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February 27, 2019

Great cities have great parks. Beginning next week, you will see the first steps of the riverfront revitalization that will create three extraordinary parks that will transform downtown Omaha.

I want to share information about the initial work and provide resources for continued communications as construction progresses over the next two years. Thank you to the Downtown Improvement District for helping us with the distribution of this letter.

On Thursday, we will have a ceremonial groundbreaking to officially begin this $300 million dollar project. Thank you to the leadership of the Downtown Riverfront Trust and its donors for making this incredible opportunity possible.

On Tuesday, March 5, you will see the first visible work around the Gene Leahy Mall.

Parking meters on the north and south sides of the Mall will be removed. On Douglas Street, the meters from 10th Street to 14th Street will be removed. On Farnam, the meters between 13th and 14th will be removed. 

Sidewalks will be closed at these locations. Other sidewalks around the mall will be closed intermittently as construction warrants. The sidewalk on 14th Street between Farnam and Douglas will remain open at this time and parking on 14th will be available. 

The parking lane and one driving lane on Douglas will be closed during construction; the other three lanes will remain open.

Removal of trees in and surrounding the Gene Leahy Mall will begin Wednesday,  weather permitting. Many of the existing trees are declining and cannot be saved.  The tree canopy in the mall will be replaced tree for tree. The new trees will be at least 15-20 feet tall when they are planted.

A safety fence will be installed around the entire mall to provide a secure area for pedestrians, construction workers and everyone who lives, works and travels through this part of downtown Omaha.  The mall will be closed, including access to the slides.

The popular Food Truck Thursdays event has already moved from the Mall to Dodge Street from 14th-15th. In the spring, food trucks will also park on 14th Street from Capitol to Dodge.

The public art currently displayed in the mall will be moved to new Omaha park locations.  The Public Art Commission has assisted with the relocation decisions and we thank the commission members for their input.

By May, demolition and grading will be underway.

The Metropolitan Entertainment and Convention Authority (MECA) will oversee the construction project.

We will communicate updates to the schedule and notice of road closings and traffic changes.  A has been developed to provide information about the project design, financing and public input. You will also find updates on my website,

Throughout the construction period, you can send questions by email to, the Mayor’s Hotline, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or you can contact MECA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We are creating a new future for our city. The parks will be a destination for our citizens and visitors. We will attract new talent, new convention business, and new events.

This is an exciting time for Omaha!



November 1, 2017

Omaha, NE – What’s a Warple?

Warple Inc. is an Omaha-based technology startup providing live, real-time, always current views of what people think. Warple is also a product, which gives everyone a voice and provides a way to see how their opinion compares to the collective public opinion.

Mayor Jean Stothert will partner with Warple to provide another opportunity for community engagement to measure opinion on issues of current public interest.

The first five-part Warple is now on the Mayor’s website,, and Twitter @jean_stothert. It measures support for current and future solid waste collection.

• I support Oma-Gro composting

• I would recycle more with a covered container

• I know about and/or use the recycle drop-off locations

• I am satisfied with the services provided by Omaha’s solid waste contractor

• I would like yard waste collected separately from trash/solid waste

“This is a topic that affects everyone,” said Mayor Jean Stothert. “We have been gathering public opinion for more than a year through telephone surveys, a pilot program, open houses, and the Mayor’s Hotline. Warple is one more way citizens can provide feedback on this important topic.”

The city is currently developing a Request for Bids (RFB) for the next solid waste contract. The current contract with Waste Management expires in 2020.

"Warple measures public opinion today and monitors changes over time. We can reach large audiences quickly and provide valuable information to Mayor Stothert and her team," said Warple Founder and CEO Jeff Cahill. "We all want our opinions to matter. Warple makes it easy to get involved in decisions that affect our city."

About Warple, Inc. - Founded in Omaha, NE in 2016 Warple, Inc. ( is a private company committed to providing new ways to engage communities and bring big data analytics to the individual. Warple's technology is effortlessly embedded into existing platforms and websites to engage the community where they are. Warple is committed to social change & empowerment through the democratization of information. Warple is disrupting the polling and survey industry by providing live, real-time, always current views of what people think - at a fraction of traditional costs.

Below are previous Warples that you may want to visit.






Purpose: To allow for an opportunity for members of Omaha's Native American community to provide input to the Mayor and City leadership about issues impacting the community.


Ruttena Alcantara

 Larry Bradley

Jason Brodersen

Grace Johnson

Cindy Krafka

Lucas LaRose

Frank LaMere

Echohawk Lefthand

Rudi Mitchell

John Pappan

Nicky Tamayo

Levelle Wells


The committee members represent eight Native American tribes; Apache, Cherokee, Cheyenne, Lakota, Navajo, Omaha, Ogallala Sioux and Winnebago.


Executive Order


A subcommittee of the Mayor's Active Living Advisory Committee (ALAC)

Summary: Pursuant to Mayor Stothert's commitment for Omaha to become a Vision Zero city, ALAC has assembled this subcommittee, Vision Zero Omaha Task Force, to draft and create a Vision Zero implementation plan that can be approved by ALAC for recommendation to the Mayor in early to mid-2019. This task force is composed of the following persons (with additional members to be added by the Mayor as needed) and is charged with the following directives.



