October 13th, 2016 |
Happy Biketober, all! Just wanted to let you know about the Complete Streets Open House from 4-6pm on October 26th at the Bancroft Street Market! Your input on the Complete Streets Design Guide is critical to making Omaha safer for people on bikes as well as all modes of transportation!
If you’re not familiar with complete streets, please check out the City of Omaha’s website to learn more. We are fortunate to have one of the best ranked complete street policies in the country, but without proper implementation strategies, it is just another document in the books! Please come to this important gathering to learn more, provide input, or just show your support to improve our great city!
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
― Margaret Mead
Please see below details from the City of Omaha:
Complete Streets Open House The City of Omaha and our partners are currently developing a Complete Streets Design Guide as part of our continued efforts to provide a transportation system that works safely and comfortably for all. Its purpose is to help implement our new Complete Streets Policy. The Guide will delineate the needs of people traveling by different means and help prioritize the sometimes competing demands in the design and redesign of our streets. The Guide will also outline public engagement strategies that can support the City’s transportation projects. To aid in the development of the Complete Streets Design Guide, the City is holding a public open house from 4-6 pm on October 26th at the Bancroft Street Market (2702 South 10th Street). At the event, people will be able to provide insight into their varying needs when using streets while walking, bicycling, driving, or using in any other way. The open house also provides an opportunity for those new to the concept of “Complete Streets” to learn about how streets can simultaneously support a range of activities. Learn more about Complete Streets in Omaha at www.completestreetsomaha.org. Please come share in our efforts to make Omaha better. We hope to see you there!
October 5th, 2016 |
, Bike Route
, Keystone Connector
South Omaha Trail:
Final stages of work continue to complete the South Omaha Trail. While the pavement is completed, the signage and erosion control is still in progress. Due to the construction equipment and debris hazards, the newest section trail remains closed for the time being. Please respect the work being done for your own safety! All work is planned to be completed by October 31st, 2016, and the grand opening/ribbon-cutting will be in mid-November! Stay tuned!
Omaha Riverfront Trail:
A section of the Riverfront Trail from Ida Street and Crown Point Avenue to John J. Pershing Drive will be closed to all trail users starting on Monday, October 10, 2016. The closure will remain closed throughMonday, October 31, 2016. Trail shall be closed for work occurring on the levee. There is no suggested detour for this trail closure.
Drainage work at L Street underpass nearing complete and is expected to be completed next week. Please use caution!
Big Papio Trail:
Drainage work will begin at L Street in early November and will last several weeks. Please be prepared to detour as needed and use caution!
If you have any questions or concerns about trail closures, contact information is as follows:
City of Omaha:
City of Bellevue, report here
Sarpy County, report here
City of Council Bluffs report here.
The above update is accurate to the best of our ability, but please see contact local officials for most current information.
September 7th, 2016 |
Author: Paige Reitz
, Bike Performance Art
, Urban Design
| Tags: Benson
The New Philharmonic, an Omaha-based ensemble of contemporary classical performers, is looking for bicyclists to participate in ‘B is for BIKES!’ the midwest premiere of the iconic work Eine Brise (A Breeze): A fleeting action for 111 bicyclists by renowned composer Mauricio Kagel.
This project serves to highlight cyclist and pedestrian awareness in the urban landscape of Omaha through aesthetic means. Performing entails riding around a few blocks in Benson at a slow pace with all the other performers – in sort of a critical mass formation – and participating in the creation of a unique soundscape using both a bicycle bell (will be provided) and your mouth in the form of whistles and whooshes. It is a very small time commitment – the actual performance is expected to take less than 4 minutes. All participants will receive a bell, t-shirt, and dinner + drinks post performance. No previous performing experience necessary.
Sign-up to participate: https://goo.gl/forms/MfKKZncmPtYDLSTS2
B is for BIKES! is generously sponsored through the Omaha Gives! Back Grant through the Omaha Creative Institute with organizational assistance from our partners at ModeShift Omaha, Benson First Friday, Omaha Bikes, and LiveWell Omaha.
Program: B is for BIKES!
Organizer: The New Philharmonic
Location: Benson First Friday | Maple Street between N 58th and N 63rd Streets
Date and time: Friday October 7th, 6PM
Admission: free on the street performance
Questions: contact Paige Reitz at firstname.lastname@example.org
September 6th, 2016 |
RIVERFRONT TRAIL CLOSURE
September 2, 2016 (Omaha, NE) – A section of the Riverfront Trail at the MUD Water
Treatment Facility on John J. Pershing Drive will be closed starting on Wednesday,
September 7th through Friday, September 30th so that MUD can undertake a project
related to their NDEQ discharge permit. There is no suggested detour for this
closing. Please refer to the below map for additional information.
SOUTH OMAHA TRAIL CONSTRUCTION UPDATE
The section of the South Omaha Trail between S. 45th & Dayton Streets and S. 50th Street was suppose to open up Friday, September 2nd. Unfortunately the work to regrade the swale to keep water off of the trail is not complete. Park Maintenance will be working next week to finish the improvements. So this section of the South Omaha Trail will remain closed through Friday, September 9th.
