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The Field Club Connection – an update and recap

June 13th, 2016 | Author: Pell Duvall
Category: Advocacy, Events, News, Trails

More than 30 riders participated in a ride to see the most awesome South Omaha Trail connection on Sunday, and we had a great time! This connecting segment is a huge step for trail connectivity in Omaha with the full connection scheduled to be completed this fall!

With the sun blazing and 95 degree temperatures, we are were all grateful for the shade. (even if it means our picture was a little dark)

It was hot enough that we opted for this shady spot for the picture.

It was hot enough that we opted for this shady spot for the picture.

After a conversational pace ride south on the Field Club, we continued on the new South Omaha Trail connection by the silos. We reached the end of the new construction, and everyone hiked to see the work underway near 40th &D. It’s amazing to see how much prep work goes into constructing the trail, and the planning process for this has happened over years!

Looking west where trail will go under 42nd St

Looking west where trail will go under 42nd St

Looking northeast from the  end of the South O where it will cross under F St.

Looking northeast from the end of the South O where it will cross under F St.

After heading back north on the Trail, we climbed up Marcy Street to find our way to The Down Under Lounge.  With great drink specials, free hot dogs, and bingo, they were a most excellent host!

Our pre-warmed racks were nearly full!

Our pre-warmed racks were nearly full!

 

After some cold beverages and conversations about the awesomeness of bikes, we we played some bingo and laughed together for a great social hangout.

Reasons to Give – So, you ask, what is it ‘ya do here’?

May 24th, 2016 | Author: Pell Duvall
Category: Advocacy

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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!

  1. 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.
  2. You can check out ongoing programs here, and many are free to participate; a portion of your purchase goes directly to us!
  3. 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.

Thank you!

 

South Omaha Trail – May 2016 update

May 23rd, 2016 | Author: Dale Rabideau
Category: Trails | Tags:

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.

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.

View west from 42nd St viaduct.

West of 42nd St viaduct.

West of 42nd St viaduct.

East 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 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.

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 west towards 38th St beyond the truck on the trail.

Looking east towards  36th Ave trail entrance.

Looking east towards 36th Ave trail entrance.

Looking west from 36th St.

Looking west from 36th St.

Looking north on 36th St.

Looking north on 36th St.

Looking east from 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 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 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 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 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.

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:
October Update
September Update
August Update
July Update
June Update
March Update
Initial Post with Overview

Dust Off Your Bike and Bicycle Valet Parking at Earth Day Omaha

April 17th, 2016 | Author: Pell Duvall
Category: Advocacy, Community, Get Involved, Valet Bike Parking, Volunteer Opportunities

What a beautiful day it was at Earth Day Omaha 2016! Though it was a bit windy in the morning, we had fantastic temperatures, some sunshine, and great music!

File_003

Due to a storage transfer issue at the end of last season, our banners and valet cards were misplaced, so I pedaled to Walgreen’s on my way to grab a couple decks of playing cards. We set up early with Dale, Tim, and Matt’s help.  We had the racks and tent up by 10am, and we chatted with Earth Day volunteers as several were glad that we were set up in time for them to park.

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Matt pedaled home to get us an extra paperweight to hold down our cards: an Egyptian brick from Murphysboro, IL!

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From there, we began to valet park bikes similarly to previous years but with one change; we now ask our participants to log their mileage for their trip by bike to and from Earth Day. We then report the emissions saved as part of the air quality standards funding generously provided by the Nebraska Environmental Trust! With this funding, we will be upgrading our parking racks, promotional materials, and promotional efforts to provide even more bicycle valet events throughout 2016 and beyond! A huge thanks to NET for jump starting this program!

File_006

Several more volunteers came to help: Emilie, Jackie, Jayme, and Scott. They all worked tirelessly. As the wind died down and more people came, we became overwhelmed with Dust Off Your Bike safety checks and tune-ups, and our racks were almost full! We had bikes of all sizes, trailers for kiddos (and Coby the dog), and a small scooter or two.