Tom Everson- Chair - Keep Kids Alive Drive 25/Active Living Advisory Committee Member

Andy Wessel - Douglas County Health Department/Active Living Advisory Committee Member

Pell Duval - Active Living Advisory Committee Member

Eric Koeppe - National Safety Council - Nebraska

Mike Helgerson - Metropolitan Area Planning Agency

Rob Reynolds - Safer Teen Driving 

Lt. John Sokolik - Omaha Police Department

Asst. Chief Kathy Bossman - Omaha Fire Department

Derek Miller - City of Omaha Planning Department

Nick Gordon - City of Omaha Public Works Department

Ryan Weisen - City of Omaha Law Department

Steve Scarpello-Omaha City Council Staff Assistant

Carrie Murphy - Mayor's Office



This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


1. Compile and analyze crash/safety data to identify safety priorities

2. Identify ongoing efforts and opportunities for coordination

3. Develop strategies and action items for addressing identified safety priorities

4. Provide recommendations on implementing strategies and action items beyond the life of the task force. 





Intro and Directives

  1. Welcome and review of public safety goals (Carrie) 10min
  1. Task force members introductions (by individual) 15-20 min
  1. Overview and Directives for Vision Zero (Tom/Pell) 15-20 min
  1. Review of current activities and possible additional members

(Tom/Group) 25 min

  1. i. City Council Member (Public Safety Committee member)
  2. ii. Nebraska Legislature
  1. Set regular meeting time/agenda for next meeting



Andy Wessel-absent

Sgt. Jason Menning representing Lt. John Sokolik



Eric Koeppe-National Safety Council-Nebraska

Safety on the road is a major part of the National Safety Council business, extremely important to our organization. Priorities: seat belt safety, distracted driving, opioid abuse

Rob Reynolds-CAR Alliance for Safer Teen Driving

Roadway driving is my passion. Rob has spoken to over 30,000 teens and adults about the responsibility of driving. There is no difference to me between distracted driving and drinking and driving, this is a social issue, it’s about addiction, responsibility.  Has talked to unicameral 4 times.

Kathy Bossman-Assistant Chief, Omaha Fire Department

Has been on the fire department for 21 years, sees the consequences on our community, families affected

Sgt. Jason Menning, OPD Traffic Unit

Has worked most fatal crashes in the city over last 6 years

Involved with Project Nightlife-federally funded grant—9 years—goal is to reduce the number of fatal crashes, especially teens, to zero

Pell Duvall

I coach people through change—this work is facilitating a cultural change

Mike Helgerson-Metropolitan Area Planning Agency

As a teenager, I lost two classmates in a fatal crash

Nick Gordon-City of Omaha, Public Works

Traffic Engineering Division, works with city data

Ryan Wiesen – City Law Department Assistant City Attorney

Derek Miller- City of Omaha, Long Range Planning Manager

Tom Everson-Keep Kids Alive Drive 25

1998-founded KKAD25 started as an educational resource

One of the tenets of the Vision Zero Task Force is that it is data driven.  We will look at the “why” so we can put together a response plan. Will look at other cities along the way, we may be able to borrow ideas from other cities



Distributed handout: What is Vision Zero?

9 components of a strong Vision Zero commitment

We are creating a culture that believes in this work and treats “disease” systemically

We want to set clear goals

Review of Directives Established by the Active Living Advisory Committee

  • Compile and analyze crash/safety data to identify safety priorities
  • Identify ongoing efforts and opportunities for coordination
  • Develop strategies and action items for addressing identified safety priorities
  • Provide recommendations on implementing strategies and action items beyond the life of the task force

Recommended reading: “TRAFFIC” by Tom Vanderbilt, very readable, might be a good compliment to what we do

Will send a list of reading resources to all members

Vision Zero Equity Strategies-Tom recommends reading it



Eric Koeppe:

One of the National Safety Council Nebraska initiatives is teaching people to drive defensively

Training an average of 10,000 people how to be safe on the road, a major commitment to education

1,000 teen driver instructions each year

Need for continuing education on how to be a better driver

Drivers’ education as teenagers is the last continuing education we will ever have for the most dangerous thing we do every day

90% of people who take the class think they will be a better driver from it

Raising money for a good distracted driving campaign, the goal of $225,000, just hit $100,000

Rob Reynolds:

I tell kids and adults that car technology is enabling a problem, not making driving safer

Two key advertising opportunities: radio and movie theatre advertising PSAs

Eric Koeppe:


The sad thing about data in Nebraska - we don’t do a good job collecting traffic collision data

State task force to try to improve the reporting

Nationally we don’t do a good job collecting data on distracted driving

Inability to move anything through state legislature—deal with it locally if can’t get through the state legislature

Can Omaha-Douglas County adopt a primary enforcement of distracted driving without the state doing it??  same with seat belts? 

Mike Helgerson:

It’s a matter of prioritization at the state level

Might be an opportunity to speak to that prioritization and show the need for better data

Sgt. Menning:

OPD has a lot of data

44 fatal crashes last year

  18- no seat belts, 15-alcohol, 2 were triple fatal, 2 had cocaine in bodies.

