Mayor Don Wesely today said including the development of public way corridors into Lincoln's Comprehensive Plan will allow for more orderly long-term city growth. The Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission will consider amending the Comprehensive Plan by adopting a new concept for public way corridors at its meeting Wednesday, August 9. The issue would then go to the City Council and County Commission.
"The areas the study examined are now on the edge of Lincoln and will become the major corridors for traffic and utilities as the city grows," Mayor Wesely said. "With careful planning now, we can enhance our future neighborhoods, protect the environment and provide for transportation and technology needs down the road." The Lincoln Fringe Area Primary Public Way Corridor Study began in December 1999. The study team included the Lincoln Public Works and Utilities Department, the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department and the Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Department. The team hired The Clark Enersen Partners to assist in the study, and 15 meetings and open houses were held to gather public input. The area under study includes the urban planning zones roughly from Roca on the south to Waverly on the north and from 148th Street on the east to Southwest 100th Street on the west.
Important considerations during the study were:
The study team is recommending the city adopt a "boulevard" concept for future public way corridors. This concept includes street trees and a landscape screen, a bike trail, a pedestrian sidewalk, up to four lanes for vehicle traffic and up to three turning lanes at major intersections (two left and one right), while accommodating a range of utilities.
"This is a 140-foot corridor, which incorporate the needs of vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists as well as utilities, lighting and landscaping," said Parks and Recreation Director Lynn Johnson, a member of the study team. "Another very important aspect is that the impact on the surrounding neighborhoods would be minimal in terms of maintenance and future changes to the roadway."
Most public rights-of-way in the city are 100 feet wide, but the study team says the future 140-foot boulevards would not need to be entirely in the public rights-of-way. The city can use alternatives to right-of-way acquisition including flexibility in lot depth and setbacks next to easements or outlots in order to minimize the cost.
A complete report is available through the web sites of the Planning Department and Public Works and Utilities Department at www.lincoln.ne.gov. Copies are also available at the downtown Kinko's for $60 per copy in color or $6 per copy for black and white.
A separate but related project is also underway with regard to the existing entryways into the city. The city is partnering with the Downtown Lincoln Rotary Club to develop design guidelines for entryways. The first two phases, the Interstate 80 corridor from North 14th to North 27th streets and I-180 from Sun Valley to Ninth and "O" streets, have been completed. Two additional phases are anticipated this year.