File_005

The bands were in full swing, we munched on Scott’s homemade hummus with pita, and many folks stopped to chat. I overhead Dale chatting with a wonderful retired woman who had ridden over 7 miles one way from midtown to have one of her bikes checked out. She went on to say that she’d sold her car many years ago and enjoys riding, walking, and taking the bus. She would later come back with her second bike (which she rode all the way home to get). Dale was wrenching bike after bike, and he finally got to take a break midday to walk around! This day just wouldn’t be possible without him!

File_000        File_004

 

 

Dale ‘The Bike Whisperer’ made impressions on social media.

Whisperer2

Bikes continued to flow in until the racks were full and only a few cards remained.

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As the crowds began to migrate from the event booths, some headed toward the beer tent for a local brew and others came over to pedal home. Many teased of’upgrading their ride’ as they ogled others’ bikes while waiting patiently for volunteers to retrieve theirs; all the while stuffing our tip jar full of cash.

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We broke down and loaded the racks as the last few folks picked up their bikes. Sunburned and exhausted, I bummed a ride home in Dale’s trusty Chrysler mini van. We chatted about the day and Dale’s new car, a Chevrolet Volt, that he’s picking up next week. We unloaded the racks and ended out day the same way it started: with a handshake and a smile. Another great Earth Day Omaha is ‘in the books’ or in this case, in the blog!

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Omaha Trail, Our Place in the Streets, and How to Get There

April 7th, 2016 | Author: Dale Rabideau
Category: Commuting | Tags: , ,

If you haven’t seen it already, KETV talked with Dennis Bryers, Omaha trail planner, about the status and use of the South Omaha Trail phase 2, and Turner Blvd Trail addition. Turner will hopefully be completed by May, and South Omaha by June with a grand opening in Autumn. These are two of the six trail projects the City of Omaha has planned for 2016.

Filling in the gaps on the Metro Trail System (MTS) is the biggest bang for the buck in moving people via bicycles around the area. Yet just like the large trunk fiber optic lines, the final mile can be the most difficult and costly for connecting the MTS to destinations.

Many would like to see segregated bicycle lanes on busy streets like Leavenworth St and W. Center St. Others suggest bicycle routes that parallel busy streets. And yet others prefer the counter intuitive safety of taking the lane and being a part of the motor traffic. It is with the bicycle street routes where we need education, discussion, and a coordinated message to engage the City with best practices. Parts of this is going forward with fleshing out Omaha’s Complete Streets Policy, Bellevue Complete Streets, and Council Bluffs transportation plan suggesting adopting complete streets (3/12) and bicycle and pedestrian mobility (8/12). These policies and plans are being coordinated with the MAPA Regional Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan (187 page pdf).

mapa bicycle pedestrian plan

Though infrastructure planning and construction take years, we need to engage the public input process, periodically request status updates outside the process, and generally making sure city, county, NRD, and state commitments don’t fall between the cracks.

Most people riding bikes recreationally will prefer the MTS. We (bicycle advocates) need to point these people to the

Omaha Bicycle Topo Map,

Omaha Bicycle Topo Map

and Omaha Bicycle Map 2015,

omahabicyclemap2015

for figuring out routes to ride to the MTS instead of loading the bicycle on the car.

Besides wayfind, people who ride would benefit from education on best practices for interacting with motor vehicles so they can ride from their residence to the MTS. After time with those street riding experiences, it is an easy step for people to bike to destinations for non recreational reasons like commuting to work, eating and drinking, shopping, events, etc.

This March, I took the Cycling Savvy (CS) training courses in St Louis, MO. I had heard great things about these courses, and they did not disappoint. They are about giving us best practices (traffic dynamics, bike handling skills, analyzing street environments and practicing solutions in traffic) so we experience better interaction with motor vehicles. Though people who ride don’t want to admit it, or don’t know, our behavior and lane position can alleviate many of the negative interactions with autos. We can have an immediate, positive, affect on our cycling behavior and experience; and we can make it happen through taking the CS courses.