This year, we are also capturing code 3’s for data collection—critical injury crashes

Crash reporting—state reports must list a primary cause of crashes

Past 2 years—OPD has data (last year 6 pedestrians were killed, several highly intoxicated)

Other Vision Zero cities are partnering with health departments—opportunity with county/city

Stephen Osberg—

Explained city planning/public works addressing street safety design, complete streets policy, and implementation

Tom Everson:

Treynor, IA campaign- “Phones Down, Eyes Up”

KKAD25 would like its logo on trash carts throughout the city

13.5% reduction in speed in the Arizona city that did this first time

Tom sees as a piece of Vision Zero

KMTV-safer driving 12-month campaign

Tom suggested splitting up the reading list



Suggestions to add a member of the Omaha City Council to the group and someone representing AAA Nebraska.  (Steve Scarpello will represent Omaha City Council)


APRIL 11 2018 AGENDA: 

  1. Review of current resources and best practices (90 min running time)

    1. Review previous meeting minutes (group) 5 min

    2. Current initiatives and partners (group) 30 min

      1. Education

      2. Enforcement

      3. Facility design

    3. Identify present crash data sources/action items (group) 30 min

      1. Sources for existing data

      2. Comparison city VZ datasets

    4. Establish high-level goals and working groups (group) 15-20 min

    5.  Review/adjust agenda for next meeting and action items (group) 5 min


Steve Scarpello will join the task force to represent the Omaha City Council.  One of Steve’s responsibilities is to assist the Council’s Public Works Committee. 

Members absent: 

Ryan Wiesen (in court)

Lt. Sokolik (Sgt. Menning attended)

OFD Assistant Chief Bossman  (Firefighter Jon Lee attended)


March Minutes approved

Discussion about data


National Safety Council, Nebraska trains annually through education programs, all ages

STOP is the largest program, basic defensive driving course and higher level courses

1,200 teens and adults trained in drivers education: classroom and behind the wheel

The adult program averages 15-20 participants per month, larger than expected

Driving is the most dangerous thing we do, with the least amount of continuing education

8,000 participants in the STOP program come from court program—the number has dropped which  speaks to enforcement

Using website and marketing to reach more people to sign up for STOP after getting a ticket

Also, teach motorcycle education-basic and advanced courses.  The trend is fewer people taking the safety course.  Nationally, we know people who take the class are safer drivers.

Not doing bicycle training anymore-no demand


Sgt. Menning:

Speeding tickets are down nationally; many reasons

OPD has data on warning tickets as well as real tickets

Eric- There are many demands on police, traffic division responsible for traffic control at major events.

Mike-MAPA has had a bike safety program, primary strategy has been youth education the last couple years. Tried unsuccessfully to get into school curriculums, have been able to get into afterschool programs and summer school,   1-3 adult trainings each year. MAPA has some resources to continue for another year or two.  Mike has seen other entities and businesses sharing messages about distracted driving; some companies adopting policies about cell phone use

Question-Does City have a cell phone use policy?

Eric-National Safety Council has a toolkit to help create cell phone policy

Tom - KKAD25, the mission is education-focused, we work with and through other organizations. What we do is typically grassroots

Andy-sounds like we have enforcement and education data

Mike-MAPA is working on walk audits

Tom -We are not starting from scratch, there is a lot already going on, need to identify the partners out there that need to be part of this process.  Need to represent the diversity of the community

Andy-recommendations really need to be grounded in the data, then identify the priorities

Tom was contacted by a trauma surgeon, would like to be involved in a task force, when thinking about the data, need to consider other data sources beyond Public Works, law enforcement, etc

Stephen-We are trying to start from the data, reassess current initiatives to be sure they are targeting the right areas

Mike-UNO has a new endowed chair by BCBS-if looking at this as a public health problem, maybe another possible partner

Sgt. Menning distributed handouts

27 fatal crashes in 2016

306 code 3 trauma

Question to Sgt. Menning- Do you track distracted driving data? 

The city provides data to the state, the state collects, provides to federal govt. 

Rob—maps like this are highly effective, graphically showing data is important to make the case-then up to everyone

Derek-Should we look at other Vision Zero cities to see how they look at the data? Who is going to do the analysis of the data?

Nick-we do an annual crash statistics report which includes all agencies in the city limits.  We only do crashes in public right of way.


What other partners do we need?  What other data sources do we need?

Suggestion to focus on code 3 and 4 crashes

May meeting to focus on data.

What can we learn from other cities?

Mike will take lead on data presentations next month

Pell-we have met the requirements to be added to the Vision Zero cities map

How to convey recommendations and work to the public---look at LA map, features names of fatalities with maps


MAY 9 2018 AGENDA 

 Vision Zero Task Force - Meeting # 3 - Review of Current Crash Data (90 min running time)

  • Review previous meeting minutes

  • Crash Data Presentations

  1. Public works - 20 minutes

  2. Fire/EMS - 20 minutes

  3. Police - 20 minutes

  • Discussion of next steps

  • Review/adjust agenda for next meeting and action items


Absent: Eric Koeppe, Rob Reynolds

Minutes from April approved

Nick Gordon (Omaha Public Works) distributed the following data: (see attachments)

  • NDOR crash data for Omaha January-December 2016
  • City of Omaha Crash data

By Roadway type

By Lighting


By Age

Ryan Wiesen (Omaha Law Department) - only limited information is available for public disclosure—we would be very cautious about giving raw data, notes, etc to a third party

Data shows primary factor for each crash (speed for example).  It does not show other contributing causes such as on the phone, dui, etc.

