Tag Archives: pedestrian

Bike/Ped Rally Logistics

9 Aug

A few things to note regarding the Bike/Ped Rally scheduled for noon on Sunday, August 10 at Stinson Park. We will convene at the Tower at noon, rain or shine.

Following brief comments from Councilman Chris Jerram, Mode Shift Omaha chair, Craig Moody, and Omaha Bikes spokesperson, Ryan Feagan, there will be optional, at-your-own-risk bikes and walks. Whether you’re biking or walking, please obey the rules of the road. It is not a closed course. Be safe. Ride right. Signal your turns. Stop at all stop signs and lights. Have fun. Be respectful. And wear a helmet if you’re riding.

Routes are as follows:

Bike Route— A 4.12 mile route utilizing shared roadways and designated bike lanes in the Aksarben/Elmwood Park Neighborhood. North on 67th through Elmwood Park. Roundabout north on Happy Hollow to Howard. To 55th. South to the Leavenworth Bike Lane. West to 60th. South to Woolworth. West to 63rd. South to Center. West to 64th. North on 64th Ave back to Stinson.
Bike Route
Walk Route—A 1.46 mile route on city streets with varying infrastructure for pedestrians. East on Center to 60th. North to Shirley. West to 67th. Back to Stinson.
Walk Route
Walk Route Alternate—No hills, good for children walking or biking. East on Center to 63rd. North to Shirley. West to 67th. Back to Stinson.
Walk Route Alternate
And if you want to roll on your own, the Keystone Trail is easily accessed from Stinson Park.
We look forward to seeing you all on Sunday. Have fun. Sign the petition. Wear a sticker. Be boisterous yet respectful. And be an advocate.

A Dodge Street Safe for Everyone

25 Jun
Image from KETV

Image from KETV–38 & Dodge Streets

The grievous death of Creighton University physician, Dr. Edward Horowitz, on Monday at the intersection of 38th and Dodge Street illustrates the serious challenges faced by the City of Omaha as Dodge Street becomes a future multi-modal transportation corridor. Dr. Horowitz was killed by a vehicle while crossing Dodge Street with the right of way and walking in a crosswalk.

Dodge Street represents Omaha’s central corridor and has been identified as the primary element linking the city’s areas of civic importance. Early work by Omaha by Design described this as a fishbone, with Dodge Street acting as an organizing spine for the city’s green spaces and neighborhoods, and where the highest level of the new urban design standards would be applied. The recent Central Omaha Alternatives Analysis concluded Dodge Street, Farnam Street, and Harney Street should host both a new Bus Rapid Transit line and an urban circulator, the locally preferred term for a streetcar. Both of these transit technologies have been celebrated as models of Transit Oriented Development, meaning an increase in development along these transit lines can be expected both in advance of, during and after the construction of these lines if they proceed as planned.

However, increased development and improved transit opportunities along and near the Dodge Street Corridor won’t succeed without reconceptualizing Dodge Street as a safe space for pedestrian movement and without providing the necessary facilities required for people who walk to move along and across Dodge Street in a safe manner. Nearly every transit rider is ultimately a pedestrian as the first or last leg of a transit rider’s journey is usually on foot, and the current design of Dodge Street is one of the least habitable places in the city for pedestrian traffic. An aggressive and visionary approach to Dodge Street is needed if the proposed transit improvements advance, something along the scale of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s recent Great Streets Initiative, which recognizes the important role great streets play in making great neighborhoods and great cities. Omaha’s central corridor and the neighborhoods defining it won’t be great without a new and visionary approach to how Dodge Street safely accommodates all forms of transportation.

Act Now on LB 1071

24 Feb

bike-lightThe Transportation and Telecommunications Committee is planning to hold a hearing this Tuesday for LB 1071. Please send an email NOW to the members of the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee, expressing your support—to Chair, Senator Dubas and to Omaha-area Senators on the Committee: Beau McCoy (Elkhorn, far west Omaha), John Murante (SW Omaha, Gretna), and Jim Smith (LaVista, Papillion). Please check this map to see the detailed district boundaries. Several people from Omaha and Lincoln are also planning to testify on Tuesday. If you’d like to join them, please contact Mike Abboud.

This bill, sponsored by Senator Lathrop of Omaha, would task the Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR) with creating standards for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure and would also more clearly define a person on a bicycle’s rights to the right of way; that is, “…a person lawfully operating a bicycle on a sidewalk, or across a roadway or shoulder on a crosswalk, shall have all the rights and duties applicable to a pedestrian under the same circumstances.” Currently, there is no specific guidance on how to handle bicyclists in those situations.

By adopting standards at the state level, this bill would support the recently-created Traffic Signal Master Plan that was adopted by the City of Omaha in October, 2013. That plan states:

The increase in the use of bicycles both in mixed traffic and on exclusive bicycle facilities may create safety and/or operational issues that could be mitigated with better bicycle detection. The City should implement the detection for bicycles on corridors with bicycle lanes or corridors with high volumes of bicycle traffic. (p. 53)

Of course, these standards would also support the goals outlined in the Transportation and Environmental Elements of the City of Omaha Master Plan and implementation and expansion of the yet-to-be-fully implemented 20 mile bike loop.

LB 1071 would also give NDOR the opportunity to expand standards currently in place for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. National guidelines for “uniform standards for signage and signals” have already been created by NACTO and AASHTO, and in fact, they have been recently updated to include specifications for protected bike lanes and other infrastructure that have been proven to be effective for achieving physical safety of bicyclists and pedestrians. We encourage NDOR to adopt these standards.

Information currently indicates the City of Lincoln will be testifying in support of this bill. Lincoln has already adopted a complete streets policy and this bill would support that policy. Omaha does not yet have a complete streets policy; however, given the goals of the traffic signal and transportation master plans, it would make sense for the City of Omaha to also support this bill. We encourage the City of Omaha to do so.

See more information about the bill from BicycLincoln here. Also on the agenda tomorrow is LB 756, which would help define e-Bikes.