I received approval from my instructors to apply to become a CS Instructor. CS requires two instructors to present the courses so I am asking for others who may be interested in teaching the CS curriculum to attend the three courses so you can be evaluated for becoming an instructor. Minneapolis and St. Louis are the closest locations, but there may be other locations near family, friends, or vacation areas where one could take the courses while in the area. To become an instructor will require 40 hours or more of pre-training study, passing an exam, and then three days of instructor training in Orlando, FL.

Who would benefit from local CS course offerings? People who want to ride from their residence to the MTS. Already active commuters. I learned multiple points about traffic dynamics and choosing lane position that I wasn’t practicing. Others do not have access to an auto, so they ride a bicycle. As these three groups of people are trained and practice proper traffic interaction, our experience in traffic will improve, our stories about riding as traffic will change, and our ridership will increase.

To improve the experience of people riding bicycles, we have a three legged stool: infrastructure, wayfinding (maps and signs), and education. Please be a bicycle advocate by directing people to local and state advocacy organizations:
Omaha Bikes, Mode Shift Omaha, Nebraska Bicycling Alliance, Iowa Bicycle Coalition, etc.

wayfinding:
Omaha Bicycle Topo Map, Omaha Bicycle Map 2015, Google map choosing the bicycle tab, and strava heat maps to shows heaviest street useage of strava users.

education:
Cycling Savvy, i am traffic, League of American Bicyclists.

Omaha Trails Update – March 2016

March 7th, 2016 | Author: Dale Rabideau
Category: Trails | Tags:
Final grade of hill to I-80 viaduct.

Final grade of hill to I-80 viaduct, South Omaha Trail.

http://parks.cityofomaha.org/parks/trails

Trails

There are over 120 miles of paved trail throughout the City of Omaha with a number of those trails connecting to trails outside of the City. A map of the metro area trails titled “Paths of Discovery” is available on-line and in a hard copy form at community centers, libraries, bike shops and other establishments around the city. A listing and short description of some of the trails is listed below. All trails are concrete surfaced unless otherwise noted.

Omaha Trails Update – March 2016

A lot is happening with the City’s multi-use, recreational trails right now. Here is a quick summary of what’s going on.

1. South Omaha Trail – Phase 2 Construction
Now that winter seems to be almost over with construction of the trail has started up. Work underneath the S. 42nd Street bridge to construct a 14 foot tall retaining wall fro the trail is underway. Paving of the east portion of the trail from Vinton Street to S. 36th Street could start in about a week or so. Construction should be completed late summer.

2. Turner Boulevard Trail – Dodge to Cuming Streets
Construction will begin shortly on continuing the Turner Boulevard Trail north from Dodge Street and Turner Park to Cuming Street. Project will also include a side trail along the south side of Burt Street from N. 30th to N. 20th Streets.

3. Riverfront Trail – Phase IV (Millers Landing Park to Kiwanis Park)
Design work is continuing on the last mile section of the Riverfront Trail. Trail will be on the west side of Abbott Drive from Millers Landing Park to Kiwanis Park. Project also includes the design for the Levi Carter Park Trail which will run along the north and west sides of Carter Lake.. The trail will connect the Riverfront at the northeast side of the park to the Locust ave trail at the southwest side of the park. Project could be out to be this summer.

4. Riverfront Trail at USS Omaha Memorial Project in Levi Cater Park
A section of the trail where the USS Omaha Memorial project is being constructed is still closed. The trail will be relocated to the west of the memorial this spring.

5. Keystone Trail – Various Improvements
Trail is open, however during the course of the spring and summer there will be a few closures to undertake improvements. Currently the section of trail south of West Center Road is seeing creek bank stabilization work. A section of the trail in this area will need to be replaced as a result of this work. Later this year work will be done to address erosion and silt on the trail at the “L” Street bridge.

6. West Papio Trail at Barrington Park
A section of the West Papio Trail in Barrington Park do to last year’s creek bank failure. Project is currently out to bid to restore the bank. Construction should start late spring.

Please visit our Temporary Park & Facility Closures page for additional information regarding trail closures and projects.
Any questions regarding City of Omaha trails, contact Dennis E. Bryers, FASLA, PLA at 402-444-3798 or dennis.bryers@cityofomaha.org.

