Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Omaha Cyclists Try Out New 16th Street Bike Lanes

On Friday, July 24, 2009, cyclists in Omaha were surprised to discover that during a street resurfacing project on 16th Street, bike lanes had been painted on the street.

Sixteenth Street, between Chicago Street and Cuming Street was reduced from a four lane road (two lanes in each direction), to a three lane road (one lane in each direction, plus a center turning lane), with a bike lane and parking lane on each side.

Out of context, it may appear silly to have a few block of bike lanes downtown, but these fit into the larger 20 mile plan, still being developed. Consider that Burt Street, near the north end of the lanes on 16th Street, can be used as a good route to connect with points further west, such as 40th Street, Hamilton Street, and on to the Happy Hollow Trail.

The street resurfacing isn't quite done, and motorists have been observed to be confused about the lane changes, so caution is advised when riding the new bike lanes.





Below is a video of a few Omaha cyclists trying out the lanes. Thanks for Michael A, Tim B, and Rafal D for coming out and starring in the video.

13 comments:

dale said...

Thanks for documenting the first installment of the 20 mile loop. After all the maps, meetings, and talking, very nice to see action on the street.

Biker Bob said...

Well done. Looking forward to seeing the 20 mile loop come together.

AOJules said...

Awesome!! Thanks for doing this for us. We've been anxious to see photos of riders using the lane.

GetActive said...

Just an FYI, there will be an official Ribbon Cutting ceremony on the afternoon of August 10th. More details to follow soon...but we'd love to have a presence from those commuter cyclists that are in support of more bike facilities in Omaha. Keep watching the Bike Omaha blog for those details!!! Thanks for posting!!!

Stuart said...

Great! Remember to take the lane when going through intersections. The bike lane is not a safe place where there's turning traffic - I presume that's why they dot near intersections - although even that is misleading.

GetActive said...

Great point Stuart!! We really want to make sure cyclists are riding safely and responsibly out there. There will be another opportunity for cyclists to sign up for the League of American Bicyclist's Traffic Skills 101 Course. For more information go to:
http://www.activateomaha.org/trafficskills/

GetActive said...

Oops! One more comment...check out the Omaha World Herald article from today regarding 16th Street plans...end of article: "Bike Center"

http://www.omaha.com/article/20090729/NEWS01/707299944

Steve said...

A ribbon cutting ceremony seems a little premature. Right now we've got two short bits of isolated bike lanes (Happy Hollow and 16th Street). Let's wait to celebrate when we have something that at least resembles a route.

That said, I'm glad this is starting. I grinned like a madman when I saw those things Friday night and have gone out of my way several times to ride in them.

Scott Redd said...

I posted a couple more videos of what it looks like to ride the streets in downtown Omaha.

Scott Redd said...

Julie:

After the signs are up and the resurfacing completely done, we could try to get some nice still shots for promotional use.

I just couldn't wait that long to get some on the street footage and reports. It's all so exciting.

GetActive said...

Scott- I still think we should get some of you commuters out there to do video footage of each of the Bike Omaha routes before AND after facilities are put in place. Just a great way to show the improvement. Thanks for all your work to date!!!

Steve said...

Before and after shots are a good idea.

bill_atx said...

I am glad to see that Omaha is putting safety first. The loop should be really cool when finished! Cycling is becoming more and more popular, especially with America trying to avoid paying high prices at the pump. I am hoping that this will cause a decline in cycling related accidents. However with some of the drivers on the road, I know I’m going to keep my Omaha personal injury lawyer close by just in case.