Sgt. Menning (Omaha Police Department) Night-time crashes—risk factors start elevating, alcohol, unrestrained

Nick-Waiting for the state to finish revisions on 2014 data,  will be first data available in the  new format


Chief Kathy Bossman (Omaha Fire) distributed the following data: (see attachments)

  • Total Motor Vehicle Accident Dispatches
  • Transport Codes by Percentage
  • Trauma Center Transports
  • Patient Age and Gender

Data not included---seat belt usage and airbag deployment; not included because may not be most accurate, a place we can improve on

When an accident involves a person who had a medical condition that caused the crash—that death is not counted as a traffic fatality

Sgt. Jason Menning (OPD)

OPD Traffic Unit handles code 3,4, and 99 crashes, we are capturing more data than before

Now we are tracking the drugs that show up in the toxicology reports

Fentanyl problem increasing


Pell-what capacity do we have to centralize this info? Is it already there? Who has the ability to query it?  How do we interpret the data?  Who else has done it? How have they structured it?

Andy- What are the main takeaways?  How many killed, injured? Contributing factors? Location

Tom-what are the behaviors that caused the crash?  Mobile phone distraction and seat belts—underreported and always will be.

Andy-encourage state to include contributing factors?

Andy – next steps—come up with list of key data points we want and then determine if we have it

Suggestion: Make a recommendation to Mayor for a central clearinghouse for crash data

Tom--if data drove our behavior, our behavior would be different

City of Austin—Annual report on fatal crashes—has goals—when convicted of a DUI, part of fee assessment would help fund the free ride home program

Andy will work with Mike on consistent data in other cities?

JUNE 13 2018 AGENDA 

Review and Approve May Minutes
Continue Data Presentation:
-Nick Gordon and Mike Helgerson
  • What trends/focal points emerge from the data? 
  • What programs/initiatives are already in place to address these trends? Based on current data, are these effective?
Next Steps - Equity Conversation?  
Update on becoming an official Vision Zero City - Pell  - Link to Criteria for VZ Consideration
Next Meeting - Wednesday, July 11, 2018



Carrie Murphy 

Tom Everson 

Steve Scarpello 

Sgt. Jason Menning 


Call to order and welcome 

  1. 1.     Minutes distributed group for review. Will approve next meeting.

Changing order from agenda and will start with questionnaire update

  1. 2.     Vision Zero City Questionnaire Update 

Questionnaire is very detailed in multiple respects and need to gather more information collaboratively.

Eric: Good to continue to evaluate and submit later.

Action > will create working document to begin gathering answers – Action> Pell will create questionnaire document and share with group.

  1. 3.     Data Discussion – Goal is to identify driving forces and roots causes for fatal and serious injury crashes then complete upstream/downstream analysis to determine root causes.

Andy: slide compilation of common data points distributed and imagery used.

  • People killed/seriously injured per year
  • Fatality and serious injury trends
  • Collision trends
  • Fatalities and/or serious injuries by transportation mode
  • Fatality rate comparison
  • User vulnerability
  • Survival rates by speed
  • Causes of Fatalities and serious injuries
  • Location mapping

Nick: graphs and heat maps distributed with data from NDOT.

  • Traffic deaths by year trending up (trends with population increase)
  • Working to get more data on VMT vs population
  • ·Fatal crash rate increasing even with adjustment for population
  • Total number of pedestrian & motorcycle crashes higher than bicycle
  • Fatality rate in Omaha (2016) compared to other Midwestern cities is lower than most.
  • 61% of fatal crashes seat belt not used
  • Question cause and correlation with fixed object crashes (37% of fatal crashes)
  • Uncertain how ‘non-collision’ is defined – Mike: likely lost control/swerved to avoid
    • Action> Nick to follow up with NDOT about ‘non-collision’ category
    • Non -collisions examples like:overturn,rollover,fire,cargo shift,equipment failure, ran off roadway,cross center line
  • Pedestrian condition ‘not stated’ regarding fatal crashes at 30% and higher than ‘not stated’ 11% in driver conditions.
    • Action> Follow up with OPD (not present today) next meeting.
  • Road conditions not much of factor
  • Higher percentage of crashes in 25-34 age range
    • Mike: number of younger drivers lower percentage. Action> Mike to look at Douglas County number of drivers from DMV.
  • Mike: Comparing the proportion of serious crashes that involve vulnerable road user of ACS commuter data, the percentage is higher.
  • Higher percentage of crashes on city streets and not interstate
  • Can break out by VMT
  • Eric: Question crash types vs street types. Action> Nick can correlate crash types vs street types with NDOT.
  • Need to identify top factors
  • Stephen: Question if evaluating by speed limit. Nick: Would need to structure data differently. Can evaluate with street type and focus more on speed limit.
  • Heat Map Discussion
    • High fatal vehicle crash concentration area at I-80 & JFK- high speed with multiple factors including unrestrained, weather conditions, merging traffic, traffic slowdown/speedingup
    • High serious injury pedestrian crash concentration at 30th & Ames but low fatal - large amount of pedestrian traffic and the failure of these pedestrians to use the marked crosswalks, lack of fatals is due to its at an intersection
    • Question hazardous location locations of higher crash rate locations using NDOT data. Would not include local data but good starting point.