Windchill and Adventure Riding

December 17th, 2015 | Author: Dale Rabideau
Category: Rides | Tags: , ,

I thought it was cold on the ride to work yesterday. Didn’t realize the air temp was below freezing at 30 F. Add in a wind out of the West at 15-20 mph, and it was cold heading West.

Let’s look at the different feels-like temperature based on which direction I was going:

Windchill in 10 Degree Bands

Windchill in 10 Degree Bands

Going with the wind at 10mph, there would be a 5mph at my back and the temp would feel like 25. But head into the wind at 5mph, there would be a 20mph in my face and the temp would feel like 17.

In actuality, the difference in direction felt like much more than 8 degrees. It was the difference from a pleasant ride to a painful ride for any exposed skin around my balaclava.

Everyone has a different comfort zone, from searing cold to stifling heat; and different band widths of tolerable, comfortable, enjoyable. For me, part of the calculus is psychological as well, until I reach the boundary of prolonged pain from cold in my extremities, specifically hands and feet, or the small area of exposed facial skin. This moves the psychological pain to physically detrimental.

The psychological part comes from understanding the amount of heat we generate while riding. We are a veritable furnace that works like heating a building that uses windows to adjust the temperature, i.e. with layers of clothes that we can adjust via zippers or remove. We can also adjust the temperature by the effort we are putting out. Most of it has to be at low speeds because of the windchill affect. But climbing hills, increasing snow depth, or challenging snow ruts all can be used to adjust our heat to ride in our comfort zone.

For me, it is easier to wear normal seasonal clothing for shorter rides in the cold because I can adjust the heat with effort; whereas in hot temperatures, I sweat just standing around in the 80′s. There, riding at a couple miles per hour will cool my sweating body until air temps reaches about 100, then one must be very careful not to get heat stroke no matter the effort.

In either temperature extreme, the longer rides should be curtailed unless artificial heating or cooling can be obtained periodically. But for a 4 mile ride to work, the windchill needs to be in the single digits or less for me to consider canceling because of physical danger. Time wise, that is putting me outside for 20-30 minutes.

Wind is more critical than temperature. I have ridden at -5 degrees when the wind is dead calm, chimney smoke going straight up like something out of Mary Poppins. This sight is beautiful because of its uniqueness in the crisp, clear air. But about 30 minutes of putting around at 5 mph is about all I want. A trip through the neighborhood and around Standing Bear Lake fits the bill well.

I encourage all of us to push our comfort envelope and ride short distances in slightly uncomfortable temperatures. We may find after the initial few minutes of coldness, our effort is generating enough heat to create a short, enjoyable adventure. And if we experiment further with clothing and varying environments, we may expand our comfort zone and come across new adventures, maybe even replacing the motor vehicle on short trips to the store, restaurant, coffee shop, or pub. We may work ourselves up to night time snow flake rides on quiet streets except for the snow crunching beneath our tires.

Post Midnight During a Snow Storm to Catch a Great Ride!

Post Midnight During a Snow Storm to Catch a Great Ride!

Enjoy the ride! Experiment in this Winter season and find new adventures!
Dale

Inspiring EVERYONE to Ride

November 21st, 2015 | Author: Dale Rabideau
Category: Community | Tags: , , , ,

In my opinion, Omaha Bikes needs to follow Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition‘s approach to inspire everyone to ride. This requires me to read and listen to others’ experience that is different from mine. I need to put myself in their shoes if I want to better understand their view and their ideas. Their view and ideas may be disconcerting to me but necessary to feel some of their emotion and rationale for their response to life and death events. If Omaha Bikes wants to put into action for all our mission to “promotes and advocates for bicycling infrastructure, opportunities, and experiences for the people of Omaha, Nebraska and the surrounding area”, empathy is a first step. Dale

I quote in its entirety the Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition’s November 20, 2015 facebook post:

“Last night we thanked our amazing volunteers and members and looked toward the future. We also recognized the enormity of the moment our city is in after the tragic shooting of Jamar Clark. This is a moment fundamentally to advance justice and make a stronger and more meaningful commitment to addressing racial disparities. Local organizers of color are giving us actions and ideas for addressing these real challenges facing too many in our community. We hope that everyone will take this moment to truly listen to those ideas.