September 2nd, 2016 |
UPDATES FROM OMAHA PARKS & REC!
KEYSTONE TRAIL AT “L” STREET CLOSURE - This work was suppose to begin back on August 24th. However the weather that week delayed the start of the work. The revised schedule is to start the work on Tuesday, September 6th and have it completed by Tuesday, September 27th. The Keystone Trail will be closed at the “L” Street underpass during this time. There is no detour posted for this closure. We are in the process of getting a new press release out on this. Revised Map below:
SOUTH OMAHA TRAIL PHASE 2 – “D” STREET TO S. 45TH & DAYTON STREETS – UNDERCONSTRUCTION - This is the section of the Phase 2 portion of the South Omaha Trail that goes under the S. 42nd Street Bridge. The contractor has reported that there are a number of bikers that are ignoring signs, construction fencing and barricades and riding/walking through this section. This is a safety issue. There still is a lot of construction going on here. There are excavators moving dirt, retaining walls being constructed, fencing going up, etc. Would appreciate it if you could pass the word on that this section is still underconstruction and closed to trail users. It is for everyone’s safety that people stay away from this section. We’ve already had bicycle tire tracks left in newly poured concrete that we will have to redo.. Please pass the word to people to stay away from this section. It will be completed in about a month or so and then they can use it safely.
August 24th, 2016 |
Author: Pell Duvall
, Volunteer Opportunities
, You name it
Volunteers Needed for the 2016 Omaha Bicycle & Pedestrian Count
The City of Omaha is conducting its third bicycle/pedestrian count to gauge the level of bicycle and pedestrian traffic
in the city, and we need your help. This type of information is critical in directing future investments in bicycle and
pedestrian infrastructure. We need volunteers to stand or sit at selected locations for 2-hour shifts and count
people on bikes and pedestrians. The study area will include a wide swath of land between 72nd Street and the
Missouri River. The counts will occur at the following times:
Weekday Count Times
• 4-6pm, Tuesday, September 13
• 4-6pm, Thursday, September 15
• 4-6pm, Tuesday, September 20
• 4-6pm, Thursday, September 22
Weekend Count Times
• 12-2pm, Saturday, September 17
• 12-2pm, Saturday, September 24
Volunteers can work just one or all six shifts depending on availability.
We hope to count at approximately 25 locations (each on both a weekend and a weekday), so we will need a large
number of volunteers.
To volunteer, visit the following website: https://goo.gl/forms/vjToyJSrRHJAO2pk1
Contact Stephen Osberg, City Planner, with any questions at 402.444.5150 x2069 or
August 23rd, 2016 |
Author: Pell Duvall
Howdy, folks! Well, we have two more closures to report (one belated again, sorry!) as well as an advocacy update about the detours and reroute options! (Spoiler alert: it didn’t get far.)
First, the South Omaha Trail closure from City of Omaha Parks:
“A section of the South Omaha Trail from S. 50th Street to S. 45th & Dayton Streets will be closed starting Monday, August 22nd through Friday, September 2nd so the Parks & Recreation Department can address drainage issues along this section of the trail. There is a suggested detour using existing sidewalks along city streets. Refer to the attached map below for additional information.”
City of Omaha’s suggested detour via existing sidewalks
Keystone Trail Closure (also from City of Omaha Parks):
“A section of the Keystone Trail at the “L” Street Underpass will be closed starting Wednesday, August 24th through Wednesday, September 14th so that the Papio-Missouri River Natural Resources District can address drainage and erosion issues at this section of the trail. There is no suggested detour for this closing. Refer to the attached map below for additional information.”
Trail Closure Notices-South Omaha Trail-Keystone Trail-August-2016
Trail Closure Detour Advocacy Update #2:
Upon receiving this notification, I was on the phone with Dennis Bryers with city parks within hours. We had a very promising and engaging conversation about the complications of temporary detours (or lack thereof being an unacceptable long-term solution) as well as all the entities involved. I briefly mentioned the lowering speed limits on the South O Trail detour as well as using a temporary signal for Keystone Trail closure at L Street. As L Street is a state hwy, Dennis informed me that Nebraska Deparment of Roads (NDOR) would need to be involved. Having just learned from a fellow colleague that NDOR has a Bicycle & Pedestrian Coordinator, I decided to give him a call.
David is a fantastic person who listened intently to my concerns. He offered to connect with Dennis and discuss the options and explained that a traffic engineer would need to be consulted. I was excited! Did I just get a win with NDOR?
I proposed the following solutions:
South O: Knowing that many riders would review the proposed sidewalk detour, I was afraid they would choose to ride 50th and F Streets with drivers passing exceeding the 35mph speed limit on roads with no shoulder or safety measures for bicycle traffic. With a two-way protected bike line not a valid option of F Street, simply suggested that the speed limit be lowered to 25mph during the closure to increase rider safety and comfort on the roadway. (Not to mention that …pedestrians and cyclists have a 90 percent survival rate if hit at 20 mph or below, but that rate drops to 50 percent at 30 mph or above.)
