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Park(ing) Day 2021

12 Sep
A parklet on N. 24th St. built with pallets and blue rounded corrugated aluminum. Two people are seated on the pallet benches, chatting in what was a parking spot for a car, turned into a gathering spot for the neighborhood.
Inspiration for the next parklet on Park(ing) Day!

Busy this Friday morning? Join us for the reveal of Mode Shift Omaha’s new parklet, temporarily installed for Park(ing) Day, at 1234 S. 13th Street, this coming Friday, September 17th from 9:00am-5:00pm. We’ll be there for our monthly Coffee Chat at 9:00am, with coffee from Archetype just down the block.

The concept is simple: take a parking spot in front of the Greenhouse and turn it into a social gathering spot, which also acts as a traffic calming device. There will be seating, plants, and information on the benefits of these types of installations. Hope to see you there!

If you’re unable to join us that morning, the installation will be up until 5:00pm that night. Thanks to Spin, Better Block, and the folks with Park(ing) Day for a mini-grant that made this possible.

A round graphic with a teal background and crosswalk that says, "Walk With Us" with an orange hand and car underneath similar to the light from a real crossing signal. Next to that round graphic, the words "Aksarben Saturday, Sept 18th 10am, Legend Coffee 5207 Leavenworth St." are in black.

If you’re busy Friday but want to hang with Mode Shifters on Saturday, we have another event involving coffee and community. Meet us at 10:00am at Legend Coffee on 52nd & Leavenworth for another Walk With Us event, this time focused on the sidewalk obstruction due to a poorly placed Verizon pole. We’ll gather to grab coffee (to go), and then walk as a group to the pole to check out the new sidewalk that has finally been poured. We’ll also hear from City Councilor Danny Begley about the latest with this issue and how to prevent it from happening again.

Good News on Friday the 13th

13 Aug

Thank YOU for supporting our goal of amending the proposed CIP (Capital Improvement Program) to include money specifically for keeping the protected bike lane on Harney Street, aka the Market to Midtown Bikeway, permanent! We testified at City Hall, emailed our Councilors and thankfully were heard. We’d like to specifically thank Council President Festersen for making the amendment to include $3M for Harney St. and $1.25M for implementation of a new Bike & Pedestrian Master Plan. The Council will vote on whether to approve the proposed amendments this coming Tuesday, August 17th.

A person on a bike wearing a backpack is pedaling west on Harney Street through an intersection with green paint striping.
A rider pedals west on Harney St.

You can view the entirety of the City Council agenda here and check out all of the proposed amendments. Again, the City Council will VOTE for or against these amendments on Tuesday, August 17th so now would be a great time to find your City Council representative and email them encouraging them to vote yes on items 12 & 13.

A screenshot of items 12 & 13 from the City Council agenda. 12 is a recommended revision to the CIP to include $1.25M for a bike/ped master plan implementation and 13 is for another amendment to the CIP with $3M for the Harney St protected bikeway's permanence.
Screenshot of the proposed amendments

In other good news, there’s finally painted crosswalks at 72nd & Dodge! Thanks to Cindy on our Walkability Team for all of her work on this over the years (and for the photo of the new paint!). Take a look at one of our blog posts from 2017 here if you want to see the timeline of things at this intersection.

Photo of fresh white painted crosswalk stripes and stop bar at the corner of 72nd & Dodge looking north toward the Crossroads corner. There are orange construction cones alerting drivers to the new paint.
Photo by Cindy Tefft of the fresh white painted crosswalks on Dodge!

Just wanted to end the week with some celebration of our advocacy and progress! Keep your eyes out for an upcoming Walk Team event to celebrate this intersection and raise awareness of others with some issues.

Have a good weekend and maybe we’ll see you at our Coffee Chat/Ride which starts at the Blueline Coffee shop in Dundee, rolling at 8:00am for a 25 mile round trip. The ride heads to Papillion and Pint Nine to celebrate another accomplishment: a trail connection from businesses along the West Papio Trail to the trail itself. Here’s the general route plan, subject to change as we ride as a group!

Omaha Budget & CIP

3 Aug

If you’re able to make it down to City Hall (1819 Farnam, 2nd floor) tonight, Tuesday, August 3rd at 6:30 to testify in opposition to the proposed budget and CIP, we’d love to see you there. If you’re unable to make it, please take a moment to email your thoughts today to your City Councilor (find their info here) and copy the City Clerk: We are opponents to the way it’s currently written, which allocates $0 to protected bike lanes…this means that the Harney Street pilot lane isn’t being funded/planned for as permanent. Unacceptable! Here’s a news story about the lack of funding.

A construction crew working on the Harney Street cycle track. This is an intersection being painted green. There are orange traffic cones blocking off the area with white bike images in the bike lanes.
Construction of the Harney Street Pilot

Here’s what the MSO Board submitted to the City Council:

Dear City Councilors & Mayor Stothert, 

I am submitting comments on the City of Omaha Budget and Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for Mode Shift Omaha. Mode Shift Omaha advocates for transportation equity that enhances quality of life and opportunities for everyone to live, work, and play.

The City of Omaha has committed to increasing active living, stopping the brain drain of young people leaving Omaha, and Vision Zero, meaning a goal of zero traffic deaths on Omaha roads. The mayor also has set up a climate change task force expressing an interest in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Increasing investments in pedestrian, scooter, bicycle, transit, and traffic calming infrastructure will help the City meet these stated goals and create a better, safer, cleaner, and more vibrant Omaha for everyone. The Omaha Chamber of Commerce’s Connect Go initiative is also advocating for more of these investments in multi-modal infrastructure. However, both the City budget and the Capital Improvement Program have little-to-no investments in these areas. The City needs to step up and allocate funding to improve multi-modal infrastructure and help us get to Vision Zero.

Additionally, we support starting an unarmed civilian traffic safety division to more equitably and safely enforce traffic laws at a lower cost. 

Thank you to Councilman Festersen who has proposed around a $3M allocation to make the Harney Street cycletrack permanent. Mode Shift Omaha supports funding to make this cycle track permanent and would like to see funds budgeted for future cycle track miles in the City’s CIP beyond this one project. 

The CIP contains $173M on road and intersection widening, while only $29M on traffic calming and pedestrian improvements with $0 for bicycle/scooter infrastructure. That’s almost 6 times more funding for road widening, which leads to increased demand thus more traffic and more pollution. If the City cares about the goals of Vision Zero, attracting more young people, and reducing carbon emissions, the CIP funding allocations should better reflect those goals. 

TheCIP also contains $129M for parking, 150% more than the $86M in last year’s CIP.  That is more than $270 per person who lives in Omaha to build more unneeded parking!  This compares to less than $20 per person on transit. Most of the parking owned by the City now is empty much of the time.  Let’s invest in lower cost infrastructure (eg lane diets, painted crosswalks, and cycletracks) that creates a more vibrant and exciting City for all. 

Thank you for your consideration.


Liz Veazey, Board Chair, Mode Shift Omaha