We work to inspire people to bike and for a Minneapolis where EVERYONE feels comfortable riding. We do that because we know that the bicycle can be a powerful tool to improve individual’s lives and our community. And we do that while understanding that bicycling intersects with many other issues, including those at the fore of protests along Plymouth Avenue at the 4th Precinct.

Work to advance bicycling in Minneapolis simply cannot be successful if we do not serve the needs of all our diverse communities. We cannot be successful if we leave behind, ignore, or do not serve communities of color. We cannot be successful if we ignore concerns that both fear of crime and fears of police racial profiling and brutality are barriers to more biking.

We are not shy in saying that the status quo can and needs to be improved for many things that impact biking. There can be no doubt that police conduct and community relations can and must be improved and that will require change. There can be no doubt that the disparities between black community members (and other communities of color) and white community members in our city are unacceptable and addressing them will require change.

We are committed to proactively doing what we can within our work around biking to address racial disparities, institutional racism, and injustices. We know that biking is only a small part of a much larger body of work that touches all parts of government and society, but we know that biking can play a role. At this challenging time, we hope that our community will come together like never before to advance justice and opportunity for all.

For more on the intersection of these complex issues, we recommend this piece from last year from Adonia Lugo, a national leader on the bicycling and equity issues.”

Seeing & Believing In Bike Equity

Do Riders, Walkers, or Drivers have Lowest Traffic Death Rate?

November 19th, 2015 | Author: Dale Rabideau
Category: News | Tags: ,

speed kills people walking, riding, and driving

speed kills people walking, riding, and driving


Nebraska Bicycling Alliance put out a press release Wednesday, Nov 18 on AAA Nebraska’s report of the high number of people walking and riding bicycles that have been killed so far in 2015: 16 walking and 4 riding. The last time we reached this number of people killed riding in Nebraska was in 2001 with 5.
One death is one too many and I believe every person who rides on the streets and roads is sensitized and occassionally feels in danger of being hit by a motor vehicle. I think most would agree that the perceived lack of safety when riding a bicycle amongst motor vehicles is the biggest hinderance to more people riding.

I decided to look at the Nebraska traffic statistics from 10 years, 2005-14, and get a better feel for the likelyhood of death by collision while riding a bicycle. Here is the webpage where the data is located, e.g. the 2014 annual report was read along with the corresponding year end fatality toll comparisons.

Over the 10 years, there were a total of 333,335 crashes and 2251 deaths. Of these, there were 3570 crashes involving pedestrians and 95 deaths; and 2702 crashes involving bicycles and 16 deaths. Thus, the 16 pedestrian deaths this year are 1.68 times the 10 year average; while the 4 rider deaths this year is 2.5 times the 10 year average. Hopefully, there are data in the police reports about the environment and causes that would help explain this year’s death rate aberation.

The crashes involving bicycles account for 0.81% of the total. If we had an estimate of the total number of bike rides on the road versus the total number of motor vehicle trips, we could see how the bicycle mode share percentage compares against the crash percentage, and thus determine if we are more likely to get into a crash with a bicycle or motor vehicle. Not having this data keeps us from determing which mode of movement is least likely to be involved in a crash.

The death rate per bicycle crash is 0.59%, about 1 death in 169 crashes. This sounds high, but we must remember that these are police reported bicycle crashes. Crashes not reported would lower this death/crash rate whereas we can assume that all traffic deaths involving a bicycle are reported.

The death/crash rate for people in a motor vehicle is 0.64%, about 1 death in 156 crashes (total crashes/(total deaths – (bicycle and pedestrian deaths))). Thus, the data reveal a person is more likely to die in a crash riding a motor vehicle than riding a bicycle. The caveat here is that the data are describing different crashes – the person(s) in the motor vehicle die(s) at a non bicycle crash.