Late Friday, I received a reply in response to my suggestions. Disheartened, I read the response that lowering the speed limit is usually not effective. Regarding the Keystone Trail, that the types of temporary changes I am suggesting would require an unjustified expense of a traffic study as well as not supporting all user groups.
I spent the weekend contemplating action and response while riding 145 miles at Gravel Worlds this weekend. I apologize for the delay in getting this out, but I hadn’t fully thought through this.
Although new solutions are in the works as the City Planning Department develops guidelines for closures on bike routes, this should not be the answer now.
Ultimately, the detours (or lack thereof) are the best solutions given the current surrounding bike/ped infrastructure. These roads were designed for motor vehicles and are not the complete streets we want for our city. Changes are coming.
In the meantime, let’s keep doing what we do best; keep riding and be safe!
Please feel free to comment if you find a good detour route!
August 18th, 2016 |
Author: Pell Duvall
When I saw a Live Well Nebraska link that the Keystone had a closure pop up in my Facebook news feed last Friday, I thought to myself, “I need to get on that.”
I read about the 5 day closure from Harrison Street to Cornhusker Road from Monday August 15th through August 19th. In my only mildly caffeinated morning daze, I just read ‘bridge deck and replacement’ and assumed it meant the bridge over Copper Creek (a City of Omaha project not started yet) even though it is clearly stated that this is the road bridge west of 48th St.
I created a reroute to the nearby Bellevue neighborhood, asked a colleague at NRD to verify the route would be open at the access points in the route, then contacted Bellevue Public Works to set up temporary protected bike lane on a section of 48th Street. Boom!
Copper Creek Detour
After a conversation with a colleague, it turns out I was totally wrong about where this project was. It’s a Sarpy County project to resurface the road bridge on Cornhusker, and Papio NRD opted to close this section of the trail due to possible falling debris during construction. Whoops, swing and a miss!
In all of the craziness of life (in and out of work), I totally forgot to post about it. After a brief Facebook interaction on Mode Shift Omaha‘s Facebook page on Monday, I realized this. Completely distracted by a grant proposal that was due that day, I attempted to email Sarpy to engage them on the best way to detour around this. The response I received was positive, both of us acknowledging it was a little late in the game to do much.
All of this got me thinking that there has to be a better way. While we don’t need to have a dedicated bike lane for every closed road on popular bike routes, our local municipalities do need to consider the socio-economic impact of closing access for bicycles. What someone lost his/her job for being late due to no legitimate detour? There’s zero bus service from Metro Transit there.
A bit of a grey area…
Sure, a flat tire can delay you by 10-15 minutes, but finding a new route can be stressful and/or put you on dangerous roads like nearby Cornhusker. The reroutes for this would delay riders by 10-20 minutes or more, and that’s assuming they have access to a smart phone.
Just for fun, let’s say you’re a teacher at G Stanley Hall Elementary School, and you live near Twin Creek. You’d likely catch the West Papio at Raynor Parkway, head north to Harrison, use sidepath and school route to get to work, avoiding most busy streets.
With this closure, you would find the trail closed at Cornhusker. You’d have to back track or brave 45mph on a poor shoulder. Even if you took the came back south and West Papio combined with neighborhood streets, you’d have 72nd to deal with, likely having to take to the sidewalk for safety.
Mind the Gap!
All joking aside, I learned all the people I spoke with were kind and helpful, and they all plan to keep in communication with Omaha Bikes as future projects affect bike routes! Advocacy in action!
If you know of any closures that affect your route and and to share you planned detour, let us know, and we’ll post your suggested route.
Be safe out there!
August 10th, 2016 |
Please be careful out there! There is a section to the east of 50th Street that is wet and slippery. Please slow down and use caution.
City of Omaha Parks and Recreation will be placing temporary signage soon until the long-term fix can be addressed later this year. Please see map below for approximate location.
August 3rd, 2016 |
Author: Pell Duvall
Category: Bike Commuting
| Tags: field club
, trail closure
Omaha Parks & Recreation Department announced today, August 2, 2016 that a section of the Field Club Trail from Pacific Street to Martha Street will be closed starting on Monday, August 8th through Friday, August 12th so that the Parks & Recreation Department can address drainage issues along this section of the trail. The trail will be closed each day from 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and will be open in the evenings. There is a suggested detour using sidewalks along city streets.
One option is to detour east on Martha, turn on 35th Ave, dismount at Center St and use south sidewalk to get to crosswalk/stoplight at 36th St, cross Center St and follow sharrows north on 36th St, turn west on Pacific St to reconnect with Field Club Trail. Use extreme caution crossing Center Street! Map as follows:
The following route detour is the suggested detour per City of Omaha Parks & Recreation, however riding 42nd St. sidewalk is not a recommended option for bicycles, and 42nd St is a very busy street not on any bicycle routes.
Any questions about the closure can be directed to Dennis E. Bryers, FASLA, PLA at 402-444-3798 or email@example.com.