First of all, in case you missed it, check out the video:
Transportation Master Plan Public Meeting Video
It felt like the most important group ride I had ever led. No offense to my weekly Saturday Ladies Riders, but on Thursday night the group of several concerned citizens that rode from Downtown Omaha to this big public meeting really made me feel proud to be an Omahan. Now this may sound like a bit more emotion than I usually put into my posts, but for some reason I really was moved by the turnout (for both the ride and then later the meeting itself) and then sense of purpose that was felt throughout the group. We even closed the shop early to give all of us the opportunity to attend; I'm glad we did.
As we pedaled by Greenstreet and then past the parking lot just to the west, we even turned down a FREE BEER offered to us by some Nighthawk tailgaters. "Free beer for any cyclists!" was happily screamed at our group as we pedaled by. That should give you a pretty good idea of the severity of our mission. We continued up the Benson route to connect with another group that we'd arranged to meet at Metcalfe Park. There were about 6 more cyclists there that we tacked on to the back of our citizen train and we continued south-bound along Happy Hollow across Dodge, and through Elmwood to UNO's Scott Conference Center.
We rolled up with our group of about 20 cyclists and wheeled our bikes right inside, where indoor parking was available for us. As we all signed in and found tables to sit at, it started to set in: this is an important night. Many different groups worked pretty hard to get attendance up for this night and I'm happy to report, the turnout definitely exceeded expectations. Mode Shift Omaha, Omaha Bikes, Omaha's Planning Department, and many others were an integral part of making the night what it was. So a big thanks is in order to all of you.
I could go on and on about all of the comments and conversations that were had that night, but two things in particular made me smile: 1) "I'm here because of you, Sarah" and 2) "I didn't know Omaha had this many cyclists!" Good stuff.
One more link to KETV's coverage of the event: here!
Over and out for now...time to close down the shop and enjoy an IPA.