May 24th, 2016 |
Author: Pell Duvall
As we wind down from all the excitement of Bike to Work Week, Mayor’s ride, Handlebar Happy Hour, and riding out the rest of National Bike Month, I want to get some information out to the Omaha bicycling community about what we’ve been doing here at Omaha Bikes and where we plan to go next.
First off, as you may or may not have heard, we have paid staff now! Well, me. Omaha Bikes hired me, Pell Duvall, as its Executive Director in mid-April of this year. I’m incredibly excited to make bicycle advocacy my profession!
If you haven’t yet, take some time to read up on the history of Omaha Bikes on our about us page. The board of directors meets monthly to discuss administrative issues, provide updates on current projects, and present new ideas about initiatives. If you have an issue that you think needs action, email us, and we’ll do what we can and/or get you connected to the person who can take action.
Our 2016 goal are as follows:
- Augment our Bicycle Friendly Destination program. By partnering with local business, employers, and other destinations around the city, we not only encourage people to ride their bikes there, but we increase bicycle traffic on the surrounding connecting streets around that destination. As bicycle traffic increases, surrounding businesses’ revenue tends to increase as does the demand for better bicycle infrastructure such as buffered bike lanes, protected bike lanes, and better trail connectivity. When local businesses and destinations have rapport with people on bikes, they want that infrastructure as well. Everyone is positively engaged with the municipal planning process, and everyone gets well designed, complete streets.
- Bicycle Valet Service - Omaha Bikes is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is committed to making Omaha a premier metropolitan area for the bicycling public. For many years, our bike valet was limited to our Dust Off Your Bike tune-up and bike Parking at Earth Day Omaha and Bike to the Ballpark Bike Valet at College World series. With funding generously provided by the Nebraska Environmental Trust, Omaha Bikes is expanding its bike valet services and we hope to offer bicycle valet parking for more than 30 events in 2016!
- Signature Events – Omaha Bikes is proud to continue our signature events: Dust Off Your Bike, Bike to the Ballpark, Handlebar Happy Hour, and Bike De’Lights.
As much as I don’t like to talk about money, it’s a necessary thing to continue and help make Omaha a premier metropolitan area for the bicycling public!
- Omaha Gives! We are one of many organizations participating in Omaha Gives this year on May 25th, and we can use your donations to help with general operating funds. Even $10 helps! And join us for our celebration with other bicycle nonprofits that day.
- You can check out ongoing programs here, and many are free to participate; a portion of your purchase goes directly to us!
- Become a member! We are working with several local organizations to provide incentives/discounts for or members, but more on that soon.
In summary, we are dedicated to our mission, and I truly believe in this city and its future. With positively engaged members, we can be proactive with municipalities, and we can make Omaha safer and better for people on bikes.
May 23rd, 2016 |
Author: Dale Rabideau
| Tags: South Omaha Trail
To get to the Mayors’ Bike Ride, I rode the South Omaha Trail and took some pictures along the way. The next day, I attended the Mode Shift Omaha’s Coffee Chat with Dennis Bryers, from Omaha’s Park and Recreation, where he mentioned that the South Omaha Trail, from the Field Club Trail to D St and 40th Ave, is scheduled to be open June 1! 40th Ave to 45th St is scheduled to be completed September 30th.
Here is a snip from the Omaha Area Bike Routes map detailing the suggested routes to bridge the gap between 40th and 45th. Note: there is an eastbound route and a westbound route.
Detours between 45th and 40th Sts.
Westbound detour is 39th Ave to F St to 44th Ave to G St to 45th St entrance to trail.
Eastbound detour is 45th St to G St to F St to 42nd St to D St (There is always gravel at D St corner so slow down greatly to make right turn.)
The reason for a different westbound route is that 42nd St is often too busy with motor vehicle traffic to cross northbound lanes into southbound lanes. Though some may be tempted to ride the sidewalk along 42nd St, there are several busy fast food entrances crossed, along with the gas station at 42nd and F. In addition, the westbound traffic on F St doesn’t always get through on each light so there is no place to merge from the sidewalk onto the westbound F St.
Here are pictures from May 19th.
View west from 42nd St viaduct.
West of 42nd St viaduct.
East of 42nd St viaduct.
The trail still has dirt and metal sod clips from grass nets being installed. The trail will be swept prior opening.
D St looking west towards 39th Ave.
D St looking east towards 38 St. Though the trail has the right of way and the cross streets have stop signs, don’t assume cars will stop prior to the trail.
Looking west towards 38th St beyond the truck on the trail.
Looking east towards 36th Ave trail entrance.
Looking west from 36th St.
Looking north on 36th St.
Looking east from 36th St.
Looking east along I-80. Notice the 8% grade down eastbound. One will need to brake for the right bend at the bottom of this picture or they will drift into the westbound lane which is blocked from view by the fence.
Looking west along I-80. Looking back at the bend, one can see the westbound lane is blocked from seeing the downhill eastbound lane. Also need to be careful about too much speed east bound on this section because of right bend shown in next picture.
Looking east into 90 degree left down to I-80 viaduct. Note: the guide wires and commercial sign post await those who go to fast and miss the right bend.
Looking south up the 90 degree bend from I-80.
Looking north under I-80 viaduct. This should be the new south terminus of the Field Club Trail and east terminus of the South Omaha Trail.
The gap for an east/west trail from the Keystone to downtown is down to five blocks. These five blocks require traffic skills to interact with motor vehicles on F and 42nd Sts. 42nd St sidewalk has several busy crossings with cars exiting/entering 42nd St and not watching for pedestrian or bike traffic on the sidewalks. Whichever way you bridge the gap, ride with awareness. If you are not confident with your traffic skills, visit Cycling Savvy for informational articles and videos.
Previous posts on South Omaha Trail:
Initial Post with Overview