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120th Street and West Maple Expansion

13 Jun

The City of Omaha held a public meeting presenting the current plan for improving 120th St from Stonegate, south of W Maple, to Roanoke, almost to Fort St. Besides providing four through lanes on 120th north of W Maple, additional right of way will be purchased to provide double left turn lanes onto W Maple. Crosswalks will also be extended across W Maple on both sides of 120th.

In addition, the Big Papio Trail will run parallel to 120th on the east side from north of Old Maple to the Big Papillion Creek where it will go under the bridge and into Tranquility Park. See figure 4A and following starting on page 23 in the 120th Draft Environmental Assessment pdf at—120th-street-stonegate-to-fort/draft-environmental-assessment-dea

I raised the question, “Where is the plan to connect the trail from 120th and W Maple to the end of the trail in Hefflinger Park?” I was directed to Dennis Bryers in Omaha Parks. I emailed Dennis about the connection plan and he wrote the following:

Thanks for the e-mail.  We are planning to extend the Big Papio Trail north from Hefflinger Park sometime between Public Work’s two projects on N. 120th Street and West Maple Road.  Project will consist of rebuilding the section of the trail in Hefflinger Park, construction/installation of a new pedestrian bridge across the side creek and extending the trail to connect to the section that Public Works is building as part of the N. 120th & West Maple Road work.

The W Maple bridge deck across the Big Papillion Creek is currently scheduled to be replaced in 2019 and would be the best time to bridge the trail across the creek and W Maple. The 120th St expansion is currently scheduled for 2021/2.

The timing for the trail between Hefflinger and 120th is dependent on getting three or four other trail projects completed. Though the portion of the trail attached to the W Maple bridge should be done during redecking, the side creek bridge and other sections will likely happen later. To see some of the other trail projects, go to

If you want to express any concerns about the 120th St expansion, the Big Papio Trail extension to 120th, or appreciation for coordinating these projects for completion, please email:

Jon Meyer for 120th St:
Dennis Bryers for Big Papio Trail to 120th:

Dale Rabideau
Mode Shift Omaha

Five Questions for . . . Daniel Lawse

12 Jun


As Verdis’ Group’s Chief Century Thinker (CCT), “Daniel brings a passion to cultivate adaptive and resilient solutions for communities and organizations to thrive now and for generations to come.” Daniel is one of the organizers of the the Midtown on the Move initiative and he will be our guest at the upcoming monthly Coffee Chat, June 16th.

He serves on the Board of Directors for the Metro Transit Authority, the Advisory Board for the University of Nebraska’s Center for Urban Sustainability, and Creighton University’s Energy Technology Program Board. He is part of Omaha by Design Environmental Element Implementation Team. In 2012, Daniel was recognized with MAPA‘s Regional Citizenship Award and is one of the Omaha Jaycees’ 2010 Ten Outstanding Young Omahans. He was recently recognized nationally as an Aspen Environment Forum Scholar.

We asked him five questions:

What is your preferred mode of transportation?

  1. Multi-modal. I primarily walk and bus. If I have time, walking is my favorite because I get to interact with the place I am in. Take in the architecture, notice the natural spaces and urban wildlife, and greet other people.

What, in your opinion, is the greatest challenge to multi-modal transportation in Omaha?

  1. The mindset that everyone drives so they will always drive.

What, in your opinion, the the greatest multi-modal success in Omaha?

  1. There are many. Recently, Metro Transit’s system change to improve frequency and reduce travel times system-wide and the upcoming Bus Rapid Transit on Dodge Street (not to mention the $15 million grant Omaha received to do this).
  2. Historically, nearly all development pre-1940’s when land use was predicated on walkability, streetcars, and minimal auto use.
  3. UNMC and Nebraska Medicine implemented TravelSmart–a comprehensive multi-modal commuting program–and shifted multi-modal commutes from 13% to 19% in one year.
  4. Probably the one with the greatest impact is a renewed focus on redeveloping the urban core and quality walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented neighborhoods (Benson, S. 10th St., Vinton St., Blackstone, Midtown Crossing, Aksarben Village). The more people living close to their daily trips (commutes, entertainment) the more likely they are to leave their car at home.

How did you come to have an interest in transportation?

  1. I’m a human, I move to live. 😉
  2. It stemmed from my passion for our environment. I desire to live lightly on this planet. After I started my multi-modal lifestyel, I feel in love with it. It just fun, I feel healthier when I’m walking, biking, and busing throughout my day. There is also a huge side benefit fo saving money. My family of five only owns one car because of where we live. I walk, bike, bus, and rideshare and my wife and kids get the car most of the time. I still drive once in a while, but rarely.

If you could magically change one thing about the transportation systems in Omaha, without limit to budget or feasibility, what would it be?

  1. Complete streets everywhere coupled with pedestrian and transit oriented development. This would address both the demand (people living in walkable, bikeable, transit-oriented neighborhoods) and the supply (infrastructure to make the connections easy, such as proximity to mixed use, safe pedestrian and bicycle facilities, and a robust transit system focused on frequency and reliability)

Mode Shift Year in Review 2016-2017

21 May

Omaha Gives! is happening this Wednesday, May 24, 2017. We are very grateful for your support and hope you will continue to include Mode Shift in your Omaha Gives giving this year. Please schedule or make a gift here.

We’ve done quite a lot this past year to advocate for safer and more efficient transportation options for everyone in the Omaha area. Here are some highlights in our three areas of focus:


Created by: Chris Behr

As part of our Transparency Project, Mode Shift studied the City of Omaha’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for over a year. The report of our findings are included in a series of blog posts. We found that:

  • The CIP data are incomplete, the content is out of date, and the totals don’t add up;
  • Master plans are ignored and the project ranking process specified in the City Charter is not followed; and
  • There is little to no opportunity for citizens to provide input on the process.

We’ve also filed a Freedom of Information request to obtain data missing from the CIP. We’ll use this information to work toward getting the City to create a transparent, understandable, and accurate CIP.

Photo credit: Cindy Tefft

We also initiated our Safe Crossings Project this past year. Volunteers tested a data collection tool last spring (see the results here), spent the winter refining it, and hope to collect data again this summer or fall. Thanks to work by one of our members, Cindy Tefft, and others, some improvements to the 72 & Dodge intersection were made—but issues at this intersection and others still continue and we’ll be working to get them addressed.


Over the winter, we created a program to bring attention to the need for better snow removal from sidewalks, including creating snow removal cards and information sheets you can print and share with neighbors and businesses. Continue reading