedestrian, Bicycle, and Scooter Count

 
The City of Omaha is conducting its fourth bicycle & pedestrian (and now also scooter) count to gauge the level of active transportation activity in the city, and they need our help.  This type of information is valuable in directing future investments in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.   They need volunteers to stand or sit at selected locations for 2-hour shifts and count people on bikes and scooters, as well as pedestrians.  The study area will include a wide swath of land between 72nd Street and the Missouri River.  See the attached Sign Up Genius form for information on dates, times and locations  Volunteers will be emailed count instruction materials and a map showing their specific count site after signing up.

https://m.signupgenius.com/#!/showSignUp/8050f4ba8ad2fa0f58-city
Thank you to all who came to our Annual Member Celebration at Omaha Bicycle Company.  It was a fantastic night of food, E-bikes, walking tours, and celebration.  Thanks to Sarah Johnson for letting us use Omaha Bicycle Company during her final week operating it - and letting us show our appreciation for all she means to us and what she has done for advancing multi-modal transportation in Omaha.  Much appreciation also goes to Ben at Heartland BCycle for partnering with us and letting us test e-bikes.  The membership table was busy with many joining Mode Shift for the first time - and many renewing their memberships.  We are so happy to have you as part of the community.  It's not too late to join or renew - click the button below!
Become a member today!
Last Month's Recap
Jason Rose of Metro Transit led a fantastic discussion at our August Coffee Chat at Archetype Coffee in Little Bohemia.  We heard from many different community members about the need and desire for more transit - especially for those outside of the urban core and for those with visual or health impairments.
The Biking Team provided another fantastic Bike Valet service at MAHA Music Festival and parked more than 100 bikes!   They were joined by members of the Missing Middle Housing Campaign and the Walkability Team, who shared their campaigns and petitions with interested bike valet patrons.

Upcoming Mode Shift Events!

  • Mayor’s Active Living Advisory Committee - (Third Wednesdays) September 18, 3 p.m. at City Hall (1819 Farnam Street).
  • Walkability Team Meeting - (Third Wednesdays) September 18, 6:30 p.m. at UNO CEC Room 221 - Learn more.
  • Coffee Chat - Friday, September 20, 8-9:00 a.m. at Hardy Coffee at the Highlander (2112 N 30th Street).   Stephen Osberg, Director of Transportation Development for the Omaha Chamber of Commerce is our speaker.  We will discuss the ConnectGO survey and study.  See our FB Events page for more information.
  • Monthly Member Meeting - You don't have to be a member to attend! (Fourth Wednesdays) September 25th, 7-8:30 p.m. at UNO's Community Engagement Center  - Visit our FB events page for more details.
  • Metro Transit Monthly Board Meeting - Thursday, August 29, 8:30 a.m. at 2222 Cuming Street.  
  • Missing Middle Housing Campaign - (First Tuesdays) October 1, 5:30 p.m. at the Rail and Commerce Building, 950 S 10th Street, Suite 008.  See our FB Events page for more details.

Missed a few newsletters? Find out what we’ve been up to here.

Copyright © 2019 Mode Shift Omaha, Inc., All rights reserved.