Driving forces

Increase that mistakes are survivable

o   Slower speed

o   Seat belt use

o   Being female

o   Enforcement

o   Awareness

o   Additional passengers of driving age

  • ·      Increase likelihood of fatalities & serious injuries

o   Higher speed

o   Lack of seat belt use

o   Alcohol

o   Being male

o   Distractions

  • §  Mobile phone
  • §  Additional passengers not of driving age

o   Location/Road Type

Next meeting:

Upstream/Downstream Analysis use driving forces and data to identify top 3-5 leading causes - Andy

Equity discussion -

  • ·      Not all enforcement solutions
  • ·      Gather remaining equity pieces needed in questionnaire:

       Evaluating and improving community education - what is being done? What needs to be added?

       Legislative Intervention - what State of Local laws/ordinances need to be supported/created?

       Equitable enforcement  -  

      Data collection & management - who collects? Who stores? How is it disseminated?

      Create a repository for data to be stored, analyzed

JULY 11 2018 AGENDA 

Review and Approve May & June Meeting Notes

Conversation addressing key forces for preventing and surviving crashes.

Key Forces for Preventing Crashes with Fatalities and Serious Injuries

Key Forces for Surviving Crashes without Fatalities and Serious Injuries

Guide questions for conversation:

    • Evaluating and improving community education - what is being done? What needs to be added?

    • Legislative Intervention - what State or Local laws/ordinances need to be supported/created?

    • Equitable enforcement - What does the data tell us about behaviors/violations that contribute to deaths/serious injuries - where these occur, profiles of victims and/ or person responsible for crash/incident (what should be included in these profiles)? Are certain groups within the community over-represented when it comes to incidents and enforcement?

    • Data collection & management - who collects? Who stores? How is it disseminated? Need to create a repository for data to be stored, analyzed - where would this be housed? Who coordinates? Does coordination, dissemination, and recommendations emerging from this data warrant a separate coordinating position?

Next Steps: Set agenda for August 8,



OFD Assistant Chief Kathy Bossman

Andy Wessel, Douglas County Health Department

Steve Scarpello, Omaha City Council

Kevin Carder, Omaha Planning Department


Pell Duvall and Tom Everson will attend the Vision Zero conference in Atlanta conference

May and June minutes approved



Eric: Safety Council will roll out Distracted Driving campaign, $211,000 total budget

“Distracted Driving Affected Me” September 2019 through August 2020, TV, radio, billboard, social media

Campaigns need to be ongoing and consistent

Pell: What are main points of the campaign?

Eric: Try not to focus on statistics, people pay more attention when you tell a personal story

Police- Effective when we go into high schools to tell a story, make it relevant

Rob-Campaign like this shows people are affected

Tom-Considering campaign “Where are you?” – get people to pay attention to where they are

Pell does a presentation for driving schools; starting to see the task force focusing on preventable actions

Rather than say traffic deaths are inevitable, they are preventable

Rob-Step up the personal responsibility, making a choice if you drink, speed, etc..

Eric- there are preventable actions, then things that can be mitigated-such as enforcement, road design

Rob-First responders see the consequences at scenes, another human face that is a casualty of the system

Tom-working with Treynor High School, Junior Optimist Club – we should help schools recognize the importance of their involvement

Rob-we have a new OPS Superintendent, will soon have a new District 66 superintendent too –does Cheryl Logan want to take this on?

Tell a story to prevent loss of life?

Rob - Always been an idea of mine to make schools a no cell phone zone while you’re driving.  **other school districts?

What other areas could be no-cell phone?

Rob-get businesses to adopt a no cell-phone policy for employees while driving?  U-P, National Safety Council, MAPA, Potash, Cox, MUD?  Eric-companies have been sued and held liable if employee is on work business, on cell phone, causes accident.  Coke-$22 million judgment

Derek suggested getting Chamber involved

How do we get businesses to want to have a policy?

Safety Council has a kit for employers to implement a policy

Eric-Sometimes a challenge works—challenge companies to establish the policy

Tom-what kind of city do we want to be, what kind of behaviors will help create that kind of community?

What are the basic behaviors we need to encourage behavior changes?

How to get more community involvement?

Derek-how do you change the culture? Very difficult to do.  Omaha is a car city

Eric- NE is a culture of personal freedom

Need to engage other partners in the community

Need to start developing tactics

Ryan- state statute has restrictions, seat belts, cell phones, fines

Vision Zero committee could recommend legislation to be included in the city’s legislative package

Eric-we need corporate support at the legislature on big safety bills

Will invite City of Omaha lobbyist Jack Cheloha to August meeting to review past and potential legislative actions


  1.    Review and Approve July Meeting Notes
  1.    Conversation with Jack Chehola. Lobbyist for the City of Omaha with the Unicam, about legislative opportunities - Carrie
  1.    Development of Working Groups to address key issues – Pell
  1.    Creating a map for moving forward – setting agendas for the next 6 months  - All

