Since 1998, Mary has been getting around Omaha without owning a car because it is so expensive. Instead of driving, she walks and uses public transit.
Although walking to chores might sound like a chore, Mary says that walking in her area isn’t bad. She makes it easier for herself by living near a Metro Transit center and many good walking destinations: restaurants, shops, a library, and drug stores, for example. The area has good sidewalks and lighting, which helps her feel safe walking by herself. Walking also offers bonuses that motorists miss: enjoying trees, smelling flowers, and visiting with dog walkers.
When she is walking in many areas of town, after the Walk signal comes on, Mary has to pause before crossing the street to make sure that motorists will yield to her. Sometimes a long line of cars will turn in front of her; then, she has to wait for the next Walk signal. Mary would like to have sidewalks connect Westroads Mall and the shops in the Old Mill area. Right now, there is no safe way to walk between them.
Mary likes to use transit for grocery shopping. A favorite place is the Bag & Save at Dodge and 76th Streets because it’s right on the #2 bus line. She avoids crossing Dodge St. by getting off on the north side of the street and catching the returning #2 on 76th St. If she wants to cross Dodge St., she can avoid traffic by walking the Keystone Trail beneath the busy artery.
She reports good experiences with transit. For example, the drivers have been friendly and, when delayed, have asked buses that Mary needed to wait a moment for her. She sees many people riding transit by choice. For people considering trying transit, Mary recommends parking at Westroads Mall and riding the #2 or #4 toward downtown.
How do you get around Omaha? Do you rely on more than one mode of transportation? Let us know!