Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Nashville Bike/Ped Coordinator Moves to Mayor's Office

Work to include coordinating efforts of recently formed Bike/Ped Advisory Committee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean announced today he has appointed a Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator for the Mayor's Office. Toks Omishakin, currently the Bicycle and Pedestrian Planner for the Metro Planning Department, is moving to the Mayor's Office.
The appointment follows an update to the Strategic Plan for Sidewalks and Bikeways, initiated by the mayor shortly after taking office in the fall of 2007. Dean also recently appointed a Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) to assist in the implementation of the updated sidewalks and bikeways plan and other efforts to make Nashville a more walkable and bikeable city.

"My goal is to transform Nashville into one of the most walkable and bikeable cities in the country, and to do that will take consistent effort and coordination from my office," Dean said. "Toks brings to my office the right experience and expertise in this area. I look forward to what I know he will be able to help us accomplish."

Omishakin will work with various Metro and State departments on policy issues related to pedestrians and cyclists, including coordinating efforts of the BPAC. During his tenure with Metro Planning, Omishakin spent five years managing Music City Moves, a community partnership committed to community design that supports active lifestyles. He also worked on bicycle and pedestrian issues for Nashville's 14 planning communities, and on the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Sidewalks and Bikeways, which was originally completed in 2003.

Omishakin holds a master's degree in urban and regional planning from Jackson State University in Mississippi. He is a member of the American Planning Association (APA) and a long-time member of the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals.
As an expert on street design and multi-modal transportation issues, Omishakin has frequently been called upon to present at national conferences, including the National APA Conference, International Pro Walk/Pro Bike Conference and the American Public Transportation Association Conference.