Next Steps: Set agenda for September 12, 2018


Absent:  Rob Reynolds, OPD

Guest:  Jack Chehola, Lobbyist, City of Omaha

  1. July Minutes - Mike H. - Motion, Eric K. - second. Unanimous approval
  2. Conversation with Jack Chehola - City of Omaha Lobbyist
    1. Legislature will convene in January, 90 days on odd years and 60 on even years
    2. Any bill will have a public hearing, earlier hearing date increase chances of passing.
    3. Bills that may be of interest
      1. LB 671 - primary enforcement of cell/seat belt - bill sat died
      2. LB 40 - school bus drivers and wireless devices - made to committee but indefinitely postponed
      3. LB 41 - Child passenger restraint primary offense - hearing but no action
      4. LB 42 - Child passenger restraint timing ages, rear-facing, etc. - out of committee 5-3 passed and approved
      5. LB 711 - occupation protection systems, all passengers wear seatbelt - not out of committee
    4. Transportation & Telecommunications Committee
      1. Rural composition
      2. No Omaha (but yes Papillion) representation
      3. Mindset to not over regulate
      4. Sen. Curt Friesen - chair
      5. Will be a new vice-chair
      6. Reviewed other members
      7. May be wise to have senator from Omaha on committee,
    5. Possible motorcycle helmet change to not required - out of committee 6-2, big debate, didn’t .
    6. Election year with 7-8 senators not returning
    7. Eric K. - some history of bills not getting a vote
    8. Primary enforcement - Carrie - Does Gov Ricketts support?  Ernie Chambers and filibuster for opposition.
    9. Could consider resolution from Council with Mayor support to for legislative change. Eric - need more than safety advocates, need business owners and chamber of commerce to bring more support.
    10. Pell - How do we create urgency?
      1. Jack - Provide connection to revenue/funding regarding primary enforcement
      2. Jack - Valuable data
      3. Jack - Secure one senator to have be priority
      4. Jack - Unite 13 Omaha senators - work early
      5. Jack -Combine with Lincoln
      6. Ryan - humanize the bill
    11. Ryan - Has Nebraska League of Municipalities taken position? - not yet
    12. Andy - Is local jurisdiction  vs state-wide legislation
      1. Ryan - needs to be specified, may have issues with state/federal hwys even if could
    13. Tom - change freedom mindset, ‘Free to do as opposed to freedom from’
    14. Jack - comparison to other states. Eric - only four states without primary enforcement. Question support from Governor - conversation regarding distracted driving/bicyclist.
    15. Jack - regarding, texting/handsfree - might be undercurrent from mobile providers
    16. Eric - ? create coalition of NE corporations regarding legislative issues.
      1. Mike H. - 30% increase in rear end crashes per Werner.
    17. Derek - Is timeline too late for next legislative session?
      1. Jack - 9-10 resolutions in October/November to support bills, recommended supporting existing bill vs approaching for new legislation
      2. Eric will check with Rose White at AAA to check if senator currently supports and if has proposal
    18. Tom - Could consider conversations with senators historically opposed to prior bills regarding primary enforcement (distracted driving, seat belt, mobile)
    19. Andy - Reach out to community health systems, community health and hospital health needs assessment.
    20. Eric - from NE Hwy Safety survey - 89% to 90% support distracted driving legislature. - Eric will send link
    21. Discussion regarding partners
      1. Trucking/Transportation - Werner, FedEx, UP
      2. Ride share - Uber/Lyft
      3. Mobile carriers
    22. Tom - Pulling all together - what should be in proposal/recommendation
      1. Decrease distracted driving
      2. Increase seatbelt usage.
    23. Andy - rec’d add discussion regarding partners and methods at next meeting
    24. Future conversations - pedestrian lead intervals
  3. Developments of Working Groups and key issues
    1. Andy - need to create public facing place for data
    2. Groups - need to establish priorities and work to draft recommendation
    3. Mike/Andy to convene group - data and key forces, what do we need to do to draft our recommendation
  4. Creating a map for moving forward - setting agenda for the next 6 months


1. Review and Approve August 8th Meeting Notes

2. Presentation/Discussion of Vision Zero Draft Narrative-Andy

3. Development of Working Groups to address key issues – Pell

4. Creating a map for moving forward – setting agendas for the next 6 months - All

Next Steps: Set agenda for October 10, 2018 


Members absent:  Police, Fire, Pell Duvall

Tom reported on the Road to Zero Meeting in Atlanta.

  • Inordinate focus on enforcement as a solution without much attention to engineering and educational options
  • Idaho campaign focused on “engaged driving” instead of a focus on distraction. What does engaged driving look like?
  • series of public service announcements to focus on what engaged driving looks like—tom suggested something to consider—what is it we are being invited to do?
  • Kansas State Trooper is using Twitter to engage high school kids to promote safe driving behaviors. Most of his tweets have nothing to do with traffic safety, instead focused on things going on in lives of young people. Who in Nebraska has the social media influence to get the message out?
  • Met families who have influenced legislation around drunk driving in North Dakota as a result of the deaths of family members to impaired driving - lottos passion in these families to make a positive difference so that this does not happen to other families

Tom spoke at MAPA meeting about Vision Zero

Impaired driving as significant cause of crashes-trend continues nationally – there is still a segment of the population that educational campaigns will not reach-and these are the impaired drivers—highest risk to self and community-oblivious to the messages – recognize our final recommendations  need to go beyond education or compliments education in a unique way

Rob-how can you be most effective with the laws you have?

impairment vs. drunk driving—one is a crime, one is considered an accident

share the data Rob provided

Iowa has a texting ban—enforced

No phone zone, could it be effective at schools? Would school districts consider?

