Sunday, January 3, 2010

Trail Condition Photos - 12/31/2009

After two large snowfalls within a couple of weeks, it seems the Omaha Parks Department has plowed some metro bike trails. In most places, a significant buildup of packed snow and ice still remain, and almost nowhere will you find bare pavement. The photos below are from Thursday, December 31, 2009. There's been a few more inches of snowfall since then, so I'm not sure of trail conditions at this time.

While having the paths clear of drifts is a significant improvement over no maintenance, a cyclist must still exercise extreme caution and be prepared to ride very slowly, and perhaps walk over some areas. I, for one, will still ride studded tires as long as there is snow or ice anywhere, so I find the trails passable. Depending on the purpose of my ride, I may choose nearby streets over the snowpacked trails.

Turner Boulevard Trail

Turner Boulevard Trail at Harney Street

Keystone Trail

Keystone Trail at College of St. Mary, just north of Mercy Road.

Bridge crossing on Keystone Trail at College of St. Mary

Bridge crossing on Keystone Trail south of Pacific Street.

Sidewalk connection totally blocked on Keystone Trail at 72nd Street. Note plowed path through the grass connection to shopping center parking lot.

Field Club Trail

I only glimpsed the Field Club at Leavenworth Street and it looked to be in similar condition to the other metro trails.

Trail Condition Updates

Please comment below to share your updates to trail conditions. Also, please consider using Twitter to help communicate with the Omaha cycling community. Tweet your updates and photos of trails to @OmahaCyclist and the news will be retweeted.

Snow Removal Issues

Report snow removal issues regarding streets and sidewalks here.

The Parks Department handles snow removal on trails. Maybe the Omaha Mayor's Hotline is a good place to start for reporting trail issues.


Mark Berry said...

When the city does plow a trail - even not as well as you might wish - it's a good idea to send a note through the city website, expressing appreciation. Given the financial condition of the city and the budget overrun with snow removal, as a runner (who frequents Zorinsky), I'm glad for any little bit they can remove.

Biker Bob said...

Thanks Scott. That gives me a good idea of what most of my route in will look like tomorrow if I bike in. I know we got more snow, but a few inches isn't to hard to bike through.

Ashley Shaun said...

its really very nice pictures thanks for sharing this with us. i like it very much.

Motorcycle Clothing

Biker Bob said...

The Keystone trail from Democracy Park to Hargleroads Park is not plowed and doesn't look to have been plowed since the big storm in December (very deep snow). South of Hargleroads park is 3 inches deep and rough from foot traffic. I had a hard time riding on it and eventually exited the trail and road streets instead.

Biker Bob said...

Mark... I entirely agree. Let the city know that you appreciate what are able to do with their limited budget. I'm sure they would do more if they had the resources.

Scott Redd said...

I just used the Mayor's Hotline to send a comment:

I'd like to send my thanks to the Parks Department for the good job they are doing in clearing snow from the metro bike trails. I understand there's a lot of snow, and it's hard to get to all trails all the time, satisfying everyone, but I've certainly noticed the effort.

Even when the surface is not bare and there's a crust of snow and ice on the trails, they are still passable to most winter bikers, who often use special tires. Keeping the drifts off the trail makes a big difference.

Believe it or not, many people continue to bike through the winter, and not just for recreation. Many folks bike to work as a part of living a healthy lifestyle, to save money, and to help ease street congestion and pollution.

Please keep up the good work.



Coincidentally, the CAPTCHA had the word "bicycles" in it. :)

The Douglas said...

Thanks for sending this note to the city Scott. I'm sure the positive comments are well received after all of the complaints they must receive.

I too have left messages but they were compliments blended with reminders. Such as the lack of snow removal from the West Papio trail. This trail system is approximately 12 miles long from far north Omaha all the way to Sarpy county. The vast majority of this trail backs to neighborhoods and services industrial and commercial areas. This trail is used by literally hundreds who travel to work, school and area parks. This trail is also very much neglected by city snow removal. I'm not sure why, but when they do plow snow, which is rare, they only service about two or three miles worth, then stop abruptly in the middle of the trail leaving a heap of snow in the middle of the trail and tire tracks where the trucks stop and turn around. I'm baffled as to why they do this.

What I've explained in my messages is that if the trail system isn't completely cleared then it remains unusable as a thoroughfare from point to point locations (ie: Blond to Dodge, Pacific to Center, Center to L street, etc). Basically, if they're going to clear ANY of it, clear ALL of it otherwise pedestrians and cyclists are trapped in the middle of nowhere and have to hike to the nearest street.

Although I am thankful for the work they've done, I am confused by the priorities they work by. For example, the last couple of days I've noticed large commercial snow blowers, the kind that are 6-feet high and 10-feet wide, clearing additional sections of neighborhoods that are already passable. Same goes for intersections where I've seen crews chipping away at snow drifts that don't directly effect traffic in the sense of clear travel. My point is, if the streets are passable and open to vehicles and can be traveled safely, the trail systems should be #2 in line.

Kudos for what work has been done, but the West Papio needs work....badly.