Sunday, February 10, 2008

Is it possible to transform Shreveport's pedestrian topography? Sociologist Loren Demerath explores possibilities at new Bayous To Use blog

Shreveport's cement-lined ditches offer untold possibilities for encouraging community walking, says Centenary College sociologist Loren Demerath, PhD. He is beginning a community dialogue at the blog
Bayous To Use.
The blog's subtitle is "Greenways, Linear Parks, Bike Paths, and Bayous to Use."

"Leaving the bayous as they are, increasing access, and putting a path down the side" is being discussed by his correspondents as one of the chief enhancements for walking in Shreveport. A proponent of that idea is Sharron Swanson, an urban planner at Morgan Hill Sutton & Mitchell Architects. Demerath has been looking at a different plan: making a pavement cover over the bayous so as to create a broad byway. To Swanson's alternative he says, "My concern has been that it wouldn't entice as many people to use it as would a wider pedestrian street laid over the top of the bayou."

Demerath tries to demonstrate a utopian version of the town almost every day. He walks his 2 children to school at Montessori School for Shreveport (corner of E. Washington and Galloway), starting near the Centenary Gold Dome. Some days there's a songster's guitar slung round his shoulder.

His bigger point is to stimulate thinking about enriching life in Shreveport in easy and natural steps. Under his purview are developing conversations about bicycling to work and the store, building community gardens, revitalizing downtown and increasing our Social Capital. See more at another blog of his, A Better Shreveport.

Sitting in on initial meetings are wizened community activists and some fresh muscle. Among the early invitees: Murray Lloyd, Jeff Welborn, Leia Lewis, Brad Armstrong, Dorothy McDonald, Charles Gerard, Jon Soul, and Shelly Armstrong.

Say hello to Demerath at ldemerath@gmail.com.

2 comments:

Reza said...

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Monica Carter Tagore said...

Thanks for sharing this information. I am interested in moves we are making in our city to increase quality of life, so this was a great post. Shreveport-Bossier City is full of natural beauty. We must find ways to better utilize and enjoy it.