Andy-data narrative draft presentation (assisted by Nick, Mike, Kevin and Tom)

Who is the audience? The Vision Zero committee and Mayor Stothert

Ryan recommended an explanation/disclaimer of the source of information and how costs were determined

**chart about comparison of fatal traffic crashes to homicides

trendline increasing for overall crashes

suggestions- add "end of report" summary

how to proceed with recommendations

development of action plans – need actionable items to recommend

Are we investing enough resources in traffic enforcement division?

Use Warple  for public input

Talk to Mayor, Jack Cheloha and Steve Scarpello about legislative agenda


  1. What areas need further research (for example, impaired driving, motorcycle crashes, etc.) in order to make specific recommendations to the Mayor?
  2. What opportunities exist to build on past and present efforts/successes to address the key learning from the data? (This includes researching best practices from other Vision Zero initiatives - partnerships with open communication and transparency, behavioral/cultural changes, interventions through enforcement and legislation
  3. What needs to be done/addressed by 3/13/19 in order to make specific recommendations to the Mayor? And who will do this?
  4. Legislative proposals for Mayor Stothert for the 2019 Legislative session


In Attendance:  Jason Menning, Eric Koeppe, Kevin Carder, Mike Helgerson, Nick Gordon,  Steve Scarpello, Pell Duval

The Vision Zero Taskforce addressed three related questions on the agenda:

  • What areas need further research in order to make specific recommendations to the Mayor?
  • What opportunities exist to build on past and present efforts/successes to address the key learning from the data?
  • What needs to be done/addressed by 3/13/19 in order to make specific recommendations to the Mayor and who will do this?

After discussion, four working groups and a point person for each group were decided upon:

  1. Safety Culture & Impaired Driving (Eric – with additional support from Tom & Rob)
  2. Vulnerable Users & Equity (Pell – with additional support from Andy)
  3. Roadway Design & High Injury Network (Mike – with additional support from Nick & Kevin)
  4. Reporting & Data Coordination (Nick – with additional support from Kevin)

The goal of each working group is to conduct additional research between the October and November meetings and to start drafting recommendations.  This information was to be presented as a one-pager to the full task force.

The following descriptions provide additional information about the areas each group was tasked with researching:

Safety Culture & Impaired Driving

  • Safety as an Urgent Cultural Priority
    • Seatbelt Use
    • Speeding
    • Lessons Learned from Workplaces
  • Legislative & Bully Pulpit opportunities around all forms of impaired driving (alcohol and other drugs including prescription medication & marijuana, distracted driving, fatigue)

Vulnerable Users and Equity

  • Research and Best Practices for Motorcyclists and Pedestrians
  • Equity Concerns Around Enforcement

Roadway Design & High Injury Network

  • Opportunities for Greater Safety in Roadway Design including Complete Streets
  • Approaches to Identifying Safety Priorities

Reporting & Data Coordination

  • Existing Gaps or Opportunities
  • Centralization & Sharing of Data

For the final agenda item – legislative proposals for Mayor Stothert for the 2019 Unicameral session, the task force decided to hold off on forwarding recommendations to ensure strong credibility and support.



  1. Review and Approve October 10th Meeting Notes
  2. Working Group Reports:
    • Safety Culture
    • Equity and Vulnerable Users
    • Roadway Design
    • Coordination & Data
  3. What additional information is needed (if any) before making recommendation to Mayor Stothert?


Safety Culture & Impaired Driving

  1. What other cities are doing:
    1. Seat belt use, Distracted Driving, Impaired Driving
    2. Emphasis on education and enforcement

*In these areas, we need to encourage cooperation between groups for messaging and partnerships

*To implement a recommendation, it is important that stakeholders are using the same messaging.

Eric: Vision Zero projects around the country rely heavily on City staff. Likely recommendation would include a full-time employee focused on Vision Zero issues/initiatives.

Tom: How is that position funded?


  1. Educational Bus – neighborhood traffic safety and enforcement initiative.
  2. Union Pacific, OPPD – defensive driving programs
  3. Involving an organization or multi-member organization, like the Chamber, helps spread the consistent message. (schools, businesses, faith community, etc.)
  4. Changing culture – the decisions people are making on the road.

Roadway Design Report: Racial Justice, Impact Assessment, Embracing Equity

  1. Police Enforcement /Disproportionate Minority Contact
  2. How we can gather and pull data
  3. Any implementation efforts/decision making should include diverse representation
  4. Motorcyclists
    1. Behavior issues
      1. More frequent drinking and driving
      2. More frequent reckless driving
      3. Advanced motorcycle training classes
      4. Impaired driving initiatives need to include motorcylces
  5. Pedestrians
    1. Proven Counter Measures
      1. Leading pedestrian intervals
      2. Intersection designs
        1. Roundabouts
        2. Curb extensions
      3. Children involved more frequently
      4. More likely to be fatal for seniors
      5. Alcohol is a big issue for pedestrian crashes, both drivers and pedestrians
        1. Derek: Victimizing pedestrians. OPD or media saying victim was not in a marked crosswalk.
        2. Andy: appreciate the signs at the Med Center, Airport, etc. “yield to or stop to pedestrian” signs.
        3. Kevin: should bicyclists be included in this?

