Tag Archives: Bike

Harney Bikeway: We did it! Or did we?

24 Oct dozens of cyclists begin ride on the Harney St Bikeway at a stoplight

The Harney Street Bikeway has been a top priority for the city, based on their own metrics, for the last 10 years. It took until last year, and a private donor, to make the “Market to Midtown” bikeway a reality. 

Last month, the mayor decided she had seen enough. Despite the City Council’s unanimous support of the bikeway, she and the board of Metro Smart Cities, decided to end the pilot program. Bike advocates, including Bike Walk Nebraska – a leading contributor to the project, were shocked. 

After a student-led protest of the bike lane demolition, the mayor announced that it would continue for the next year, until the new streetcar project pushed the bikeway out. BUT… that was only because a private donor (the same donor from the original pilot) agreed to pay for the ongoing maintenance. 

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The Life And Death Of The Market-To-Midtown Bikeway

24 Oct A large group of people, many wearing bicycle helmets stand in Dewey Park

by Brian Knoelk

If you build it, they will come.

The stated goals of the Market-To-Midtown bikeway pilot project was to see an increase in the level of bicycle ridership, including bikeshares and scooters; and see an increase in the perception of safety and comfort level of riders and vehicular traffic alike; and aimed to promote multi-modal transportation options and public safety.

In the first year of the Harney Street Bike Lane, sometimes referred to as the Market-to-Midtown Bikeway, the bicycle traffic along the route increased about one-third, while bikeshare use along the route increased 69%. The Bikeway was on target to beat pre-pandemic ridership, but fell short of pandemic ridership highs. The number is also affected by the work-from-home transition that many downtown employees have gone through. [Market-to-Midtown Bikeway: 12-Month Evaluation from Bike Walk Nebraska]

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Take Action to Make Harney St. Bikeway Permanent

10 Sep Harney Street with cars on the left and the bikeway with two bicyclists on the right

This Tuesday, September 13, Omaha City Council will have a public hearing and vote on a budget amendment on studying and funding a permanent Harney Street bikeway, which has been a privately-funded pilot project since last July. We need everyone who supports this to email the Mayor & your City Council member (and others if you like) AND testify on Tuesday if you can! Read on for more details on the budget amendment, how to testify, and talking points.

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