According to the just-released Vision Zero Action Plan, Ames Avenue is one of the most dangerous streets in the city. We took a look for ourselves, investigating the routes between North High School, Skinner Elementary, 30th Street, and the North Omaha Transit Center (NOTC) on foot.
After walking the area, we agreed that the south sidewalk along Ames was narrow and generally very close to the curb. Eastbound vehicles on Ames were mostly moving faster than the 35 mph speed limit — one sped by at 53, according to our radar speed gun! We were disturbed to see a long tire track on the sidewalk, clear evidence of a driver losing control and running off the road into pedestrian space.
We did identify a safer route for pedestrians. There is a driveway/sidewalk from the east side of the High School east to 34th Street. After a short jog north on 34th Street, walkers can proceed east on the sidewalk on the north side of Skinner School to 33rd Street, then continue east on Taylor Street to 31st and the NOTC.
However, there is a gate where the driveway joins 36th Street, and it would be difficult for someone using a wheelchair or with mobility challenges to get around the gate. Essentially, safety between key destinations in this area could be improved with more wayfinding signage and a different gate design.