Eric: Do we have low numbers because we don’t encourage (through infrastructure, etc) bicycling?

Andy: when areas are safer, you’re going to see more people biking. Overall safety over improves because drivers are also more aware to be looking for bicyclists.

Making people aware of vulnerable people (B-Cycle-ological?) – there are people on the road with us, pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists, etc.

Roadway Design:

Cort Barber, MAPA – filling in for Mike Helgerson.

Mike wanted to focus on the identification of a high-injury network. Where the fatal accidents and injuries are the highest. Areas where additional help, from a safety standpoint would be helpful. This would be evaluated by public works annual as new crash data comes out.

Kevin: Every Vision Zero community establishes a “high injury network” or something like it.

Intersection Evaluation:

  1. Safety reviews, heat maps,
  2. All you need to label – who it needs to go through
  3. Could this be built into the Complete Streets process? Any private or public project has to go through a checklist process. We can include the high injury map.

Discussion: removing safety features, like stop signs. Town in the Netherlands had reduction in accidents after the removal of stop signs.

  1. 10-ft lanes – having the flexibility to have 10 ft lanes to reduce speed. A wide lane works well on highway because it gives
  2. Municipal streets – if you shrink streets, it gives people the feel “it’s a little tighter, I should slow down”
  1. Release crash data
    1. Few concerns about privacy
    2. What do other states do, what value do they get out of this data while mitigating the legal issues.
  2. Emergency Response vehicles – how roadway design is impacted by emergency response vehicles size.

Coordination and Data:

  1. Working with DOT trying to get crash reporting form to current standards
    1. One way to make it happen: have city staff on state committee
      1. Conversation has started on what it would entail
    2. Have mayor and city council write letter in support of moving the initiative forward in a timely manner
  2. Modify current reporting system that OPD uses, including some new fields
    1. Would take time and money as it would involve updates to software system
    2. Look at current reporting standards/where the state is headed with reporting requirements
    3. Eric sits on the TRCC board – version 4.0 or 5.0 – there is a national standard adopted in 2017, Nebraska doesn’t fully comply with version 1.0. The effort is to get caught up to current standards.
      1. Most of it is software related.
      2. Would investing in software reduce the cost in the long term?
  1. Reporting of the Crash Data
    1. Public Works already creates an annual summary (currently 5 years behind – due to system issues).
      1. Include some of the efforts that vision zero is focused on.
      2. Andy: How close are we to having real time data available for the public? If I wanted to know how many fatalities there have been this year?
        1. The state produces a daily report, but it is not broken down by county or anything.
        2. OPD has a database that includes all of that information, Public Works has access. But can only share certain information
          1. What is the right balance between sharing information and privacy.
          2. Ryan: investigative police files are not public record.

Next Steps: Create a google doc and have people put their recommendations in there.


  1. Review and Approve November 14th Meeting Notes
  2. Working Group Reports: What data/information best informs our recommendations to Mayor Stothert? What additional information/data could be helpful?
    • Safety Culture
    • Equity and Vulnerable Users
    • Roadway Design
    • Coordination & Data
  3. Next steps in finalizing recommendations



Approved minutes November, seconded and approved

ABSENT: Pell, OPD, Rob Reynolds

John Lamm, OFD attending for Chief Kathy Bossman



Discussion about reduction in arrests for DUI

Could it be due to increase in ride-share services?

Extend requirement for seat belt use in the rear seats of vehicles?

Part of the educational component is making people aware of what already exists

Partnerships with local media

Recommendations: Have a common brand for all recommendations (Derek) put the brand on city vehicles?

Work with groups already involved for a coordinated effort

What kind of permissions do we need from national Vision Zero?

Tom met with school superintendents Thursday. They are concerned about defensive driving and teens. Tom- need attentive driving.  Also concerned about crashes involving school busses





High-injury network

Caution on how data is presented and interpreted—Ryan ---example of volume of crashes at 72 & Dodge and another location---same # of crashes but volume of overall traffic is a factor

A lot of communities 2-3-4 years into VZ now see mitigating speed is one way to reduce crashes, reducing traffic, encourage different modes of transportation are also used

Andy-design strategies to ensure people drive at safe speed?  Speed bumps, roundabouts, chicanes, what really is in the toolkit for major streets/arterials?

Mike—design of those is to move traffic.  In the toolkit:  on street parking, curb bumpouts,  lane widths, number of lanes




PW has had more discussion with NDOT – State has a contract with IT firm to update crash forms

January 1, 2020-all agencies in state will be using new form.

OPD already collecting additional information and storing

Recommendation-Mayor send a letter to include importance of data to city’s VZ goals and maintain as a priority in the next year ((BEFORE FEBRUARY))


6-month lag is state reporting data

Why does police not have ethnicity of persons involved in crash reports??

Can agencies not share data and have one source? –example is race/ethnicity of victims in crash (OFD has this date)

Carrie-Task force should include fiscal notes with all recommendations

Look at other city reports and how it is reported out – 5-15 page document of recommendations

What is the anticipated date to be at zero?

Develop action plans based on recommendations

Mayor attend March 23 VZ meeting