On the surface, these data seem counterintuitive. My guess is that the speed of the non bicycle, motor vehicle crash is higher; coupled with the ‘first harmful event’ which caused the crash, e.g. over 90% of deadly crashes involved vehicle on vehicle, overturned, and fixed objects. I am guessing more bicycle crashes are on lower speed streets. Another part of the cause may be the ‘perceived safety’ of a motor vehicle encourages one to drive faster and less carefully.

To bring our intuition in line with the data, we should increase our ‘perceived safety’ of riding by improving our skills via Cycling Savvy or LCI classes; lower our feeling of safety riding a motor vehicle (tank syndrome), and drive more carefully.

The highest death rate per crash is for pedestrians, 2.66% or about 1 death in 38 crashes. Because we walk so much in non roadways, that gives us the perception that walking is safe, but that peception needs to be replace with non distracted awareness of our surroundings when walking on sidewalks and streets.

As thinking individuals, we need to employ a better frame of mind in order to engage our fellow travelers more skillfully no matter which mode of movement we choose.

Bridging the West Papio Trail Gap

October 26th, 2015 | Author: Dale Rabideau
Category: Trails | Tags:

With the recent extension of the West Papio Trail to 108th and Giles, now we just need a road route to reach the end of the west section at Hwy 50 (138th and P St). Looking at dogis.org topo layer and driving through a couple alternatives, here is the suggested route for the least amount of traffic and least elevation change. There is a challenging climb on two lane 132nd St with no shoulder nor sidewalk. The cool part is a little off road section that incorporates an isolated section of old Harrison St that hasn’t been used since the Harrison St was rerouted around 1993.

Here is a snip of the route taken from the Omaha Area Bike Routes Map:

Hwy 50- P St  to Giles Rd-108th St

Hwy 50- P St to Giles Rd-108th St

West Papio Trail-Hwy 50, P St, 136th St, Discovery Dr, 132nd St, Sky Park Dr, Old Harrison, Eastport Pkwy, Giles Rd, 108th St, West Papio Trail

132nd St looking South

132nd St looking South

The challenging section is a total of 1/2 mile on two lane 132nd St. There is a sidewalk available on the West side to the right turn near the car. From there to the left turn up the hill, 600′ distance, 40′ of climbing (6.7%), no shoulder, no sidewalk. Fortunately, this section of 132nd St is two lane because there is not a lot of traffic most of the day.

Going North down the hill, one will feel like they have Armstrong legs on EPO, and some may come close to the 45 mph speed limit.

Aerial View of Sky Park Dr, Old Harrison St, Eastport Pkwy

Aerial View of Sky Park Dr, Old Harrison St, Eastport Pkwy

Looking SW at Sky Park Dr and Harrison St

Looking Southeast at Sky Park Dr and Harrison St

Jump curb and ride grass to old Harrison St

Jump curb and ride grass to old Harrison St

Old Harrison St to Sky Park Dr

Old Harrison St to Sky Park Dr

Old Harrison St looking East

Old Harrison St looking East

Old Harrison St up shoulder to Eastport Pkwy

Old Harrison St up shoulder to Eastport Pkwy

Looking South on Eastport Pkwy. 3 lanes, 25 mph, little traffic.

Looking Southeast on Eastport Pkwy. 3 lanes, 25 mph, little traffic.

Going West on Eastport, exit right just past Storage One entrance

Going West on Eastport, exit right just past Storage One entrance

Down shoulder from Eastport Pkwy to Old Harrison St

Down shoulder from Eastport Pkwy to Old Harrison St

Looking West on Old Harrison St

Looking West on Old Harrison St

Giles Road has cement shoulders that look fairly clean to ride on.

I am stoked about riding on historical roads that have been taken out of service, imagining an earlier time out and environment. Bicycles allow one to get off the beaten path, even if it requires walking a short section here or there.

Enjoy the ride!

P.S. Some older aerial shots from dogis.org:

1993 old Harrison St isolated

1993 old Harrison St isolated

1962 Harrison and I-80

1962 Harrison and I-80

1941 Harrison and West Papillion Creek

1941 Harrison and West Papillion Creek

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