Mayor Chris Beutler today kicked off the public education campaign for the "N" Street Cycle Track, the state's first protected bikeway. Construction began in March on the cycle track, which runs for 17 blocks along the south side of "N" Street from 23rd Street to Arena Drive. It is expected to open next week.
The two-lane bikeway is separated from traffic with paint, curbs, medians and on-street parking. The education campaign includes a website (lincoln.ne.gov, keyword: N Street), an instructional video with information for cyclists, motorists and pedestrians and public service announcements.
"Lincoln is very excited to be the home of Nebraska's first cycle track," Mayor Beutler said. "The separation of bikes and motor vehicles provides an extra measure of safety. But, it's very important for the public to learn how to navigate this stretch of "N" Street, which includes traffic control devices at every intersection for cyclists, motorist and pedestrians."
The cycle track provides a connection from the Arena and West Haymarket to the Antelope Valley Trails, a critical link in the City's 128-mile trail network. "In addition to providing important trail connections, the cycle track promotes healthy living and contributes to the livability, excitement and vibrancy of our 21st century city," Beutler said. He noted that Nelnet cited the "N" Street Cycle Track in its announcement about the company's plans to turn the old Windstream building into offices for its employees. The project is part of the Telegraph District, the redevelopment of the 21st and "N" Street area by Nelnet and Speedway Properties.
The Mayor thanked the bicycling community, City departments, area businesses and funders for their work and support on the project. The cycle track is funded from both public and private sources, including a $340,000 donation from the Great Plains Trails Network (GPTN).
"The "N" Street Cycle Track is a project of which GPTN is very proud," said Roger Hirsch, GPTN President. "You would have to go to Minneapolis or Denver for a similar protected cycle track experience. The cycle track will provide a safer way for bicyclists to traverse east and west through a busy downtown growing with more business, residential and entertainment opportunities. This project represents a fine example of public private cooperation by bringing together private groups and funding resources to enhance public planning, talent and direction."
A dedication of the "N" Street Cycle Track is being planned for the spring of 2016.